"In the summer there are a lot of team camps, 7 on 7s, high school summer workouts. I'm always on the road, always looking at players. It's sad to say this but I'm already looking at a lot of kids in the 2012 and 2013 classes and we are only halfway to signing day in 2011. You are always out there trying to find the next stars in the next two classes. And at the same time, you are evaluating rising seniors, too. Basically, you are constantly on the road evaluating players."
Is it that way throughout the year?
"Yes, always. I'm at spring practices all the time in this region. I basically go watch practices practically every day from late April to the end of May. Then, I will roll right into the summer and go to camps of the southern colleges. I'm going to Friday Night Lights this week. I've been to Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and a lot of camps. In the fall you are traveling, watching games every weekend. I go to practices during the week. It's non-stop. Then, December and January have the state championships and the All-American games. From there, you have a little down time when you just cover straight recruiting, in-home visits, finalizing rankings, then the All-American games. After that, you move to the next class."
In theory, how many states are you supposed to cover?
"In theory, nine. I cover Georgia, South and North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. But there's no way anybody can cover that many as well as you want to."
What kind of help do you have covering those nine states?
"You have guys in every state. In your state, we have Steve (Robertson) and Yancy (Porter). I have both of those guys send me their rankings every year whether it be top 20 or top 40. I will equally look at both of their suggestions, watch the film, then make my final decision on the rankings. But I have a guy or guys in every state who send me rankings, which helps point me in the right direction on guys I should look at, guys who I should know about, guys who I may need to move up or move down. But while I listen to all those guys, at the end of the day my name is on the rankings."
The guys you mentioned are state scouts. Are there any guys that are actually under you?
"M assistant is Andrew Bone and he is in the state of Alabama. But I don't really look at it as I manage anyone. He helps me a lot with the ranking, especially on the western side of my region."
What would be the ideal situation that would allow you to cover all the states 100%?
"I don't know if you really can have one person covering nine states. You have to have guys who you can trust. You have other eyes out there because you can't see everything."
To me, Florida would be the most difficult state.
"With me living in Atlanta, I spend more time seeing kids in person in Georgia and Florida than anywhere else. I can also drive to South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. But it's difficult to get out west to Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana. It's tough to get out there and see people enough to get that true in-person evaluation. So, you have to have guys you can trust (to see and evaluate kids in those states). You have to have a team, which is what we have."
You are out a lot seeing kids. Are you able to post on forums that much?
"When you have nine different states and you are known as the regional guy, your phone is always going off from coaches in those nine different states whether it be phone calls, texts or emails. So, I have phone calls coming in all the time. Then I have stories I have to type about all the different kids that I see. Then you can add in film that I have to watch. I constantly have yearly evaluations to turn in to Scott Kennedy. He wants things done all the time, not just monthly or bi-monthly. As you see guys, turn them in. I was at Auburn this past weekend at a camp and saw three kids who we didn't have ranked. I was on my phone at that very moment, sending an email to Scott, telling him to change a player from two stars to three stars. Also, telling him this guy is not rated, get him to a high two-star player.
"I would love to come to the forums more often, but it's tough. I would like to have chats and do more things but it's difficult. And on top of the job, you have a wife and two kids, so it's tough to balance everything."
How much time do you have with your family?
"Not enough. Honestly, not enough. I would like to have more time with the family. Sometimes, you just have to put the phone down, step away from your office and stay in town for a few days to give them that time. I have a newborn and a three-year-old. Luckily, I have a wife who supports what I do, so we don't have that quarrel at home about me working too much. But at the same time, I feel like I owe them a little more time than what I give them."
How can site publishers like myself help you? If I send information about a kid who is committed to the college I cover, would that be of help to you?
"Yes, any help is good. I can't just go into the database and pull up Mississippi kids and look at 100 kids. I don't have enough time to do that. That's why I need guys like yourself, Steve (Robertson) or whoever they are. If you have suggestions about a kid whether he be over or underrated, send me an email. Guys that cover recruiting, Steve, Sonny (Shipp), (Andrew) Bone, they understand that I'm not going to have time to look at all the kids in each state. That's one of the things you guys are there for. Send me information on kids you feel should be re-evaluated. And I'll do it. It may not be at the very moment that I receive your information, but I'll get it done in a few days to a week. I'll then submit what I think to Scott."