The football recruiting process speeds up more and more every year. Over the twenty plus years that I have focused primarily on football evaluating and college coaches, the recruiting time line has gotten faster and faster. Almost ridiculous.
With few exceptions, most of my effort now is on underclassmen. Some seniors have or are slipping through the cracks. The ones who I hear about or who have contacted me, I try to help. But, for the most part, underclassmen list and information are really important now.
High school coaches are working hard to get more information out there about their seniors. College coaches are taking up some of their time making stops at high schools. High school coaches are getting info ready for the “College Recruiting Nights.” Plus, they are, also, working on their underclassmen list.
Because of my old age, high school coaches are really patient with me. Trying to get underclassmen “stuff” is tough with some coaches, because they are working on seniors. Primarily D2 and D3 schools. And I “get it.” But, I still try to show patience and get what I need.
Sometimes I forget that the head football coach most often has a teaching job, or at least a supervision job. Many are married and have kids, or in some cases, grandkids. Some actually try to have a social life. And, as of today, 28 head football coaches are still X and O’ing and are in game preparation. Head coaches are actually really busy.
I realize parents are not the most patient group, when they are trying to get their son into the football recruiting process. Especially if their son is a senior and has no “love” from the FBS level coaches. I get emails quite often, “what can we do?”
My first answer is “if your son went thru the spring evaluations as a junior, if your son went thru the camp circuit last summer, and if he went thru a really successful fall and has not been contacted by an FBS school, he should be looking NAIA, D3, and, or more seriously at D2.
My second answer is – If your son is an underclassmen, either a 2019 or 2020 prospect, start learning the football recruiting process. Read what you can read. Talk to who you can talk to. Watch what you can watch. BELIEVE about a third of what you read, talk, or see. Honestly, McCallister is the truth. Just too many “self anointed experts” out there wanting your money and padding their “ego.”
Some parents like to think they are in charge of the recruiting process. They may think that they are in control of the recruiting process, but they are not. Of course, they are a part of the process, but not in control.
My third and most important answer – I realize that there are good head football coaches, and some may not totally understand how the process works. For the most part, head football coaches realize getting their players recruited is an important part of being a head football coach. The head coach is a very important part of the process. Maybe the most important part.
I have found.
- College coaches talk to the high school coach first. Either over the phone or face to face. Most of the time, the high school coach is honest about a prospect’s ability. Watching HUDL, watching camp performances, and watching actual games tells the college coach about a prospect’s football talent.
- Good college recruiters are more concerned with intangibles when talking with the high school coach. Most high school coaches are honest when college coaches ask about character and the classroom. They also want to know just how dedicated to getting better and how driven is the prospect.
- If a parent has been constantly “second guessing” the coach. If a parent has been filling their son with negatives about the coach. If a parent is telling a recruiting reporter – garbage. When the time comes to talk to the college coach, a parent may make the same comments and things could so south with the process.
- I have found that the good college recruiting staffs are well aware of the head football coaches who are full of “brown sugar,” and which ones are not. But most are good, honest coaches.
- After a few meetings with a parent or parents, most good college staffs know the “dreamers,” the “big egos,” and the sincere ones.
As you “dive in” or are “swimming” in the football recruiting process, your high school coach is important. I mean HUGE. The relationship is important. No matter how wrong or unfair that you, as parents, think the head coach is, he is the head coach.
Try to be a good listener. Bite your lip. Most of all, keep all of your negative comments within your family. The battles with the coach are not really worth it. The key is to win the recruiting War. That takes a team effort and everybody on the same page.