The COVID-19 pandemic has changed college football forever. Sure, there will be a time where things go back to normal, at least for the most part. But there are other aspects of the game that will be permanently impacted by what has taken place in 2020.
One of those things could be recruiting and how it’s handled.
There have been obvious challenges in that area this season. It’s hard to build a relationship with a player or coach you’ve never met in person. There is difficulty in trying to sell someone on the atmosphere surrounding your university through a computer screen or over the phone.
It’s about being there in person. Imagining yourself on that campus. What it would be like to attend classes, go to practice and hang out with friends. But that’s just not possible with the obstacles in place right now.
It also might not be something that ever gets entirely back to normal.
Recruiting virtually also brings challenges for evaluating character and personality. Will a player fit with those already on the roster? There’s more of a trust factor involved when talking to the people in and around a player’s life — there has to be.
Paul Myerberg with USA TODAY wrote an interesting article about some of the current challenges in recruiting college athletes, and whether those challenges are here to stay.
Recruiting from home may not as effective as recruiting in person, but as long as everyone is doing it, the playing field seems even. Some coaches even enjoy it.
“This probably won’t be very popular with a lot of college coaches,” Liberty coach Hugh Freeze said, via the USA TODAY article. “I enjoy recruiting from here and not going away from home. I think it’s real possible that we could really change the recruiting calendar to where you might not have to go out as much.”
Sounds like a guy who supports the new change. Freeze won’t be alone either. The wear and tear on a coaching staff having to go on the road and recruit is one of the most grueling aspects of the job. Being able to eliminate that aspect altogether could have some appeal.
There’s also the cost-saving factor involved, which the article discusses at length.
College football has been forever altered by the pandemic. We just don’t know how much yet. We should have that answer soon, however.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.