Michigan Football Recruiting: A Recruiting Synopsis
Transfusions, Vampires, and Decisions
One of those old and true euphemisms that continue to ring like an old dial tone phone is that recruiting is the lifeblood of a program. The bigger the school and the bigger the budget, the more apt the above phrase becomes.
There are differences in intensity and design, nothing is quite perfectly static: a Division 1 BCS football program recruits differently than a Division 3 baseball program. But all programs need participants that can compete at a collegiate level, and, accordingly, some programs seek only recruits that provide the institution increased championship opportunities.
Recruiting is nothing new to the world. Hannibal, Spartacus, and Napoleon were great recruiters. Groucho Marx hired Chico and Harpo to recruit locals from the speakeasy to win a rivalry football game for good old Huxley. Chico and Harpo predictably messed up the recruiting venture leading to the three brothers taking the field against the local semi-pro rivals. Groucho was so serious about fielding a great collegiate team that he asked the faculty senate to tear down the dorms and build a football stadium. The professors asked Groucho (Professor Wagstaff) where the students would sleep: he responded, “Where they always sleep, in your classes.”
Recruiting certainly has changed since the more innocent days of yesteryear. The ante to play in the big boy game of college football has dramatically increased in intensity and importance. Many things are needed to win in major college football: coaching, scheme, development, organization, and perhaps most of all talent. There are many factors in acquiring talent: the reputation of the school for academics or football success, the meshing of philosophy between the player, coaches, and parents, the overall climate and environment, and the belief the school provides the best opportunity for a professional career. Regardless of purpose or intent, the process to get outstanding players to join a select program follows a process known as recruiting. This process sometimes casts a dark shadow as well as joy.
To followers of college football recruiting procures many images: the saintly coach swooning parents and recruit; the vampire who sucks the integrity out of intercollegiate athletics, or a conquering hero that fought off the evil empire for a recruit’s signature.
But the process of recruiting is complex and one that can wear a coach out. Many coaches state how much they like to recruit, and some may even be telling the truth.
Recruiting is like selling a car: the client has told the salesman that a car will be purchased only after visiting several lots. The salesman instantly knows from experience that the best foot and presentation must be put forward. Both the salesman and coach almost always know when buyers or recruits are serious and when time is being wasted. There are occasional surprises. In Michigan’s case Carlos Brown may be the most recent shocker. There have been local “locks” that have wandered far and wide.
This series will examine many elements of recruiting. The first topic to be explored will be the connection between the recruiting process and ethical conduct. Some would say this topic is gone with the wind. But this is where the examination will begin.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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