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Recruiting Dictionary

Untitled Document
BeaverBlitz Recruiting Dictionary

The BeaverBlitz Recruiting Dictionary is a collection of terms and phrases that you'll find on most recruiting websites. There are also several recruiting expressions that you'll only hear from beevergeek and other specific recruitniks. If you have questions about terms or would like to see some added, please email us at gobeavs@beaverblitz.com.


A•B•C• phrase : "always be closing" reminder that coaches should recruit smarter and harder than the opposition with their end goal in mind.
babysitt•ing vb : the act where college coaches try to protect their recruits from being poached by other programs.
Bonnellied vb : 1. a recruiting situation related to time where a school offers a scholarship to multiple athletes at the same position. both players leave messages with the school accepting the same scholarship (verballing). one player will inevitably be disappointed if he accepts and the scholarship is gone. it's usually a lack of communication between student-athletes and coaches. 2. Bonnelli was an athlete during the Erickson Era that verballed and then found out no scholarship was available. he landed at Idaho
cake•eater adj : recruit description that is more interested in a football program for hype, glitz, and glamour while football becomes a secondary reason for attending. usually not a smashmouth recruit
camp•certified adj : a description that identifies any athlete measureables that were taken at a certified camp.
contact•period n : recruiting phase where it's permissible for authorized athletic department staff members to make in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.

dead•period n : recruiting phase where it's not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on- or off-campus or permit official or unofficial visits.

evaluation•period n : recruiting phase where it's permissible for authorized athletics department staff to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect are permitted.
fish•bowling v : 1. the act of focusing on one program's recruiting class and losing perspective when comparing it to the rest of the division or conference. 2. example, you can be satisfied with a recruiting class even though it pales in comparison to other classes in the same conference.

gray•shirt n : a term used in recruiting to describe student-athletes who are promised a scholarship if they delay enrollment in school until the second semester. in the meantime, he is allowed to spend time however he wants: working at home, taking classes part time, using the extra few months to physically prepare for college football.

green•shirt n : a term used in recruiting to describe prep student-athletes that are able to enroll early and participate in spring football practice.

heavy•lean adj : recruiting description that usually means a recruit is ready to give a school his verbal commitment.
jelly•donut vb : references a recruit that always has a roster position saved even if the recruiting class is full. Example: "No matter how full you are, you never say no to a jelly donut".
laddering vb : 1. describes a program that gives a recruit a scholarship in order to enhance the college's chances at recruiting a teammate or friend. 2. also known as the "ladder-game".
Letter•of•Intent n : actual letter that is signed and usually faxed on Letter of Intent Day (first Wednesday of February). it holds the student-athlete responsible for one-full year to play for a program. penalties can be enforced for not living up to the conditions of the Letter of Intent.
Marketing•Approach n : recruiting tactic used by programs to invest in billboards, create promotions, and make over-the-top antics to put their name in front of recruits. the approach is designed to build name recognition whether it's good or bad publicity. failure with high profile athletes is acceptable because these high profile pursuits can play well with other recruits.
midnight•recruiter n : 1. generally speaking this term means a coach that stretches the NCAA recruiting rules or shows lack of integrity. 2. The term comes from Coach Bellotti calling verballed players at other schools at 12:01AM on Letter of Intent Day.
mountain•climber n : A recruit who has verballed but has not passed either his test OR does not have qualifying grades. In translation, it's going to be an uphill battle to qualify.
package•deal n : situation where a student-athlete's make it publicly known that they want to play together in college.
pilgrimage n : pilgramage is the act of a player going on a faith or religious based mission before or during the college career. this is usually known before an athlete signs a Letter of Intent.
poach•ing vb : the act where college coaches continue to recruit athletes that have verballed to other programs.
predictor n : player that meets the standards and qualifications of Division 1A schools but chooses to play Junior College football. He can transfer at any time without penalty.
quiet•period n : recruiting phase where it's permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts only on the member institution's campus.
recruiting•resource•ratio n : this refers to how much attention can be given to uncommitted recruits. it's based on a formula that identifies how much time remains before Letter of Intent Day and how many scholarships remain for a class.
recruiting•tsunami n : a series of positive conditions that result in a surge of recruiting commitments.
redshirt n : description for a student-athlete that does not participate in competition in a sport for an entire academic year without giving up a year of eligibility. Redshirts can still practice with the team.
Rivals Rating n : The ranking system that is used with Stars to rate prospects on a numerical scale from 6.1-4.9. Any rating over a 5.0 projects the athlete as a legitimate Division 1A football player. Anyone over 5.5 is a major talent. Athletes over 5.8 are among the top 300 in the country. An athlete rated at 6.1 is a Top-25 Elite individual.
Seasonal•Approach n : programs using the seasonal recruiting approach increment and re-evaluate their offers throughout the year. More focus and attention is applied to a smaller set of recruits. Half of the recruiting class will be secured in early November while other programs are applying finishing touches. Proximity, reputation, JUCO needs, and film review play major roles in whether this method is used.
secret•recruit n : state of being verbally committed to a school, but not going public at either the school's request or by the player's choice. In the latter case the verbal intention is considered a soft commitment or heavy lean.
Shotgun•Approach n : recruiting method that describes programs that spray many offers with the hope that verbals are landed by sheer volume. If nothing else a program has more kids interested due to the offer. The danger is that programs might not land players they really want and can cause problems in the coming months (remember the Bonelli incident of 2001). It's hard to get to know the athletes you are offering. Used by Mike Stoops at Arizona during the mid-2000s.
sign•and•stash n : recruiting strategy where an athlete with academic issues signs an LOI with a program, and is then placed at a Junior College where the JUCO Staff will help develop him with an understanding that they won't steer him to other NCAA programs. Everyone wins in this model since the athlete is all but guaranteed a future roster spot with the NCAA program, the NCAA program has more peace of mind, and the JUCO program receives a highly talented individual.
sleeper n : an athlete that hasn't been noticed on the recruiting radar or someone that projects well at the collegiate level but didn't accomplish much in high school.
soft•verbal n : player indicates to a single school that he intends to sign a Letter of Intent. However, he still continues to take visits or entertain offers from other schools. This tactic is often used as insurance to reserve a scholarship with the athlete's top school. It is considered poor taste to do this if the coaches are not informed.
vacation•visit n : recruit that has already given his verbal to one school, but decides to visit another because of good weather, family, or other reasons unrelated to the University. Also known as recreation recruiting.
verbal n : non-binding agreement to sign a Letter of Intent (or play) for a school. Verbal commitments generally mean players have stopped taking visits to other schools.
'X'-List n : A tier of lists that describes how a program feels about a recruit. 'A'-List players are usually given unconditional written offers. These are the guys a team has targetted at the top. As players are removed from the 'A'-list (recruited to other schools) it's possible and likely a 'B'-List player will move up... 'B'-List players have offers, but they aren't recruited as hard and if they wait too long they could lose their opportunity... 'C'-List players are on the verge of receiving an offer, or they're being evaluated.
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Dictionary Appendix
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Recruiting•Phases n : There are five phases to the recruiting season.

#1 : Set-up Phase - This phase occurs before the previous LOI Day. In other words, the coaches find some gems (juniors) while looking at senior film and make early offers or put them on their (A) or (B) List. They also find these athlete with help from HS coaches, camp performances in prior years, or have family/friend connections... A lot of offers go out during this phase to the kids that will soon get many stars.

#2 : Spring Evalatuion - This occurs between February and May. The recruits are attending combines (Nike, Elite Eleven, Barton Academies, etc...) and making scattered unofficial visits. Junior College athletes get early looks since coaches have an idea after spring practice where their gaps will be in the next two years.

#3 : Summer Camping - The schools get a good look at regional athletes that attend their camps. In addition, there are a lot of passing leagues as the athletes prepare for the upcoming season. Before the HS season starts, a lot of student-athletes will make unofficial visits as they trim down their lists to a Top Five. Counselors help some students develop tracks to help ensure graduation.

#4 : In-Season Recruiting - During the HS, JUCO, and NCAA season, the coaches begin receiving game film by the fourth week of contests. Official visits much more common during the season, and some programs in talent-rich areas will have 70% of their class wrapped-up. This phase ends with the bowl games, and a lot of sleepers hit the scene that were late getting film out or developed in their senior season. The SATs add more to the mix.

#5 : Letter of Intent Sprint (aka Winter Recruiting) - January is the craziest time, and luckily it only lasts 4-5 weeks. Poachers, babysitters, in-homes visitors, big cell bills, and bigger airline miles create chaos. The sprint to the finish is tough on the coaches and culminates with Recruiting Dinners around the nation. (For many programs [including OSU] a sub-phase exists where they still try to find recruits until April 1st.)

Recruit•ing Star System n : This is a measurement of how athletes are expected to perform in the NCAA. Stars don't measure the development/coaching they'll receive in college, the scheme they'll play within, or how soon athletes can take the field given the depth charts. The rating can only speculate about the desire and devotion an athlete possesses to realizing his potential. Stars only hint at a higher probability of success. Here are ten factors used when assigning stars:
  • Offers - This is a big one. College coaches recognize talent, and the good programs are strong because they find good talent. While we might not like it, student-atheltes with quality/quantity of offers generally have more stars.


  • Physical Ability - Rivals is fortunate to have connections with several camps and combines. This is a big deal because Rivals receive real times and not forty times from the athlete's mother.


  • Physical Stature - Let's face it, you won't see too many 5-11, 230-pound tackles in the Pac-10 (no matter how talented they are in HS) so Rivals takes this into consideration.


  • HS or JUCO Coach Feedback - Generally H.S. Coaches give a fair "off-the-record" assessment of their athletes. The regional and H.S. evaluators at Rivals do a great job of leveraging these coaches. Even the JUCO coaches will give a fair assessment off-the-record, but their ultimate goal is to place their kids. Hoiseth travels to games every weekend in Caly and Arizona to help evaluate JUCO recruits.


  • Game Film - Rivals now has an opportunity to watch a ton of film because it's 100x more available than it was 5 years ago. Jeremy Crabtree, Rick Kimbrel, and crew spend way too much of their time looking at game film.


  • Statistics and Accolades - It's hard to argue with production and local recognition. What level (size of school and competition) makes a big difference.


  • Academics - We all know this is a slippery slope. I don't believe Rivals is consistent when considering academics unless an athlete is almost certainly headed to a Junior College.


  • Camps and Combines - Comparing the athletes at Camps and Combines is a great way to understand the limitations and potential for most of the student-athletes. There are a lot of passing camps, practices, and Rivals Junior Days where recruits can be evaluated.


  • Playing Position and Field Presence - Obviously Rivals has a ton of HS/Regional publishers, and this army of observers attends a lot of games and reports back to the Regional evaluator (Kimbrel is the West Coast guy). Does this athlete fit a particular position in college? Is he playing out of position in HS?


  • Level of Competition - Athletes in 1A schools are judged on a different scale than an athlete playing against 6A competition.

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