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#14 Recruiting Corner: High School Live-Streams, Letters to Coaches, & Jr. College

If you have any questions leave them in the comments below.

Joshua: All right. It’s time for another round of The Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman and David Frank as always. What’s going on?

David: Not too much, guys. I want to get started. Ask you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. That way you get the weekly episode of The Recruiting Corner, and we have over 130 video answers to the most common recruiting questions. Anything you can think to ask, we’re trying to cover it on there. So subscribe and let us know what you think.

Joshua: Definitely. I think we do a great job of addressing the questions you guys have. So definitely pay attention and we’ll help you out. So I know we have a lot to get through. I know our starting topic is going to deal with high schools and live streaming

David: Yeah. Hearing from Coach Thurmond again. He’s giving advice on how to email college coaches.

Joshua: We’re going to introduce you guys to Yuba City Hoops.

David: And UVA signs one of the top QB prospects using video.

Joshua: And then a little birdie told me that we’re talking about social media again today.

David: Right. Coach Dooley at Tennessee wants to let the NCAA know what he thinks about over- signing.

Joshua: And then we’re going to answer one of our YouTube questions, bringing us back to subscribing to our YouTube channel.

So, definitely first off we want to address a post that was brought up by The Washington Post, and they are talking about some high school lacrosse programs that are starting to live stream games. What do you think about that?

David: Yeah. I think this is a really cool thing, because this group of lacrosse teams has taken it upon themselves to make their league more visible, get that information out to college coaches. Live streaming on the Internet costs next to nothing. These games are already being filmed. All you have to do is hook that camera up to the Internet. You can live stream all these games. I think it’s a really good message.

If you’re in junior high or just starting in high school, take some time to look at the different athletic leagues in your area and see who’s being more proactive on getting their kids noticed. I think live streaming is going to become really, really commonplace. But for these first few years, it’s going to help to find the schools that are trying to do it.

Joshua: Do you feel that live streaming is going to offer a recruiting advantage for those certain areas?

David: Yeah, of course. If a coach can save some money on traveling to go see games, he can sit down, put up four live streams on different recruits he wants to watch, then it’s going to be a distinct recruiting advantage. You’re going to be able to be seen by coaches easier. So I definitely think it’s going to be the way of the future, and it’s nice to see it happening already.

Joshua: Definitely. I completely agree.

David: All right. One of our favorite blogs over with Coach Thurmond of the UW Men’s Golf Team wrote a letter a letter to everybody who’s been contacting him. He says, “Look, if you’re going to write me an email, don’t call me just ‘Dear Coach.’ Use my name and make it personal.” What are some of the take-homes for that message?

Joshua: Listen, guys, one of the biggest mistakes a recruit can make is putting “Dear Coach” at the top. And I think Coach Thurmond did a great job of basically explaining why.

When you write “Dear Coach,” all that tells the coach is you’ve done no research and that’s a form letter that you’re sending to everybody. And I read a recent article on another coach that basically said, “As soon as I see it’s a form letter and realize it’s a form letter, gone.” Bye-bye. Doesn’t care, doesn’t want to read it because you didn’t take any time as a recruit to think about why you’re applying to that school.

Listen, we all know you want a scholarship. Again, that coach knows you want a scholarship. But why else do you want to go to that program? Try thinking about, number one, addressing the coach by their name. Try thinking about why you want to go to that school. Is it the academics that are drawing you to that program? Is it the location? Is it because your family went there as well? It’s a family alma mater. Whatever it is, make it personalized and it’s going to stick a lot better.

David: That’s right. These coaches, they’re evaluating hundreds of recruits a year, and they’re making the effort to be personal and communicate with these kids. They’re asking you, in the 25 to 50 coaches you should be talking to, to take the time to be personal back. That’s how these coaches weed through the hundreds of kids that they’re talking to.

Joshua: Definitely. So next up, guys, Yuba City Hoops and Brett Ryan [SP]. Brighter Domain [SP] wrote an article that basically talked about the advantages that Yuba City Hoops has had towards not only winning in junior college hoops, but towards recruiting as well.

David: Yeah. So this is Yuba City Community College. It’s up in Northern California, and basically this coach has created a recruiting pipeline from his community college to D-1 programs all over the country. And I think the really amazing thing is this coach is getting kids recruited. Not just his two or three best players and starters, but his role players, his bench players. He’s getting five and six and seven kids a year to the next level. The story was really interesting to me that it covered that these kids recognize their role as a bench player, and they get recruited as a role player. Coaches who are recruiting them say, “I see this kid’s a team first person. I want him on my team because I know he’s going to come in and do whatever it takes to get my team to the next level.”

Joshua: Definitely. One of the highlights of that article for me was when he was talking about one of the bench players. One of his bench players was one of the best players coming out of his area, and yet he accepted the role, came in, and has been basically the sixth man for the team and has done really well and actually is going to a four-year college now. So he’s done really well. And congratulations to Yuba City.

David: Yeah. It’s a great story and we’ll have it linked to the bottom of this episode, and I highly encourage anybody that’s interested in playing at the four-year level check it out.

Next story coming from Love that blog and love that site, by the way. UVA signed one of the top QB prospects using video. The coach made a video for the recruit to see. He would sit down with his parents and watch it. I think it’s some really, really great take-home messages. What have you got?

Joshua: First off, guys, you can follow AJC @recruitingAJC. So, you can follow them on Twitter. Secondly, getting to the story. Listen, the cool thing that I’ve found in this post was, number one, Virginia coach Mike London recognized a couple of things. Number one, he realized that this quarterback recruit, Greyson Lambert, was a top recruited quarterback. Nick Saban was going after this kid, and I’ll be honest with you. Nick Saban does not lose very many recruiting battles.

The cool part with the way that Mike London approached this was that he realized when Greyson was going to be on campus, Mike London wasn’t going to be there. So he did create a video. Creating a video in the NCAA is sort of wishy-washy. You have to make it completely available to the public. But what he did was realize he realized the relationship that he had built with Greyson over a period of them talking. So he built a personalized, tailored video towards that person.

The cool thing to me was he realized that Greyson is interested in academics. He realized what all the important aspects of college were going to be to him, and he pitched towards those aspects.

Now, listen, the take-home message here is that when you start getting personal messages from coaches, you’re being recruited. You get a letter that says, “Dear So and So,” and it just tells you about the college and it’s all typed out and maybe it has the coach’s stamped signature on the bottom, it’s a form letter. Fill out the recruiting questionnaire. Let that college know you’re interested in them. But you’re not being recruited at that point.

When a coach starts signing you handwritten letters or inviting you to the campus and sitting you down in person and creating videos for you, gives you these personal messages, that’s when you’re being recruited and that’s the important part. The fun part for me is when I’m trying to sell myself to a school in the beginning. But, once I’m starting to get recruited, you’re going to notice that role reversal, and that coach is going to start selling himself and his university or herself and her university to you. That’s exactly what Greyson Lambert experienced in this situation.

David: Yeah, I think there are a lot of parallels in this story to the way Tim Tebow was recruited by Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. Urban Meyer did a great job of tailoring the message and understanding what it was that Tim Tebow wanted to hear. I think this bodes really well for UVA. I’d be really excited. That means you’ve got a sharp coach and great recruiters. So, things are looking up.

Joshua: Good luck to UVA this year. So, next up, guys, we’ve talked about social media a lot. Writer Dave Copeland wrote an article about the NCAA taking the pressure off schools to monitor social media. What’s this all about?

David: Yeah. So, I think this story’s a little bit misleading for the average reader. It makes it sound like the NCAA isn’t requiring schools to monitor social media. I know we’ve talked a lot about that in the past and talked about it at Vanderbilt in specifics. Their job is to monitor social media and make sure that kids aren’t violating recruiting rules. And this article says that the NCAA isn’t mandating that you monitor for social media, but you can still get in trouble for what is said on social media by your athletes. So they are indirectly requiring you to monitor it.

Basically, it’s legal jargon on the NCAA, meaning they can absolve themselves of any liability for a violation of rights for student athletes and that sort of thing. Very typical NCAA. The facts are your social media is going to be monitored, officially, unofficially, or during the recruiting process. So keep it clean and follow best practices as an athlete using social media.

Joshua: I have nothing to add. David, you said it perfectly.

David: All right. We’re going to touch on a quick note from Coach Dooley at Tennessee. He is really upset with the SEC’s new rule on over-signing, and he had some snark comments about the NCAA in his recent article. Again, from So, what do you have to say?

Joshua: So listen, first off, over-signing is basically when you sign more athletes than you have scholarships for, over 25. So every team can sign up to 25 athletes per year for football. What they’re complaining about is the fact that teams were signing 27, 28, 29 players, promising them scholarships and then not coming through with them.

The problem is, yes, in the beginning that does look a little morally questionable. It’s a little unethical to promise a kid a scholarship that you don’t necessarily have. But, if you play the numbers, every football team doesn’t get the 25 scholarship players they’re looking for every year. So by asking 29 and maybe getting 24, you’re still covering your losses there. The only time you miss out is when you actually sign your allotment.

The interesting thing here with over-signing is they’re not supposed to be doing it. But, yet, if they’re not signing 25 scholarship players, they’re actually still over-signing. It gets really interesting with the jargon that surrounds it. I don’t understand it. I think that a lot of athletes are going to lose out now, because, as Coach Derek Dooley said, you have injuries. You have grayshirt opportunities and stuff for kids that want to go to the school, that now won’t have an opportunity because the coach isn’t going to take a risk. They can’t over-sign any more.

David: Right. I think Coach Dooley said it perfectly. We’re still over-signing. So, just because a school can sign 25 kids in a year, it doesn’t mean they have 25 scholarships. If they only have 18 and they get 25 kids signed, those kids could still not end up with scholarships. They either have to come in at the half year. Go a year of prep school. Go to junior college. So it’s a very short-sighted rule by the NCAA again. I think it’s not the last we’ll hear of over-signing, and I’m sure it’ll be touched up and we’ll add a couple more pages to the rulebook on this one.

Joshua: So next up, guys, our YouTube question. Again, we’re promoting our YouTube this episode. Evan wrote into us on our YouTube, which you can do as well. He wanted to know because he got some advice from his mom. Now, Evan’s a freshman, and he gave us a great freshman highlight film, by the way. But Evan’s a freshman and he said that his mom told him that he cannot contact coaches right now and he has to wait until his junior year. What’s this about?

David: Right. So I think, Evan, what your mom’s understanding is when colleges can begin communicating with athletes about recruiting specific material, and that is at junior year. So, coaches can’t send recruiting-specific material until junior year. But they can send letters about their school, admissions packets, and that sort of thing to athletes whenever they want.

As an athlete, you’re allowed to contact schools whenever you want to. You can call a coach. Email a coach. You can set up a time to go visit them. And it’s really, really important as a freshman or sophomore, if you want to play top-level football, like it looks like you do, you really need to start contacting coaches at that time, finding the right camps to go to this summer, next summer, and definitely the summer after your junior year.

Joshua: Definitely. Evan, you definitely want to look towards those unofficial visits as David mentioned, and look at camps too. But make sure you’re giving the coaches your information before you go to that campus. Send them that film. It’s a good film.

David: Yeah. And also, thanks for subscribing to our YouTube channel. Evan did subscribe and we’re subscribed to him. So we’re going to get to see all his highlight videos when he sends them our way.

Joshua: Fantastic. So, any big plans?

David: It’s March Madness. I’ll just be watching basketball and hoping that my bracket doesn’t go bust in the first round games. How about you?

Joshua: I’m thinking the same. And this weekend is St. Paddy’s Day. So, everyone out there have a safe St. Paddy’s Day. Stay off the roads.

David: Thanks, guys.

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