Listen Now to Episode 12 - Featuring Carina Hargreaves
Georgia Tech's Director of On-Campus Recruiting, Carina Hagreaves joined us on Up Close In Personnel to talk about growing in a football family and how she has been able to hone her craft in college football recruiting!
As this show has progressed, one commonality among high-performers is the ability to build and foster genuine relationships with prospective student athletes. Carina touches on this right out of the gate, but our conversation covered much more than that.
In this week's edition of Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown, we detail the thought process behind coordinating and scheduling visits for recruits. What are the different approaches you can take with official visits and with unofficial visits? How does the philosophy and mindset change throughout the calendar year? And how do you stay ahead of the curve and on the forefront of recruiting trends?
When it comes to the differences between official visits and unofficial visits, here are some notes I took from Carina's response:
With unofficial visits being tied and scheduled around current events such as practice, gameday, junior day or other occasions, it can sometimes be difficult to have a high volume of 1-on-1 interactions with recruits. Intentionally carving time out of the day to spend with the pillars of the program, coaching staff members, training staff, strength coaches, player development, academics and professors should be a clear sign to recruits of how highly a team values them.
The importance of the unofficial visits is generating excitement around your program, building the interest level of recruits, getting them back on campus and establishing early rapport with not only the recruit, but also their families as well. Pay attention to who's joining the recruit on the visit and be mindful of making it an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Official visits will include a much more individualized plan, more 1-on-1 time, and it's about adapting to the time period you're in currently. This weekend should be a blast. Showcase the city your college is located and why living in that area is appealing. As is the case with all visits, adapt the plan to what the prospect is interested in and don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Visits vary depending on events in your area, events on your campus and what your team is doing at that time of the year (spring ball, summer, in-season, off-season, etc.). During the spring and summer, you may want to find out what's going around in the city or if there are concerts. In-season you'll have to keep gameplanning and coaching time constraints in mind when constructing the itinerary. During December and January, depending on where you're at in your current recruiting cycles you could be dealing with either very large or very small group sizes -adjust accordingly.
You can never be too prepared and you always have to be ready to improvise. Roll with the punches, but do your best to anticipate problematic situations before they happen. How do you do that? By creating checklists and a system to fall back on.
Lastly, Carina's experiences at Florida and South Carolina definitely shaped her for the role she holds currently. Throughout that process of learning and growing in the industry, she's been able to stay centered and locked into the present moment. What's her advice for climbing the ladder?
1. Be where your feet are, 2. Try not to say no, and 3. Be a problem solver
It's pretty simple, but it's spot on.
For those of you that just like to hack the system and skip to things that pertain most to you, here is your weekly dose of topics covered:
Recruiting Virtually During COVID-19 (3:45)
The Importance of Relationships In Recruiting (7:00)
The Best Recruiters Carina Has Been Around - Hint: Dad Makes The Cut (11:02)
Finding Your Voice & Style In Recruiting (14:45)
Learning: A Daily Habit of Conversations & Action (19:32)
Doing Your Homework On Recruits & Thinking Outside The Box (27:19)
Growing Up In a Football Family (29:29)
Uncovering The Passion For Recruiting - The Florida Days (34:26)
Being Where Your Feet Are - The South Carolina Days (41:32)
Challenges Facing The 2020 & 2021 Recruiting Classes (51:15)
Differences Between Official and Unofficial Visits (1:01:01)
Philosophy And Approach Regarding Unofficial Visits (1:05:25)
Shaping Official Visits Throughout The Calendar Year (1:11:30)
Coordinating Multiple Recruiting Events Simultaneously (1:19:07)
Why You Need Checklists When It Comes To Recruiting (1:23:31)
Sendoff Advice to Recruits, Parents & Coaches (1:35:34)
Thank you for listening to another episode of Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown! If you'd like to keep up with Carina on Twitter, you can follow her at @CarinaH_GT!
And if you haven't already, be sure to subscribe, rate and share the show!
Send in your questions for the next episode by commenting below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay tuned for next week's episode! -AB