Coaches in the Upstate adjust to new ways of recruiting during pandemic

Local News

CENTRAL, S.C. (WSPA) – In a world without a pandemic, a high school football coach would be using the spring and summer to help his players get exposure by meeting with college coaches and recruiting agents and preparing those who had offers for the next level.

Daniel High School football coach Jeff Fruster said they’re trying to do all the same things, but it’s had to look a lot different.

“We’re still doing the same tactics, but now we’re having to do them in a digital era,” Fruster said. “It adds a little more flare to it. A lot of Twitter messages, a lot of emails, so you just, you just learn to adjust.”

For a college coach, there’s a lot more on the line.

A good recruiting period has the potential to set up a team for years of success.

Clemson Basketball assistant Dick Bender says they’re utilizing Zoom and social media, but it’s hard to tell who an athlete really is without seeing them in person.

“The two things that I think are most impacted is the physically live evaluation part where you can see a kid’s body language, how they react to when a play happens, when a bad play happens, how he reacts when a coach is trying to coach him,” Bender said.

Along with that, their recruits are missing the true campus experience.

“I think the biggest thing is not having kids being able to visit your campus. Clemson is a unique place with a family feel, the people are phenomenal and that’s a huge selling point,” Bender said. “If we can get kids on campus, we usually have a good chance on getting them.”

Both coaches also said that talking to recruits and parents more on the phone may be something that could stick around even after things are back to normal.

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