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College Coaches – Apply the Squeeze


Late last week, I received a call from a high school football here in Ohio, reaching out for some insight. Relatively young head coach, but doing a really good job. Playoffs last fall, in fact.

His concern was what I call – “squeezing.” College football programs have now begin squeezing football recruits to commit early. I mean in this case – really early. His prospect is a member of the Ohio Class of 2020. A highly ranked member of the class.

No names. No hassle to anyone. You see, I am one of those few guys out there that one can trust. Somehow, however, it is hard to trust college coaches. Even my friends who are coaches. But I try to be trusting. But my Woody Hayes mentality is still a little part of me and I get upset quickly.

This prospect is a top 5 MSR guy ta his position. Really raw. Needs to develop. But he has all of the tools, especially toughness.

Anyway, an up and coming program has offered him. Big Ten level school. It would be a “good fit” for him. But he has schools all over the Midwest showing interest. Also has offers from some of those same schools.

This up and coming program told him that he needed to commit really soon, because they only had two spots open at his position. But they like him, but need to fill the position. He needs to make a decision. What should he do? Coached wanted my thoughts. Anybody who knows me on the football side, easy answer. ????

I would not commit. Not this early. No summer football camps to show your “stuff.” No more spring visits to get to know other programs. No time to think it over. Commit now – I don’t think so. Too early. Plenty of other schools offering.

I would not even commit really early to Ohio State, the dream of every baby born in Ohio. Of course, Urban Meyer is gone now, but he offered Danny Clark after his 9th grade year at an Ohio State summer camp. Danny sat on that offer his whole high school career, only to have Urban Meyer have an assistant coach tell him they were going to gray shirt him. You would be surprised the comment Urban Meyer made to assistant at the time. I wasn’t.

One of my college coaching friends told me yesterday that everybody is trying to “squeeze” recruits. Even his school. They are really pressuring “kids,” to commit early. Too early.

And we wonder why young college players want to transfer schools. Obviously, this is not the major reason for transferring, but it is the pile of reasons.

Someday I will blog about a prospect in Ohio who committed to a MAC school back in May. Great kid. Needs to develop. He shut down everything. Parents shut down everything. New staff comes in. “You’re good.” No problem. Two days later. We are taking back all offers, until we can evaluate. Not heard from them since.

I am just tired of college coaches and, at almost any level, being the “bully.” Please do not give me the “free education” stuff. If you see all of the work and time college football players put in. The non social life. The academics. The not being a normal student. No money for social events. I know. I know. I know. I know- Sacrifice.

Off the subject – sorry. Really try to walk away from the “squeeze” tactic now getting more popular and more common among the college coaching scene. For me to say “walk away” is easy. But I am a kid’s guy and having done this football recruiting and evaluation “stuff” for 30 years, I get it.

Remember – if a recruits commits and then changes his mind, OH MY NO LOYALTY. But if a college coaching staff changes their mind after a recruit has committed, SORRY WE OVER RECRUITED or  you will need to gray shirt! Somehow I do not see the balance here.

For many college prospects, recruiting starts out fun and then gets tiring. And for some recruiting is an ugly business.


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