One of the hottest names in college football coaching circles is San Jose State University coach Brent Brennan. The Spartans coach led SJSU to an undefeated regular season and a top-25 ranking in the AP Poll — remarkable considering SJSU was just 3-22 in his first two seasons as head coach in 2017 and 2018.
In a recent FNF Coaches Podcast interview, he offered one piece of advice to seniors who had yet to receive offers.
“For those young men who are out there right now, you should look into playing at a junior college in the fall,” Brennan said. “Make sure to get good grades so that you’re a qualifier. You can play one year and move on. Then you still have four years to play three. I think people would see that as valuable. I like recruiting players with three years of eligibility left.”
With the NCAA recruiting cycle currently in a lengthy dead period due to the pandemic, many high school prospects are finding it challenging to drum up interest from college coaches. Signing Day in early February came and went without much fanfare, and Brennan believes that could be a permanent change.
“We signed 13 guys in December at Early Signing Day,” Brennan said. “That’s become the real Signing Day because 90% of recruits sign early. That’s shifted the last couple of years.”
Another shift — particularly for a college based in California — is that there are fewer opportunities to scout players in person. California did not have a fall football season.
“It’s important we recruit in the Bay Area and in the state of California,” Brennan said. “We want guys who are tough and love the game, but everyone wants that. Whether you get them is dependent on the talent base and how far up you are on the food chain.”
Even though SJSU has moved up the food chain with a top-25 season, Brennan isn’t expecting recruiting to get any easier.
“The other part that makes it challenging with the NCAA granting another year of eligibility is roster management,” Brennan said. “That’s really complicated. I’m not going on the road to recruit, and there’s no high school football. That’s really sad for the 2021 class. It makes it really complicated for the Class of 2022. It’s going to happen much later in the process. We’re going off sophomore year tape right now.”