Recruiting for High School Coaches

UCLA Recruiting Analyst Branden Jones tackles recruiting from a High School Head Coach perspective. A few tips to streamline the recruiting process and maximizing your time.

Feel maxed out as a head coach when it comes to recruiting, on top of all of your other responsibilities? Do you as an assistant coach want to broaden your horizons and prepare for your own turn as a program head? Here are a few tips to streamline the recruiting process, maximizing your time, and benefitting both your student-athletes and program at the same time.

Head Coach [hed kohch]

noun

  1. a selfless, determined individual who strives to give the best high school football experience to his student-athletes

  2. head of fundraising

  3. film liaison

  4. strength and conditioning coordinator

  5. transportation director

  6. teacher

  7. parent

  8. husband

  9. human?

You wear many hats as a high school head football coach, most of which take you away from being an actual, on the field football coach. One of those hats you wear is that of a promoter; no, you aren’t Don King, but you have to promote a multitude of kids to a variety of different colleges spread across multiple different levels. Let’s look at efficiencies in the recruitment process to help lighten the load, relieve your stress, and get your back to running a top notch program:

Prospect Lists

The depth and detail in these lists can vary, but the essentials should be:

  • one sheet (if possible)

  • name

  • graduation year

  • college position

  • height/weight

  • GPA

  • cell phone

  • email

If feasible, the following information is helpful:

  • level projection (Power 5, Group of 5, FCS, Division II, Division III)

  • HUDL link

  • mailing address

  • parent names

  • transcript

  • wingspan picture

Especially in an era when prospects are transferring in, transferring out, information is changing, etc., one of the best methods for a prospect list is a Google Sheet. Every time you update it, you won’t have to resend it to all the coaches as the information is shared live. In addition, you can add links to documents in your Google Drive such as the transcript and/or prospect photos. Take the time in the offseason to build this template, with minor changes coming during the busier times. Now that you have built said lists, you need someone to send it to.

College Relationships

Every college attacks recruiting in a different manner, but there are assistant coaches who are responsible for both their position and most likely, a specific region of the state/country. In the offseason, connect with the recruiting coordinator, director of player personnel, recruiting analysts, or anyone, including assistant coaches, through email and/or Twitter, and find out the best person to send your prospect lists, spring practice schedule, and other information as well. Through this relationship, the staff can keep you abreast of clinics, camps, attend home games, or opportunities to come watch them practice. Yes, blasting your list to every member of the staff checks the box of doing your due diligence, but finding the appropriate/responding member of the staff is more important.

Combines

While some high schools have multiple division one prospects in every class, which means college coaches get their eyes on the entire roster, most high schools aren’t this fortunate. It may be tough to get the attention of college programs and/or get them to step foot on your campus. Fortunately, there are numerous regional combines held by Nike, Under Armour, ESPN, Rivals, Stack Sports, and more that conduct these combines to get verified measurements and times, with most of them being filmed for the colleges to access. Some of these are invite only, but there are coach submission forms to get your kid into the event if you feel they should be in it. Especially in the current environment when seasons have been postponed/canceled and college coaches can’t go visit these kids, these events may be the only verified way for colleges to see your prospect and the gains they have made in this extended offseason.

Once again, you wear many different hats with one of the best ones being that of a delegator. Some of these tasks can be taken on/assisted with by an assistant coach. For the college contacts/information, I asked one of my student managers to put together the list so I could both email them and connect on Twitter. One of your coaches can create a combine calendar with all the pertinent information for your student-athletes. It takes a village to run a high school football program the right way; while recruiting/promotion is one of many facets, it is one that may pay the biggest dividends for both your players and program in both the short and long term.


PAST RECRUITING SERIES by Branden Jones

Part 1 of 3: How to: Highlight Films for ALL positions

Part 2 of 3: Academics and Character

Part 3 of 3: What is your WHY