Wednesday kicks off the first of three four-day recruiting periods as college coaches will evaluate prospects at NCAA certified events from coast to coast.
Last year’s July calendar offered two 10-day long evaluation periods that understandably often resulted in listless play from fatigued prospects as each period ended, making this year’s format an upgrade. Many of the prospects on the short lists of the respective colleges have been identified and evaluated during this year’s new re-opened live weekends in April, and July will be a second extended opportunity for the players to be evaluated.
Still, the new format is not without flaws. Programs with less extensive travel options and budgets are facing tough decision to be the most effective in recruiting the period. The events that are shorter in length will no doubt have budgets come into play as coaches decide to evaluate at one event for the entire period, or switch spots if they have the budget and travel ability to do so.
A mix of individual camps and team events should allow for extended viewings of recruits by the coaches, provided they have wisely planned their time and budget to maximize evaluation opportunities. While it remains to be seen, more than likely the quality of play will improve as recruits will be fresher and not on quite the marathon travel and play schedule as they were in years past.
There may also be some unforeseen consequences of the new schedule, but that’s to be expected as it sorts itself out in the first year. On many levels it appears as if common sense changes should lead to more accurate players evaluation, which should eventually snowball into better fits between recruits and programs, and hopefully a reduced transfer rate.