Recruiting is a round-the-year process that rarely takes a day off. Bob Lacivita, Director of Football Operations at NC State, is one of the main cogs in the Wolfpack recruiting engine and is responsible for much of the behind the scenes work that goes unnoticed by most fans. Whether it be managing the Stately Lady program, setting up the logistics of official visits or overseeing the Pack's summer football camps, Lacivita is involved in nearly every aspect of Wolfpack football recruiting. StateFans caught up with him recently to get his take on the recruiting process.
StateFans-What is the main thing coaches try to accomplish during the May evaluation period?
Bob Lacivita-We go out to assess a player's football playing ability, how good of a football player you are and also, your academic status. That's the thing in the spring is you're out there finding players and establishing relationships with high school coaches.
StateFans-State historically recruits states primarily along the eastern seaboard. Has there ever been any thought given to expanding the recruiting territory or is there enough talent in the areas State already recruits?
Bob Lacivita-I think there's definitely enough talent in those areas to get what you need. But the areas we've established, I think it's definite when you look at all the other schools that come in to those areas and they're starting to realize the same thing we have because there are schools not from those areas that are down there recruiting.
StateFans-Occasionally a player may surface from an area outside State's recruiting region. Is that typically a situation where a high school coach knows someone on staff and makes them aware?
Bob Lacivita-It works that way and also it could be a situation where the players contact us and they happen to be really good players so you follow up on everything.
StateFans-For some schools the head coach may not be particularly involved in going out and making a lot of the scouting trips to various high schools during the month of May. Is this something that Coach Amato participates in to any great degree?
Bob Lacivita-Yeah. Coach Amato- he's definitely a hands on, very involved person from the very beginning of the process to the end and maintains his visibility in the schools.
StateFans-What are some of the major changes you've seen recruiting undergo over the last 20 years?
Bob Lacivita-Well, 20 years ago you weren't limited by your phone contacts and when you make phone calls. The limits on official visits went from over a hundred official visits to just 56. The number of contacts with recruits and in the schools- your face to face contacts- has really been limited since back in the early 80's.
StateFans-With the explosion in the interest of football recruiting, has that helped or hindered coaches in the recruiting process in any way?
Bob Lacivita-I think it helps because it gives you an idea in finding some players. But it also gives you an idea of what the players are thinking based on the information you get from the interviews with the players.
StateFans-It's funny but some seem to get just as excited or maybe more so about recruiting than the actual season itself.
Bob Lacivita-You know, if you look at the NFL there are two seasons- there's football season and then the NFL draft. With college football there's the season and then recruiting. So it has become a season almost in itself.
StateFans-When you have a fanbase that's excited about recruiting and very informed about who their new players are going to be, does that create even more excitement for the team itself?
Bob Lacivita-Absolutely, I think your success on the field is your ultimate goal and that feeds off the players you recruit but, you know, that interest when a young man signs with a school is definitely a boost for the fan's morale and they become part of the family here.
StateFans-The recruiting season has a lot of milestones during the year from the May evaluation period to summer camps to in-home visits to official visits. Is there any aspect that you consider most crucial where you might say, if we're going to have a chance with this guy, now is when we need to do it?
Bob Lacivita-I think you like to be able to find players early and establish relationships with them. But there are also young men that our coaches will find in the latter stages of recruiting so I think what you do all year is important.
StateFans-Since Coach Amato has come to State, there's no secret that NC State has landed a different caliber of athlete than the coaches before him. What is it that kids find attractive now that they didn't in the years prior to Coach Amato coming to Raleigh?
Bob Lacivita-I think it's the excitement that Chuck has brought to Raleigh. It's tasting success and ultimately the program that he has built here has brought so much excitement to the Wolfpack family. I think it's his hard work and organization that's brought the excitement and increased the caliber of student-athlete that we recruit.
StateFans-Are there any positions of importance this year for NC State as far as recruiting goes?
Bob Lacivita-Well, we're not going to turn down any athlete at any position. But obviously linemen are important to find but I think if you look at our recruiting, we've recruited the best athletes at the various positions and we'll take the same approach this year. All positions are important but you want to have a premium on linemen and most all schools do. But we're going to recruit the best student-athletes, I mean we have a plan as far as numbers, but we're going to go after the best student athletes at every position.