The Big Ten is headed south. After years of being known as the conference of tough Midwestern athletes, coaches are reaching out to recruits in far regions like never before. By and large those efforts are focused in the south as coaches seek to upgrade their team speed. ESPN.com looked at the growing trend:
With the weather being warm year-round, there’s a tremendous amount of speed, a tremendous amount of athleticism and that’s how you want to build your football team, with tough kids that are athletic,” Minnesota Coach Tim Brewster said. “In great numbers, there are those types of players in the south.”
As speed seemingly becomes the dominant factor in college football, Big Ten coaches look at the glut of talent in the south and head for warmer climates.
“They’re no dummies, they know where the speed is,” said Tom Luginbill, national recruiting director for Scouts Inc. “And you’ve got to have fast guys if you want to continue to win. If you asked them all, ‘Hey, if I had my druthers, where would I love to be able to have our pool of players come from?’ They can’t come out and say Florida and Georgia and Alabama, even though it may be true, because obviously, they’ve got relationships to maintain in the Midwest and within their own state.
“That doesn’t take away from the quality in the Midwest, but by and large, they’re all going to look down south and take a peek and figure out where is their time best spent.”
“The thing you don’t want to do is waste time,” Brewster said. “And the competition for players in the south and California and those areas is extremely intense. The biggest thing I talk to my coaches about, ‘Let’s make sure we’ve got a realistic opportunity to get the kid. Why would a kid pass 200 schools or whatever it may be to come all the way to Minnesota?
“There’s got to be a real reason.”
Coach Brewster’s last comment should really resonate with potential recruits. Coaches are willing to travel further than ever before to scout and evaluate talent, but if recruits don’t indicate any level of interest in all likelihood an opportunity will disappear. How can a recruit show interest? Fill out questionnaires, send out Scouting Reports, make extra phone calls and in general do anything to build relationships with college coaches. Give coaches a reason to recruit you!