What are the recruiting duties in May for UGA’s Mark Richt and Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson?
May is the busiest month of the spring for recruiting, with college coaches hitting the road to visit the high schools of prospects across the country.
However, the head coaches are prevented from joining the rest of their staff on the road this month, per NCAA rules. It’s the assistants who get to have all the fun and log the frequent-flyer miles.
So what do the head coaches do in May? A lot more than you think, and it’s mostly behind the scenes.
“You’ve got Skyping, you’ve got phone calls, you’re studying film, and you’re kind of tracking where everybody is – who has committed and who is thinking about committing soon,” Richt told the AJC.
“You’re constantly looking at the recruiting board to constantly see where we are at, and trying to make these decisions. A coach will see a guy on Monday, and he’ll get the information to our recruiting personnel. They’ll show that film to me, and let me see what I think about them. Before we offer anybody at Georgia, I’ve got to make sure I’m comfortable with it.”
Over at Georgia Tech, Johnson is doing the same type of things while his staff is traveling.
“Recruiting goes on the whole time,” Johnson told the AJC. “Kids stop by for unofficial visits. They’re in here most every day. When school is out, they’re always here. There’s always something to do. You’ve got camps to get ready for, you’ve got booster club functions … there’s something to do all the time.”
Due to NCAA rules, head coaches can no longer stop by high schools to observe a top prospect during his spring practice. How do Richt and Johnson feel about that? Do they miss it?
“For me personally, I think it’s OK by me,” Richt said. “When head coaches walk into schools, sometimes it becomes very difficult not to bump into this kid or that kid. And it just becomes very, very tough. I think in the past, most head coaches weren’t necessarily evaluating players [during the spring]. I think most we’re proving ‘we want you’ and all those kinds of things. It’s a non-contact period for me, and an evaluation period for our assistants. I think the assistants can do a great job with getting things done.”
And Johnson? “The kids come to our camps, and we see them. It’s not as big of a deal anymore with as fast as the recruiting process has moved up. A lot of times, you have to decide if you’re going to offer them before you get to see them work out in the spring anyways … If I had my druthers, I would like to go to the school in the spring. It creates an impression when you go to the school.”
Even though both coaches can’t be on road with their assistants in May, they know and appreciate the value of May evaluation period.
“We beat the bushes, making sure we’re seeing everybody we possibly can see in the state of Georgia … and, of course, in nearby states and wherever else somebody may have an interest in the University of Georgia,” Richt said. “You know, you see a lot of film and you can make judgments on film. But there’s nothing like seeing guys in person. We want to see the guy in person, and go talk to their coach, their counselors, their principals, and anybody else we can talk to … to find out more about them as a person and a student because that’s so valuable as well. Because the recruiting clock, I guess, has sped up to a degree, you want to have more peace about what you’re doing by getting to know more about these young men.”
UPDATE: Actually, Mark Richt will not be able to call recruits for two weeks, according to the Athens Banner-Herald’s Marc Weiszer. The two-week penalty, which ends on Monday, is due to an NCAA secondary violation for Richt publicly commenting on Josh Harvey-Clemons before his letter-of-intent was received and approved by UGA.
LATEST RECRUITING HEADLINES
WHEN DOES FOOTBALL SEASON START?
AJC’S INSTANT RECRUITING CLASSICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
Note: Inappropriate BLOG comments and personal attacks will NOT be tolerated. We love the lively discussions but hate-filled, harassing and irresponsible comments are unacceptable.