College coaches change the way they recruit at state championship games

The GHSA football state championship games, which will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend, were once a popular stop for college head coaches.

The GHSA football state championship games, which will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend, were once a popular stop for college head coaches.
A decade or two ago, the celebrity sightings along the sidelines drew as much attention as the games. College coaches made an appearance just to let a blue-chip prospect know that they were watching.
“Oh, gosh yes, I remember those days,” said Bill Curry, former Georgia Tech and Alabama coach at Georgia State. “We were all there at the championship games, trying to be seen. It was a funny thing. It was like going to a place that you know a girl you like will be at, and hoping she would see you in the crowd.”
Sandy Creek High School coach Chip Walker said, “Back in the old days, it was like a ‘who’s who’ in the coaching profession during state championship week. You name the coach in the Southeast, and there was a good chance he would be at one of the games.”
It’s not like that anymore, mostly because of NCAA changes to the recruiting calendar and number of contacts.  College coaches, assistants mainly, will attend this weekend’s games, but nowhere near the star power of yesteryear.
The NCAA’s “contact period” began on Nov. 27, limiting each college staff to six overall contacts, including one by the head coach, until February’s national signing day.
“As much as it would make a statement to have Mark Richt on the sidelines at the state championship games, it would be far more productive for Richt to spend that one day with the prospective student-athlete at his school and at the home with his family, selling the program,” ESPN recruiting reporter Kipp Adams said.
“Every school is trying to get an edge in recruiting, and I don’t think that edge is really being at state championship games anymore. There’s a lot more value in recruiting for a coach with sitting at a kid’s home and talking about life.”
Richt said his staff doesn’t traditionally make any big plans for the state championships because the games are scheduled at the same time as Georgia’s primary recruiting weekend. The Bulldogs will entertain many of their top targets on official visits beginning Friday.
“We’ve decided that the weekend after the SEC Championship game is the best for us to bring in the guys for visits,” Richt said. “Now all of them won’t make it. Some will be playing in state championship games, while others will come on an earlier or later weekend. But we try to get as many in there for that weekend as we can.
“That weekend works out really well for us. We have our annual awards banquet on that Saturday night, and it’s always a good atmosphere for [recruits] to be in at the University of Georgia.”
Richt said he might direct an assistant or two to sneak off to the Georgia Dome for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum said the Yellow Jackets will likely be represented at a few games, too.
“I can remember those days when they first started having the championship games at the Georgia Dome; you’d sit back for two days to watch some of the best football played anywhere,” McCollum said. “Now you can still do that, but it counts as one of your contacts.The GHSA football state championship games, which will be held at the Georgia Dome this weekend, were once a popular stop for college head coaches.

A decade or two ago, the celebrity sightings along the sidelines drew as much attention as the games. College coaches made an appearance just to let a blue-chip prospect know that they were watching.

“Oh, gosh yes, I remember those days,” said Bill Curry, former Georgia Tech and Alabama coach at Georgia State. “We were all there at the championship games, trying to be seen. It was a funny thing. It was like going to a place that you know a girl you like will be at, and hoping she would see you in the crowd.”

Sandy Creek High School coach Chip Walker said, “Back in the old days, it was like a ‘who’s who’ in the coaching profession during state championship week. You name the coach in the Southeast, and there was a good chance he would be at one of the games.”

It’s not like that anymore, mostly because of NCAA changes to the recruiting calendar and number of contacts.  College coaches, assistants mainly, will attend this weekend’s games, but nowhere near the star power of yesteryear.

The NCAA’s “contact period” began on Nov. 27, limiting each college staff to six overall contacts, including one by the head coach, until February’s national signing day.

“As much as it would make a statement to have Mark Richt on the sidelines at the state championship games, it would be far more productive for Richt to spend that one day with the prospective student-athlete at his school and at the home with his family, selling the program,” ESPN recruiting reporter Kipp Adams said.

“Every school is trying to get an edge in recruiting, and I don’t think that edge is really being at state championship games anymore. There’s a lot more value in recruiting for a head coach with sitting at a kid’s home and talking about life.”

Richt said his staff doesn’t traditionally make any big plans for the state championships because the games are scheduled at the same time as Georgia’s primary recruiting weekend. The Bulldogs will entertain many of their top targets on official visits beginning Friday.

“We’ve decided that the weekend after the SEC Championship game is the best for us to bring in the guys for visits,” Richt said. “Now all of them won’t make it. Some will be playing in state championship games, while others will come on an earlier or later weekend. But we try to get as many in there for that weekend as we can.

“That weekend works out really well for us. We have our annual awards banquet on that Saturday night, and it’s always a good atmosphere for [recruits] to be in at the University of Georgia.”

Richt said he might direct an assistant or two to sneak off to the Georgia Dome for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum said the Yellow Jackets will likely be represented at a few games, too.

“I can remember those days when they first started having the championship games at the Georgia Dome; you’d sit back for two days to watch some of the best football played anywhere,” McCollum said. “Now you can still do that, but it counts as one of your contacts.”

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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243 comments Add your comment

Sec 114

December 8th, 2011
11:55 am

ATLANTA GA , USA

December 8th, 2011
11:56 am

MY advice,
1. GA Tech, please throw the ball more in order to compete for ACC championships next year.

2. UGA- Please recruit more RB with size and character in order to be back for SEC championship NEXT YEAR

East Atlanta, GA

December 8th, 2011
11:59 am

3. Ga State please move to FBS

c'mon man

December 8th, 2011
12:15 pm

Georgia Dream Team II is rolling down the tracks now with the Marshall pick up. Watch out! Go DAWGS!

Gorilla Biscuit

December 8th, 2011
12:22 pm

Will be a big recruiting weekend at Georgia. Michael how about a story on that?

annapolisdawg

December 8th, 2011
12:22 pm

No big deal; it should be about the players rather than a who’s who of College football coaches. These kids played their hearts out all season to make this trip therefore the focus should be on them (100%).

annapolisdawg

December 8th, 2011
12:23 pm

But I would like to know who’s going to be in Athens this weekend…

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

Annapolisdawg
Avery young
Chase elder
Corderalle Patterson

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
12:42 pm

And Marcus eligwe @ Josh dawson

McDawg

December 8th, 2011
12:53 pm

i saw that Dillon Lee was going to be in Athens next weekend?? is that right

straightshooter

December 8th, 2011
1:06 pm

Georgia Southern coaches won’t be at the Dome. The Eagles are playing Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the FCS national playoffs against the University of Maine Black Bears. At least there’s one Georgia collegiate team that’s still in the hunt for a National Championship. It would be their seventh in three decades of play if they can pull it off. Game can be seen on ESPN3 beginning at 1:00 pm.

SouthGaBrave

December 8th, 2011
1:12 pm

annapolisdawg,

From what I’ve seen: Cordarrelle Patterson, Quayvon Hicks, James Deloach, Fleonard Floyd, Chaz Elder, John Atkins, Ukeme (Markuss) Eligwe, Avery Young, Johnathan Taylor, and maybe a few more in town for the Gala this weekend.

Also, Will Redmond (committed to Miss St.) and Sheldon Dawson (committed to Memphis) are supposed to be in town the next weekend (12/16/11). Either of these could fill one of the DB spots in our class if we press enough.

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
1:12 pm

McDawg
From what I have seen he is not, and if he does it’s just a visit not an official visit.

SouthGaBrave

December 8th, 2011
1:13 pm

Leonard Floyd……..sorry for the typo

TampaDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:13 pm

hey Dawg48, isn’t Harvey-Clemons supposed to be there too? I think there are like 11 prospects confirmed to be there tomorrow.

TampaDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

Dillon Lee has been flirting with the idea of playing with his brother for a few months now. He really likes Athens and has been there so many times this year and they get ruled as unofficial visits because he is “visiting” his brother Dallas.

OkieDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:19 pm

We have the TBs to get the job done if we can get the O-line to open up the running game. We need Avery Young, badly. Young and Theus will make a pair of awesome tackles. Also heard some of the recruiting guys on XM this morning raving about current commits Greg Pyke and Chester Brown. They were very impressed in Georgia’s ability to evaluate talent that is under the radar but have huge upside potential. The defense is already there and now the offense is getting close. Good luck to Sturdivant in his attempt to come back next year. Sturdivant’s a DGD.

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
1:20 pm

Tampa
Don’t know…
What have you heard?

TampaDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:21 pm

OkieDawg, this is the first I have heard about Sturdivant trying to come back. Hope he makes it.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

December 8th, 2011
1:22 pm

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
1:23 pm

If he does he is one tough SOB!

SouthGaBrave

December 8th, 2011
1:26 pm

TampaDawg, Dawg 48,

I think JHC has changed the date for his official to the weekend of January 20th.

Wet Willie...keep on smiling

December 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

Dillon can/should do what is best for him. Bama has the best group of backers already and two more to come. If he goes to UGA that really will have little impact on Bama. Bama takes a backer from Loseranna and LSU this AM and Jenkins will be coming soon. Nick Saban…recruiting machine. If you think Bama will backup next year then you’re dreaming folks 1st class ended in 2010 and we had a bad year 10-3. This roster is full of players…just reload and fire again.

Charlie Hayes

December 8th, 2011
1:29 pm

Michael,
When will Josh Harvey-Clemons and Jordan Jenkins make their final decisions? Have they annouced a date?

OkieDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:30 pm

TampaDawg, the attached link is from the RedandBlack.. This is the article I read. I’m not sure if anything has changed.

http://redandblack.com/2011/10/18/sturdivants-return-close-to-%E2%80%98a-100-percent-chance%E2%80%99-plans-to-make-move-to-tight-end-in-2012/

TampaDawg

December 8th, 2011
1:32 pm

Still looking for the list Dawg48. I know it was posted on here.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

December 8th, 2011
1:36 pm

Seems like another “goofy” NCAA rule….

Johnny Too Good

December 8th, 2011
1:39 pm

The best prospects arent in the championship games anyways……
Also the NCAA has way too many rules and policies, the over saturation of regulation is similar to that of our government

http://www.youtube.com/thatsjohnanderson

Bright Idea

December 8th, 2011
1:44 pm

Those were the “semi-finals” back in the day at the Dome where the sidelines were filled with college coaches.

annapolisdawg

December 8th, 2011
1:46 pm

Dawg48 & S.GABrave: Thanks for the info and I hope these guys come away impressed with where the program is heading. I think next year might be a little premature to discuss a run but if CMR continues recruiting the way he has last year and this year (thus far), this team can become something special.

bitter "spoiled recruit"

December 8th, 2011
2:10 pm

im still waiting for my offer —jaw-ger

—————————go dawgs—————message to coach richt

————————————allow coach bobo to start HUDSON MASON—best arm in the –SEC

bitter "dope smok-in running back"

December 8th, 2011
2:19 pm

aint-tis wurried bout no foo pointt tree gpa running my ball time—-you no—-see what say —-yo

noth-a—-dubbie—————–yoooo—————-take a seat —brain boy—-im inn chargge her-ee

————————————–yoo—-crow-face out

Rest of SEC

December 8th, 2011
2:20 pm

Who could blame Lee for flipping to Georgia, he gets to play with his brother 2 years and Georgia hasn’t signed any inside linebackers. Add in Georgia returns 16 starters and Bama will return about 9 starters and it makes the most sense.

seabass

December 8th, 2011
2:36 pm

Wet Willie I agree with you that Dillion should do whats best for him. An I do not see him cracking that Bama starting line up anytime soon. You could say the same for that UGA line up, but it could be done. When everythings said and done Dillion will be a dawg.

V is for Victory

December 8th, 2011
2:41 pm

Visit list should be Eligwe, linebacker. Young, o-Tackle. Elder, cornerback. Patterson, #1 juco player, a receiver/returner. And Lee, linebacker for UGA Senior Gala.

TampaGator

December 8th, 2011
2:48 pm

Okie Dawg….

Avery Young is almost a Gator. He had an incredible time on his visit for the FSU game, even though the Gators lost. He clearly sees the opportunity to play OL for the Gators and has been a lifetime Gator fan. But who knows for sure…..

Cdpridg

December 8th, 2011
2:50 pm

Dillon will be a Dawg…Dawgs get who they want….Saban and Smart should just stay in the septic tank known as the state of Alabubba

Dog Warrior

December 8th, 2011
2:51 pm

Guys,

Ga. has a good chance of flipping Eligwe and Dillion. We also will be in the hunt for Avery Young. Do not count out Georgia with Todd Gurley. It will be interesting to see if we can seal the deal with Patterson. My sources say that Elder will be a long shot, the Gamecocks have been on him hard and initially Ga was looking at him as a safety and he thinks he is a corner.

I promise you that the recruiting will surprise you in a positive way.

TampaGator

December 8th, 2011
2:51 pm

Charlie Hayes….

Harvey-Clemons is on the University of Florida campus this weekend….one on one with Muschamp and the coaches. Everything being printed shows him as a Gator lean….and he may be even more so after this weekend….and could even commit. But who knows for sure…..

It figures

December 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

Nice story about Saban on bleacher report where a former player says Saban stepped over a player vomiting seeming to have a seizure and went upstairs. Also, says Saban had one of his flunkies tell his secretary she wasn’t allowed to speak to him after she complimented his haircut. Petrino and Saban will have to stay in college ranks, grown men won’t put up with their baloney.

TampaGator

December 8th, 2011
2:54 pm

I do believe that Jordan Jenkins has told the Gators that they will have the last visit…..and that he also had a terrific visit for the FSU game…..and got really tight with several of the Gator players. He is another that sees the opportunity to play quickly for the Gators, as they need DEs badly.

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
2:56 pm

Tampa
Did you see what JHC said that muschamp told him?

Cdpridg

December 8th, 2011
2:58 pm

To play for UF would be a huge gamble for any young man…a program clearly in transition and in decline….3rd best in the East

FBS

December 8th, 2011
2:59 pm

East Atlanta, GA – do you really think that State can compete in FBS? Try beating all of your Division II and NAIA opponents first.

straightshooter- Way to lay it down. Southern has the real deal going this year and looks pretty strong. It would be worth their time spent for anyone who is reading this to watch them play.

Rest of SEC

December 8th, 2011
3:07 pm

There will be plenty of playing time at Florida, I read so many players are jumping ship that they’ll probably have less than 50 scholarship players for spring practice. That’s what happened at Tennessee, so many left they were down to 60 something scholarship players. It’ll take years for them to recover.

Dawg48

December 8th, 2011
3:10 pm

SEC I saw the same thing

Coach Johnson

December 8th, 2011
3:23 pm

We just have a big fish fry and I show the ring to the fellows of our 3 point win over Georgia 4 years ago. They all like that. Then we but up some slides showing our rushing yards against Georgia and they all ohh and awh over those. I’ll sometimes let them go to the office and look at all my blue wind suits and that’s a big hit…..Then Lt. Phillips of the Atlanta Police dept. will show a map of where all the crime is and how it’s not anywhere near the Athletic fields….. to close the deal, we take them to the stadium and let them pick out 300 seats for their family for the games. Always the deal clincher. Go Jackets.

Dr. Phil

December 8th, 2011
3:38 pm

Rest of SEC, Dawg48 and others; it is very amazing all this talk of Gator demise when you have only won 1 game straight and after you beat the worst UF team since 77 led by a one legged QB on a late 4th qtr TD. Win next year to make it the first 2 game winning streak since 1990 then you might get an audience outside of the Leghumping state.

Einstein

December 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

UGA consistently a top 20 team defies the Law of Probability. Humpers are still irrelevent outside the Peach State.

Gorilla Biscuit

December 8th, 2011
3:42 pm

Dr. Phil, is Oprah letting you use her computer?

Oprah: Dr. Phil, rub my bunions.

Dr. Phil: AB so LUTE ly, Oprah!