With National Signing Day just around the corner for a number of programs, I decided to dedicate this week’s podcast to a topic related to recruiting.

This week, on Beyond the Whistle, Lakeland University (D-III РWI) head coach Colin Bruton and I chatted about how the Lakeland football program has managed to have success, despite having to recruit to a facility and playing surface that was long ago surpassed by other programs in the area. In fact, their field was in such bad shape that they had to play their final two home games of 2016 at a high school field because theirs resembled a swamp and conditions were unplayable.

Bruton holds nothing back as he lays out the blueprint that has worked for the Lakeland program, as the Muskies have went 11-1 in conference play over the past two seasons, with one outright conference title and a shared title in 2016, with two trips under Bruton to the NCAA Division III playoffs. The Lakeland model starts with identifying their type of kid first and foremost by being upfront and honest from the start to identify the type of kids who love the game more than shiny new facilities and a turf field.

By the fall, Bruton and the Lakeland program will be playing on a new turf field and their stadium is undergoing a $2.8 million facelift, but Bruton points out that the new digs won’t change their approach a bit.

Listen to the full podcast below, and subscribe via iTunes here.