The recruiting of a high school athlete is no exact science. There’s more going into it than most casual fans will ever realize. Even some of us hardcore folk don’t have a clue about most of the process, outside of what we see on the NCAA Football Series from year to year.
In an effort to whittle it down to understandable terms while keeping this as short as possible, I’m going to break this thought into two parts. Here’s pt I, my palpable version of what the coaches collectively have to accomplish in recruiting each season. Keep in mind most of this has to come with the understanding that you have to still concentrate 100% on your football team, practice and win games during the Fall to keep your job:
- Identify team needs and then spots available
- Identify all necessary regions of recruitment
- Go through database of recruits fitting description of need in said regions
- Watch thousands of hrs of tape on all of these recruits
- Identify possible matches to needs, also identifying high profile recruits that are a fit with specific system of school that could help improve the team at any position, also identifying other possible matches to spots available
- Identify any other recruits outside these regions that are to be recruited
- Spend hundreds of hours background checking, watching, traveling/visiting and contacting all recruits of interest
- Judge as best as possible and weed out the personalities and talent that doesn’t fit
- Offer scholarships to potential best fits for the program
- Continue to court all of these recruits that aren’t committed, put extra effort in those that commit elsewhere but you really want in your program, and try to fend off potential pluckers of your own commitments.
- Host all these recruits and show them a good time while selling a winning program or at the very least an advantageous one to them.
Ok, there’s even more than that, but you get the idea. We just can’t possibly realize how much work goes into running a successful program, much less one that is trying to be successful but hasn’t reached that level yet. Thankless, never-ending and more difficult than you might think.
Stay tuned for Pt II shortly. If you have thoughts on something that I missed join us in the comments section below.