Written by Michael Florek
As NCAA rolls out new recruiting rules, Dallas-area recruits see the upside in changes
As the NCAA thinned its rulebook this winter and removed some of the restrictions on college coaches in terms of contacting recruits, doomsday scenarios of miserable recruits’ phones rattling for months on end were conjured.
But in an informal survey among 14 top area recruits in the Class of 2013, opinions were split on whether the rule changes would have a negative impact on the recruiting process. In many cases, those who knew the recruiting process from the inside said the increased contact could be a positive.
Here is what was asked to the recruits:
1. Do you think allowing college coaches to send unlimited texts and social media messages to a recruit is too much?
IT DEPENDS: 3
The lack of outrage over new rules allowing college recruiters to text and send social media messages as much as they want comes down to two components. First, players say it will be easier to the have contact with coaches. Second, with no limitations, recruits can figure out exactly which schools want them the most.
But there are some concerns. With the NCAA instituting tougher eligibility requirements starting in 2016, something doesn’t add up for Cedar Hill quarterback Damion Hobbs.
“It’s like you want them to work harder in the classroom with more distractions,” Hobbs said. “You want somebody with good test scores. Why say that coaches can call them all the time?”
2. How often are coaches texting you when you’re in school?
A LITTLE: 4
A LOT: 2
Most of the athletes’ contact with recruiters came from social media sites. While that type of contact may have been heavy, it wasn’t causing any disruption in the classroom. For those who received texts, most said it wasn’t that annoying. The biggest problem during school hours, according to multiple recruits, was various media members trying to contact them.
3. Would you take a school off the list of colleges that you're considering if they text you too much?
IT DEPENDS: 3
More contact means more interest, according to the recruits. If a school is on a recruit’s list, as much contact as possible is a good thing.
4. Should there be restrictions on how much printed material a school can send a recruit?
The NCAA will eliminate restrictions on printed material next year, adding to an already hefty portion of mail recruits will receive. For some, recruiting letters are a good thing.
“I think that’s something that is good about the recruiting process,” Frisco Centennial cornerback Ranthony Texada said about the letters. “[It’s] something that you can even look back on in the future.”
For others, they’re meaningless.
“You never read them,” West Mesquite receiver Eldridge Massington said. “You just put them in a box or throw them away.”
Added Wylie East wide receiver Marcell Ateman: “Sometimes schools send the same thing over and over. It’s like every time you open it, it’s the same thing.”
5. Should only coaches be allowed to call recruits?
The two players against only coaches being allowed to call the recruits, Hobbs and Ateman, said no only because they would like to possibly see a couple of players involved in the process. A new NCAA rule allowing a recruiting coordinator or the support staff of a university allowed to contact recruits was unanimously opposed.
6. Would you be in favor of an early signing period for football?
Those surveyed included five recruits who switched their commitments and two who enrolled in college early. Changes among the coaching and recruiting ranks near the end of the season, along with buyer’s remorse, have recruits wanting as much time as possible to make their decisions.
“So many people think that they have their minds made up, and they actually don’t,” West Mesquite defensive end Dimarya Mixon said. “If they’re signed already, it’s kind of like knowing there’s nothing you can do if you felt a certain change about it.”
7. Do you get the Longhorn Network at your house?
If you get the Longhorn Network how often do you watch?
OF THE YESES:
A LOT: 2
A LITTLE: 3
Lake Highlands offensive lineman Kent Perkins, the only Texas pledge in the survey, doesn’t receive the network. Neither does Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks, who switched his pledge from Texas to TCU.
Of two that watched the network a lot, Skyline quarterback Devante Kincade liked to watch former Skyline receiver Mike Davis, while Prosper quarterback Davis Webb watched in order to study the drills the Texas quarterbacks went through in practice.