Local football players struggle to get attention from college recruiters

Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 7:53 PM EST
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THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Another motivation for winning football championships is getting the attention of college recruiters.

More recruiters allow more options on the table to receive scholarships. We talked with local coaches about the challenges players are facing when it comes to taking their talents to the next level.

“Probably five schools this year have been by Thomson High School. Five. Colleges are in the transfer portal, but it’s a shame when you got a kid that’s electric that can switch a game at the snap of a finger,” said Thomson High School Head Coach Michael Youngblood.

It’s the same tune. How to go from high school standout to college star. But the road to get there has been riddled with potholes for high school seniors.

“For everyone that does not understand, it’s just a lot of college kids that are in the portal. And they will go and look at that portal and gear up those kids because they have a little bit of college experience. And think about it, you know, if I’m at the University of Alabama, and I jump into the portal, then you’ll have some of those other SEC schools that are going to look at those guys because they’re four and five-star guys,” he said.

In April 2021, the NCAA eliminated a rule that required transfers to sit out a year. The floodgates opened a window of opportunity for some and sealed the cracks for others.

According to ESPN, 1,695 football players entered the portal in the 2019-2020 cycle, and that number increased to 3,085 in 2021-2022.

“In the city of Atlanta, it is easier to fly into an airport that’s Hartsfield-Jackson. It’s easy to hit about 50 schools in the course of one day because you got Gwinnett County, you got Fulton County, got Atlanta Public Schools, you got DeKalb County, Cobb County, and that’s just inside of 285,” he said.

When the lights turn on at the state championship, the offers can start rolling in.

“I probably had about 15 calls from different colleges, trying to get transcripts, trying to get information on the guys,” said Youngblood.

Winning state put Thomson on the trail.

“I think now it’s picking up. I’ve had a lot of college coaches that have contacted me over the weekend trying to get in, you know, transcripts and everything on Brigham, Curry, and Hart. You work your tail off, and eventually, they’re gonna come, I mean, they have to come because they want that winner,” he said.

So that the eyes stay here.

“Come down here, check us out, we have what you have, then let’s recruit. If not, move on to the next school, or maybe us as rural county coaches can help direct you to where some of the other players may be overlooked,” said Youngblood.