Making the right impression on a coaching staff is an extremely important part of the recruiting process. Recruits make impressions in a lot of different ways; by sending a quality DVD and performing well at a combine or camp are a few of the better known mediums. However, one of the underrated ways to make a solid impression is the unofficial visit. Coaching staffs take these visits very seriously because they know its an incredible opportunity to make a first impression.
Tennessee Football Coach Lane Kiffin is going to great lengths to make a memorable impression at their Junior days.
More than 100 high school players, including several of Georgia’s elite prospects, attended Tennessee’s Junior Day. Things started off rather routine. “It was just like your normal Junior Day, with coaches and other people from the college talking,” Brookstone tight end Brian Vogler said. “You could see heads bobbing, with eyes falling a little bit. But the second they split us up from the parents, it got so much more intense.”
The prospects were led to the film room, where Kiffin thanked the recruits for making the trip and considering the Volunteers. “Then this other coach [assistant] got up there and said that Tennessee takes special teams very seriously, that it’s a big key to winning,” recalled Northview defensive lineman Denzel McCoy, who has 31 early scholarship offers.
“That coach said they get real fired up on special teams and yelled for everybody to ‘Get up, get on your feet, and get fired up about special teams.’ Then this other coach ripped off his shirt Superman style. It was crazy.”
After things appeared to calm down, Tennessee recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron gave a rousing pep talk, which caused the whole scene to repeat itself, only more intense. “The last time, everybody was hyped up and feeling it,” Loganville tailback Storm Johnson said. “People were jumping all over the place. It was rocking. You should’ve seen it. Even the podium got knocked over.”
The point I want to make to recruits isn’t to rip off your shirts when you first meet a coach, but to be prepared to stand out in their own way. Take as many visits as possible and conduct yourself appropriately on those visits. Coaches are trying anything possible to stand out, and recruits need to do the same.