Pandemic changing recruiting for local college teams

Local Sports

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As the future of sports remains in question during the pandemic, recruiting is one area that’s seen major changes.

“We just have to figure out what’s the best plan for us to be as effective as we can be in recruiting,” says Emporia State Football head coach Garin Higgins.

With no spring football practice this year it made it tougher for teams to evaluate their current rosters. However, it did allow for more time to evaluate recruits.

“We’re of course still able to evaluate players through film and we’ve been able to watch if we want to pick different games we’re able to do that with the program,” said Higgins.

“We’re ahead of the game right now for next year’s signings because we did a lot of film study in the spring, more so than we’ve ever done and all the social media interaction you can have with them,” said Washburn Football head coach Craig Schurig.

Still, there have been challenges.

“Not being able to physically leave campus going back in the spring,” said Higgins. “I got recruited here to Emporia State and I don’t know if they knew that I was only 5’9” and a half. I put together really good highlight videos, so sometimes you would still like to see kids in person at some point.”

High school football was recently pushed back until at least after Labor Day.

“If their seasons get postponed or whatever, yeah it would be tough because you want to evaluate their fall season and how they do their senior years,” says Schurig.

Another struggle many schools have dealt with including Emporia State has been “Not being able to get our eyes on kids with camps,” said Higgins.

Washburn was able to hold a camp last month which provides a big advantage in recruiting.

“We had a really good prospect camp here earlier in June, so it hasn’t really affected us much recruiting wise,” said Schurig.

While each school’s situation around the country is different, “There’s not a perfect playbook for what we’re having to go through right now,” said Higgins.

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