Today is the official end of the recruiting dead period for college athletics. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last March recruits have been banned from interacting with college staff in person, in an effort to curb the outbreak and kept both parties safe. This has forced coaching staffs to be creative to grab the attention of these recruits Zoom interviews have been numerous, and the staff have been built creative virtual tours of the campus and facilities. Now, with vaccinations in place, positive cases decreasing, hopefully, those "virtual" days are in the past.
Not only was the COVID protocol tough to maneuver on the recruiting trail, but Boston College was also at a disadvantage during this past year and two months. Jeff Hafley was just starting his first spring practices as a head coach when everything was shut down. Recruits never made it to campus and he has talked at length about the challenges of never meeting some of these recruits face to face. Instead, he has tried to sell Boston College to recruits across a computer monitor.
That all changes now.
"This will be the first time since I've been head coach here that we will have a chance to get guys on campus," Hafley said back in April. "so I'm really excited. If you think about it, we did the entire 2021 recruiting class on Zoom. We've done most of our 2022 class and haven't met in person. They haven't been on campus, but now we're going to be able to have a chance to get guys up here in June."
June is setting up to be a huge weekend for the Eagles as well. There have been over ten confirmed visitors, coming for official visits during the month, most coming for a big weekend on June 18th. This includes a variety of recruits from around the country, at a variety of positions.
Using the metric of an "official trip" is a good barometer of what a recruit usually feels about a school. Recruits get five official visits during their high school experience. The other trips are "unofficial". Official visits are when the school rolls out the red carpet and pay for all the associated costs of the trip. Unofficial trips, which a recruit technically can take as many as they want, are on the families on dime. Clearly, using an official visit means a recruit is serious about a school.
Getting these recruits on campus could be a game changer for Jeff Hafley, whose '22 recruiting class currently is 2nd in the ACC and 12th in the country according to 247sports.com. Recruits consistently report their relationship with the staff as a big reason they commit to Boston College. Getting real life face time, not just over a Zoom meeting, could take BC's already successful recruiting class and take it to the next level.
But there are other factors that could boost BC as well.
"One of the biggest things we have to offer is Boston," Hafley said, "and we haven't really been able to sell it because (recruits) haven't been able to step into the city. This is one of the prettiest campuses in the country, and we're trying to bring all of that and develop relationships for academics for life after football."
For now, circle the weekend of June 18th, and stay tuned. It could be the busiest weekend of recruiting BC has had under Hafley.
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