Cody Fick opens up about his time as a Division 1 recruiter.
University of Evansville – NCAA Division 1 (2013-2018)
Head of Pitching Development/16U Head Coach - Gators Baseball Academy
Trainer- Premier Pitching Performance
1) What did a player's GPA mean to you?
GPA’s and test scores were important to us at the University of Evansville. We were allowed to combine athletic and academic aid if the prospective student athlete met the NCAA’s requirement of a 3.5 GPA of a sum 105 ACT (composite 27) to offer combination aid. At a small private school with a full cost of close to $50,000 a year it was important for us to find ways to make our school an affordable option and academics played a part in doing that. It also allowed us to stretch our athletic aid much further.
2) Did you put more stock into what a high school coach or club coach said about a player?
I wouldn’t say that I put more stock in either the high school coach or club coach. It was important to hear from both of them and taking into consideration that the player in most situations is paying to be on a club team. This creates a much different relationship with them versus their high school coach. It is important as a recruiter to get honest evaluations but sometimes it does require “sifting through some fluff”.
3) What were some of the questions you asked his questions to get more background on a player?
A typical list of background questions would look like the following:
What type of worker is he?
What type of teammate is he?
What are parents/family like?
Does he love the game?
4) Did you over-recruit? Why or why not?
In 2014, we had roughly 40 players on our fall squad by bringing in more walk on-players. The roster had to be trimmed to 35 per NCAA rules. This was the only time we created this scenario. We felt it would breed competition at multiple positions and improve our overall roster quality by the spring. Never did we over offer scholarship money though. The scholarship amount a prospective student athlete agreed to with a verbal “commitment” was the amount they received when they signed their National Letter of Intent. This was the ethical choice we decided to make as a staff.
5) When a player came on a visit with his family, what was the biggest thing they could do to turn you off? Impress you?
When a family showed up to campus and had clearly done some research on our baseball program and school I was always impressed. It’s surprising how many visitors were not prepared in this way. Anytime a player came prepared with questions I respected the seriousness in which in took the visit and the recruiting process. A turn-off for me was when parents spoke for their son when I asked the player questions. Also, I hated when the student-athlete spent an abnormal amount off time checking his cell phone. Any level of disrespect shown to campus personnel or family members was also a good way to leave campus without a scholarship offer.
6) How often did your recruit a player from one of your camps?
We recruited from our camps almost every year and got commitments from individuals who attended them. Our camps were two fold; we wanted to make money for our program and coaches AND have the ability to evaluate players during periods of the year when we could not go off campus to recruit.
7) If you were recruiting today, how much stock would you put into 3rd party rankings like Perfect Game or PBR?
Rankings from PBR and PG are not that important. Their value from a recruiting standpoint is the access to video and metrics.
8) Why do you think they are so many transfers in college baseball?
Only 9 players can play at a time and there are 35 on a roster. Players want to play. This is the main reason. Some players end up at schools where they may have to develop for a couple years to play. Other players end up at schools where they may never be able to be a starter. Over recruiting and early commitments play into the high transfer rate.
We can’t forget that there is more money in college baseball than ever before at
the highest levels and this leads to more coaching changes which can trigger many transfer situations as well.
9) When offering a scholarship, did you offer on what the player was worth or what you could get him for? ( In terms of baseball scholarship)
Yes and yes. Scholarship offer amounts derive from so many variables. Timing, need, and ability are the big ones. Our goal was to allocate our 11.7 scholarships as wisely as we could across our 27 roster “counters”.
For more information about the College Athlete Advantage Recruiting Program please call Mike Orchard @ 407-489-7509 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.