COVID-19 Impacting Summer Recruiting Visits

Brian Smith

The next two to three weeks will be very important.

Attempting to make recruiting plans can be difficult, let alone during a pandemic. To the point, this worldwide dilemma creates havoc for college football coaches, Georgia Tech and otherwise. Whom and when to bring in for visits is all but guesswork.

Set up official visitors for a June visit, and those visits could be cancelled because of COVID-19. It’s not just official visits being rescheduled. You can lose out twice.

Because other schools can already set up visits with those same recruits for game weekends in the fall, what if those are the same dates that Georgia Tech wants to bring in recruits?

Risky guesswork for whether to roll the dice and set up June visits or not.

Here’s a quick overview of what Georgia Tech really needed from the 2020 calendar, prior to 2021 national signing day.

With Georgia Tech rebuilding its program, the more times the Yellow Jackets bring in recruits, the more likely those recruits will commit and sign with the Ramblin’ Wreck. COVID-19 ruined spring unofficial visits, something Georgia Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins and his staff needed as an avenue to gain additional visits for prospects attempting to learn about the new coaching staff.

Staff at other programs already held a relationship with these same players. Georgia Tech is often behind to begin with, so COVID-19 does nothing but further hinder the Georgia Tech recruiting efforts.

With those spring unofficial visits not possible any longer, it’s as close to paramount as it can be for Georgia Tech to gain recruiting momentum prior to the start of the 2020 football season. Trying to bring in official and unofficial visitors during actual football weekends this fall or any other Autumn will happen, but if there are no spring or summer visitors of any kind, it’s going to likely become a crowded recruiting room.

That’s a concern because coaches will need to be judicious with their time allotment towards recruits. It’s hard. As a rule, smaller recruiting groups, for game weekends, tend to bear fruit more often because recruits, parents, and high school coaches can spend more one-on-one time with Georgia Tech coaches.

From speaking with recruits around the states of Florida and Georgia, a couple of phrases for official visits being thrown about include “That might change” and “I’m going to wait and see” amongst several players.

What does that mean? The recruits really do not know if any of the June visits will happen. Some are not scheduling visits because of it, while others literally scheduled the visits and did not publicly tell anyone because they don’t want to go through telling reporter after reporter when they are going to reschedule.

It’s understandable. That’s not the only concern either.

Parents want to know that their kids will be safe when they send them off to visits. Nobody blames them. There is some good news.

Georgia Tech will be able to offer early playing time to recruits. It’s why prospects like Miles Campbell setting up his official visit with Georgia Tech. The talented 6-3, 220-pound tight end from Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding could help the Yellow Jackets at tight end during the early portion of his career. He’s set to visit Georgia Tech June 26.

For that reason, it’s understandable why Coach Collins and his staff would like to bring in the talented tight end early. Maybe Georgia Tech can wrap up his commitment and move forward. It’s recruiting. Almost anything can be possible.

Two things to look for, as it relates to how Georgia Tech most likely feels about the chances of summer visits taking place.

One, if there are not at least three or four recruits announcing they will be visiting Georgia Tech in June, by say May 15, it’s a good bet that Georgia Tech does not feel good about June official visits taking place.

Two, If you see Georgia Tech’s coaching staff beginning to schedule fall official visits, that’s a sign they decided to hedge their bets and move recruiting attention towards the game weekends.

For all people around Georgia Tech and around the world, COVID-19 makes life very difficult. It’s really hard on college football as well, because these big events need to be planned out weeks and sometimes months in advance.

The next two to three weeks will be very interesting from a Georgia Tech recruiting standpoint.

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