Young said the recruiting process has changed drastically due to the rise of social media and video services.
“20 years ago there was not as much video evaluation of kids,” Young said. “Nowadays, every kid and every coach everywhere has Hudl accounts.”
Before Hudl accounts, Young said he was inundated with requests for copies of game footage by college coaches in what became “nearly a full time job.”
Young said there are currently three committed football players on the Arlington Heights football team. Deion Hair-Griffin is committed to North Texas, Patrick Jones is committed to SMU and Corbin James is committed to Northwestern State.
Hair-Griffin and Jones both own twitter accounts that have a link to their Hudl accounts in their bios.
Their Hudl accounts showcase highlights in packages from full season and individual games.
Jones said his Hudl and twitter accounts played a significant role in his recruitment.
“He has us make [the Hudl accounts]. We ask a coach to revise it and the player and coach will go over it together,” Jones said.
Jones advises other recruits to do the same.
“I tell a lot of players from my team and friends to put your Hudl account in your bio of every social media network that you have. Especially with twitter,” Jones said. “Actually what got me as many scholarships as I did is I would go on twitter and look for different college coaches that recruit this area.”
Hair-Griffin held offers from SMU, Army West Point and Louisiana-Monroe before electing to verbally commit to North Texas, according to Scout.com. He accumulated 1,895 yards passing, 1,365 yards rushing and 48 total touchdowns.
“If you do your job to the best of your ability then you put yourself in position to get a scholarship,” Hair-Griffin wrote. “Coach Young has really helped me through the whole process by just encouraging me through the whole period.”
Young, a former recruiting coordinator, said that despite the changes in recruiting over the years, high school football remains the purest form of recruiting.
“Every kid that gets recruited – that coach has to come sit in front of me at my desk,” Young said.
Young said that unlike other sports in which club and summer teams take precedent, high school football remains at the forefront in college recruiting.
“There is not club season in football. You can’t go to a club coach and get in with a kid,” Young said. “College coaches and high school coaches have to have a relationship in recruiting.”
He said the relationship between college coaches and high school coaches is critical in finding the right fit for high school recruits.
“We are so involved in their lives,” he said. “They trust what we say.”
Young said the education of both recruits and their parents also play a large role in determining the success of the athlete’s recruiting process. He warns students and parents about common misconceptions like the false assumption that division 3 schools offer scholarships.
“We try to steer kids away from – there are so many division three schools that kids say they sign with – well you can’t sign with division three schools because they don’t offer athletic scholarships- they make it sound like they do,” Young said.
Before the start of each year, Young meets with the junior and senior football players’ parents to discuss the recruiting process.
Jones said Young advised him to go where he feels most comfortable.
“Don’t go somewhere you like the facilities but it doesn’t feel like somewhere you want to spend the next four years of your career,” Jones said.
Young reminds parents of past players who signed with a school on national signing day just for the thrill of signing with a university without considering important factors like finances, playing time and the degree.
“Well in a semester they’re back home,” Young said of those players.
Young said the advice he gives parents often comes as a shock.
“I say ‘listen if you want your kid to get his school paid for have him get a job or don’t play sports.’ “What? [parents say].” I say ‘number one if you want to work so hard to get his school paid for he can work about the same amount and it will be a lot less heartache. It is hard work to be a college athlete under scholarship,’” Young said.
Jones said he takes Young’s advice to heart.
“Coach Young has always gave great advice,” he said. “I look up to him just like a father.”
Staying close to home: Jones (red) and Hair-Griffin (green) will remain close to Arlington Heights (blue).