Greetings from Europe! (where the football thing is totally happening) – I’ve got a few un-togthers to share with you this week:
It’s been a wild 11 days in college football recruiting, with the official signing of the national letter of intent period that serves as a small window for elite recruits, before schools are able to speak to and recruit them after their senior seasons. The period begins this week on Wednesday, and lasts until they sign officially.
In June, the players were able to attend college for the first time in nearly a year due to a dead recruiting period with COVID-19, and it was just as hectic as the coaches expected.
Since we have promising candidates every week, most coaches are now taking time off during the off-season in July to recuperate. A personnel director told ESPN that he slept at home for seven nights in June and in facilities the rest of the time because he was so busy.
These visits have already ended as the acquisition period ended on 28 June and ran until 24 June. July. We talked to coaches and personnel directors about how wild June was. We also asked them how they plan to use informal visits to try to get recruits to return to campus during the season, and how difficult it would be to convince recruits to return at their own expense.
We also surveyed trainers and human resources managers about name, image and appearance. Is the announcement by Miami fans of a fund to give $6,000 to each Hurricanes player a trend that will spread to other schools, or is it just a flash in the pan?
Since this was the first month that the recruits could attend school, the schools received unofficial visits during the week and official visits on the weekends, and sometimes a little of both at the same time. Official visitors are paid for their travel and accommodation, while unofficial visitors pay for their own.
A Power 5 personnel director said his school had more than 36 recruits on official visits in June. Including family members who come and unofficial visitors who drop by, there are about 100 people who visit the house each week. Each school is only allowed 52 official visitors per year, which is 36 more in a month than the coaches normally see.
It was like there was a wedding every weekend, said one HR manager. It was great.
Official visitors are a top priority for coaches looking to attract prospective students to campus in 2022. This does not mean that young students do not try informal visits.
The coaches also juggled different classes, trying to show that 2023 and 2024 are still desirable, while making 2022 a priority.
It was like I was planning a wedding every weekend. It was great.
A human resources manager at the end of a dead recruiting season
This has not stemmed the flow of unofficial visitors, and even if they tell you they are coming, you can’t tell: Thank you, but no, we have more important things to do, a staff manager replied. You have to find a way to keep all those balloons in the air, especially the official visitors. But you can’t waste the arrival of a top student and you have to do everything to get him back.
In addition, the coaches held camps, which brought even more prospective students and their families to campus. Another HR manager at Power 5 said he had worked 29 days in a row from 6am to 10pm to get everything in order.
I don’t know what the final numbers were for our camp, but we ended up receiving 450 people a day, the staff manager said. Multiply that by 10 camps, and I’m not counting official visitors, unofficial visitors and individual training sessions yet. We looked at the numbers at the end and thought: Wow.
In June, there were not as many applications as the coaches had expected, but July saw some movement in the first few weeks.
Ohio State returned to the 2021 class to get five-star defensive lineman J.T. Tuimlow, who didn’t sign a contract in December or February and is out until the 4th. Juli waited to make a decision. At No. 4, the Buckeyes come in ahead of Washington, Oregon and UCLA.
His commitment helped Ohio State earn three five-star teams in the 2021 class, including guard Jack Sawyer, the first pick, and running back Treveon Henderson, the first pick.
The staff also covered cornerback Terrance Brooks in the Class of 2022 on June 30, while the Bucs will host receiver Kojo Antwi on July 5 and four-star offensive guard George Fitzpatrick from Colorado on the 9th. July received.
Ohio State leads the way with 11 ESPN 300 requests.
Alabama has added a five-star player to the class of 2022: Defender Jeremiah Alexander. He is the 11th recruit overall and told ESPN that Alabama is recruiting him for the hybrid jacket position.
Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ohio State’s Ryan Day received five-star contracts this month. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Nick Saban and his team have been moving up the rankings in recent months as more and more elite prospects sign up. With so many recruits, it’s safe to assume that Alabama and Ohio State will compete for first place.
SMU got a five-star commitment in July when receiver Jordan Hudson chose the Mustangs over Alabama and Texas. It’s not every day you get to read a sentence like that, especially when you consider that Hudson, the 12th-ranked player in the 2022 class who was previously an Oklahoma player, is SMU’s highest-ranked player since ESPN began compiling rankings in 2006.
Despite the loss of Hudson, Oklahoma had an important July, adding guard Derrick Moore (ESPN 300), cornerbacks Xavion Bryce and Robert Spears-Jennings, and backs Jacob Sexton and Jake Taylor.
Penn State has added two recruits from the ESPN 300 list to its class: Guard Zane Durant and running back Nicholas Singleton. The Nittany Lions currently have the sixth pick and second pick in the Big Ten.
This is a great accomplishment for coach James Franklin and his team after they finished outside the top 25 in 2021.
Several other programs also participated in the celebration: Michigan added linebacker Mario Eugenio (ESPN 300), LSU got the commitment of middle linebacker DeMario Tolan and Oregon selected offensive lineman Kelvin Banks with the 29th pick. The ESPN 300 candidate, for LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.
In the meantime, other programs have stepped back and refused to participate. USC lost the commitment of tight end Kian Burnett, and Oklahoma saw ESPN 300 receiver Talyn Shettron drop out and transfer to Oklahoma State.
Candidatereveals top five schools
Walter Nolen is one of the most coveted candidates in this class and is in second place. He’s a 6-foot-3, 325-pound quarterback from St. Benedict’s School in Cordova, Tennessee, who recently announced his top five.
I can honestly say this is my top 5 so far pic.twitter.com/rHeDAX84Fh
– Walter Nolen9️⃣ (@WalterNolen4) July 9, 2021
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Tennessee are on the list of five-star recruits, knocking Oregon, Ohio State, UCLA and LSU off the original list of eight and adding Tennessee.
Strategy for future visits
With so many recruits taking an official visit in June, that means the coaches need to find a way to get them to return to campus before making a decision.
The pace of engagement, or lack thereof, has really surprised many programs, a human resources director said. I had to draw on the many frustrations of our head coach, as I can’t recall many instances of a kid making an official trip. I think there will be a flood of commitments soon, but it will be a challenge to try and get guys here and then play defense with the ones you’ve already taken and visited in June.
Many coaches thought that recruits would go to school in June and then make a decision at the end of the month; however, that is not entirely true, especially for high-level recruits. Several prospects have been on the fourth. Commitments were made in July, but the lack of commitments was something many coaches did not expect.
The quarterback may be the first, but there are five defensive players in the top six recruits in the 2022 class. Full list from ESPN 300
They were talking about it before June got here, like: Yes, we will make a decision in July, a human resources official said. But it got so hard for everyone that we stepped back and took a break. But that’s what led most schools to allow official visits. These kids told our coaches that they would make a decision after their June visit, but we didn’t see that, so it was a bit of a surprise.
This thought process has left many coaches with the impression that they need to make recruits go to school in June instead of persuading them to wait until the season.
We told a few kids: We should try to get them involved as officials during the season, said one of the Power 5 coordinators. But we didn’t think we could do it because teams would use it against us. If we don’t put pressure on a recruit to visit or make a decision in the summer, then that recruit is on the sidelines and is not a priority for us, even if he really isn’t.
Some programs planned things a month in advance and brought recruits to campus, but they also tried to convince some of their top targets to wait until the season to visit. If a prospective student has made an official visit to a school and has not committed, he or she may not make another official visit to the same school. If the candidate wishes to make another visit, it will be unofficial, which means that the candidate and his or her family will have to pay for their own travel and accommodation.
We have told them that if they make four visits, they should save the last visit for September or October, and we think that is the best plan, an HR official said. … When you come to a game and you’re offered food and drink all weekend, it leaves an impression.
A difficulty that coaches consider: If they can’t persuade a potential candidate for an official visit and he is outside the 500-mile radius, it will be difficult to get him to come to campus to commit.
Everyone will try to be helpful to the kids, said one of the recruiters. You will have to hope that these people will pay out of pocket to visit you again, just to make sure that you are the first, and that they will have a different experience this time. I think you’ll find that programs that focus more on where the talent comes from have the advantage of being able to bring those players back more easily.
Miami accelerates arms race in NIL
As the NCAA allows athletes to capitalize on their name, likeness and image, a sponsor recently announced that he would offer every player on the Miami football team a $500 a month sponsorship deal.
It is legal because of state laws and the fact that the NCAA has not created a universal set of rules that all programs must adhere to.
By putting NLI at the forefront of universities, coaches and programs will emphasize it to convince recruits that they can provide them with better opportunities off the field.
A personnel director said Miami’s agreement with the boosters would encourage boosters at other schools to do the same.
I have no doubt there is a fan of ours talking somewhere: I will not allow them to bypass us and have these children, the personnel director said. There will be people who may not have had the merit of giving money, who will try to come forward and say: Hey, I’m the one who pays these people. We’re kind of at his mercy, and our coach is afraid of that aspect because there’s no way to control it.
The mindset of coaches and recruiters is that there should be a way to make money for players, but it shouldn’t be used as a recruiting tool. The personnel directors and coaches we spoke with for this article think the NCAA should finally set rules that everyone can follow, instead of regulating nothing and leaving it up to the states and schools.
Many coaches said it was actually legal money laundering, one recruiter said. And for some reason the governing body of the sport doesn’t seem to care until it becomes a reality and everyone asks them, how could you let this happen? It’s there now, but I’d be shocked if they didn’t go back to the drawing board and tell me they need to make some changes.
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