Friday, July 19, 2013

Football Recruiting: The Vast Unknown

Ok...I'm going to throw a LOT of information at you at one time. I'm going to give you what I know as a parent of two college football players who has been through this as well as a recruiting analyst who has been in the business since 1984. That said, there is a lot more to the recruiting game that you need to be versed on, as mentioned in this article as "do your research!"


Year in and year out, I get contacted by hundreds of parents and players about the entire recruiting process.........and the questions usually run about the same....."How can I get my son more exposure? Is my son good enough?" and on and on. This special is written to give some of what I have learned over the last 27 years years about the entire recruiting process from a football perspective. Others I'm sure have a better knowledge, others basically make a living off of a lot of the information that I hope to provide with this four-part series. I hope to inform all of you a little bit of what I have run across.......both the Do's and the Don't! Hope this helps!

First your son really a recruit?????

It's the best place I can think of to your son really a recruit? So how do you find this out? Is there some magical formula that tells you........YOU'RE A RECRUIT? No. When do you find out if your son is a recruit? Senior year? Junior year? Sophomore year? Earlier? My experience tells me that there really is no set are discovered EARLY, while others are found late......or your Late Bloomers if you will. So how can you get an evaluation?

So how can I get my son evaluated and by whom should it be?

My first and most important piece of advice is simple, yet is without question one of THE most important pieces in the entire recruiting to your son's High School coach. A High School coach is without question THE person who will in most cases give you an honest evaluation of your son's abilities, his physical strengths as well as his weaknesses. Your High School coach in most cases has been personally involved in the recruitment of other players and has seen first hand if your son has what it takes. Many coaches will talk to parents throughout the year about the entire recruiting process, and have the experience and knowledge to help guide you thru the process. It is imperative to rely upon your coach for advice on the recruiting process. Your son's coach is your number one source for recruiting information as well as for an honest evaluation! Your son's coach is one of the MAIN people that colleges and recruiters rely upon for information.......the coach is who these people talk to FIRST!

I have yet to find a High School coach that isn't interested in promoting their to which degree of interest of course varies from coach to coach. Some coaches will make and send out highlight tapes.....some coaches will work tirelessly in promoting kids whom they feel deserve a fair shot. Others might go further, others might not go as far.......but when a coach gets a request for information on your son, trust me they will ALL reply. So let's say that your High School coach thinks that your son is a recruit and that your son has some serious ability. Great! Now, is it all in the coaches hands? Nope! Not even close! You as a player/parent have some serious work to do! So get crackin!

At, we offer numerous opportunities for the players to get evaluated by myself and our coaching staff. The Elite Football Combine is one of the top combine events in the entire country, drawing more than 500 players to each event. Our evaluations are honest and we'll tell you where we feel your best suited in the recruiting game. And most importantly, we communicate either by phone or email with your son's high school coach. For more information on opportunities, email us at

Know the Recruiting Game.........Learn the Rules!

Most parents and players really don't know the rules! So how can you find out what the rules really are? When can a college contact your son? What is a "silent" period? Phone calls? The FIRST place to get information on the entire recruiting process is located at the NCAA website! This is an excellent source for all of the NCAA rules regarding everything about the recruiting process.......from when the NCAA rules determine when you are considered a recruited athlete and everything in between! It is imperative to KNOW THE RULES! It's YOUR responsibility!

Recruiting Services..........from free to major fee $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

This certainly becomes a sticky subject.......can a recruiter or a recruiting service really make a difference? Are those "Pay" recruiting services really worth it? How important is it to impress those "recruiting" gurus? What are the different type of recruiting services available? My experience tells me a few things........first off......let the buyer beware!

Recruiting Services...............what, why, and most importantly how much and is it worth it?

A prospective recruit will be besieged by many different type of services, all with the claim that "we can help your son get a scholarship!" Many of these services come at a some cases a HEFTY price tag! My experience? I have heard from many parents who have used various services.........some claim with success.....but in MANY cases it's almost impossible to judge if the service actually helped.

These "services" come in many various sizes and shapes.......some will charge you $25 dollars for a T-Shirt and they will also claim to put your son's bio on a list that "will be read by hundreds of colleges" while others offer a more "personalized" service. The more "personalized" services also can vary......many claim to help your son get more exposure and they too offer a "comprehensive" listing that is sent to many colleges and universities.

Best advice? Research! Many of these services claim to have helped "thousands" find scholarships.......just ask them for a list of those names. Ask for most cases, you'll either get a short list of "kids" that in many cases are relatives/friends of the service, or you won't get any names or references at all. Remember this folks.......if anyone could pay anywhere from $25 to $2,000 for a scholarship, then sign me up! Sign all of us up!

Now, as far as those "lists" that get sent out to the colleges......guess what? These either never get sent, or if they do get sent, they wind up in the shredder and the wastebasket! Any major college and university has staff that compiles a listing of all potential recruits, and the chances of your son getting noticed from these "lists" is a long-shot at best. Again, let the buyer beware. Play it smart. Do research. Do LOTS of research. Talk to your coach. Talk to other parents who have already gone thru the recruiting process. Learn as much as you can BEFORE you decide to fork over that hard earned money.......these "services" are more than aware that you want to do what's best for your son.....that is there "hook". Let the buyer beware! Remember, if any of these services can guarantee your son a scholarship.....go for it! Just get it in writing

coming....Part II: Develop a gameplan

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Top Running Backs Headed To The Southeast's Best Combine

It's not a secret that has the best combine in the Southeast! We're previewing the combine this week, taking a look at each position and some individual spotlights as well. Here's a look at the top running backs in the state - and they will be competing and showcasing their talents at this year's Elite Football Combine at Newberry College on April 30th. The Combine is open to the public and free for spectators. Combine Preview: Running Backs

Monday, February 14, 2011

Clowney A Gamecock, Herbstreet and Cowherd Whiners

With an announcement in which anticipation had kept the recruiting world, or most of it anyway, on the edge of their seats for the last few weeks, South Pointe High School defensive end Jadaveon Clowney, the number one prospect in the country, selected the University of South Carolina Gamecocks as his school of choice to further his career.

While many suspected the Gamecocks were the leader all along, I had
maintained that he was going to be a Gamecock and that decision had been made for a long time. So, this was no surprise to me. There is little more to discuss about Clowney right now, as we have reviewed, evaluated, and discussed the impact he could have on the South Carolina program for the past few months. What I would like to comment on is the situation with ESPN, who is apparently the God of the sports world and now trying to own the recruiting industry. I have no problem with their coverage of recruiting and that they want to get in on the action, as well. What I do have a problem with is when their "faces" like Kirk Herbstreet and Colin Cowherd shout their opinions of how there was way too much hype around this situation and it wasn't necessary. Cowherd said this morning, and I paraphrase, was that Clowney didn't need to hold press conferences because he was a kid. If it bothers Ohio's golden boy and Cowherd that much, TAKE IT UP WITH THE GUYS THAT SIGN YOUR CHECKS! Your bosses at the
"mother ship" (or is it the Death Star?) are the ones who created this monster, fed it throughout the process, and then capitalized with the finale live showcase. You can't have it both ways...if there is too much hype around the "seventeen year old kids," QUIT VISITING THEIR CAMPUSES AND QUIT WRITING AND TALKING ABOUT THEM.

I, for one, will continue to give the kids the recognition they deserve.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Who Shot JR? Err..I mean, Where Is Jadaveon Clowney Going?

Don't want to age myself here, but this hole "Clowneygate" reminds me of the "who shot JR" from the old "Dallas" series. I get mutliple emails and texts every day wanting to know the answer to the biggest question on world of recruiting at this very moment - where is Jadavion Clowney (the top prospect in the country) going to play his college ball. I've maintained all along that I feel Clowney is a Gamecock and I think he's had his mind made up for a long time.

I base my recruiting opinions on the relationhsips that I've developed with these kids throughout their high school career. I think that the continual success of the South Carolina program is undeniably a factor. But there is much more to it than that. Life is about relationships and if you weigh that among the schools, the Gamecocks definitely have the edge there, with the Dixon brothers commitments, Devonte Holloman, who played his senior year with Clowney, and Stephon Gilmore, who has a strong on-field/teammate relationship with Clowney. When Roderick Byars committed to Oregon over SC, that gave me confirmation that Clowney was an SC guy and Byars already new it. There is no love loss between the two and for Byars to walk away from an SC offer told me there was more than what was meeting the eyes.

Projection: South Carolina.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2012 DE Visits Georgia Tech This Weekend

Bamberg-Erhardt defensive end Martin Aiken has seen his stock explode in the past several weeks. Today, the 6-3, 245lbs stalwart is headed to Georgia Tech for a visit with the Yellow Jackets. This past Monday, Virginia Tech joined in on the sweapstakes for the 2012 prospect with an offer. "Tennessee offered me first about three weeks ago," said Aiken, "and I also got North Carolina last week on Monday, South Carolina offered on Friday and then also offers from Wake Forest, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Illinois and NC State."

Georgia Tech is his first visit. The big man had over 100 tackles, 36 for loss and 13 sacks while earning All-State, all conference and all-area honors.

Thirty Top Players For 2012

30 For '12...The evaluation process is well underway, with more than 300
players on the "Watch List" right now. Basically, what that means is, we - and by that I mean me, myself, and I - will go through that list of players' films and evaluate based on the criteria that I use for each position. If you ever wonder what that criteria is, check out one of my film eval articles or either just email me and I'll tell you.

Back to the 30 for '12. As of right now, out of the films I've been through for 2012 (a little over 100 so far), these are the top thirty of that group - in alphabetical order. If you recognize that a name is missing that you feel should be there, it may be that I simply have not gotten to his film yet. So, this list WILL change between now and the end of Spring. I will try to  update it weekly as I go through film and new guys move onto the list, pushing others off of the list. When all is said and done, we will have the Top 100 ranked. 

Despite inevitable impending changes to the list, there are some fantastic players listed here. The one thing that I've realized with this first set of film breakdowns is that the 2012 Class is going to be better than I initially anticipated. As I always say, South Carolina's top players are as good as any other state's top players in the country. We may not send 200 to DI-A schools, but we have well over 100 playing on Saturdays from every class and for a state the size of ours, that is impressive. And on any year, I'd put our Top Ten players up against any Top Ten in the country. 

I will begin to do player breakdowns and release individual evaluations and position evaluations this week on Until then, I've made a few random notes on this list.

Random Notes On This List

  • Shaq Roland (Ath) of Lexington and Quinshad Davis (WR) of Gaffney are the two biggest sure hits on this list. Either of those two, as of right now, could be the state's top player heading into the 2011 football season. 
  • The Running Back list is going to be strong. With Torray Amlett(Ridgeland), Dondre Brown (Hampton), Kendric Salley (Williston-Elko), Eric Boyls (Bluffton), D.J. Goodman (Greenwood), Blake Hayes (Wade Hampton), Shakeem Wharton (Byrnes), Raymond Smith (Dorman), Brandon Quattlebaum (Dutch Fork), Devon Howell (Airport), and fullback Virgil Smalls (Goose Creek), this list is outstanding. And we're not even done with evaluations yet!
  • Offensive lineman group lacks depth right now but has some good one's at the top. Patrick Destefano of Dorman leads a top heavy list of offensive trenchmen.
  • Bryson Washington (ath) from Ninety-Six has been the best surprise for me. He is a 6-4, 190lbs athlete playing both sides of the ball and is a fierce competitor. He's a player with a definite shot at the Top Ten spot.

Again, I will begin releasing individual evaluations, film evaluations, and position breakdowns THIS WEEK on Those will be premium content items for Members Only. I recommend giving us a try with the SEVEN DAY FREE TRIAL. If you don't like what you're seeing, cancel and no charge. If you do like it, stay on the team and get the best high school sports and recruiting information available in the state for about 33 cents a day. If you try the Ultimate Ticket annual subscription, you'll be paying about 27 cents a day.

With the trial, you'll see that the benefits of membership include unlimited network access on Rivals, members-only news right here on, our premium message boards packed with information that no one else gets.

Class of 2012 Top Players




Ah Ching, Atuma



Aiken, Martin



Brown, Chris



Brown, Dondre


Wade Hampton (H)

Brown, Jovontae


Calhoun County

Burrell, T.J.


Goose Creek

Davis, Quinshad



Destafano, Patric



Dukes, Savon



Geohaghan, Ronald



Goodman, D.J.



Goodman, Justin



Hall, Damar



Hayes, Blake


Wade Hampton

Henry, Phillip



Hicklin, Tay


South Pointe

Irick, Mark


Calhoun County

Jones, Oliver



Lawson, Shaquille


D.W. Daniel

Leamon, Javarius



McCollough, JJ


Nation Ford

Meredith, Justin


T.L. Hanna

President, Gimel



Quattlebaum, Brandon


Dutch Fork

Richardson, Montel



Roland, Josh



Roland, Shaq



Salley, Kendrick



Smalls, Virgil


Goose Creek

Smith, Kwinton



Smith, Raymond



Tankersley, Cordrea


Silver Bluff

Washington, Bryson



Wharton, Shakeem



Williams, Demetris



Wright, Tony



Friday, January 28, 2011

Recruiting Blog News and Notes

Guys, I have to extend an apology for the "slowness" of the blog this week. It has been crazy trying to wear two hats in the recruiting process - one as the parent of a prospect and one as a recruiting analyst. The two sides of that world are very different! We had a couple of good (and final!!! yay!!) visits and the commitment has been made! One of my babies will be off to the collegiate turf next season!

A Few Of Jacob's Highlights (what can I say? I'm a proud daddy!)

So, now back to work for me this weekend.

I want to get back to finishing up the 2011 film evaluations releases, as well as begin releasing the 2012 film evals on the players that I've already managed to see. I can tell you this about the 2012 is going to be better than I originally thought. A couple of very pleasant surprises jumped from my "watch list" of 300+ players to the "Top Thirty." Keep in mind, that top 30 is not in ranked order yet; that said, I can tell you this much: from what I've seen so far, Shaq Roland (Ath) of Lexington or Quinshad Davis (WR) of Gaffney are going to be hard to beat out for that top spot in that class.

Keep in mind, beginning Sunday night, I'll be hammering tidbits of recruiting information as it comes in. Most of the Top 30 from 2011 are already committed, so it won't be earth shattering news. Some interesting developments from this past week were Roderick Byers of Northwestern committing to Oregon,  and North Carolina and LSU trying to get in on the Clowney sweapstakes. Manning's Phillip Dukes plans to announce his commitment on Monday and I think that could have an impact on Byers' already-made decision. I personally think if Dukes, who would be an oversign at Clemson, commits to South Carolina, then Clemson could possibly offer Byers and have a very good chance to flip him. Clowney, in my opinion, is still a South Carolina guy. There are several things that make me think that, a couple which I can't really talk about in an open forum, but I really think the Gamecocks have a large lead with him.

A couple of events to stay on...LIVE RECRUITING CHAT...I'll have a live Chat on Tuesday night at 9:00 PM...if I can get the chat software loaded properly, it will be hear on the blog; if not, it will be on the frontpage of Eitherway, its a freebie and should be a lot of fun...I've asked a couple of kids(Prospects) to join us and maybe another surprise guest or two. The SECOND event will be the NATIONAL SIGNING DAY SHOW on 107.5 The Game. We will go on at 9:00am and go until 12:00 noon; Jacob will be signing at 12:15, so I've got to get over to the school quickly! If you're out of the listening area, you can listen live online at and there is also an app available for some of the smart phones (information on that at the website).

I really would like your input, guys. Email me and let me know what YOU want to see in addition to what we've got planned for the recruiting news. Email me at