College Coach’s Perspective: Football Edition
The latest edition of the “College Coach’s Perspective” blog series features the number one ranked sport in the U.S., American Football.
The recent growth and importance of video in high school football has been astonishing. Video and film have been used for decades in the scouting and recruiting of future college football players. But in the last 10-15 years, football recruiting videos became the rule rather than the exception. The need to centralize and organize these videos for college coaches was becoming more important, and more companies began to sprout up and take the role of the “one stop shop” to view every athlete’s recruiting video all in one place.
During this time, All Star Video Sports continued to provide recruiting videos to individual athletes, but remained true to providing the higher quality, premium video to recruits. As a result of All Star and other small businesses focusing on providing the higher quality video over the larger quantity of video to college coaches, we began to see a clearer division of services in the recruiting video industry.
This brings us to the college football coach and how they view recruiting videos today. We spoke with Larry Wilcox, head football coach for Benedictine College (Atchison, KS). In 36 years as the head coach at Benedictine, Larry has led the program to an overall record of 253-135, to twelve NAIA Football Championship berths, and received Heart Coach of the Year award four times.
“Recruiting videos are essential for athletes. They help show me what you can do…” said coach Wilcox. “I receive around 200-300 recruiting videos per day in the winter, around 50 per day during the summer. I just got three new videos from athletes in the last five minutes!”
We asked, “What is the best thing a recruit can do for themselves as they are looking to obtain a college scholarship, in relation to recruiting videos?” Coach responded, “Athletes need to pick out eight to ten schools to send their video to, and stick with those schools. They need to be selective and know who they are sending their videos out to. They need to be realistic about where the real opportunities are there for them. Sending a short personal note to that school or coach is always helpful to the athlete, because they are showing real interest in playing for that program.”
Justin Berna of Avila University (KCMO) has been the head football coach at Avila for the past four years. In his short tenure at Avila, his teams have broken 25 school records and he has produced 51 All-Conference athletes. Coach Berna had a great amount of insight into the discussion of football recruiting videos. “In terms of having a recruiting video, football is a sport that it is very important to have one. Recruiting videos are very helpful.”
Coach Berna went on to talk about recruiting video services; “I get about 40-50 emails from various recruiting video services a day. I delete most of these. From November until January, it is insane how many emails we get from recruiting video services. What I watch for are emails specifically from the kids.” When asked what coach looks for most in a video, he responded, “Can you show yourself doing different things? The first five clips better not be terrible, I will be turning the video off if they are not good. Each athlete better catch our attention quickly. I would say on average I will watch a video for around two to three minutes.”
Both coach Wilcox and coach Berna’s responses were interesting to note. They emphasized recruits taking the time to seek out those colleges that they are actually interested in. Also, sending out a recruiting video to thousands of colleges and teams is not necessarily always the best course of action for a recruit. Making sure you are smart about who you send your video too, in addition to the way the video is received is critical for any athlete trying to get recognized.