NCAA 14 Recruiting 101
- ModeratorNovember 16, 2020 at 8:52 AM
I realize this part is more personal taste that actual game science, but the first thing you should do before setting up your recruiting board each pre-season, is to look at your depth chart and redshirts. Choosing your redshirts players should be done before you start adding recruits to your board. Once you know where your weak spots are (not just graduating seniors), then you can go through the new recruits and make a much better educated decision on each one.
I like to add up all of the graduating seniors so I know how many new recruits I need every season at a bare minimum. This will also help determine where talent deficits are. If you graduate 3 CBs or 3 WRs, you’ll need to replace all of those players. If you plan your recruiting out a bit, you can spread those graduations out over each season so you’ll only have to replace a couple at a time instead of 3-4 at one position in one year.
SETTING UP YOUR BOARD
Once you start going through the available players, it’s best to added pipeline players first since you’ll get a bonus for that. I like to filter these by players who have my school in their Top 10. Players that have you as their #1 school should be looked at first. Just because you’re their #1 doesn’t mean you have to recruit them. Check their star rating, their position (is it a need?), and then sort by 40 time or squat to find the best ones on the entire list. You can add players not from a pipeline state if you cannot fill a need after that.
If you have a glaring need at one position, especially offensive line, defensive line, and MLB, you will need to target those players first and put at least 3-4 at each position on your list. Here is where paying attention to the junior college (JUCO) players helps. Big schools will not recruit them hard early in the season, so you can get a higher rated player to plug a temporary hole without spending as many recruiting points on them over the course of the season.
Skill position players (QB,HB, WR, CB) are plentiful, and as you will see later, many good ones won’t even get recruited by the big schools before Week 8. Athletes (ATH) are also plentiful, and while it can be tough to determine what their true position is, they offer more flexibility to fill holes. Pay attention to the week an ATH comes to visit. The game will “tell you” what position they think the player should play on the pre-game menus right before the games starts. There’s a tab called “visiting players” that shows which recruits are visiting your school that week. That tab will show you what stats you need to accumulate that week to get a bonus for that visit. If you think the ATH you’re recruiting is a WR, but that tab says you need rush for 100 yards, then the game thinks he’s a HB not a WR.
Since you can only spend your pre-season recruiting points on scouting, it’s best to scout as many players as possible this week and in Week 1. It will take a lot more points to fully scout players if you haven’t upgraded your coach’s recruiting tree for scouting. Once you max that skill out, it will only take 50 points to fully scout a player, as opposed to 200 points per player if you have zero skill points in scouting. I would advise maxing this skill out ASAP.
I like to spend 200 points on as many players as I can in the first couple of weeks to get a gauge of what the other schools are doing. This will let you stay in contention for many players while you continue to scout them fully.
Don’t waste time on players that you are 500-600 points behind the leading school if you weekly bonus is not remotely close to the teams ahead of you. This bonus is based on the three things each recruit finds important, and your school will be rated in each one of these. I try to only go after players with at least a B in all 3, if possible.
Once you have a good lead (1,000 points) over the #2 school on a player’s list, then you should cut back the points you are spending on that player to 100-200 points, or even zero points if no school on the list is actively recruiting him.
Around Week 3 I like to go through all recruits and filter by ones that are 25% or less locked. These players not being actively recruited for the most part, so you can add better caliber players to your board, and get a nice head start on the bigger schools.
Around Week 8 you should go through all recruits again and filter by ones that are 75% locked and focus on the 73% locked players. Scan their top schools and see if any have zero scholarship offers. These players should be added to your board in positions of need, especially if you’re struggling to sign the original players on your board. I would put 500-700 points into these players every week and offer them a scholarship right away. You’d be surprised at how many you will be able to snag using this trick.
Schedule visits are early in the season as possible, especially if you have a big lead over the other schools. The quicker you can get a recruit to sign, the more points you’ll be able to spend on other players on your list. It’s okay to schedule multiple players in a particular week, especially if it’s a rival and you know you can beat them. You get a visit bonus for winning conference games and beating rivals.
Pay attention to the pre-game tab titled “visiting player” as I mentioned earlier. This will tell you what your stat goal should be that week. HB recruits want to see you rush for 100 yards, QB/WR recruits want to see you throw for 250 yards, etc. Hit these goals and your visit will be much more rewarding and could be just the thing to get a recruit to commit.
Be careful not to put too many players from one position on the same visit week, or you’ll get negative points for it being a “competitive visit” instead of it being a “complementary visit”, which is what happens when you have a QB and WR visit the same week and you throw for 250+ yards.
At the end of the off-season, after the bowl games have been played, you will have one last shot at signing players who have not committed to your school. You will have 10,000 points to spend on these players (or 15,000 points if you’ve upgraded your coach’s Letter of Intent recruiting skill to level 3). You can choose to spread these points around to all players left, or you can spend all of them on one player. It’s your choice, but I would spend as much as 4,000 points on a player of need, especially if you are in a “recruiting battle” with bigger schools. You can find those players by hitting L2 on the main list of players on your board and scrolling to “in a battle” section.
- ModeratorDecember 17, 2020 at 7:22 AM
If you are having trouble finding offensive linemen to recruit, you can use what is called the “squat cheese” and sort them by their squat category and then scout everyone with a squat of 575 and higher (see photo 1), and play special attention to their Top 3 schools that appear in the upper right corner. If those are big 5 or 6 star schools (Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, etc.) then you definitely want to add those guys to your recruiting board.
You will find lots of gems doing this, and many of the 2 and 3 star gems will not be actively recruited early in the season by the big schools. How do you know if they are being recruited or not? Click on the player and look at all of the teams on their recruiting board (see photo 2) and look for paper & pen icon next to any of the teams (denotes as having a scholarship offer). You should skip any players that already have scholarship offers from these big schools.
- ModeratorDecember 17, 2020 at 7:50 AM
Sometimes it’s hard to know if schools are actively recruiting a player or not. The easiest way to tell is when you look at them on the Top Schools tab, and you see the yellow dashed lines (see photo 1), then you know no team is active recruiting them.
Conversely, if you see a green upward arrow next to a team, that means they are gaining in points on you. They either are putting more active recruiting points on that player than you are, or their bonus + recruiting points is higher than your bonus + recruiting points.