Signing day just blew past us it seems, spring games and practices are being scheduled, we're waiting on the release of our respective team's schedules and as it stands right now those things are all somewhat "back burner" issues for your favorite college football team. 2012 is important and while the players are getting it with mat drills and weights the coaches main point of focus is elsewhere.
2013 is where the mind is for the guys in the upstairs offices. Identifying targets, streamlining their big boards and figuring out what players they want to be pressing for the 2013 cycle. This all truly gets jumped started with the Junior Day affairs that we're hearing about around the country.
I got a chance to talk with Brandon Cavanaugh at Husker Locker as we did a little Recruiting 101, I highly recommend a listen as we hit all of the nuts and bolts of the process in this first part.
The "Junior Day" has become a big deal around the college football nation as the events become increasingly publicized, they shift in their strategy and coaches attempt to hone the day to their team's individual approach to attacking recruiting. Just a few years ago we saw Mack Brown and Texas grab 13 kids in February for the upcoming 2011 cycle. That is no longer the case as the Longhorns have altered there strategy, electing to offer few athletes, slow play their way into the summer in order to keep their options open and get further into the evaluation process.
Other schools are opting out of the "get a bunch of guys on campus and grab a gang of commitments" business as well. North Carolina elected to host two junior days; a special invitation only day during the UNC-Duke game for high priority kids which yielded two commits and a more traditional junior day to establish relationships with the state's prospects as a whole.
These days have swelled in their importance in recent years as the football recruiting calendar continues to accelerate despite the contracted nature of football recruiting in comparison to other sports.