FNF Coaches Talk — The recruiting fallout, the mental health toll, a football timing system

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got three stories for you.

1. The hidden cost of California’s delayed high school football season (The Mercury News)

The earliest the California high school football season could start is in December, but that is the same month as the NCAA’s football early signing period. That means by the time some of these under-the-radar seniors play their full final campaign, putting together enough game film to show they’re worthy of playing big-time college football, there might not be many available roster spots at schools around the country.

Unless other big football playing states follow California’s lead in delaying the season or the NCAA changes its recruiting calendar, players in the Golden State are at a massive disadvantage.

“It’s not the 6-foot-6, 290-pound players that everybody knows, but there are some really good football players that can play can play football at the next level,” De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said. “Last year we had an unbelievable running back, Kairee Robinson, who based on his toughness his senior year went to San Jose State… … Without even starting at my roster, there’s probably 10 kids [on it] that this affects.”

The delay of the season is going to affect the colleges as well. While big programs like Cal and Stanford have their top prospects identified and often committed well before their senior seasons, there are dozens of other schools that do not have the ability to attract big-time recruits.

“It’s been very helpful for us to be able to evaluate senior tape,” San Jose State director of football operations Ben Thienes said. “There are so many talented football players throughout the state of California, and if someone looks incredible at age 15, well, they probably look incredible to USC as well. One of the great things of our recruiting process is being able to wait and continue to evaluate to find those kids who needed those extra couple months — for whatever reason — to really start to shine and show their abilities.”

Read the full story.

How can we make sure players in state with delayed season get a fair shake at scholarship opportunities?

2. More Than A Game: High School Sports, Coaches Provide Life Lessons Beyond The Field (Vype)

We’ve been fearful of the impact the spread of the virus and subsequent cancellations will have on the mental health of our athletes. We know many coaches who feel the same way.

It is canceling hope. Canceling dreams. Canceling a potential lifesaving or life-altering opportunity. For some, being a part of high school sports can alter the trajectory of their life.

“High school football saved my life,” Summer Creek head football coach Kenny Harrison said. “It was my one motivation to attend high school. Without football there is no way I would have made it out of Port Arthur. I was blessed to receive athletic scholarship to the University of Texas.”

Former Manvel coach, new Colleyville Heritage coach Kirk Martin added: “My high school coaches were instrumental in my development as a young man. I probably would not have gone to college if it were not for them. I was the first in my family to get a college education. Parents, grandparents, great grandparents – no one got a college degree. Now my brother and sister and all our kids have college degrees or are close to finishing their degrees. My degree was due to my love for football and wanting to continue to play. I believe that set in motion my brother and sister getting a degree.

“We all want kids to love education. We all want kids to buy into getting a college degree. However, there are a ton of kids that do well in school, or simply come to school to be involved with their friends in an extracurricular activity. That’s the hook that help kids love school. My hook was definitely football.”

Read the full story.

How do you make sure your players aren’t shutting down as a result of all of the letdowns this spring?

3. Nationally renown speed coach shares innovative timing system (Lee Weber)

Want a new timing system for the 40-yard-dash? Coach Weber suggests you look into Free Lap Global.

What timing system are you using for the 40-yard-dash?

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