Thursday, February 01, 2007

Cell Phones & Signing Day

by Phil Bennett

With Signing Day coming up, I get a lot of questions about what this time of year is like for a coach. I’ll admit that this is a stressful time, but the majority of the work has been done already. When it comes to recruiting, the visit is the key.

When we get a kid on campus, we try and show him everything – the academic stuff, the athletic stuff, the social stuff. It’s all important. This is your big chance to connect with a kid. When they leave, you’re always worried that you missed something and then you’re putting out fires because other schools may point out different things. You have to constantly check in with kids to see how’re they’re doing. This is how, by the way, I completely blew out a cell phone last week. Honest to God, I talked on it so much, it overheated and broke. I had to get a new one!

Once you get a kid to commit, you really need him to tell other coaches that the “race is over.” The problem is, coaches don’t always listen. They’ll come back to a kid, try to get him to rethink his decision – “Well, you know, they’ve got this kid at your position and he’s only a sophomore… You’ll never play there…” and so on and so on. When it comes down to it, a commitment is just words, so that’s why you have to recruit them as hard at the end as you do at the beginning. As a coach, you can never relax – and that’s why Feb. 7 can’t come soon enough!


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