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Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown
36 minutes | 3 days ago
Ep. 43 - Dane Brugler - Ranking the Top Quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft
In a repeat appearance, we are fortunate to have the likes of Dane Brugler jump on air with us to talk through a STACKED 2021 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks! This episode will kick off season 3 for "Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown," and the goal is to spotlight evaluating and scouting around the NFL Draft from a variety of bright minds and perspectives across the league! Stay tuned for more draft-centric content as we near the 2021 NFL Draft and enjoy this week's material! Topics covered in this week's show: Dane's Annual NFL Draft guide, aka "The Beast" Is Trevor Lawrence truly a "Generational Talent"? How should scouts separate skill from scheme & supporting cast? Ex. 1 - Mac Jones & the perfect situation (elite OL, run game & playcaller) Ex. 2 - Zach Wilson & how he can't control the opponents he plays Ex. 3 - Justin Fields & the impressiveness in Ryan Day's playcalling Ex. 4 - Trey Lance & the low passing volume of NDSU offense Why is Zach Wilson entrenched at the #2 slot on Dane's board? "The single trait that separates great quarterbacks from good quarterbacks is the ability to make the great, spontaneous decision, especially at a crucial time." - Bill Walsh What makes Trey Lance so exciting as a prospect? High IQ and FBI, exceptional physical traits in terms of arm talent and mobility Debating the #3 Overall Pick for the Niners: Making the case for Justin Fields - elite traits and high ceiling Making the case for Mac Jones - arguably most accurate passer & best decision maker The Uniqueness of the 2021 NFL Draft Potential to be the first draft where QB's go 1, 2, 3, and 4 overall Also, potential to be first draft with 5 QB's in the Top 10 overall picks It was a fun episode to record, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I want to thank our first sponsor of the show - Warroom for backing us at Up Close In Personnel! Used by teams in every P5 conference, all the way down to the high school level, they have packages that will take your program to the next level! For more information, as mentioned in the show, reach out to Moose Bingham at (801) 808-7754 or go to www.collegewarroom.com for more information! To find and follow Dane's work, check him out on Twitter at @dpbrugler, and be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and listening links!
87 minutes | 11 days ago
Ep. 42 - Ed Jones - Going Beyond The Field
In this episode with returning guest - Ed Jones, we take a deep dive into what player development looks like from the structure and programming, all the way down to specific examples and success stories of former student athletes he's worked with! Generational impact is the foundation of the "Beyond The Field" Program, and we start things off with what inspired Ed to launch the program publicly and help so many player development professionals in the process. As mentioned in the show, Ed made the jump from Kansas to Baylor since our last recorded conversation and we discuss what his new role as Assistant AD for Player Development looks like! His responsibilities include mentoring student athletes, working lockstep with Head Coach Dave Aranda to establish Baylor's culture, and being the glue between staff and players. The first main takeaway for this episode, is the importance of EDUCATING student athletes in their first year on campus - aka "Newcomer Orientation" Who are the people in our football program? Athletic department? On campus? How will those people interact, engage and impact the experience of your players? Where is everything located? Are we providing them answers to the test or tools to survive & thrive? What are program expectations, standards, etc.? You have to educate before you hold them accountable. Continuing on that path of development, Ed broke down the three PILLARS OF DEVELOPMENT Personal Wellness -helping players grow as young adults & prepare for success in life Community Impact -creating opportunities for players to help impact others in the community Career Development -providing tools, resources & guidance for success professionally Within each of these pillars, we break down different aspects of what Ed describes as the "Learning Process" for student athletes. That is, what the progression of development should look like from freshman year to senior year. I really enjoyed recording this one, not only because Ed is one of my best friends, but also because of his deep knowledge of this field. No matter what route we took, he had experiences, examples and stories to draw upon. If you're interested in purchasing the "Beyond The Field" eBook, please visit Ed's website - BTFProgram.com - and follow him on Twitter at @EdJones2! Lastly, check back with UpCloseInPersonnel.com each week for updates, notes and links! Enjoy!
70 minutes | a month ago
Ep. 41 - Brett Arkelian - Recruiting 101 for Specialists & How Colleges Evaluate Kickers
As I thought about this week's podcast, I realized we hadn't yet covered the wide world of special teams and recruiting specialists! Quoting the great Rich Eisen, "Punters are people too!" and we intend to cover all things related to recruiting on this show. Breaking down the recruiting process and more specifically what college recruiters look for in kickers, we are joined by Rice's Special Teams Graduate Assistant - Brett Arkelian. During this episode we talked through Brett's unique experience of going through the recruiting process as a high school, junior college and graduate transfer prospect. We covered a lot of topics that will help recruits and recruiters alike throughout the episode, starting with the importance of mental training: As a kicker, you will have to deal with failure and adversity; be prepared for that moment and put yourself in difficult training circumstances so that moment doesn't overwhelm you. Secondly, you have to incorporate visualization into your process. Visualize yourself in the environment, walk through the steps mentally and rehearse the big moment until it's just another moment. Lastly, you'll notice the chip on Brett's shoulder as he even came up with his own acronym - FEWSIC. "For everyone who said I can't" is Brett's way of using the opinions of others as self motivation, and I loved it. Focus on being positive, but you can also use the doubts of others as fuel for your own internal fire. When it comes to emailing, researching and reaching out to colleges, here are three quick tips for recruits out there (and this also applies to coaches or recruiters seeking employment from colleges): Email at the very end or at the very beginning of a work day, as you're email will be the first one a coach sees Make a good impression with the secretary and be consistent in reaching out Focus on quality over quantity in your communication: personalize the message, find common ground, etc. Also, here are five things that college recruiters need to assess when evaluating kickers: Consistent, linear swing plane Smooth in the approach Limit in backswing Locked out kicking foot (plantar flexion) Height on the ball This was an awesome episode to record, and I hope you learned as much as I did about kicking after listening through! To find and follow Brett's work, be sure to visit his website The Kicker's Bible | Iceman Kicking! Check out his podcast, the "Iceman Kicking Podcast" and pick up his ebook - "The Kicker's Bible!" Thanks for listening and you can always visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and listening links!
41 minutes | a month ago
Ep. 40 - Adrian Mayes - Leadership Lessons: Creating a Culture of Ownership & Accountability
The first person to give me a shot in college football recruiting, Adrian Mayes to this day is one of closest friends and mentors in the industry! In this week's show, we take a deep dive into the mindset Adrian had when he took over the recruiting department at the University of Houston and peel back the layers of his approach to recruiting! Starting off the show, we discussed what Adrian looked for when hiring interns. As he prepared for the role of director, he mentions that he studied the Ohio State and Alabama recruiting models for guidance. What he looks for, is pretty simple and boils down to two points: Look for people smarter than you Find people with true passion and personality As you will notice through the rest of the show, Adrian takes pride in entrusting role and responsibility to his interns in order to create ownership within the department. That brings us to the next big topic covered, which is how to create a team atmosphere in the recruiting department: It all starts with ownership in what you're doing -taking pride in your work And secondly, it takes accountability Accountability, which is covered throughout this episode, is obviously enforced by the superior but needs to be reinforced by the individuals within the department. No different than a player-led team, you need your front line workers to hold each other to standards set by the supervisor. When it comes to recruiting, there were a lot of takeaways as it pertains to the evaluation side of the business as well. For Adrian, he is adamant about watching every player that high school coaches send your way. There are no such things as diamonds in the rough anymore with the proliferation of film and exposure, but you can miss out on players if you don't take the time to sit down and watch them. Also covered was the topic of intangibles and evaluating the learning capabilities of a given recruit. You can't take all exceptions with less than prototypical measurables, but it is extremely important to keep an open mind for the really good football players that love the game. If you like the player, be thorough about what he can and can't do, and see if he has traits to overcome those limitations. In the words of Cincinnati Bengals DPP Duke Tobin, "The art of scouting is what deficiencies do you accept? Everybody is looking for the same positives…" With regards to assessing a recruit's ability to learn ball and pick up concepts, Adrian does a great job of explaining how he teaches a recruit a specific concept, asks the recruit to teach the concept back to him and watches closely how the recruit executes those actions. Is he taking notes? After listening and taking notes, how does he retain and regurgitate the information? How was he taught by his coaches? What concepts can he articulate back to the coach? Etc. All this and more is covered on the show, and it was a ton of fun to hit that record button! You can follow Adrian on Twitter at @CoachAMayes, and be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and listening links!
49 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep. 39 - Vincent Marshall - Asking Better Questions & Knowing What to Look For in Recruiting
Joined by my good friend and former colleague, Vincent Marshall, this episode is as good as it gets in terms of recruiting knowledge! A big takeaway from the show is Vincent's genuine approach to life and football. Starting off the day with a positive tweet, getting into the office at 4:30am and being authentic in building relationships with players and coaches, his approach is one we all can learn from. To kick the show off, he discussed what lessons in recruiting he's taken from his own personal journey as a dual sport athlete. For the potential walk-on recruit: Focus on working hard regardless of the outcome Be prepared to not play a down and, if you give it your all and leave with a degree, you'll have no regrets When it comes to the recruiting process, Vincent's step-by-step advice will be applicable to recruit and recruiter alike. After building his list through highlight tapes, it's important to determine how a player is built mentally. Here are the questions that Vincent is asking high school coaches? Will he block? Is that something he tries to be good at? (Evaluate film of this as well) How are his grades? Does he perform in the classroom? When coached hard, how does he respond? Ask scenario based questions to encourage the coach to paint a picture. Next, we talked through "Profile Tapes" and what those are in recruiting departments. Highlights are supposed to look good, just like filters on social media. Here are some quick tips on creating these hit tapes: Find the stats if available Pick out the player's best and worst three games of the season Select 30 clips from each of those games, breaking down why it was one of his best or worst games Be sure to evaluate effort away from the ball, interactions pre/post-snap, blocking, special teams and if he's playing on both sides of the ball Lastly, Vincent went through how he evaluates a prospect's social media: Look at the "Likes" section; what's important to them? What do they tweet about and does it align with how he speaks to you as the recruiter in your relationship All in all, this was a great episode to learn about a person I look up to, respect and appreciate for how much he has helped me in my own journey as a college recruiter. You can follow Vincent on Twitter at @CoachMarshall, and be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and listening links!
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep. 38 - Marco Regalado - The "TikTok Coach" & his journey to College Football Recruiting
This is a show I've wanted to record ever since the middle of the pandemic! Due to NCAA rules, I am unable to record with current high school coaches (that are associated with recruits) BUT.... now that Marco Regalado has been named a Recruiting Analyst with Washington State University, we now are graced by his presence! Jumping on the show after driving nearly 2,000 miles from the DFW to Pullman, Washington, Marco made time this weekend to talk about his amazing path from high school coach to college football recruiter. In this episode, we cover everything from how Marco makes his viral TikTok videos to his love for the game of football and desire to help other people. What I enjoyed most about the conversation is how genuine Coach Regalado is as a person, how he embraces all of his past experiences and plans to put those lessons to use at the next level! When giving advice to college football recruiters in dealing with high school coaches, here are two main points made my Marco:1. Follow up with everyone!Good, bad, or indifferent, let the coach know you watched their prospects. Whether or not you sign the player is irrelevant, the coach just needs to be able to provide his player with constructive feedback.2. Don't Ask Who's Offered!First off (we didn't say this on the show), you can easily check 247, Rivals, Twitter or ask the kid. Second, you have to trust your eyes and not your ears as an evaluator. Evaluate the student athlete and then do your investigative work.As far as presenting yourself on social media as a college recruiter, Marco also gave great advice for how to put your best foot forward:Don't be vulgar -it's not attractive and not professional at allBe weary of opinions -you're representing more than just yourselfBe yourself and have fun -don't take yourself too seriously!I know Marco is going to do great things at the college level and I hope you took something away from this episode! You can follow him on Twitter at @CoachRegalado, and easily find him on TikTok! For show notes and links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com, and thanks again for tuning in!
68 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep. 37 - Joan Ryan - Unlocking The Concept of Team Chemistry
In this episode, we take a deep dive into Joan Ryan's new book "Intangibles" and break down what team chemistry truly is. Chemistry isn't simply defined or contained, but there are two distinct types of chemistry -social and task chemistry. Social chemistry is what we commonly think of, in terms of social and emotional connectivity. Task chemistry is all about the job and having complete trust in your teammate on the field. Complete task chemistry is that "foxhole" mentality and pride in playing for one another. And to create true chemistry, there are three stages that Joan outlines from the military model:Trust: This is a foundational piece to Joan's philosophy on team chemistry, as no meaningful relationships can come about without the establishment of trust. We must begin by trusting our teammates and proving our own personal trustworthiness. Bonding: The second step is bonding. Once trust is established, we are able to create a bond through the hardships and adversity we face as a team. The power of bonding and love for your teammates is the strongest binding force for team chemistry and togetherness. Commitment: The final stage is commitment, and not commitment to simply a goal or vision but a commitment to each other. The "Just Us" mindset of the Golden State Warriors was Joan's prime example of a team committed to one another. Within teams, there's also a variety of roles that leaders must be aware of so that they can communicate and lead at a high level. In "Intangibles", Joan lists seven archetypes that we detail on the show but it's not as simple as selecting a set number of archetypes. Team chemistry is not like actual chemistry in that there's a specific formula for success. As stated in the book, "His role on the field is prescribed… His role in the clubhouse is not. He has to discover it. He gathers signals from teammates about what they value in him. They don't know they're filling a role. They just do it." I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as I did in recording it, and encourage you as the listener to pick up her book "Intangibles" and follow Joan on Twitter at @JoanRyan. For show notes and links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com, and thanks again for tuning in!
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep. 36 - Colby Carthel - Keeping It Real on Coaching & Recruiting
In this episode, Coach Carthel gives us an inside look on the challenges SFA faced on the field as a team and off the field in recruiting this past year. With the Southland Conference cancelling conference games, Coach Carthel and SFA put together a full, 10-game, non-conference schedule and made it happen ! This was one of the more fun show to be a part of and we hit on everything from coach's affinity for the state of Alaska, what he's learned from his dad through coaching together and all the major shifts seen in the college football recruiting landscape over the past 20 years. We even went through his viral, shirt off-celebration following an overtime victory over ACU! Throughout the episode, you will hear Coach Carthel emphasize the importance of surrounding yourself with great people. Whether that's your personal life, professional or in the recruiting process, this applies to everyone. For recruits: who are the types of coaches and players you want to align yourself with? Every interaction with college coaches and recruiters is an opportunity for you to evaluate their character. For college coaches: who are the types of coaches you are willing to work alongside and who are the types of players you want in your program? Culture is built up of the collective character of the people in your building, so what does that look like? To the recruits' side of things, Coach Carthel provided great advice on how recruits can make better decisions during their recruiting process: 1. Do your homework on the head coachWhat's their background? What kind of person are they? Job stability?Lean on your high school head coach to help you assess the head coach. 2. Go through the current roster & ask the playersCoaches will tell you what you want to hear.Players will give you the real truth on what to expect. Lastly, Coach added in what he looks for when hiring his staff:Good People, first and foremostGreat RecruitersSound Football Coaches In that order, Coach wants to add coaches with strong, Christian morals and character, because the ultimate role of a coach is leading their players to success in life (not just ball). To follow Coach Colby Carthel, check him out on Twitter at @CoachCarthel! For show notes and links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com, and thanks again for tuning in!
57 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep. 35 - Brian Metz - The Master Observer with a Beginner's Mindset: Lessons in Coaching & Recruiting
In this episode, Brian Metz walks us through his journey from equipment student manager to full time, Tight Ends coach with the Ohio Bobcats! As we discuss his approach to networking and career growth, as well as his recruiting process, it's easy to see how and why Brian is where he is. He's passionate about having a "beginner's" or "growth mindset" and takes pride in being what he calls a "master observer". Here are some quick bullet points from the episode and thank you for tuning into the show! The "Beginner's Mindset"Similar to "growth mindset" - process over outcomesBe acutely aware of what you don't knowHustle to learn everything you can about what you don't knowFollow your curiosities when learning (IE snowball effect)Advice for Volunteer Coaches/Recruiters:Be a "MASTER OBSERVER" (IE a fly on the wall)Show gratitude for those that are supporting your careerUnderstand your role within the program:Support the mission and vision of those above youThink critically and write down everything you like/don't likeAdvice for Networking in the Coaching Profession:Network UP (to those above you) and OUT (to those on the same level or below)Begin with the end in mindIf you want a job: be prepared to handout resumes and presentIf you want to meet new people: go to the main lobby and engage others"Stratify" prioritize people you have to see and overcommunicate that they're a priorityBuilding "Player Profiles" in RecruitingAs mentioned with networking, begin with the end in mindStudy what has been successful at your program and in your conferenceBreakdown the roles and duties of each position, with the most important roles prioritizedFind players that fit your culture, can do what your system requires and have traits that translateThanks for listening to another edition of Up Close In Personnel with Alex Brown! You can find and follow Brian on Twitter at @CoachBrianMetz, as well as visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com for any and all show updates!
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep. 34 - Pete Thamel - The Craziness of 2020 & Seismic Shifts Facing College Football in 2021
In the inaugural episode of 2021, Yahoo Sports' College Football Reporter - Pete Thamel breaks down the craziness that was 2020 and the seismic shifts facing the sport moving forward! One of the best in the business, Pete shares how he got started in the sports reporting profession, his writing and reporting process, and insights gained from being around the highest performers in college athletics. When it comes to interviewing, he shared three critical keys to success:It takes time -each interview is a rep and that's the #1 way to improveBuild rapport -ask the hard questions last and tease out the informationTell a story -make sure to extract the anecdotes and specifics to draw others inAs far as the State of College Football Recruiting, we touched on:The 85-Man Scholarship Hard Cap & challenges produced by the COVID eligibility waiverThe Implications of no campus visits -both from the lens of colleges & athletesThe Effects of colleges not being able to evaluate prospects in person for the time beingAnd, the reverberations that will be felt across the sport -specifically in the class of 2022If you're interested in working in sports media, please do yourself a favor and be ready to take notes from Pete. He's one of the very best at building relationships, networking with high performers in the industry and articulating compelling stories to college football fans.If you're passionate about evaluating, recruiting and the landscape of college football, we have you covered as well! I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it and I look forward to bringing more shows to you all in 2021! To follow Pete, check him out on Twitter at @PeteThamel, and tune in to his weekly podcast with Dan Wetzel & Pat Forde called the Yahoo Sports College Podcast! For show notes and links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com, and Happy New Years everyone!
40 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep. 33 - Evan Harrington - Finding Mentors & International Recruiting
In this episode, Evan Harrington - Assistant Director for Player Engagement with the Washington Football Team shares incredible insight from his impressive (albeit young) career in the coaching profession. With the experience of playing at the JuCo, FBS, NFL, CFL, and International levels, along with coaching across four different countries, Evan might be the most traveled football coach in the world. Throughout the episode he speaks to how it is so critical to hold onto and cultivate relationships with people that have invested in your life. Finding mentors and surrounding yourself with those that will push you to be your best, is a major key to success in this industry (and any industry for that matter). Additionally, Evan gives a Recruiting 101 tutorial on how to recruit internationally. Where to look (Germany and Sweden for BIGS, Austria for the most well-coached players, and France for speed), and the importance of figuring out what type of coaching these recruits are receiving. At the end of the day, his lasting advice boiled down to "being where your feet are". Do your job right now with the awareness that there is always someone out there that would kill for your job. Build relationships with others in the industry when you don't need a job (not just when you need one), and never burn a bridge. To follow Evan and his work, check out his Twitter at @CoachH49 and check out his new show on International recruiting on YouTube called "The Morning Session". For show notes and links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com, and happy early National Signing Period to all the recruiters following the show!
53 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 32 - Ryan "Tree" Trichel (Ft. Joe Moreno) - Keys to Success in Player Personnel
In this episode, we start out with a deep dive on how to successfully lead and manage a player personnel department with Auburn's DPP - Ryan "Tree" Trichel. Starting with Tree's experience at Louisiana-Lafayette and working to his current role at Auburn, the emphasis on organization stands out above all else. He truly takes pride in being the most organized recruiter and staying one step ahead of the competition. At the tail end of our conversation, we brought in his right hand man, Joe Moreno - Player Personnel Graduate Assistant at Auburn, who shared his journey to Auburn and what all he's learned since working with Tree. If you're looking to learn more about how recruiting works, grow as a director or take the next step as an young recruiter, this episode is absolutely for you. To follow these two phenomenal guests, check out their Twitter handles at @RyanTrichel and @Joe_Moreno16! For complete show notes and podcast links, be sure to visit UpCloseInPersonnel.com!
64 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 31 - Bobby Merritt - Assessing Value & Defining Roles in Personnel
Joined by my good friend and mentor, Bob Merritt - Assistant GM for the Edmonton Eskimos, this week's edition of Up Close In Personnel is basically a tutorial on how to successfully assemble a recruiting department and construct a roster in college football! Having coached, scouted, and recruited at all levels of football, Bobby details his career path and lessons he's learned along the way. We really dialed in on the roster management and construction aspect of personnel, so this week I decided to drop all of the notes I took away from the conversation in bullet form below! Topics Covered:Bobby's Current Role in the CFLAssistant General ManagerEvaluating US College, Canadian College, CFL and NFL players Diverse Experiences in FootballSuccess comes down to the ability to communicate and collaborate at a high level with the various personalities involved in the professionMust be able to connect with people around you and work effectively; a more diverse background helps with the ability to relate and connect The Impact of the Air Force and Military Making the move from Coaching to Personnel Roster Construction 101Identifying MUSTS, NEEDS and WANTSAssessing the value of your roster and incoming playersDefining a clear role and vision for new players The Head Coach-General Manager Relationship Advice for Interviewing and Hiring Interns Building and Growing a pro-styled Personnel Department3 Core ValuesBe a great teammateCompete to be your bestBuild relationshipsDeveloping as an evaluatorCannot be afraid of being wrongSay what you see with convictionBe a great listener and hear the traitsUnderstand what your team valuesParameter vs Skill SetDepends on level of ballCertain positions require parametersEx: Perimeter players must have length and speedSome positions don't require as stringent parametersEx: Height doesn't matter as much for linebackers Evaluating speed without verified timesAssess the player's play speed on game film3 key components to look for:Stride length (gait)Stride frequency (turnover)Hip mobility (fluidity and knee drive) Predicting the draft vs projecting the playerRemember to always define the role a player will play on your team prior to him joining the program; if you don't, then there's no way of reviewing the success or failure of the acquisition. Let me know what you took away from the show and be sure to give Bobby a follow on Twitter at @BobbyMerritt8! For listening links and notes from previous shows, please visit the show's official website UpCloseInPersonnel.com and comment with whatever notes and takeaways you had from our conversation! Thanks again and see you all next week!
56 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 30 - Ethan Johnson - Finding the "Fit" & Projecting Talent
In this interview, Ethan Johnson of Liberty talks through his personal journey in the recruiting world, what he's learned along the way and actionable advice for making personnel decisions in college football. Liberty is one of the fastest rising programs in the country, so I had to make sure we got Ethan on the show to break down his process and how Liberty has performed so well on a national front. The words "Process" and "Fit" are constantly used in this episode, and for good reason. You must be detailed and consistent in your approach, if you intend to learn along the way and continually improve as a recruiter. Refining the Evaluation Process:As a recruiting director, you have to train up your team of assistants and interns. Defining the evaluation process with a series of benchmarks and checklists, creates a more refined attack. Don't just type in comments that pop into your head; hone in on what is important to your team, to that specific side of the football and position, so you bring players that fit what you're looking for as a program. Understand that each year is different in terms of needs within your program as well. It's critical that you do an after action review of the class you are signing, what is returning to your team the following season and spelling out what it is that you need for the next cycle. This will get everyone on the same page and empower your full-time coaches to better mine their recruiting areas for talent. Finding the "Fit":The biggest takeaway from this episode comes down to the "fit". When it comes to finding the right "fit", college programs must be hyper aware of what makes their program unique - or as Ethan says, "What makes us, us?" Factors that come into play go beyond the field and include things like region, location, academics, campus life, alumni, culture within football program, personalities on staff, etc. Each program has a unique selling point or collection of traits that set them apart, and targeting players that value what you have to offer creates a win-win scenario. Bringing in student athletes that don't fit into your culture, or academic structure, or some other component to the school, is a huge disservice to both parties. It's our job in the recruiting process to be honest with recruits on what the program truly is like and for the recruits to be upfront about what they care most about. Recruiting R&D:Lastly, we talked about how research and development is how we as recruiting staffs get better. Take what you did in the past, break it down to its core parts and reassess the outcomes. What went well? What didn't go well? From budget spending to official visits to national signing day to camps and recruiting travel, to player personnel there is always room for improvement. Being detailed in the documentation of evaluations, itineraries, calendars and other recruiting material, will allow you to go back and revisit those things. On the player personnel side, recruiters must also be diligent in re-evaluating talent that is in the building and monitoring the development of players. Who's added weight? Who's more explosive? What factors in their makeup or physical traits has allowed them to develop? What are common themes in the progression of players in our program? These are just some of my notes from this episode, but please visit the show's official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com and comment with whatever notes and takeaways you had from our conversation! As always, if you enjoyed listening to Ethan, be sure to follow him on Twitter at @EthanJohnsonCFB!
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 29 - Joe Price - Program Culture & Branding in the Recruiting Process
In this interview, we catch up with UTSA's Joe Price as it's nearly been 7 months since his last visit to the show. We talk about how this season has been for UTSA in Head Coach Jeff Traylor's first season at the helm and Joe's first year as Director of Player Personnel. EDITOR'S NOTE: Our conversation was recorded Wednesday, 2 days before the announced postponement of the matchup between Rice and UTSA due to positive cases on UTSA's team. With that being said, there were a lot of great insights shared by Joe that I'd like to highlight in this week's show notes! Throughout the show, you'll hear Joe talk about BRANDING. Finding an identity as a program is so critical and UTSA has done a very good job of that. The "Triangle of Toughness" which is directed at running the ball on offense, being great on special teams and physical on defense, is a staple to the program and something you'll see all over their social media. To that point, I asked Joe how he and his recruiting team work to identify players that fit into that culture of toughness. In the evaluation process of watching tape, here are some examples given by Joe on what he looks for:Ex. 1: How does a receiver play without the ball in his hands? Does he give great effort on the backside of a progression? Does he block with great effort?Ex. 2: On defense, how does a player pursue to the ball? Does he sprint to the football and strain to finish plays? Also, we discussed the team's focus on winning in their home city - The "210" of San Antonio. The benefit of keeping players home is that the entire city will know who these guys are and it not only benefits the crowds you draw but the future recruits as well. The ripple effect is having your team engaged with selling the program to local recruits, which breeds success on the road! As always, if you enjoyed listening to Joe Price, you can follow him on Twitter at @CoachJP3! Also, don't forget to check out our official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com for links, notes and updates!
55 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep. 28 - Marshall Cherrington - The Importance of Relationships in Recruiting
In my conversation with Marshall, we talked through his journey to the Bay Area and his process as a recruiter. There's so much to pull away from this episode, especially if you want to learn the mindset of one of the top recruiters in the country. Marshall understands the importance of promoting the brand of Cal football and the connection that must exist with the target audience of recruits. Below are some of my notes from this show, be sure to let me know what you took away and thanks for tuning in! "Getting a foot in the door" - LIVE IN THE MOMENT If you want to break into the football industry, you must have an open mind to working in a role that may not be exactly your desired "end state". Marshall started out in equipment and instead of complaining that he wasn't working in recruiting, he excelled in the role he DID have. Learn all the "little things" and become a master in the work you're given. As you do a great job "where your feet are", THEN you can seek out additional work to display your ability to perform a different type of role. Marshall found ways to assist recruiting while working in equipment, and the bottom line is that people in the building recognized his work ethic and performance. Leadership Lesson 101 - MAKE YOUR PEOPLE FEEL VALUED To be a good leader, you have to learn your people and their perspectives. Be considerate of what they may be going through and take time out of the day to check in with where they are at mentally. Give out responsibility and meaningful tasks to create a sense of value. The Role of a Director of Recruiting Strategy - PRIMARY TOUCH POINT In Marshall's position as Director of Recruiting Strategy, his primary role is to serve as main touch point to recruits. That includes: providing facts on the university, the football program and the local region; overseeing and organizing the communication strategy with recruits; relationship building and character assessment; maintaining a pulse on the recruiting landscape nationally; and assisting in the evaluation process. Best advice for FaceTime Calls with Recruits - TALK ABOUT LIFE Recruits get hit up constantly about ball and school. Talk about life with recruits and show that you care about them as a person, not just as an athlete. Equally important, you must get them on the phone and in front of the right faces -that's the area coach, position coach, coordinator, head coach and at least one person in recruiting. That way they know who to go to with questions. If you enjoyed listening to Marshall, you can follow him on Twitter at @MWCherrington! Also, don't forget to check out our official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and future updates on the show!
46 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep. 27 - Tony Cappuccilli - Inside the LA Dodgers & Developing "Homegrown Talent"
Joined by Tony Cappuccilli - Manager with the Ogden Raptors (rookie ball club within the LA Dodgers' farm system) episode 27 is loaded with material for anyone trying to learn more about teambuilding, coaching, player development, scouting and recruiting! As a member of the Dodgers' organization since 2017, Tony's hoping that the third time is the charm when it comes to World Series runs. We recorded this show while the Dodgers were in the midst of their 3-1 NLCS series comeback. Let me know what you took away from the show, but here are a few of my favorite notes from this week's episode: Advice on Navigating the Coaching ProfessionYou have to constantly evolve -"what got you there, won't keep you there"Be ready to pay your dues -are you okay with volunteering?Find the right fit -make sure you can make the most of an opportunity before going "all-in" Building a Winning Franchise - The Los Angeles DodgersThey have really good people, first and foremost -no problem guysLeadership starts from the top down, creating a winning environment and culture"Don't suck as a person", do things the right way and everything falls into place Breaking Down an MLB Scouting ReportAthleticism and how the player moves, firstOffensive ability secondStrengths, weaknesses as a playerAreas for ImprovementMust include how the player communicates and takes coaching*Projected Role on the team "Do's and Don'ts" for Recruiting EmailsPut the coach's name in the addressTalk about the school and show them you've done your homeworkKeep the email text short and to the pointKeep any video attachment short and to the pointKnow what you're expecting to receive -a camp invite Thanks again for listening, if you liked hearing from Tony - be sure to follow him on Twitter at @tcapp19! Also, don't forget to check out our official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and future updates on the show! Thanks for tuning in and see you next week!
53 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep. 26 - Eric Galko - Scouting in the XFL & Roster Construction
In my conversation with Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting, we touched on everything from comparing quarterbacks to characters from the classic show, "The Office" to scouting processes, navigating the football industry and behind the scenes stories from his experience overseeing player personnel within the XFL! Knowing Eric as both a friend and former colleague, this was one of the most enjoyable conversations I've recorded and chock full of personnel insight! Here are some of my own takeaways from the episode, but please be sure to comment or tweet at me with what you took away from the show: Network with a purpose - BRING VALUE. UTSA's Joe Price discussed this when he joined the show (Episode 4) but you have to find a way to stand out from the pack. Identify possible pain points or problems to solve for the people you're trying to connect with, be patient and be prepared with an answer when the time comes. Hire people that are UPWARDLY DRIVEN. To reach true heights as an organization, you have to bring in high performers. With that said, most high performers will have their own career aspirations and part of the role of being a leader is developing your employees to reach their own personal and professional potential. Be prepared to lose your best employees as they climb the ladder and accomplish their dreams, and continually seek, recruit and incorporate those types of workers into your program. That applies to recruiting, coaching and any business field for that matter. Decision makers want to hear your ONE LINER (Not your entire report). Don't lose the forest for the trees and get lost in the minutiae. Break down the role of the player you are evaluating and what his fit is within your program/scheme. That's it. Have the rest of the scouting report information ready to answer any follow up questions, but cut to the chase because decision makers don't always have the luxury of time. When constructing your roster, DON'T MISS ON INFO. What are we talking about when it comes to info? That's your background and character of a player, the work ethic, coachability, accountability, professionalism, etc. That's injury history. That's verified measurables and up to date testing numbers. Lastly, but certainly not least is the analytics piece. How does a player with "x" production and measurables stack up historically to other players at his position? The information gathering component to scouting is the most OBJECTIVE segment of an extremely SUBJECTIVE process. Being aware of the subjectivity of evaluating the game film and limiting errors within the more predictive, objective field of research/information is the first step in lowering your "misses". Again, be sure to hit me up with your top takeaways from the episode and thank you for taking time out of your day to tune in! If you enjoyed listening to Eric talk ball, you can follow him on Twitter at @EricGalko! Also, don't forget to check out our official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and future updates on the show!
44 minutes | 6 months ago
Ep. 25 - Jordan Arcement - Making The Connection
In my conversation with Jordan Arcement - Director of Recruiting from UVA, we honed in on relationship building and making the connection as a recruiter. Over the course of this podcast, we've had multiple guest bring up how important relationship-building is in the process and how it separates the good from the great recruiters. Still, this is one episode where we dig past the surface and provide specific examples of how to execute; and while some of the conversation gears around Jordan's experiences, there are two main principles that any recruiter can take away from this episode. 1). You need to DEFINE YOUR WHY (PURPOSE). Jordan's why is deep, it's tough, but it's real, authentic and relatable to recruits. Growing up in a single parent household after losing his father, Jordan seeks to provide that mentorship and guidance as a father-figure to recruits who may not have a father in their life. Moreover, he also endured career ending injuries and is able to relate to the uncertainty and doubt that clouds an athlete's mind when the game is ripped away. 2). Secondly, you have to BE ORGANIC. Everybody likes to talk ball, but that's also the only thing most people talk about with recruits. Don't be afraid to open up and be vulnerable with the recruit you're engaging with. Trust is vital, and it's a two-way street -you have to give it in order to receive it. As you get to know more information about the person you're talking to, find common interests and common ground that you can hone in on. Once you've found that connecting piece, you're able to have a different relationship than other schools and stand out. If you enjoyed listening to Jordan talk shop, you can follow him on Twitter at @JordanArcement! Also, don't forget to check out our official website, UpCloseInPersonnel.com for complete show notes and future updates on the show! Thanks for tuning in and see you next week!
51 minutes | 7 months ago
Ep. 24 - Neil Stratton - Inside the NFL Scouting Industry
If you're interested in the world of NFL scouting, then this episode is for you! Neil Stratton, President of Inside The League, talks shop on the scouting process, how to break into the industry and his new book called "Scout Speak"! "Scout Speak" is an easy $9.99 purchase that can be found on Amazon (link provided below) and touches on all things related to the scouting process, the draft room and how to carve a career out in the industry! Current and former NFL scouts weigh in on the various topics covered in the book, all adding their own flavor and unique draft room or road trip stories for you to read through. Getting to my conversation with Neil, we got deep in the weeds on what the best scouts have in common, the difficulty in "evaluating the evaluators" and how to break into the game for the young, aspiring NFL scout out there listening to the show. Here are my notes and main takeaways from this week's episode: Commonalities Among the Best ScoutsCourage to develop their own opinions and be wrong, while learning from mistakesAwareness that this is a people driven industry and the ability to connect with peopleConsistency in always showing up Evaluating the EvaluatorsThis question is ultimately a tough ask for anyone to answer, but Neil does a great job of breaking down exactly why this question is rarely answered: It's an "Ole Boy Network" and most scouts don't want to fire their buddiesThere's a distinct difference between information gatherers and talent evaluators, so that adds a layer of complicationSo many people are involved in the cross checking process, which makes the pick more of a consensus and collective decision (by design)Ultimately, success is a function of the area the scout oversees, team needs and the development process once that player reaches your building *In my mind, the only way to get an accurate assessment of your process as an evaluator is to implement and execute a system of case studies -I.E. reviewing previously acquired players, re-grading them off the film, assessing how they performed in your program, identifying what went right (or wrong), and identifying how those positive or negative traits may have been overlooked or glossed over. Breaking Into the Scouting IndustryAsking this one is also a difficult question for Neil, but he nailed it on this podcast: The human element - Nothing is more important than connecting with scouts and decision makers that can vouch for your character, ability but most of all, your personality. Don't take the easy way out with a text or email. Make the effort to write a handwritten letter or take the time to call and create a dialogue. People want to hire other people they like. It's a pretty simple fact. There's an old saying that it's not what you know, but who you know. That may be true, however the real quote should read "It's not what you know, but who knows you." Build your reputation one day at a time, master the area you are in currently and invest in relationships. You can follow Neil on Twitter at @InsideTheLeague, visit his website Inside The League and check out his latest book on scouting, "Scout Speak" on Amazon!
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