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Relationships vs. college: What’s more important in recruiting?

Should a football recruit pick a college more for his relationship with the coaches or for the college itself?

We asked this question to Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson.

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson (AJC)

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson (AJC)

“I think it’s all of the above,” Johnson told the AJC. “If they are doing it the right way, it’s all of the above. I think the coach-player relationship certainly has something to do with it. They have to feel comfortable. Also, I tell all of our guys: Hey, coaches can change. They come and go. I tell them all in recruiting that the one thing that’s not going to change is the school, what it stands for, and most of your teammates. So if you come on a visit and you meet those guys, they are the guys that you are going to be around. And for the most part, they are not going to change.

“And people have to have some common sense … When the head coach changes, you can look at it a little differently (than assistant coaches changing), maybe. And I don’t think that happens as much as people want to say it does. If that happens, it usually happens early right after the season or whatever. You know, assistant coaches are like everybody else: Very few people have a job if (somebody doesn’t get offered a big pay raise), they wouldn’t take it.

“Now it’s disingenuous if you know you’re going to take another job, and tell a kid that you’re not. That’s disingenuous. But I don’t know if it’s any more disingenuous than telling kids that a school is going to have their major or they’re going to have that department or lying to them that way.”

What do you think? Should a kid pick a college more his relationship with the coaches or for the college? Please post below.

What’s my opinion? Ideally, you’d like to think EVERY kid picks a college because of the college, the education, the campus life, etc. But from my experiences in covering recruiting, I’d say the opposite is true: I have found that the majority of kids pick a college because of their relationship with the college coaches. Recruiting has always been and will always be about … the relationships.


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