If you're struggling recruiting in NCAA 11 Football, or just want to improve your recruiting classes with consistent top 25 recruit rankings, then Welcome to part 2 of the NCAA Recruiting Bible, Phone Call Strategies.
The focus of this article is to provide you with some fundamentals for your weekly calls to your recruits. Devising, and deploying some fundamental strategies are certainly most effective for players out there like myself, who are crazy-loyal and start off with a terrible or average dynasty Squad. In my case, I always roll with Washingston State University, no matter what. This year, WSU was the worst I’ve seen ever, starting off rated only 2 / 6 stars. This obviously will impact your on-field performance, but beginning with a low rank ( 1 – 3 Stars ) will also negatively effect your initial recruiting abilities. If you’re rated below 3 stars, don’t even think about going after a 5 Star Recruit. That would be a terrible waste of your precious 10 hour call allotment.
The prerequisite to success in this course is that you have read and applied Booya Gadget’s NCAA 11 Recruiting Bible Part 1 “10 Tips for filling the board”. Using the solid, and direct board-filling recruiting strategy to begin with, you will be able to execute these strategies more effectively. If you choose to disregard the basics of filling your recruiting board properly in the off-season then you will find that you lessen the quality of your recruiting classes. Please note, that several of these strategies are debatable, and some should serve as guidelines more than rules depending on your unique situation. However, recruiting is a long, tedious, but very rewarding process in the end. Regardless of any debates over minute points, I can assure that even after starting with a 2 Star Program, 3-5 years later, you will be rewarded with amazing growth in recruit quality and a great boost to your NCAA 11 Dynasty Career. Recruiting is a resource based game. Time is money, and you only get 10 hours per week, so let’s go check out the top 10 Tips to give you a solid strategy for building your recruiting class into a top 10 group.
1. Have a Goal. Get this Dude on Campus, and show off your School’s best features.
Recruiting can get complicated and confusing. I will spend between 10 and 40 minutes recruiting each week. With so much going on in your dynasty, it is important to keep a clear goal in mind, so even if you get totally flabbergasted, tired, lazy or bored in a game week, you can break it down to very simple. Your primary goal is to match at least 3 of your University’s best rated attributes to your recruit’s 3 most favored topics. This is required for one of the most important aspects of your entire recruiting process, which is the Campus Visit. You will sign some guys with an instant-sign by offering early, but most of the players you sign(~70-80%) will do so after their recruiting visit. So optimize your recruit’s Visit Rating, by uncovering at least 3 good matches, and remember you can still call the player the week of his visit, so if you don’t have enough topics discovered, you get to make one more call before he shows up. I use this often mostly to discover 1 more optimal match. For example, in my current Dynasty ( Year 5, Pre-Sugar Bowl ) 11/14 signees became WSU Cougs at some point on or AFTER their recruiting visit. The bottom line is that the visit seals the deal.
2. Scheduling Visits
I have found that you should schedule visits as soon as your recruit indicates he’s ready by showing the Clock-Icon next to his name. The primary benefit of this is that the earlier you schedule, the more flexibility you have in bringing him to campus when you’re playing against some good competition, or a rival. The fact is that it helps to win when recruits are in town, and in a best case scenario a win against a good opponent. You will get a lower visit score by winning against “Tiny College University”, as opposed to a huge televised win vs #4 LSU. After all, wouldn’t YOU be impressed as a recruit on the sideline next to Erin Andrews patrolling ? Another benefit of scheduling a visit immediately, and early in the season is that you may end up with a healthy lead, or at least keep up with the legit competition. Remember, a recruit that is ready for a visit has typically narrowed down his choices to at least his top 5 as indicated in the “STAGE” statistical column. If you can get them on campus a.s.a.p with well matched features, then these are potentially great players that you can sign mid season and save hours in recruiting time the remaining weeks. With more time late in the year, you can blitz some tough targets with 60 minute calls and maybe pick up a bonus late sign.
3. When to make the offer ?
So far I have not found any quantitative measurements for timing on when you make a scholarship offer to a recruit. But from my years of observation and analysis, I do believe it is a better idea to offer a scholarship earlier than later. #1, making an early offer, for a player that has you rated as their top school, can result in what I call an “instant-sign”. These guys are a huge benefit to your team. Signing early can fill a critical position or greatly boost your team’s greatest needs. But another great benefit is that you get a recruit under your belt and can redirect your time to get even more. You will be on your way to averaging a top 10 recruiting class. Most players that you sign will not do so by “instant signing”. That means you’re in for the long haul, or at least until the player is ready for a scheduled visit to your campus. With this truth, there comes the competition. You need to keep up with the competition. Chances are, if your rivals made an offer before you, they may have a lead in recruiting. If you don’t keep up and also make an offer, you may fall too far behind to catch up, or it may be too expensive to land this player. I recommend testing different styles and see what you find most effective for this topic.
4. Call Length
10,20,30, 60 minutes ? What is the “best”. The answer for this topic is, “it depends”. I do have a golden rule, which is if you want a player, especially if you need a player to fill a position gap, then you go all out. I am not afraid to pump down a few 60 minute calls in the first week. The downside is that a 60 minute call is 10% of your weekly allotment and hammers your resources. If you made only 60 minute calls, you could only talk to 10 players a week, and your class will blow. You will get some players, but overall you will not be able to compete. Obviously, you need to find the right balance for your situation and position requirements. There are many upsides to making an effective call. If you get lucky, and hapen to catch a double multiplyer ( advisor bonus ) then you’re looking at a potential 800-1000 point swing in a single 60 minute call. But that is not a strategy to rely upon, just an occasional bonus. The other benefit of an early aggressive 40-60 minute call, is that it may potentially lead to an earlier signee, or just as beneficial you may gain a huge lead on the competition. This will allow you to reduce call length’s to a few guys that are surely going to sign with your team. You can come back to them later with full calls ( like before or just after a visit ). Bottom line is that if you need a player, or fall in love with a recruit, then go get him. The ideal situation is signing a lot of recruits as fast as possible. This gives you huge flexibility to invest a lot into individual recruits later in the season, and don’t forget the end-of-season recruiting period which will allow you to invest in some great late signing players !
5. Promises, use them, but use them Wisely.
I follow one general rule with promises, I don’t put myself in a position to break them. However, promises are absolutely a factor in my recruiting strategy, and it should be in yours too. The obvious benefit is that promises get you big points during a weekly call to a recruit. But, they can last for multiple seasons and may persuade you to make personnel decisions to satisfy your promises. The risk of breaking a promises is a negative impact on your Coaching Integrity rank(thus making recruiting harder), as well as a greatly increased risk that a player will transfer from your program after you lied to him to get him on campus. ”Johnny, I swear to God that we will win the conference championship your first year on Campus if you sign with us”… LIAR ! On the positive side, when you fulfill your promises, you will get an increase to your Integrity rank, improve your recruiting effectiveness, and will have signed your desired play maker. If it’s early in your dynasty, fulfilling promises also will unlock the remainder of the options if you have not uncovered them yet. Promises are impacted by your personal playing skills. At Booya Gadget, we play on Heisman, and we do lose some games. If you know that with a 5-Star amazing Running Back that you can in fact, make him into an All-American his first year on campus, then make that promise. With my play style, I cannot guarantee it, so I keep it simple. In the exact order I use them, here are the promises that I most commonly use. My players rarely transfer
- Winning record against rivals first year on campus
- Promise a game in the player’s home state ( if you followed the bible, your recruits live in the states of your conference schedule)
- No Redshirt first year on campus (I will make this promise in situations. OL and DT get this promise early in my career)
6. Negative Calls
Hammering your opponent’s weaknesses got easier in NCAA 11. In previous versions of EA’s College football, negative calls were a risk that could lead to angering recruits, and ending entire calls immediately if you pushed too hard. But now the focus has changed to positive points. There is no reason to mis-fire a negative call ever. If you are rated higher than the competition in a particular category, and the race is tight or you’re trying to catch up, then feel free to compare with the competition. In fact, if necessary I am willing to to make an entire 60 minute call negative, although I do not do it often, because a well targeted positive sales pitch can be just as effective. Another method is to use the happy-medium method and mix in 2-3 negatives especially late when a recruit is ready to sign and you may be down just a single point to a rival recruiting University.
7. Auto Calls
In NCAA 11, auto-calls are an effective tool, with the main benefit of saving time. Outside, of saving a little time, I use the auto-call feature for one primary purpose, which is to discover what the recruit likes. On your first few contacts with your recruit, you won’t know anything about his favorite hot-buttons. If you schedule a 30 minute auto-call in this situation, and you don’t have any knowledge about the recruit, the CPU AI will use this call to unlock as many traits about the recruit as possible. Since I turn OFF all auto recruiting assistance, they won’t make promises, schedule visits, or offer scholarships. The more I have unlocked about a recruit’s tastes, the less I will use auto-calls. I’m just saying that sometime’s it’s fine to use auto-calls, but for my most important, or most coveted recruits, I will always make the calls myself to maximize the effectiveness and apply my strategy.
8. There are other Fish in the Sea:
There are a lot of players available to target for your recruiting. Don’t get hung up on a 4 star pipe-dream when you trail by 800-1000 recruiting points and you’re ranked number 7 on his list. Remove the player, and do so even faster if he’s not in your pipeline states. Yes, there are some situations when you can keep a “long shot” around, but most of the time it ends with the same sad story, he signs with someone else, and you have lost all your investment(call hours). I’d rather have a 2-star player that I can sign for half the cost, potentially improve a position by ditching some dead weight 65 rated senior, or preserving hours for other valuable targets.
9. Adding Fresh Meat
Once your season has matured and you have signed some players, lost a few to competition, or cut dead weight recruits you will need to add players occasionally to keep progressing your recruiting class. Remembering the Bible Part 1, always make sure you meet your primary position needs, the last thing you need is a 50’s rated walk-on in a critical position. Adding new players at the end of the year is where I tend to get creative. I do a lot of sorting by player abilities and position. For example, three of my favorite abilities to sort by are Speed, Strength, and Agility. For the style of football I play, these fit very well. Please allow me again to sell you on the recruiting of athletes. Many of my favorite players were initially signed as athletes. Yes, some athletes are actually specialists in a single position like WR or HB. But there are some, like one of my favorites Dedrick Brewer. D.Brewer was signed as a 4 star athlete. Now he is my sophomore backup tight-end, backup Fullback and has 4 TD receptions, 13 pancake blocks, and 8 special teams tackles this year. That is what an athlete can bring to the table. When adding players, get guys that want to be on your team, or fill a need first. After that, get the best players available and you should absolutely consider athletes when doing so. The worse your team, the more you should consider athletes who you can switch to play many positions.
10. Organization and Priorities
Your recruiting board can get hectic, especially early on so to reduce confusion make sure you make use of sorting as well as grouping your recruits by position ( starting with any position that you require players ). I flip-flop a lot sorting often between my rank, player caliber, and interest level. When you are critically low on Free Safeties, add 3 or 4 to your board, and simply navigate to the FS only view. Once you’re done contacting your best matched targets, you can move on to the next position, or show your entire recruiting board and sort by Caliber and start putting in some effort on the most talented recruits after you take care of critical needs first. There’s no best way to organize and sort, but make sure that you consider it as a tool to deploy your strategy more effectively.
Good luck with your Dynasty recruiting, if you follow at least some of these steps or adapt these guidelines to your play style, then you will improve your recruiting classes. Reaching the 6 star level for your team feels great, and once you reach 5-6 stars you can set your targets on reaching the top 10 classes, as well as the coveted #1 recruiting class which will net you a trophy/achievement.
- NCAA 11 Recruiting Bible Part 1: 10 tips for filling the board.
- NCAA 11 Recruiting Bible Part 3: 10 Tips for the Off-Season
- Operation Sports is our favorite forum to discuss NCAA 11, and other EA Sports with hard core players.
- And I also recommend visiting our Free Stuff page if you have a PS3 and want some of Booya Gadget’s custom made (and popular) themes for free. You can download the themes directly from your PS3 Browser right now courtesy of BOOYA :) We also have PSP goodies. Booya TRJ is the skills behind all of our PS3 and PSP downloads. That is Booya !