EagleAction - Adjusting to todays recruiting climate
football Edit

Adjusting to todays recruiting climate

Boston College's football program is taking an old school approach to recruiting, but even an old school program will face the new realities of the process.
In Steve Addazio's first two recruiting classes the Eagles suffered just one decommitment. Whether we're talking about a prestigious program or an aspiring program; one that's succeeding or one that's struggling, that's almost a miracle in this day and age.
There are reasons for that.
The staff deserves credit for playing up the family angle with the "Be a Dude" campaign and making sure all of their commitments were good friends with one another. It helped that early commitments came from Massachusetts, New Jersey and areas not far off. That helped get players on campus more frequently, and getting a kid on campus is key to keeping him on board.
But even BC's Florida commitments have held firm. The staff has done a good job of getting those players to visit, too. Just not as much, understandably.
Another reason BC's classes have held steady? Simply the type of kid BC recruits. To be frank, BC is recruiting from a pool of players that, on average, are looking for the right academic fit more than just a great football program. A kid that picks BC up front generally knows what he's picking and it's not just about last week's crush.
Still, the Class of 2016 is proving to be a little more stressful. That's not something that should cause consternation. After all, BC is gaining commitments from players they really like. And the one "decommitment" was really a situation where the parting was mutual.
Situations with Danny Dalton, Bryce Morais and Anthony Brown are illustrating that new trends towards earlier commitments are also leading to more drama with committed players, and the fact that no school "lays off" other schools' commitments is leading to every single assistant coach watching their back, so to speak.
Morais maintains that he's committed to BC and said he's moderately confident in his choice. He will visit Tennessee, although he actually prefers the ACC to the SEC, and he recently said North Carolina was still in play.
That's not all too different than the approach taken by Dalton.
Nor is Anthony Brown's lack of certainty regarding future visits. It's possible he could still visit Virginia Tech.
Some programs take a blanket policy of disallowing visits to other schools, if a player is committed to their program. That obviously creates some obstacles, particularly in this day and age with so many other schools allowing it.
The fact is, not every situation is identical. It has become socially acceptable for committed players to visit other schools. At least publicly the players can always fall back on the rationale that they are making sure they're making the right decision, or even better, that they were visiting with a teammate or a friend to show support. In reality, oftentimes those visits are for very different reasons. Sometimes there's loyalty to an assistant coach or maybe there's genuine interest in another school.
In the cases of Morais and Brown, BC's coaches are practicing patience. For one, they're really good players that were at the top of the recruiting board, and those players always have a little more leash, regardless of what program we're talking about. But Dalton was a really good player, too.
One other difference could be the confidence about holding onto their commitments relative to their confidence about Dalton at the time. He was also an in-state recruit. When it comes to players in New Jersey and especially Georgia, it's a little tougher to fault someone for visiting another school.
Communication is essential, too. Morais has been open and up front with the BC staff and in interviews about his plans and his status. Brown has been remarkably candid, perhaps even to the consternation of a few.
Each coaching staff and each program will have to make their own decisions regarding policies for committed recruits and their expectations for said recruits. Ideally, local commitments will visit frequently, buy in entirely and visit no other programs. BC's coaches have a real desire to send a unified message that their classes are solid. It's worked so far. Every year is different to some degree.
Most of the time, however, these "policies" are really day by day decisions that hinge on which recruit we're talking about. The world is often too complicated, and the recruiting world today is far too fluid, for a one size fits all solution to some issues.
The Class of 2016 is unique on several fronts for BC. It will be smaller, so it's more about evaluation and making sure this or that player really is option number one or two. There may be few remaining in-state prospects to look at. There aren't obviously candidates from Florida, yet, to fill up the class as there were last year. But in Connecticut there's still an ample amount of talent to help fill spots with.