When it comes to college coaches and their evaluation process, it is always extremely interesting how some vary compared to others. And while most have similar processes on how things are handled, each school wants to say that they take a unique path when offering scholarships.
I personally think when coaches say that, it is basically a line. What they really mean is that we have better prospects ahead of you or we just haven’t had the time to actually look into your highlight video. In the end, most college coaches are looking for the same things in prospective athletes. Ability, work ethic, and character are three of the main things that they are searching for.
A good example of how each coach says their process is different revolves around the top rated player in the country, Seantrel Henderson. This offensive lineman had offers from all around the country but was waiting to see if USC would step up and offer a scholarship. Here is what he said about the eventual offer:
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“My coach sent my film out to USC about a month ago. When they called the school, they told me their process of evaluating recruits is different than other colleges. They take their time, so from that point I just got letters from USC talking about the school.
USC can get away with that because they are such a dominant program and can recruit nationally. If Henderson doesn’t go there because they offered late, then they can find another four or five star lineman to fill the gap. While they may watch video and do evaluations, I don’t see the Trojans landing too many two star recruits that are hidden gems.
Two other stories regarding how the evaluation process is supposedly unique to each school was proven wrong over the last few years. There was a school in the Big Ten that has had success over the last decade. They were recruiting an in-state running back but had not offered. This running back had a few smaller offers but nothing really all that impressive.
The athlete decided to take a visit out to another Big Ten school. This program had been recruiting him and was one of the in-conference powerhouses. Before the trip was over, this school decided to extend the running back a scholarship offer. Just to let you know, before that time, this athlete had an offer from a FCS school and a BCS school that had struggled. This was his first big time scholarship offer.
The in-state Big Ten school had said that they needed to be patient and that their evaluation process takes longer. They needed to run it by their running backs’ coach and their head coach. It was the usual lines that you hear from college coaches when they think an athlete is not good enough to get a scholarship offer.
The day after this athlete received an offer from their conference rivals, this in-state school decided to extend a scholarship. Did the in-state program suddenly spend the day watching tape and doing all the evaluations that were needed? No, their hand was basically forced into an offer. They liked the athlete and didn’t want to lose him to a conference powerhouse. This same program may take more time evaluating than other schools but they certainly didn’t spend the day watching his tape and evaluating him. They did it because there was another scholarship on the table.
The second story is in the ACC. One ACC school has always had success finding low rated recruits and helping them turn into excellent players at the college level. This school, ACC #1, had extended a scholarship offer to an out of state athlete. This player took an official visit to ACC #1 and was seriously considering committing to the program.
When ACC #2 heard about this (basically an opposing conference school with former coaching ties to ACC #1), they extended a scholarship to the player. I have talked about this before in previous articles but ACC #2 never even saw film on this athlete. The coach had sent no film to ACC #2 and they were simply offering because ACC #1 did.
So think about these stories for a second. While every school says that they have a lengthy evaluation process, when push comes to shove, they are going to extend offers out. The biggest thing that you need to do as a football recruit is impress enough college that your dream school may be forced into offering an athletic scholarship.
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