Football recruiting landscape ever-changing

Football recruiting landscape ever-changing

CHAMPAIGN — The database the Illinois football coaching staff has on Class of 2015 recruits is thick.

Same for Class of 2016 prospects. And 2017 recruits.

The recruiting process seemingly gets sped up each season, and the latest crop of recruiting is no different.

Although, some of the prospects Illinois is evaulating and offering aren’t household names for football fans, even in their particular area.

“You’re just forced to evaluate earlier, and you’re forced to offer earlier,” Illinois recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh said. “The evaluation process is critical. You’re forcing yourself and your staff to watch game film and talk to people you trust. The relationships become more and more important. There’s a lot of kids and parents and coaches expecting you to offer kids that haven’t played yet.”

Golesh, about to enter his third season in charge of recruiting for Illinois, said he never anticipated football recruiting getting sped up to the point it is.

Needless to say, he isn’t the biggest fan of the process as it sits right now.

“I think it’s a really bad thing,” Golesh said. “I feel like you offer a lot more off of potential and measurables rather than true film. It’s hard to be patient, but I think the guys and the schools that are patient have a better chance not to miss. I don’t think they have a better chance to hit, but they have a better chance not to miss, and you’re trying to limit the misses.”

Golesh doesn’t get caught in how many commits a particular school has going into July.

After all, signing day for the 2015 class isn’t until Feb. 4, nearly seven months away.

As of Thursday, Illinois had nine commits so far in the 2015 class.

That is a better number than it had at this point last season for the 2014 class. Illinois became the 12th Big Ten school to have double-digit commits on Thursday when Sacramento City College running back Henry Enyenihi gave the Illini an oral commitment. Only Michigan (eight), Michigan State (seven) and Minnesota (six) are in single digits. For right now.    

“A lot of it depends on how many kids are there locally,” Golesh said. “Those are the commitments that come earlier. That’s how a lot of ours have come about. The more kids you have right there around you helps because those kids can come over and see you. The more kids you’re recruiting from out of state, those kids aren’t going to commit without seeing it.”

And Golesh doesn’t want recruits to commit to Illinois without first coming to campus.

“What you’re asking for is for them to flip later on,” he said. “You don’t want a kid to commit that’s never been here. To me, I don’t look at how many commits they have. I look at who are those commits. I evaluate it more from a perspective of, ‘Did we miss? Should we have offered?’ I think it comes in bunches, too. Once you get one committed at the position, now you’re calling the next guy you want and saying, ‘There’s one left,’ to try to get them.”