A trend with college football fans is to go into semi-serious addiction withdrawal when we are smack in the middle of the off-season. Aside from recruiting, and our school’s LOI Day Signing event, there isn’t a whole lot of timely news to discuss so we usually default to football recruiting. Because almost any other football news that makes headlines during the off-season is usually bad news (i.e.; injuries, transfers, firings and dismissals), and because our basketball team truly sucks, we welcome recruiting talk at this point.
And it is always interesting to converse about how hard it is to find that needle in the haystack that great recruiters do.
HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITS AND RECRUITING
That isn’t to say we should diminish the importance of recruiting one bit – it is at least half of the resources needed to get a winning football program out on the field. So here is another and more in-depth look at the business of recruiting (and of course later developing) high school football players. The thing about a subject as big and broad as this is that one really has to chop it up into smaller pieces to even begin to understand the big picture.
All that said I’d like to clarify my stance on recruiting because I admit it can be confusing and even torque some fans off. My look at HS recruiting is this: 95% of recruiting is the down in the trenches fighting during the long and drawn-out process of one coaching staff competing against 10-30 other good schools’ staffs to get the recruit (and his parents) to verbally agree to come to Pitt on scholarship.
That sounds rather simple however it is anything but that. It takes a lot of time, energy and, last but certainly not least, money to field an effective recruiting team. Blue-chip kids are targeted as early as their freshman year in high school so a school has to maintain steady and convincing contact with him for a long time to get that signed Letter of Intent.
Because of that I give that hard recruiting work credit where it is due. I look at when a recruit committed to Pitt to determine who actually ‘recruited’ that player. I fully understand it is also vitally important to keep the recruit onboard in case of a coaching change or if the recruit’s interest in Pitt wanes the closer they get to LOI signing day – but truly that is small potatoes compared to the extremely hard and long work a staff does to get that verbal commitment in the first place.
Why do I do that? Because it paints a much clearer picture when we fans start discussing how good an individual head coach (and his staff) are at getting those initial commitments, especially if we are comparing different HC’s work in this area. Also, I have held this stance for all the years I have been on the POV and The Pitt Blather before that going back to Wannstedt’s years. So this isn’t something I just decided to do to screw Pat Narduzzi (as I’m sure some of you will think).
So please keep that in mind…