Monday, October 1, 2012

Player Interviews for Media

As an assistant high school football coach told me last Saturday night, "the new age" in high school recruiting is now. Of course, many of you whom read this blog, realize that I am always guarding the high school college prospect with the media. Not just internet media, but all media. After games, interviewing players has been going on for years. Even being on the flatscreen or radio has been going on for a long time. No problem, but becareful what you say to a reporter.

Calling players on the cell phone or contacting a player through Facebook goes on all of the time. In fact, many years ago, I wrote recruiting bios on the players in the Midwest for Allen Wallace of Super Prep. He wanted me to be more aggressive with my questions to the recruits not only in Ohio, but in all of the Midwest states. Moreover, he told me not to worry about upsetting high school or college coaches. As you can guess, that lasted for a year. Well known football recruiting reporter, Bill Kurelic took my position.

A football recruiting reporter in Northeast Ohio did an interview two weeks ago with a quarterback in the Class of 2014. When the story came out, there were quotes about college coaches that were never made. There were other mistakes, too. My advice to the recruit is to be careful with the answers. If the recruit is unhappy with the story, refuse to do another interview with that reporter. Simple as that.

I guess I am reacting to two recruiting articles on a website that covers Ohio State University.
        1.  A recruit does not have to answer every question.
        2.  Do not compare your official or unofficial visits to other schools. That should be something you keep among your family and high school coach.
        3. Be careful commenting about college football coaches from any college program. If you do, blow them up and do not say anything negative to be made public.
        4. Let the reporter find out what different terms mean. If someone asks what a " non-committable offer," is, tell them to ask a college coach. That is what I did, when someone told me that he had a "preferred walk-on redshirt."
        5. Be careful about listing your three favorite schools. Be sure that all of the schools are recruiting you and that you do not forget a school who is really recruiting you. Again, show class and not disrepect a football program by what you say.
        6. After visiting a school, ask your dad not to gain recognition by saying something "stupid" about a program or a visit. Look what happen to Colt McCoy after his dad had to "pop off." A dad has already done that after a recent gameday visit.

Football recruiting reporters want to develop a relationship with a recruit or a recruit's parents. Good chance that the reporter will casually, and often,  remind a recruit to "break the news to him first," when he decides to commit. The more the recruit communicates with a reporter, the better the chance that this can happen.

Going through the football recruiting process can be one of the best times of a recruit's life. Try to keep everything in perspective. Use good judgment in what you say to be made public. Never forget - Recruiting is a business. Treat it that way.

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