Michigan Football Recruiting: A Recruiting Synopsis — Part III
Send in the Clowns — The Circus Has Arrived
Some student athletes and parents love the process of recruiting: it is like a courtship, resplendent with compliments, personalized attention, and ego stroking. Some athletes and parents would rather just get a brochure and do their own research.
W.C. Fields presents us with a dilemma. One of his greatest lines was “Never give a sucker an even break.” However, in another classic, Fields muttered, “You can’t cheat an honest man. One phrase sadly may or may not ascend past the other.There are many approaches to recruiting. The one the author loves the most is that of Michigan’s Head Basketball Coach, John Beilein. He analyzes recruits, makes judgments on scholarship, attitude, ability, and fit, invites the parents and student on campus, and delivers only serious offers.
It is not that easy in college football, where up to 25 (or more) recruits sign annually with Division 1 teams.Some recruiters have the same technique with every recruit. This method can be called the dog and pony show. The recruiter simply does what he does best and presents the same basic argument. This approach usually is high energy, high predictions, high love, and high sales. It works for many, many recruits.
There is the coach type who recruits by reading the athlete. He researches what this athlete and parent group most value and forms a strategy accordingly. What approach is the best to take? Will pressure work, will presenting a logical presentation, centering on the predictive future of the recruit within the program bring positive results? Will focusing on the athlete be the best course, or is the best chance at a commitment through the parents? To what degree will the student and parents value academics and the universities academic standing?
This has the advantage of a consistent message, but it lacks when an athlete and parent are looking for specific answers and specific qualities.
There is the coach that listens to the recruit and parents and then responds accordingly as to how well (or not so well) the program fits the aspirations of the recruit. Coaches who value concepts like teamwork, loyalty, appreciation, commitment, and parental support can easily gain a view as to whether the athlete is team-centered or self-centered. Great athletes who show immediate signs of being non-supportive and a pain to the future of the program (usually through absorption of the self) may not be worth the grief. Some programs simply want students who would crawl to the campus to be a part of the team. Being a supportive member of the family is important to many programs.
So, this is a part of recruiting. Some coaches do love the process, some do not, and many end up getting a job in the NFL and saying to themselves, “Glad I do not have to do that anymore. But make no mistake; parents and the athlete need to read the recruiting process as well as the process reads them. It is, after all, a joyous day to announce a commitment. But the participants are much better off if due diligence has been exhibited.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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