Ready to Recruit in Person, College Coaches Move Toward Normal
Some prospects are on the verge of storming schools once the dead period is over, seemingly as determined as their suitors to make up for lost time. Players can sign for the 2021-22 school year in most sports until August 1, and many rookies for years to come are looking to the early signing periods which have become increasingly popular and begin as early as November 2021.
Like the coaches, the players and their parents said travel to campuses was especially crucial to sorting out their plans.
“They matter a lot because I won’t cut any schools or make a decision until I have made my visits,” said Jazian Gortman, a South Carolina point guard who is one of the nation’s most sought-after male basketball players.
“I can see how the environment is, the campus, the locker rooms, the gymnasium,” said Gortman, who plans to visit about half a dozen schools in the coming weeks. “I can meet some of the coaches, I can find out more about the coaches and how they coach.”
Of course, some elements of recruiting in the pandemic era, like video calling, are likely to persist, especially as this generation of prospects has grown up shrouded in technology. Dain Blanton, the Southern California beach volleyball coach, said choosing the right medium for a court may just be the new challenge in “the coach’s art of finding as much information as possible about the field. recruit”.
“You’re recruiting and you’re trying, in a way, to woo this athlete,” Blanton said. “You can love a Zoom meeting. You may like an in-person meeting. One may wish to return to university simply because he has not made an official visit when another may have already seen him.
Likewise, coaches, many of whom are eager to report they have been vaccinated, know they can face months of navigating a thicket of health regulations imposed by their schools, as well as local governments, states. and the families of the recruits, even as the pandemic recedes. .
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