Stephen Bridges

The Recruiting Board and who lands on it

Recruiting board, recruiting board, what is a recruiting board? Often, potential prospects hear the term “recruiting board” in reference to recruiting. But, what really is a recruiting board and how does it work?

“The recruiting board” could be a real white board full of names, piece of paper or some type of electronic database. The term really means, “A list of potential prospects” and their level of importance to a college football program in regards to recruiting.

Stephen Bridges
Stephen Bridges

So, how do college programs rate/rank players for their recruiting board? Various college coaching staffs go about recruiting different ways. There is no right or wrong way. Just the way, which benefits the staff as a whole, is the process that is used.

To generalize it, most schools have a certain number of scholarship offers they would like to extend either as a whole or per position. All depends on the school and if they have a priority on a position in a given recruiting class. The most common way is offers per position which can dictate how many kids receive offers from a specific schools and indirectly effecting how high a recruit can be on a recruiting board. Boards will vary according to class.

Take a look at this; University X would like to sign four defensive backs in February (National signing day is always the first Wednesday of February). SOME schools have a “rule of thumb” on the number of offers they extend. SOME do not. Let’s say, University X does. Their “rule of thumb” is four offers per number signees they would like to sign per position (4/1 ratio). So, when applying this rule, University X would only like to offer 16 defensive backs.

Before we move on, there are more variables that go into this, but we will say that this is a perfect recruiting world and all verbal offers are committable. Meaning, an offered prospect by University X, can verbally commit to University X and the University will honor the commitment until all scholarships allotted to that position are filled. In the example we are using the magic number would be four scholarship spots.

Now, the 16 kids offered will have a ranking. They will be placed on the “recruiting board” according to how much the football staff wants that prospect. Again, different schools, operate different ways. Most schools do a staff evaluation of every prospect that could possibly make it on the recruiting board or every prospect a staff has significant interest in. Lots of factors dictate where a prospect can end up if he lands on the board at all.

Continuing with our defensive back example, measurables, speed, feet, hips, tackling ability and more are factors that will indicate where a prospects is after evaluations. The terminology will differ, but most schools fit players into these categories as rising seniors:

Whichever category a prospect is placed in, will dictate where he lands on the recruiting board and how hard he is recruited by University X. IMPACT PLAYERS, a school will pull out all the bells and whistles; Mass mail, constant communication, press the visitation issue, university head football head football coach will be heavily involved, will visit player as often as possible within the rules, etc.

Recruiting boards adjust all the time. The best way to tell if a player is a hot prospect to a college coaching staff is by communications via phone, text or social media. The more often the communication, the hotter the prospect. Quantity and method of communication will depend on players’ class and NCAA football recruiting calendar.

Prospects receive early offers all the time, but those offers may not be committable once staff evaluations are done at different times of the year. A prospect could have fallen on the recruiting board or been removed all together for a number of different reasons including scheme, priority on other players, academics, character, reevaluation of ability, new coaching staff, etc. If you are a prospect and have received an early verbal offer and not sure the verbal offer extended to you still stands or is committable, call and ask the university coach recruiting you.

Allow me to stress this point; only a small amount (in the grand scheme of things) of prospects receive verbal scholarship offers prior to their senior year and the schools offering are division 1 or Division 1AA schools. The bulk of verbal and all official offers occur after the prospect is a senior in high school and aligning with the NCAA recruiting calendar.