College Football Recruiting: Players take it upon themselves to get on coaches’ radars

first_img The 8 1/2 x 11 papers for coaches are detailed with the senior’s personal contact information, Hudl profile link, yearly high school statistics, a photo headshot, and more.Flanagan was one of at least two dozen Clark County athletes at June’s Northwest Showcase at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore. It was the senior’s third trip to that showcase; he first attended it in 2016. He said if it wasn’t for showcases like this, he wouldn’t get the chance to reach out to larger programs.“They wouldn’t notice me,” Flanagan said.This showcase brought coaches from more than 30 colleges, including a large number of FBS and FCS programs. His goal at this and every showcase he attends: get coaches’ attention, and win the 1-on-1 battles.Times have changed from when his father, Glen Flanagan, was recruited out of Woodland as the school’s single-season and career rushing leader. He watched his older brother, Dylan, now at Eastern Washington, go through it two years ago, and the tips trickled down. Self-promotion is key, he said, and so is having constant communication with coaches.“Having a good relationship with the coaches is the best part,” Ingram said.NCAA rules allow Division I and II coaches to send direct messages to recruits starting their junior year. That’s how Ingram first got in contact with coaches at Georgetown. Weeks later, he was offered a scholarship. The tight end also has an offer from Eastern Washington.Despite the internet’s impact and social media’s soar in popularity for recruiting, nothing is more important for coaches, they say, than seeing players in person.For Woodland’s Tyler Flanagan, an all-league player since freshman year, he takes a creative approach at camps and showcases to make an impression: He hands out football r?sum?s. Meg Wochnick Columbian staff writer “We’re not using these kids for four years and spitting them out,” he said. “Is it that big of a deal for a high school coach to spend extra time to get a kid’s name out there?“We’re big fans of our kids,” he said, “and we want to help them get onto the best level.” [email protected] Follow The Columbian on Instagram @MegWochnick By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer Published: August 26, 2018, 7:39pm “Obviously, Camas and Union have had great programs and there are other great Southwest Washington teams perennially, but when you see what the Racanelli brothers have done — and Sawyer with his Pac-12 level size and quickness — it’s not just a fluke, but it’s a trend that is continuing.”“They’re doing much, much more to get out and get visible,” he said.Victor is the latest to reap those benefits. He’ll be the Titans’ three-year starter at quarterback this fall, but is being recruited by five schools as an ‘athlete’ after a monster 7-on-7 season at receiver.For Victor, he shined brightest on the largest stage — the Adidas 7-on-7 National Championships representing Seattle-based Ford Sports Performance — in April. Within a week, Victor landed his first scholarship offer and now holds offers from Eastern Washington, Portland State, Northern Iowa, Sacramento State and his native home state, Hawaii.Victor knows without the opportunity for 7-on-7 — an all-passing, non-contact game featuring no linemen, pads or tackling– it might be a different story. Share: At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Lincoln Victor is Union High School’s starting quarterback. Yet he became a must-have recruit at another position almost overnight.“I did my thing,” the senior said, “… and made a name for myself.”Victor is a realist. Because of his size, the chances of quarterbacking in college are slim, so he shifted his out-of-season focus two years ago to playing receiver.High school football players’ recruiting process is different from what it used to be. No longer do high school coaches make VHS tapes to send to colleges through the mail. Now it’s a complete 180 — Prospects are doing more work by selling themselves to colleges through the online video service Hudl, joining 7-on-7 teams, and attending showcase events in addition to traditional summer college camps. By doing so, they’re hoping auditions turn into scholarship offers.Brandon Huffman, a national recruiting editor for 247Sports, said the Pacific Northwest’s reputation continues to climb, and that goes for Southwest Washington’s recognition, too. The area is home to state champions in 2016 (Camas, Class 4A) and 2017 (Hockinson, Class 2A). Huffman sees the improved talent pool as a trend that won’t end anytime soon. Follow GO Union’s Alishawuan Taylor traveled all around the Pacific Northwest this summer for camps and combines to get his name out there. A recent transplant to Vancouver from the Midwest, he believes it’s extra important to be seen by as many college coaches as he can.“I’m not known by coaches,” he said.The role of a high school coachBut while a lot of work falls on players, a lot can be done by high school coaches, too, said Columbia River’s Christian Swain. There’s also no bigger advocate for players than their high school coaches.Swain and his coaching staff take pride in promoting their players. For starters, they build spreadsheets for college recruiters that lists players’ football and academic information and how that player would fit into college program.Swain believes that if players invest time for you and your program, why not invest time for them, and their future? Preferred walk-on offers came from Washington and Washington State after the late Jim Youman shipped off the elder Flanagan’s game film to schools.Discouraged by limited interest, Flanagan enrolled at Portland Bible College to play basketball, then joined Boise State’s football team a year later.For college coaches, camps and showcases give a different perspective on a player they’d otherwise might see on, say, an in-school visit in street clothes, one Big Sky Conference assistant coach said.“Here,” the coach said, “you see how a kid moves and what they look like physically.” College Football Recruiting: Players take it upon themselves to get on coaches’ radars Receive latest stories and local news in your email: Share: By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. This story is part of The Columbian’s High School Fall Sports 2018 special preview section. Find it in the Sunday, August 26 edition of The Columbian. Photo Buy this Photo Though he’s likely too small to play quarterback in college, Union’s Lincoln Victor saw recruiting interest spike after playing receiver at 7-on-7 events and showcase camps. Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian (360) 735-4521 “It would be really tough,” he said.Supporters of 7-on-7 believe it can sharpen skills while increasing their opportunities to land scholarships. But make no mistake: schools still recruit athletes from what they see on game film, said Union’s Rory Rosenbach, a coach who has won two Oregon state titles.Victor continued to make the rounds to camps and other showcases in a football-filled summer, but film of his high school season still played a vital role.“They saw him be a receiver,” Rosenbach said, “and offered him off his high school film.“They wanted to see him be a football player.”Players making connectionsCamas’ Dawson Ingram isn’t new to the recruiting experience.last_img

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