FNF Coaches Talk — Recruiting dead period extended, football in the spring, 2-week training program

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you’re getting a chance to connect with your players in some shape or form. Here are three stories for football coaches.

1. NCAA extends recruiting dead period through July as coronavirus pandemic continues (CBS Sports)

Bad news for your players who are hoping for campus visits this summer: The NCAA’s dead period has been extended for the third time in two months.

The NCAA’s Division I Council Coordination Committee extended the recruiting dead period through July 31, the group announced Wednesday.

College football has been in a dead period since March 13, when the NCAA initially halted recruiting due to the spread of the coronavirus.

“The Division I Council Coordination Committee extended the recruiting dead period for all sports through July 31,” the NCAA said in a statement. “The committee also determined that starting June 1 strength and conditioning coaches may virtually observe voluntary physical workouts for health and safety purposes, but only if requested by the student-athlete.”

Wednesday’s announcement means recruiting visits cannot resume until Aug. 1 at the earliest. And if the virus has receded to a point where the NCAA feels comfortable ending the dead period by the first of August, then every Division I program will be on campus in the midst of preparing for the 2020 season.

Recruiting will not stop entirely, but the dead period is an obstacle for coaches to overcome as it prevents face-to-face contact, including on-campus visits, in-person scouting, or in-home visits. Coaches can still make contact with recruits through text messages, phone calls and written correspondence.

Some coaches appear to be getting impatient with the recruiting delays.



What are you doing to help your players connect with college recruiters during this time?

2. One athletic director’s wild idea to restart high school football (NJ.com)

Mainland High (N.J.) athletic director Mike Gatley was pitching a radical, reshaping idea for the high school fall sports season.

Gatley suggests a one-year reorganization of sports seasons based on each sport’s risk level.

Play the sports with low and moderate risk level – for example, cross-country, track and field, golf, tennis, baseball and softball – in the fall, when social distancing requirements are likely to still be at their most strict. Play moderate-risk sports in the winter and the higher-risk sports – like football, wrestling and boys lacrosse – in the spring, matching risk level to what will likely be loosening social-distancing requirements and rising prospects of a vaccine or treatments for COVID-19.

“One of the major concerns is the spread of coronavirus through physical contact,” Gatley said. “So why not move the sports with the most contact (football, soccer, field hockey) to the spring when there is better chance of having a vaccine?”

Football, of course, provides the biggest challenges of any interscholastic sport. Along with having the most contact, the NFHS guidelines suggest limiting the size of practice groups and daily sanitizing of personal and team equipment.

“Right now, we can’t even have 11 guys in a huddle,” Gatley said. “If social distancing is an issue, football could be seven-on-seven in the spring. I know it wouldn’t be perfect, but I think every football coach would rather have something in the spring than nothing in the fall.”


What are the biggest challenges with moving football to a spring sport?

3. Football Players: 2-Week Crash Course in Football Conditioning (Stack)

One feeling we probably didn’t expect to feel when the stay-at-home restrictions started getting lifted is the anxiety that we didn’t complete everything on our to-do lists.

For players, that means getting back in football shape because practice is right around the corner. We know we’ll be easing back players gradually, but we don’t want them to be starting from zero on Day 1.

Here’s a 2-week crash course for getting ready for two-a-days, from our friends at Stack.

Speed Workout

We witnessed Marcus Mariota, QB for the Tennessee Titans, perform a speed workout under Flaherty’s guidance. Follow this template for your speed workouts.

Falling Starts – 2-3×30 yards
Resisted Sprints – 4×25 yards
Full Sprints – 2-3×25 yards
Resisted Lateral Shuffle – 2-3×20 yards each direction
Resisted Backpedal – 2-3×20 yards

Conditioning Drills

Flaherty recommends performing the following drills in your conditioning workouts. Choose one or two per workout.

Tempo Runs
Half Gassers
100s With Abs – Run for 100 yards. Stop and do an ab exercise of your choice for 30 seconds. Repeat 18 times.
Repeat Sprints – Run for 150 to 200 yards as fast as you can. Rest four minutes and repeat. Finish when you are unable to complete the drill in the same amount of time it took you on the first set.


What are you recommending your players do for conditioning in the final weeks before they return to practice?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk