On June 26, college football recruiting entered a dead period, a time in which communication between college coaches and high school players is not permitted. Despite the dead period, which lasts until July 9, count Central’s Jamey DuBose and other high school head coaches out from those who get a break during that time.
“It goes dead between the coaches and players, but I never go dead,” DuBose said.
DuBose explained what the dead period means for his work. High school and college coaches are still in constant communication, sometimes about the players’ plans for July. At a certain point next month, the player can go to schools for workouts on what is considered unofficial visits, so planning beforehand becomes important.
DuBose’s summer may remain hectic during this so-called dead period, but at this point, it’s just par for the course at Central.
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In DuBose’s estimation, January, April and May are always his busiest months. The spring recruiting season was a particularly wild one for DuBose, who is closing in on his fourth season as Red Devils head coach. He said there were about five to eight coaches in his office each day recruiting a number of Central players.
“At times, I might have five or six coaches sitting in (my office) at one time asking questions or me going over recruiting lists or (sharing information on players),” DuBose said. “It may be where I’m talking to a coach and two or three coaches are standing outside in the hallway waiting.”
Central has a number of players on major colleges’ radars, but the attention has been raised even higher than usual thanks to rising senior Justyn Ross.
The 6-foot-4, 197-pound Ross is considered the top player in Alabama and among the top wide receivers in the entire nation. As a result, many teams are working to win Ross’ attention, which DuBose explained they often attempt to do through him.
“When you’ve got a guy like Justyn who’s a sweepstakes-type guy or a lottery-type guy, those coaches that are in his top five, they’re going to constantly be talking to me,” DuBose said. “They’re going to call and say, ‘Hey, how’s Justyn doing?’ ‘Hey, is Justyn doing OK?’ They just want me to maybe go (to Justyn) and say, ‘Hey, so-and-so called today. They were asking about you.’ They look for every angle where they can keep their name in his head as much as possible.”
DuBose shared a story about Ross’ recruitment from the spring that particularly stood out.
During Central’s first spring practice, DuBose said coaches from three or four ACC schools and around five SEC schools were on hand, which is not out of the ordinary for a top-tier recruit. What was unusual was just how long they lingered as Ross went through various drills.
“Usually a recruiter from your Power Five Conference schools will come in, come to the field, watch practice, get the information and dart out of there,” DuBose said. “They all stayed until Justyn got on the bus. They never talked to him or said anything to him, but it was like they all wanted him to see they were going to stay until he left the field. It was like a I’m-not-leaving-until-you’re-leaving deal.”
DuBose said he’s coached several talented players but had never seen anything quite like the gaggle of coaches peering at Ross. DuBose chuckled at the thought and offered up an analogy for the spectacle.
“It was almost like when you liked a girl back in the day,” DuBose said. “I’m not going to leave until she leaves, you know. They were all just standing at the fence. I was the last one on the field, and when you saw him enter the bus to leave, you saw everyone else depart.”
DuBose will continue helping his players get recruiting through the football season, but he explained that the noise that surrounds the process will die down in Phenix City shortly.
“Once we hit late July, we’re about Central football,” DuBose said. “I try to tell our guys at the beginning of July, ‘For those of you who know, let’s go ahead and get this thing decided if we can. We don’t want to lose the offers we’ve got, so let’s get it clamped down and let’s get into the football season. Let’s worry about Central.’”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports