Drew coach Jarrett Laws has spent the last five seasons building the Titans program from the ground when the Riverdale school opened in 2009. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
There are 46 days left until National Signing Day in February.
College coaches have been busy on the recruiting trail, which has kept high school coaches and players in the county busy the last three weeks.
“The recruiting aspect is a big part of our job as coaches,” Drew coach Jarrett Laws said. “This is a critical junction for many players because it is make or break time for them, especially the players that are not on the Division I radar. For the college coaches, this is their time to get one-on-one face time with the players.”
Two weeks ago, Laws hosted an all-day recruiting fair for college coaches. The recruiting fair ran in conjunction with the football state finals, which was being held at the Georgia Dome. He said about 40 colleges were represented at the recruiting fair.
Although it was a dead period for NCAA Football Bowl Championship teams, Laws said he had coaches from II, III, NAIA and junior college schools on campus. All the county schools participated in the affair, and a handful of coaches from Henry and Rockdale county were in attendance.
College prospects have been juggling schoolwork and recruiting during finals week.
“I was called out of class just about every day the last couple of weeks to meet with a coach,” said Riverdale wide receiver Rashad Canty, who sports a 3.3 grade-point average. “It has really been busy for me, and my teammates.”
Although Canty committed to Appalachian State during the summer, he is close to getting an offer from Vanderbilt and Missouri. The 6-foot-4 wide receiver said he is close to setting up visits to the SEC schools next month.
He took an official visit to Minnesota in October, and later received an offer from the Big Ten school.
When FBS coaches were allowed to visit, all the school sent about two coaches to his house. He said Appalachian State sent four for an in-home visit.
“Appalachian State has been very understanding,” Canty said. “The coaches told me that I just need to make the best decision for me. I’m going to take these next few weeks to sort things out.”
Lovejoy junior wide receiver Preston Williams has been just as busy. In September, Williams, who is considered one of the top recruits in the country, committed to Tennessee. During the opening period, he entertained visits from coaches at Ole Miss, Kentucky, Syracuse, Georgia State and Tennessee.
“I’m still committed to Tennessee,” Williams said. “It has really been busy for me.”
While recruiting has been the main focus, high school coaches say having college coaches on campus serves two purposes for them and their program.
Riverdale coach Terry Herrod said that he spends a lot of time talking to the college coaches at schemes and how to do workouts.
“We are always talking football,” Herrod said. “You get to build a good rapport with these coaches, and they share information that you can use to build your program.”
Herrod said that it also gives younger players in the program something to shoot for when they see the hallways flooded with college coaches.
“They get to see that hard work in the classroom and on the field will get them notice,” Herrod said. “It is good for our program.”