How Colleges Are Still
Recruiting Athletes Despite
Patriot Sports Media
The start of the springtime marks the peak of recruitment season for many college sports teams. Colleges schedule tours, meetings with coaches, and so much more. This year, however, many college freshmen will be forced to decide where they want to commit based on solely their previous knowledge. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges have been forced to close and cancel all events for the remainder of the year well into the summer. So, how can colleges recruit athletes from home?
The short and sweet answer? Technology. With the sudden rise in Zoom and Facetime calls, everything that can possibly be done is done through videos or calls. The Sun-Sentinel reported on high school senior Jaydon Hood, who “visited” Minnesota to see about a possible choice to sign with the Golden Gophers.
"They showed me videos of the facilities, the weight room, the field ... I FaceTimed a couple [coaches], I FaceTimed the strength and conditioning coach, the academic coach, coach [Joseph] Rossi, [Director of Football Recruiting Communications Steven Ruzic] is the one that guided me through the tour, and I ended the tour with coach [P.J.] Fleck. They showed me video of the campus and things I would see there, things outside of campus, like places I could go, non-football related, like to have fun.”
“It was kind of like a tour, just online.”
Other schools across the nation are trying the same thing, but some schools just can’t provide the same experience virtually as they would in person.
A recruiter from Mountain West spoke with 247Sports about the process. "We have to be more aggressive. We have to market our program. We have to market our coaches. We can't wait any longer, we can't wait till the eval period or the camps. We need to make offers and be active. We need kids to know about us and our interest."
Will Redmond, Kansas' director of recruiting, explained that the toughest part of all of this is the uncertainty behind it.
“The biggest challenge is the unknown- when do we get back on the road? When can we bring them back? When can we start setting up official visits? The unknown is the hardest part,"