Bama hosts big recruiting weekend

With Alabama set to host its first major recruiting weekend of the season, now is a good time to run down what actually does and does not take place. The Tide coaches have been writing, telephoning and visiting the recruits for months now. But the official campus visit is often crucial to gaining that all-important commitment.

BamaMag.com spoke to Charley North, Alabama's Director of Football Operations and On-Campus Recruiting, to find out how things will work.

**Friday's schedule**

1. Arrive in Tuscaloosa, check in at hotel.

2. Meet up with host player and Bama Belle hostess.

North: "We try to put them with one of our players that we feel like would be an excellent host for them."

3. Dinner.

North: "Usually we go either to Wings or another restaurant that can facilitate having a large number of people. The recruit, his family, his host player, and the Bama Belle will be there. We try to give them a chance to see what our family atmosphere is like."

4. Night out with hosts.

North: "They are out on the town with the player host and the Bama Belle. They attend a party or parties to get out among our players and around our people here on campus to try to get a feel for Tuscaloosa. We get them in at a reasonable hour. We say reasonable is some time between 12 and two."

**Saturday's schedule**

1. Academic Breakfast at the A-Club at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Speakers include Mal Moore (AD), Andrew Sorenson (UA President), Dennis Franchione, Charley North and John Deaver (Academic Director).

North: "We allow them to sleep until about 9 o'clock the next morning, and then we get them up. The breakfast will include our academic people we want them to visit with. If he's interested in Business, then we'll set him up with two or three of our Business professors. We'll have someone in his field that's an expert there for breakfast."

2. Tour of Bryant-Denny.

North: "We tour the stadium and the locker room. We go out on the field where we give them the chance to see themselves up on our scoreboard. We announce them as a player at the University of Alabama. We do some stuff on their background with a little video up on the Jumbotron that shows their highlights."

3. Lunch at Bryant Museum.

North: "We first let them tour Bryant Museum. Then we'll have lunch. We usually have Barbecue ribs or chicken. We wind up feeding these guys every time they turn around. They almost get sick of food."

4. Football Complex tour, including the Indoor Facility, practice fields, locker room, training room, weight room, etc.

5. Campus Tour.

North: "They jump on the trolley and go on a tour of campus with a guide that is a professional and knows about the history."

6. Free time at the hotel.

7. Meet with coaches, including the player's position coach, the coach assigned to recruit him and the coordinator on his side of the football.

8. Back to the hotel, before heading to dinner.

North: "Usually it will out on the river like at the Cypress Inn. Sometimes if we have a very large number here we'll go to the Press Box and have a nice dinner there."

9. Night out in Tuscaloosa.

North: "After dinner, they're free again to go out with their host. The host will take them out on the town to a party or just lounge around and get a feel for our players. They may go to the dorm or the apartments where the players are living."

**Sunday's schedule**

1. Breakfast with position coach at the hotel.

2. Meeting with Coach Franchione in his office at the Football Complex.

North: "They'll watch our highlight films and game film with the coaches. They can see where they fit into our situation. After that, we'll get them and their families in to visit with Coach Fran one-on-one. At that time some of them will commit, and some of them will leave knowing how we feel about them with an opportunity to make a decision later on."

3. Depart for home.

North: "After all the prospects have left campus, our coaches will get together and have a recruiting meeting. We'll go over all the personnel and the prospects."

Key Notes From Coach North:

  • We slot in the activities that are on campus that weekend. If we're playing basketball, then we will go to the basketball game that evening. We try to structure our recruiting around campus activities, so the recruits get a chance to see everything. You want to show them everything that you can, so that they understand what campus life is all about.
  • We do have the families come in when they can with the recruits. We can put up the mother and father and pay for their expenses while they're on our campus as far as the room and meals.
  • If the parents travel with their son in a car, then we can pay the mileage for him. If he flies to get here, we cannot pay the parents' expenses--even if they come separately in an automobile. We can provide the recruit transportation. And if his parents ride with him, that's OK.
  • Each player that hosts a recruit is allowed $30 a day as a hosting fee. They get a few dollars for assisting and hosting. If the host wants to stop and get a hamburger with the recruit, fine.
  • We can entertain the recruits within a 30-mile radius of campus. We can't take them to Birmingham. There have been some people at other universities reprimanded for that. For example, they can go on a hunting trip, but it would have to be within that 30-mile radius.

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