With a year-long pause on recruiting set to be lifted on June 1, coaches will hit the road recruiting after missing some vital evaluation time on some of the nation's top players set to graduate in the 2022 and 2023 classes. That will present some really unique scenarios that could direct the future of programs right in front of our eyes.
James Franklin was about asked about recruiting at camps during his presser yesterday, and how important they are this year after not being able to do any last summer. Someone vocal about his passion for how recruiting impacts his program, Franklin's response spanned a few minutes and he got into some interesting details behind his thought process moving forward in an unprecedented time.
"For us, the value in the camps isn't really in this year, it's identifying some of the young talent for the following year, is typically how the camp model helps you. That will obviously be different this year because there are so many guys out there that you haven't seen in person."
That led into Franklin sharing a bit about how he keeps recruiting strengths and weaknesses in mind when building his staff.
"It's just like anything else, you've got some coaches that are really good in the evaluation process, and you've got some coaches that are really good in the acquisition process of getting young men and families very comfortable that Penn State is the place that they need to come. Obviously, your strongest ones are the ones that can do both - identify and build those relationships."
Franklin notes that there are also guys that are really good at recruiting their position, have relationships with key high school guys all across the country, or can dominate a specific city or area of the country.
He goes on to share the two sides of recruiting, and while one is gets more attention because of the notoriety it brings with fans and recruiting services, the often overlooked side is just as valuable.
"I guess like any business, there are two ends of recruiting, and one end is what people mostly focus on - which is getting the 'five-stars' or the 'four-stars' but, just as valuable, just like any other industry, is trying to reduce, or eliminate the mistakes," Franklin shares.
"So it's not just getting the five-star, it's not taking the right four star, or not taking the right three-star. Or, it's finding a two-star or a three-star that people don't know about who are going to be a five-star when it comes to production, or a four-star even."
"There is value in both, but those are all the different kinds of things that you're looking for and you've got assistants that are really good in one or two of those areas, and you've got some assistants that are really good in two or three of those areas and you're also trying to compliment that."
"So maybe the guy that isn't as good at identifying, but is really good at acquiring, you've got your recruiting staff that can help with that."
That answer shines a light on the intricacies of building a staff at the college level. Coaches have to find a delicate balance of so many things when hiring from scheme and effective teaching, to personality types and overall "fit," to the many different types of recruiters that Franklin outlines.
When you step back and look at it in that light, it becomes so much easier to appreciate the coaches who have built top-notch coaching staffs over the years.
See more from Franklin in the clip.