By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Managing Editor
A high school coach should serve as the player’s No. 1 advocate during the college recruiting process. Take the power out of the hands of recruiting services by following these steps.
High school coaches often cringe at the thought of turning over the recruiting process to player representatives, recruiting services and people outside the program. Jaron Cohen has devised a recruiting plan for his players in his 13 years as Ponderosa High (Colo.) head coach.
Stress the importance of grades to freshmen.
Cohen meets with all freshmen – regardless of ability – to explain NCAA eligibility requirements as well as the minimum standards for remaining eligible at the high school level. A strong academic profile allows a player to keep all options open.
Form a game plan with sophomores.
Meet with sophomores and decide how and when the players will start to reach out to coaches. Form a list of schools of interest and contacts of position coaches and recruiters.
Be honest about expectations.
A 5-foot-10 offensive lineman may not be able to play at Alabama, and a student with a 2.0 GPA might not be admitted to Yale. Be honest with players and parents about a player’s limitations.
Be realistic with college recruiters.
“Nothing bothers college coaches more than wasting their time,” Cohen said. Advocate for the players in a realistic way.
Send prospect emails.
Those emails should be sent to position coaches and recruiting coordinators and include a short resume sheet, transcript and HUDL link.
Approve a player’s HUDL video.
Make sure the highlights are organized, representative of a player’s ability and concise (4 minutes).
Meet individually with player during their junior years.
Finalize the list of prospective schools, and devise a strategy for the pre-admissions time period.
Encourage one-day camps.
Cohen gives each player a camp schedule for the schools on the player’s interest list. “If you want to go to a certain college these days, you almost have to take a day and do the camp.”
Recruit for Your Own Team
Part of the recruiting process for coaches is the constant replenishing of numbers in their own programs. Seniors graduate and players discover other interests, so coaches need to recruit within their schools and communities.
Cibolo Steele High (Texas) defensive coordinator Adam Harvey takes it upon himself to recruit within the school in hopes of keeping his program’s participation numbers above 200.
“I have a passion for recruiting kids to come out for the program,” Harvey said. “We have to get in the hallway and talk to the kids.”
Harvey also pays attention to the other sports teams in the school, taking note of which athletic skill sets might transfer over to the football field.
“Look at the different body types and think about what they could do if they got stronger,” Harvey said. “I pay attention to what kids do on the basketball court and track. We do a good job of finding those kids.”
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