Internet has changed the recruiting process

Gone are the days when high school football coaches sat in their offices copying video cassette tapes of their players to send to college coaches.

These days, coaches and players can simply send links to a players’ Hudl video, a digital highlight reel that showcases big plays.

The new way is fine with the prep coaches.

“It saves coaches like me hours of work,” Jackson coach Joel Vincent said. “I don’t know how many hours I spent in the first five, six or seven years of my coaching career staring at VCRs hooked together and cueing one up to the play we wanted and getting the other ready and then pressing play and record and going one play at a time through an entire season of film to put a highlight film together for a kid.”

Now Vincent uploads the film every Friday and it’s available for the players Saturday morning. They can log in and make their own.

“With a click of a mouse they can select the plays that they want to be their highlights” Vincent said, “and they can e-mail them off to whatever coaches and programs they want.”

Edmonds-Woodway coach John Gradwohl praises the creation of Hudl, but worries that the current recruiting landscape, and the increasing national attention it gets, causes more players to ultimately not end up at the school they initially commit to.

Sometimes it’s the player who switches schools, other times the universities pull the offer from the player.

“It’s not really a commitment,” Gradwohl said. “Eighteen years ago, if I had said I was going to go to U-Dub and I gave a verbal commitment, 999 times out of 1000 that was a done deal. Now, colleges offer people and then pull the plug on it.

“That didn’t happen 17, 18 years ago.”

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