High School Sports

Bi-City high school football coaches help players get noticed by recruiters

At the end of every football season, Central coach Jamey DuBose meets with his seniors. They talk about the season, and he asks them about their goals and intentions.

Do they want to continue to play football, or are they happy just going to college?

If the answer is the former, DuBose gets to work.

It's a similar story for the other high school coaches in the area, whose jobs only partially entail watching film, teaching players and making game plans throughout the season. As college recruiting has changed over the years, so too have their jobs.

DuBose describes his role in recruiting in three parts:

He's a listener. He sits with his players and allows them to explain their interests in academics and athletics, their difficulties in finding the right school and why certain ones aren't the right fit.

He's a counselor. He never tells a player where to go to school, but he does explain what different programs do well to help a player better understand the situation they may be entering into.

He's also a promoter, reaching out to programs to send highlight videos and get players he believes have a chance to make it at the next level noticed.

"I'm the middle man," DuBose said. "I'm the counselor to the players and say, you know, this might be what you want to look at. On the other side, I'm giving the info to the college coach and telling them what kind of kid he is. I'm constantly contacting coaches."

Most of those coaches are for programs players wouldn't typically think of. Players who will attend elite programs are picked out of the crowd earlier in high school at camps and likely already have their choice of where to go. Many seniors don't have those kind of opportunities, though, a fact DuBose said he has to be up front about.

"I explain to them that not all of them can play at Alabama or Georgia or Tennessee or wherever," he said. "I tell them they may be a great high school football player, but I have to be honest with them about what might be the best route for them."

A lot of the promotion coaches do has shifted onto social media, which has become yet another platform to interact in recruiting. DuBose said he doesn't use that as much, preferring to let his

players interact on that medium while he reaches out to colleges via email and telephone. Spencer coach Pierre Coffey, though, has commonly used Twitter to connect with coaches and distribute highlight film on his players.

"I use it as a platform for networking," he said. "To connect with college coaches that you wouldn't normally see in our area."

He gave one example in which he connected with a coach at Reedley College in California.

A coach from the Western side of the country would have been unlikely to recruit Georgia, unless it was for one of the highly-touted prospects. In this case, though, the player -- Tyrie Wicker -- found a match and now attends the school.

"It helps tremendously for the simple fact that all the Division-I, Division-II, Division-III, NAIA guys are on Twitter," Coffey said. "That's the purpose they use Twitter for, to make contact. As a high school coach, it gives me an edge. When they see I'm a coach, they usually follow me back. I'll send them a private message with our players' info and highlight film. Sometimes I just tweet out a player's highlights with his GPA and ACT. Sometimes I hear back from that. That's just the name of the game on social media."

However, the coaches prefer to make contact with their resources at the college level, it's a year-round job. Both DuBose and Coffey said it was the most rewarding part of their careers, though.

"It's a fun time to see the kid who maybe wouldn't have gone to school otherwise, and you know you were able to play a part in getting him there," DuBose said.

"I'm passionate about seeing kids get these opportunities," Coffey said. "To go on to school and use football as the avenue to do that. It's just one of the most enjoyable parts of my job."

David Mitchell, Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports

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