College football recruiters adjust to an ever-changing environment under COVID-19

Sports

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Just how much harder is college sports recruiting, especially now that the NCAA has extended the “dead period” until July 31st.

That means colleges won’t be able to have in-person meetings with prospective student-athletes at least until then.

East Texas native and former Bishop Gorman head football coach Coby Gipson is now navigating these waters as the recruiting coordinator and running backs coach at Lamar University in Beaumont.

Just how are he and many others trying to build their teams in this uncertain time.

When the coronavirus forced college and high school sports to shut down for the rest of the spring, football recruiters such as Gipson, missed out on some of the most important evaluation time of the year.

“Spring football, spring recruiting, that’s probably one of the things I’ve missed the most about this is not being able to go in with Coach Holmes over at John Tyler and just sit and listen to him and get up at 5:00 a.m. with him and watch practice,” said Gipson, who is now the Lamar recruiting coordinator and running backs coach. “You know when I go to a Longview practice, a John Tyler practice all around here, I’ve really missed that professional development time during the spring.”

With the college recruiting dead period being extended until the end of July, they won’t be able to attend organized summer workouts.

“In July you’re hoping to sneak out to a camp or something or being able to host a camp at least go somewhere and see some kids and obviously that’s not going to be possible now,” said Gipson.

While in-person meetings are off-limits, phone calls and video communication are being allowed.

“Football is a game of overcoming adversity so we’re looking for every way possible that the NCAA has allowed us to communicate with our guys to stay in contact with them and to build those relationships first and foremost, to build our culture before even start talking about schemes and x’s and o’s,” said Gipson.

So yes, the recruiting process, like most aspects of life today, has become tougher.

But these measures will hopefully, keep all parties involved, safer.

“We kind of expected it because this is about the health and safety of the young men, we’ll do the best we can to still connect with these guys,” said Gipson.Lamar, along with many other college programs, will allow on student-athletes currently on campus, to use team facilities to workout.

Watch the video to see the story.

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