The Evaluation Process

How a College Coach Evaluates his Potential Recruit

Alright, hop back in the coach's seat....
You have found a recruit through one of the multiple avenues a coach can identify his recruits.
You have seen his measurables and you have watched his highlight tape.  
You want to see more.

What's next?

Next, you are going to log into your account at

Illustration is Hudl. This is what Hudl sells to college programs.
They sell access to their database just like the other data service providers, on a regional basis.
Except this website has much more than just contact info and measurables.
As we mentioned before, Hudl has nearly every high school using their service.
With, a college coach can go in and view any film from that school.
Highlight tapes, full game tape, you name it.
Every single play is accessible.  
Your good ones and your bad ones.
Here is what it looks like on the coach's end. Every team, every player is searchable.


This is where you will evaluate your recruit’s skill level.  
He has a couple good highlights, but how consistent is he?
How does he play THROUGHOUT the game?
Does he have one big play every once in a while but looks lost half the time?
Does he loaf?
This is where a diligent athlete will separate himself from the pack.
AFTER watching his game film, you now have the information that you need to determine that you like the product he puts on the field.
It is important to note...
...not every college football program has access to this database; they must purchase access.
Any large program with a competitive recruiting effort will certainly purchase access to this database.
Definitely ALL Division 1 schools.

The Recruiting Board

The Recruiting Board is where you and your coaching staff will organize and visualize your recruiting efforts.
This large whiteboard will contain the names of every recruit you currently have interest in, separated by their position.
You will use it to prioritize the recruits you have, organizing them by your interest in them.
In today's age of technology, the recruiting whiteboard will simply be for visualization and strategic discussion with your staff.
The actual organization and management of the activities will take place in one of the recruiting and compliance softwares universities use to handle the logistics of such complex processes.
This is the same software where you will compile all the data that you purchase from one or more of the recruiting data service providers.
Here is a screenshot of one of those softwares and its powerful capabilities...


To fill your 2 open roster spots, you will probably identify about 10 potential athletes.
Of these 10, you will certainly have your favorites. 
You will reach out to all of them, whether that be via social media, in-person visits, phone calls or hand-written letters.  
You will want them to know you are interested.
When it comes to offering to host them on official visits, you will invite your top favorites that you think you have a good shot at landing.
When it comes to offering them scholarships, you will offer more spots than you have to give. Maybe 3 or 4 for 2 spots.

How do you prioritize your recruits?

    Desire - The athlete may fit all your criteria, but if he does not show any interest in your school, you will reciprocate.
    Grades - To even get on your recruiting board, an athlete will have to be academically eligible. For every school other than FBS programs, grades will impact the level of aid this athlete can get. Better grades will result in a better financial package, meaning you will have a better offer to give the athlete. It will also be cheaper on your scholarship budget. Now, if you are recruiting an absolute stud, as long as he is academically eligible, you will keep him high on your list.
    Football Skills - At the end of the day, this is the most important thing on the list. Can the kid play? Not only can he play NOW, how much do you think his skill set will GROW, as you will have him for 4-5 years.
    Height and Weight - If you are the coach at an extremely competitive school, this is where your search will start. If the athlete does not have the stature you are looking for, he will likely not be on your board.
    Leadership/Character - Through the multiple conversations/face-to-face meetings you have with your recruit, you will be able to judge his character. If he is not someone who would contribute to the overall culture of your program, you will not place him on your board.

As an athlete, how do you know where you stand on the recruiting board?

The athletes on the top of the recruiting board will KNOW that the staff is interested in them.  
If the recruiter has sent you a few emails or DMs, you may be on the board, but where exactly?
When those emails turn to phone calls and the phone calls turn to in person visits, you will know that you are high on their list.
If you receive an invite for an official visit, they want you. The scholarship offer is likely on its way.
It is important to know that you are always in competition with others for the same position.
That will not change once you get to college.
The great thing is, competition brings the best out of us.
Make the choice to turn your efforts inward and relish in the competition...or buckle under the pressure.