Early Recruiting Different for HS Coaches

ATHENS - In the ever-competitive world of recruiting, high school coaches are being forced to change as well.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt understands he's part of the problem, but, still, he feels bad at times for high school football coaches.

Gone, Richt said, are the days high school coaches got to worry about their team and their team only. As college football recruiting gets bigger and bigger, the job of the high school coach gets harder and harder.

"It's a full time job to handle that part of it," Marist head coach Alan Chadwick said.

Part of the reason colleges are beginning to get more and more early verbal commitments is that high school coaches are eager to get the process over with so they and their players can concentrate on their season, Richt said.

For Chadwick, the phone calls are the worst. There is a limit to how many times colleges can call but there's no limit to how many colleges can call, or how many calls can be made by members of the media.

"It's unbelievable, because there are all kinds of recruiting services now and all the media outlets want additional updates almost on a daily basis if not an hourly basis," he said.

The last three or four years is when it has gotten bad enough to be considered a real problem, Chadwick said.

"It's a little tougher, from all the things that people want you do now," Ware County head coach Dan Ragle said.

High school coaches must not only help media members and coaches get in touch with players and get the pertinent information on them, but they must also stay abreast of NCAA regulations, which is a moving target. "They change not necessarily on a yearly basis, but quite often, so we have to keep up with what our kids need to be doing, or our kid doesn't get recruited," he said. "You don't want to cheat your kid, and you don't want to cheat your community."

Some high schools now have a specific guidance counselor who tracks its college-quality athletes and makes sure they are on track to meet all NCAA requirements, Richt said. However, Chadwick doesn't worry himself much about that, he said.

"I'm assuming the college coaches know what they have to do," he said.

Ragle thinks the biggest problem with the increased attention to recruiting is that some high school athletes can be distracted to the point they care more about doing what they perceive will help their recruiting instead of what will help their high school teams.

"What you are getting out of that is kids training for these (recruiting) combines," he said. "I guess it can be a good thing, but you can get kids that are going to train for certain events in those combines, and that's all they train for and they can get good at it. Still, is that child a football player or not?"

Dawg Post Top Stories