Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757
K-12 school buildings are closed. Colleges campuses are closed. What now?
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
For high school students looking to play college athletics, there are a lot of questions to be answered since everyone is out of school at this time.
Trust me, college coaches are trying to come up with answers too.
As of now, the NCAA has college football programs shut down for outside visitors. College coaches and prospective student-athletes can’t see each other face-to-face. That means all recruiting is happening via phone, social media and video conferencing.
College football staffs are even holding their meetings by video conference. Colleges have had to scrap spring practice and spring games, so coaches are reviewing training and game planning with their athletes via video conference as well.
“It’s given me an opportunity to do a lot of different things,” Norfolk State head coach Latrell Scott said. “There’s a lot of conversation among head coaches that I know saying, ‘Hey, how do you manage your staff?’ Guys are sharing ideas. The NFL opened up their video vault so you can watch the all-22 film of a lot of NFL guys. There’s a lot of exchange of ideas and finding ways to rededicate yourself.”
UVA Director of Player Personnel Justin Anderson has his coaching staff competing with one another as they attack the recruiting process.
“(The coaches) send me a weekly plan of who they’re communicating with and how many guys they’re watching film on. We’ve got a few fun challenges we’re doing as a staff, to see who can find more players and those kind of things, to keep it kind of fun and competitive while we’re not in the office,” Anderson said.
High School athletes can’t visit the campus. Official visits for rising seniors, which were supposed to start in early April, can’t happen either. Colleges also need to lock in their numbers for graduate transfers and players transferring via the transfer portal. That’s at a dead stop too.
“This really is a challenge for the graduate transfers that are still looking for places,” UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “Spring ball is kind of the next window where players’ roles and place in their programs change a little bit, and so the grad transfer population is probably the one that’s been affected most immediately.”
Perhaps one of the biggest affects on recruiting may have been the decision by Governor Ralph Northam to close all K-12 school buildings in the Commonwealth through the end of the school year.
That means that students won’t be in the school buildings until September (or mid-August for private schools). College coaches won’t be able to hit the road and recruit Virginia high schools. IF college coaches can’t visit, there’s no Spring Evaluation period.
The VHSL may yet allow Spring Sports competition, and we’re not sure if that will affect the ability of high school football programs to hold organized practices between now and the end of the school year. If teams can’t organize until July at the earliest, it could have a major impact on every football program’s readiness for the football season. It also will affect every college prospect’s recruitment.
Just like college coaches, recruit757 is in the process of reviewing player film daily, catching up with high school and college coaches, plus we’re keeping up with athletes on their off-season progress.
We’ll keep you in the loop on developments related to these issues. Know that we’re working to keep Virginia football prospects in front of the college coaches who recruit here.
– Andy Hilton