Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Recruiting...WTF???

I haven't been a head coach for a while now, but back then, getting your guys recruited was just becoming a "buzz word".  Sure, if you had a guy that you legitimately thought was a prospect, you put his name out there.  I get it, no big deal.  As I rejoin the ranks of high school football, all I can say is "What the hell?!"  Now it seems as though everybody's trying to get recruited.  Reminds me of the part in the movie Pineapple Express where our boy Danny McBride is in his house "Up in here tryin' to get a muthafuckin' skollaship!!!!".  Too funny, but too true.  We have really warped the images of players now and are all trying to get our guys noticed, when in reality, what most are doing, is trying to get THEMSELVES noticed.  Believe me, I can see through the bullshit.



First, let's be honest here.  What is the percentage of high school football players that go on to play at the next level, NOT just FBS, but all college football?  It's about 5% is all.  Yet there are coaches out there who put their ENTIRE roster on MaxPreps!!!  I just saw one out there for a 5'9" 177 pound linebacker.  Sure, he may be great, and he MAY go on to play at the next level.  Issue is, this guy's a SENIOR!!!!  Look, I'm all for helping kids, but to the point of making me look like an idiot, I don't think so.  That is EXACTLY what you look like when you are signing up "Billy Neckroll" who's all of 5'9" tall and 177 pounds to a recruiting service. Here's the deal, if he's got good grades and really wants to play college football, he can play.  It's no secret there are several Division III schools or NAIA schools out there that the only reason they have football is because they need to boost male enrollment.  This is a good thing, no doubt, and it means many young men can continue playing football for at least another four years (hell I WAS one of those guys).



I also think coaches do it to keep their kids happy too.  With kids jumping ship and places that do "school of choice" bullshit, I guess you got to pay the piper, but dammit man.  It makes us look like complete idiots when we are trying to get a 5'10" 265 pound tackle recruited on a major recruiting service.  You and I both know that kid will NEVER play FBS ball.  What ideas and messages are we sending this young man when we put him out there and NOBODY calls?  I think it's a bastard system, and somehow us as football coaches are caught in the middle.  Don't get me wrong, I know it's our job to get our guys noticed, but it's also OUR GUYS job to get THEMSELVES noticed...right????

Anyhow, no blog post rant is going to change the way the game is going or headed, but I still call bullshit (as usual, what's new?) on the whole system.  All this way of doing things does, is inflate little Timmy's dad's ego, who thinks he's a FBS linebacker that should be playing for Penn State, and gives him justification for pulling his son if you don't recruit him.  It also sends the wrong message to those kids that might be good high school talent and just not have the speed or body style to play at the next level.  These kids may not come out, because what is their reward for all the hard work?  Some wins, getting beat on in the hot sun, MAYBE some sort of championship?  Nowadays, most average kids would shun that idea and go to a singular sport like cross country, wrestling, or weight lifting instead.  I'm not sure how all this plays out to our benefit as high school coaches.  The underlying reasons it has exploded are:

  1. Social Media- A blessing and a curse all rolled in one.
  2. Coaches trying to make a name for themselves.
  3. Coaches trying to keep parents/players happy.
The second one is a huge reason why.  Coaches all want gratification for what we do and we all like getting noticed.  Some of us too much so, that we pimp out "Billy Neckroll" so "hopefully" somebody picks him up and we look like we are this awesome developer of talent.  This fulfills our dreams of coaching at the next level and rubbing shoulders with Bob Stoops, Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban.  Wake up dude!  The Gus Malzahn's of the world don't grow on trees.  College coaching is hard to get into and very few high school coaches make that rank advancement without doing something quite spectacular.  I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it is rare.  The third reason, simply turns my stomach.  Don't sell yourself down the river for a few asshole kids and parents.  What you are going to feel like is you just whored yourself out for a couple of kids that may or may not be difference makers.  That's not doing you or the players any good in the long run.

KEEP CALM...I'm a rarity...


In the end, I just think the business of getting kids recruited has gone a bit ballistic, or should I say unrealistic.  That number of 5% has been unchanged since the dawn of time, how is it now we are going to get MORE kids than that 5% by what we are doing?  I say don't waste your time, get the guys noticed that deserve it, but hey, what the hell do I know right???

Duece