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This is part two of a two-part series on recruiting. You can find part one here.
Cherokee Valeria is the recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach at
Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash. He's responsible for
finding student-athletes in two of the nation's hotbeds — Southern
California and Houston. The 2017 recruiting class for EWU was ranked
third in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision by 247 Sports
. Coach Valeria started his coaching career at the high school level, also in Washington. What is the best thing that you've seen coaches do in marketing their players to you?
The best thing I have seen from a coach happened a few years back. I was setting up a meeting for spring recruiting, and told the coach I would be in his area and wanted to stop by to talk about any potential future recruits.
Without me knowing, this coach had his top two players research our university and bring him a written report on what they liked about Eastern Washington, from the academic side, athletic side and geographical/location side. He also asked them to write down their top three questions they had about our program or the university.
When I arrived to meet with him, he handed me the report that the kids had done. This was the first time I had ever seen this. It definitely caught my attention.
I'm sure you evaluate hundreds of kids per year. How can a coach best get your attention about a potential recruit?
For me, it's about the relationship I have with a high school coach. Some coaches evaluate honestly. They don't over-hype their players or talk down their competition. They have a remarkably keen eye for detail and can relate a particular player to a similar athlete that has "made it out" of the same area.
As a college coach who concentrates his focus in a particular geographical area, it is important to identify early those who evaluate honestly.
There are several guys in my current recruiting area I will go to personally and ask their evaluation on a potential student-athlete. The athlete may not even be one of their own guys; it may be a guy in their conference or a guy in their neighborhood. But it's the relationship we have built together that gets my attention when he says he thinks a particular athlete could fit into our system. What is your best advice for someone wanting to send their kids to you?
My best advice for a high school coach who truly feels they have a recruit that can play for us is to pick up the phone and call me. You would be amazed at how many e-mails we get every day.
For me, a personal call from a high school coach holds a lot of weight. When a high school coach calls about an athlete in his program, I know it means something. I usually stop what I am doing and take down what the coach is telling me. Additionally, I can tell on the phone how passionate a coach is about a player, compared to him just doing due diligence and sending out an email. Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.