I have documented what I believe to be an effective methodology for recruiting, in quick, easy to grasp statements.
Table of Contents
Determine Recruiting Needs
Start with evaluating how many graduating senior you have on your team, and how many this will leave you with after your seniors graduate.
Here are the base numbers by position:
- QB – 3
- RB – 4
- WR – 8
- TE – 4
- OL – 12
- K – 2
- DL – 8
- LB – 8
- CB – 7
- S – 5
This total is 61. It is ok to have more, but this really should be the minimum number of players on your team. The more you have, the less playing time the ones at the bottom of your depth chart will have, and the greater the risk that they will leave your program.
Extra Players – Redshirts
I like to have an extra player per position, to be redshirted at the beginning of the season. Essentially, you are taking a Freshman, and putting him into the weight room, and studying film for the entire year. He will not be on the active roster. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, If you have a glut of freshmen, this will balance out the classes. Second, you are guaranteed to have a freshmen at that position at the start of the next year. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this RSFR (redshirt freshman), will have an extra year to develop. For this reason, I try to place a Freshman with very good potential..B or better, to get the most value out of an extra year of training.
Once you have a list of how many players you need, then you have to determine what players to target. There are various filters for you. Here is how I approach the initial targeting process.
One position at a time. If you don’t need a QB for the next season, then deselect them from the main list. The more players you eliminate early in the process, the easier the process becomes.
Let’s say you do need a quarterback. There may be a hundred of them. Use the drop down box, and identify only those QB’s where you are in the top five. You might be able to get one outside of the initial top five, but if you do, it will cost you a vast amount of recruiting resources, and it simply isn’t worth it.
When looking at the list of QB’s (or any position, for that matter), then select “target” on only those QB’s (or others) that you feel you have a realistic shot at getting. This is why I start with players that have my program already in the top five.
You have the ability to target 40 players. If you wish to recruit ten total, then it’s easy math. Target four players per position needing to be filled. If you need 3 OL, then target 12. Next, at the top of the screen, select “Target only” …. this will keep your list, from now on, at 40 or less.
Do not offer scholarships at this point, it’s way too early.
Sort by ranking, and spend your ten scouting points, one per person. Each week, spend one scouting point per target, scouting those players with the lowest scouting rating. This will get you the most information, the fastest.
When you are able to get potential and durability information, use these as tiebreakers for your potential recruits. A 61-A is hugely better than a 66-D.
Durability is also a concern. I won’t touch a player with an “F” for durability. He’s not going to do you much good when he’s in bluejeans on the sidelines, on his crutches.
There are some intangibles…if you want a running team, look for OL that have good run blocking skills. Same with your defensive backfield. A strong man to man player isn’t going to fit into your program, of you play a zone defense. This all goes back to determine the specific type of player you want in your program. You might say….OL, 60 plus for base, B or better for potential, with expertise in run blocking, and durable.
First Week Actions
Once you have all forty targets completed, you get to decide how to spend your recruiting actions. I like to do this by positions again.
I do one action per position, and rotate through them, starting with camp visits. This gives you a nice initial boost in recruiting points. Then use your HC, OC, and DC actions, one at a time, to those recruits that you feel would best benefit your program.
Filtering Action Priorities
Use the drop down box, and look for recruits that only want your program. You don’t need to spend an action on these, but make a note of how many there are. I would keep them targeted, as a hedge on losing other, better candidates.
The second filter is the “closest in points.” I use this the most. If you’re ahead by 800 points, you don’t need to spend your best bullets to become a thousand points ahead. Leave that player alone for a week, and see if the 800 point lead is shrinking. You need your bullets to become more competitive with the other players where there is a real battle with another team.
If you see that you are down by several hundred points, consider removing that player from your target list. You’re not going to get him without spending vast points.
Also..at this point, save your NIL dollars. Use those very, very late in the process..like just before the recruits commit. This might give you a little boost to jump ahead, right before signing.
Schedule visits when you get the prompt by each player, in turn. The earlier, the better.
Use the information screen for each recruit to see what their needs are. Some will want maximum money, and if you’re broke, that isn’t going to work.
- 1 – Filter by each needed position to find those players already in your top five.
- 2 – Target 40 players based on needs.
- 3 – Scout and do camp invites. I use “ranking”, as eventually everyone will invited to camps.
- 4 – By position, rank your targets. Spend resources based on critical needs. The closer the battle, the bigger the bullet you should use for that week.
- 5 – Each week that you advance, look for those battles that you’ve lost, or will lose, and make a determination on whether it is worth it to continue the fight, or to cut your losses, and use the resources gained to give another recruit some love.
- 6 – By the fourth week or recruiting, I am usually down to 20 targets for ten openings, or so.
- 7 – Don’t offer four scholarships for two openings. That’s how you get 20 offensive linemen. You can offer early, but keep track on how many you have offered, by position.
- 8 – After all the recruiting is done, take a look at what you got, and then didn’t get. In a perfect world, you didn’t need to spend any NIL money. I save NIL money for the transfer portal. Often, these are greedy players, already skilled, that want to get paid. If you have some money set aside, you may be able to get a sweet upgrade for your starters.