Welcome back to another installment of Coaches Corner, a new series from FootballScoop where coaches submit ideas to share with the rest of the coaching community.
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Today’s #CoachesCorner is courtesy of from former James Madison (FCS – VA) head coach and college coaching veteran Mickey Matthews. Coach Matthews is a three-time National Coach of the Year who helped two programs win national championships. As head coach at James Madison, Matthews won the 2004 FCS National Championship. In 15 seasons as head coach at JMU, Matthews’ teams won 109 games. After serving as defensive coordinator at the FBS level for two seasons, Matthews most recently coached linebackers for the Dallas Renegades of the XFL.
The number one characteristic a college football recruiter must possess is the ability to evaluate the players you are recruiting.
All schools fit into two categories; you are either a SELECTION school or you are a PROJECTION school. It is imperative you understand where you work. That being said, everyone in the business (regardless of your place of employment) must do a certain amount of PROJECTION.
Unless you work at a TOP 10 or 15 program, you better have the ability to PROJECT where a kid will fit in.
A mistake in evaluation will hurt your program - making too many mistakes will get your staff fired. The great Darrell Royal (I was told by a member of his staff) never worried about losing a recruit because he trusted his staff to make the correct evaluation. If the recruit went to a #1 rival, he would tell his staff that they were going to see the kid four times over the next four years. In those days Texas was essentially a SELECTION school.
If the staff had made a poor decision, everyone would see him 365 days a year. The youngster is not going anywhere unless he chooses to transfer - and the biggest problem I discovered was how unhappy the kid was going to be, which led to team morale problems.
Evaluation will make you or break you program.
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