High school coaches have players' backs in recruiting game

In six days, the recruiting frizzy - know as National Signing Day - begins.

On Wednesday, former high school football players will be dressed in their best attire and sit behind a table with their parents, siblings and coaches as they mug for the flashing cameras.

This is also the time of year where the Google search engine has become my best friend.

Through the years of covering these high school signing ceremonies, I've learned just about every little-known college that has a football program.

We all know how the Bowl Championship Series (BSC) schools recruit with their big budgets. But how does Benedictine University near Chicago, find a player in Stockbridge, Georgia? The Eagles roster is mostly filled with players from the Midwest, except for former Woodland player Rashon Lewis.

Come Wednesday, Avila University in suburban southwest Kansas City, Mo., will probably have a few Georgia players on its 2010 roster.

What gives?

At some point, a high school coach from this area reached out to one of these school's coaching staff. A large number of players have the dream of playing college football. Of course all are not big or talented enough.

At this time of year, there are some high school coaches that are working just as hard as they did during the football season. They are working the phones and shipping out film on players in hopes that some school will offer their former player a shot at playing college football.

Not all high school players are big or talented enough to play on the next level, but kudos to the high school coaches that help the ones that are achieve their goal.

Last month, Henry County High hosted the annual Southern Crescent Recruiting Fair, which was attended by 75 coaches at non-Div. I BCS schools. Football programs that don't have big recruiting budgets rely heavily on high school coaches to pass on the names of potential recruits.

Not all coaches see it as part of their job to get involved in recruiting.

But some think it goes hand-and-hand with being a coach and educator.

Longtime Southwest DeKalb coach Buck Godfrey is probably the master at helping deserving lower-level type players receive some type of athletic aid. Godfrey once told me that if a player puts forth the effort on the field and in the classroom, he would do all in his power to help a player secure a scholarship.

In 1995, he had an astonishing 26 players to receive some sort of type athletic financial assistance.

You definitely have to admire the coaches that jungle teaching, coaching, family life and they spend countless hours dubbing film and making recruiting calls.

Players are appreciative of the extra effort that their coaches put in to help them land a scholarship.

And I know parents like it when the burden of paying for college is eased some by a scholarship.

During the Southern Crescent Recruiting Fair, former Henry College quarterback Dylan Shaddix received some interest after college coaches watched him on film.

"This let you know that the coaches care about you," Shaddix said. "This let you know that they have your back."

And it shows they care.