You ask any of the top college football programs in the country about recruiting and they will tell you in a heartbeat that they would much rather deal with the high school coach or the parents of a prospect than the street agent, 7-on-7 coach or the “uncle” who really isn’t the uncle.
There was a time when a college football coach looking to recruit a prospect would call or visit the high school coach for information on the recruit. More and more these days, the first call to get info is going to a 3rd party who may not always have the best intentions. Third party operations have been existence for quite some time. When I was coming up there was the magazine called Super Preps that would rank recruits. There was also Parade Magazine, Blue Chips, etc. Those publications would provide pertinent information on recruits and tell you where they were located. However, the college coach looking to recruit the player still needed to call the high school coach to recruit the kid. Nowadays, your “street agent” will work it where they are the only contact if you want to get to the kid and some of them will bill you like a law firm. It’s a money making venture for the 3rd party and the player is sold off to the highest bidder. This is not a good look for college football recruiting.
I have spoken to colleges who will flat out avoid a certain area of the country because of the proliferation of street agents in that area. Some have taken a stand against those types but how long can they last doing that?
The major reason that street agents have multiplied like locust is because high school football coaches have not grown with the recruiting game. Many high school coaches simply feel like helping their athlete with recruiting is not their responsibility. They are under the false impression that if the kid is good they will be found or that there are so many companies out there willing to take the responsibility of recruiting over that I don’t have to get involved. This is where the mistake is made.
As the high school coach, you are the mentor for the player. You are the example. For a lot of the athletes you represent the only constant male figure in their lives. When you turn a blind eye or give less than your best effort to help them achieve their dreams you open the door for disaster. It is, for lack of a better term, a modern day “pimp and hoe” situation. If you aren’t telling your daughter how pretty she is, how valuable she is, how much she is worth then you run the risk of some unsavory character taking over when he’s willing to tell her those things.
High school coaches ignoring the recruiting game run the risk of losing their players to the street agents and third parties that call the shots for your athlete that is playing for you. Why? Because that street agent is doing YOUR JOB. Yes, recruiting is your job. It’s more now than just waiting for the school to call you and then talking to them. High school coaches have to be proactive. Reach out to the colleges. Use quality third parties to achieve this when necessary. Gather, maintain and manage the information on who is recruiting your athletes. Make it your job. If you are too busy, assign the job to a coach or staff helper. Whatever you do, don’t just ignore it.
Failing to assist your athlete with recruiting screams loudly “I don’t really care about you”. What is a teenager other than a bundle of dreams. If they want to play college football, you should do everything in your power to try and make that happen. If they can run your 110’s, push your sled, hit in your Oklahoma drill, get up for your 5:30 AM practices so that you can shine on Friday Night then you better be willing to go the extra mile to secure them an education. Ignore this information and open the door for the street agent to make all of the decisions regarding that athlete. That can range from staying out of practice, missing a workout to no longer attending your school.
Author: Chad Wilson
Chad Wilson is a college football recruiting expert and creator of the GridironStudsApp which allows high school football players to gain exposure to college football coaches and fans. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a former youth and high school football coach for over 15 years. Wilson’s older son Quincy plays in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and his younger son plays cornerback for the University of Florida. Email: email@example.com.