Texting is a non-stop part of this era of recruiting
TUSTIN, Calif. - Coaches, stop texting so much.
That was the message shared by numerous recruits last weekend here at the SUP7R tournament and it’s a delicate topic once again in the recruiting world.
Top prospects want to engage with coaches across the country and stay involved with the teams they’re most interested in with their particular recruitment.
They also don’t want to turn any coaches off - or burn any proverbial recruiting bridges - since coaches constantly are switching from one school to another.
But, after all, they’re also kids and they want some space, some free time.
Leave them alone - sometimes.
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“A coach is like, ‘Are you free for a call?’ like every second,” Fairfield (Calif.) Armijo defensive tackle Jericho Johnson said. “I just got home from school and a coach is trying to talk to me. It’s a blessing, but yeah.”
Everything in recruiting is a delicate balance. Prospects want to be recruited hard, want to be shown love, want to build relationships - sometimes from thousands of miles away - with college coaches.
Millions of dollars could be at stake. Depth charts need to be studied. Prospects and coaches have to be on the same page and that can only be worked out through regular communication.
But many of these recruits have 50-plus offers. Or they’ve “narrowed” their choice down to a top 20.
That means at least 20 position coaches, if not many others from each staff, are in constant communication. Phone dinging never stops.
The regular person wants to settle in after a busy day, watch their favorite shows, relax on the couch for a few hours and zone out.
Now imagine your phone constantly being blown up by coaches asking if you have a minute to chat. Or to incessantly trade text messages.
And in many instances, the recruit does not have any significant relationship with these coaches nor any serious interest in that particular school. They are kids, though, and don’t want to come off as rude or disinterested or get a bad rep.
Instead, they slog through the attention, minute after minute, day after day, Netflix and chill waits for another time.
Sometimes, it gets to be too much.
“One thing that bugs me are the text messages,” three-star receiver Malachi Durant said.
“I’ve always been a slow replier. I don’t want coaches to think I’m ignoring them but I just don’t look at my messages like that. My dad helps me run my Twitter, he kind of helps me with that, so when he sees the messages he’ll reply for me.”
No one is necessarily to blame here. Coaches have to recruit. It’s the lifeblood of every program. But there is a balance. Read the room. Develop personal understanding of each player and don’t spam inboxes with endless messages of little value.
Sometimes, more is better. But sometimes less is more. And some recruits are judging coaches - and their commitments - on how these things get handled.
Washington commit Landon Bell said: “For the most part, I enjoyed it but everything depended on how the coach was and that’s how I judged my recruiting process.”
Bell’s not the only one.