Larry Blustein

THE RECRUITING PROCESS: Do You Know The Real Score?

Larry Blustein
May 09, 2019 - 12:00 pm

As parents and athletes – many who are going through the spring recruiting process for the first time – this next week will get mighty interesting.

Like many things in this world, knowledge is key, and when it comes to the recruiting process, knowing exactly what questions to ask and who to ask for advice has become very important.

Let’s face it, there is good and bad in everything in our lives, but the one thing that helps us get through so much, is being able to judge things for ourselves, and when it comes to your child’s future, you can never know too much.

Instead of bringing you Our 3 For Thursday segment, where we give you a trio of prospects to keep an eye on – as spring starts to wind down, today - with our now 49 years of experience of being around every situation, we will give you some advice in this process.

First of all, your coaching staff at your school is the No. 1 starting point – no matter how many people tell you they can help in this process – the coaches who know your talent level and capacity in the classroom – have to be the first step.

While we understand that every high school coach is not the definitive answer, it has to be the starting point – no matter how many friends, relatives or those who believe they have your best interest in mind.

If the coaches are not the answer, the next group of people that you can trust, much of the time, are those who have been through this process – and have been successful. You can easily check someone’s history with recruiting. If they are NOT successful and are hanging on to you – they will bring you down100 percent.

Do not let the fact that these people know college coaches or take you on trips to schools cloud the reality that they have no reason being involved in the first place. If these people do not have a positive track record when it comes to recruiting and really placing athletes in schools, run the other way – no matter what garbage they feed you.

Buying into any service that claims they can get you a college scholarship is false. We have never watched anyone get an athletes a college scholarship. It just does not happen that way, again, no matter what anyone tells you.

No matter what they show you or have you listen to, while they may be able to tell a college to keep an eye on you, there is simply NO WAY they will secure a scholarship. That is 100 percent on the athlete to do – with talent and the ability to get it done in the classroom.

Last week, while at a practice in south Florida, we had the opportunity to talk with 11 colleges who were on hand for spring football. Posing many recruiting questions to all of them, several admit that they are scared to recruit this area of the country for the reasons we have talked about.

“You have to cut through these ‘street agent’ type of people who are doing the talking for these student/athletes,” one SEC coach explained. “Our head coach will never let us deal with any athlete that has ‘representation’ that is not their family, and you can take that to the bank.”

While the phrase “street agent” is seldom used, it is often referred to when describing people who believe that just because they coached many of these youngsters at the youth level and into high school, that they have the right to be the mouth-piece, and that often leads to talk of money.

While some will dispute this statement, believing that they are only doing the work that guardians or family members are not, it is proven over and over again that they are only looking out for themselves – and using the status of the student/athlete in question.

“I have watched high school coaches kick many of these people off campus, and suddenly the next day, the athlete is gone to another school,” one coach said. “They call it ‘securing the bag’ – where people associated with colleges promise these people financial rewards for pointing the athlete in the direction of colleges. Want to call me a liar? I have messages and copies of calls made that would make your head spin, and it’s not just here in south Florida.”

To say that everyone does it is false. All colleges do not pay for these kids to come – too many risks these days – and many talk and brag too much. We are not saying it isn’t being done, but you can guarantee that there is always going to be a “scorned lover” that will talk – and they talk loudly.

“The contact may not come directly from the college in question, but often via a huge fan that believes they are doing it in the best interest of their school,” Mike Thomas said. “As a parent who never knew much about this process, I saw the crap that went on firsthand, and how my stepson was used up with promises. That soured me beyond my greatest imagination, and I am not afraid to say it. It’s terrible that any of these people, away from the high school, are allowed to get involved with these young men.”

Again, while this is not an arrow that points at everyone, it still exists, and the only way that it won’t, is for more colleges to stand up and turn their attention away from a recruit that comes in with people making demands.

Because we have had the opportunity to see parts of 100 games live each year – along with countless camps, combines and 7-on-7 events from the Florida Keys to Pensacola – there are things that we hear from coaches, parents and athletes who have concerns about the process.

“There will always be someone or some group who will have something to say that will dispel that these things really go on, but those are the ones who have a major stake in what does happen,” Thomas explained. “We found out the hard way, but after going through it twice, my wife and I know the score – and nobody can tell us anything different about this crazy process.”

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each Monday night (7-8) on WQAM (560AM - https://wqam.radio.com/media/podcast/south-florida-high-school-sports-radio). For the past 12 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot about football recruiting!