Coaches must evaluate character too in recruiting

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm •  Published: February 5, 2013
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Coaches are still not allowed to make any contact during certain periods and are limited in how much time they can spend with players in person. The head coach gets only one off-campus visit with a recruit.

So they have to get creative.

"You go into the schools - I'll go to the janitor and I'll ask the janitor about the young man," Freeze said. "I ask the cafeteria workers and the guidance counselor. And you get a good feel when you have a year to recruit a kid and you see him in every different type of environment, whether it's in the home setting or on our college campus. It's all types of scenarios.

"If you have a year to recruit a kid, you've got a chance to be pretty accurate in the evaluation of his character."

Flood will talk to the athletic director's secretary, a teacher - even a random student in the hall. He'll pull aside a kid and ask if he knows the recruit: "What do you think? Is he a pretty good guy?"

"Find the people that aren't associated with athletics," Flood explained. "You'd be amazed. They give you their opinions pretty quickly. You can usually read their body language."

Schools like Rutgers that recruit more regionally than nationally may have a bit of an advantage when it comes to getting to know a player, Flood said, because the local kids are able to make more unofficial visits. But even from afar, modern technology can tell you quite a bit about a person.

Take heed, Facebook-frenzied teens. College coaches are monitoring your social media feeds.

"You can find out a lot about these young people," Flood said. "They're not as guarded as you think they should be."

___

AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo and Sports Writers David Brandt and Pete Iacobelli contributed to this report.

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