Recruiting Expectations Following UCF Football's Bounce House Weekend

The Bounce House Weekend was a success. Now, the UCF football program must make the most of the recruiting opportunities that lie ahead.
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There are three important areas to discuss when thinking about all the recruiting possibilities from this past weekend. When will the commitments happen? Building relationships with each recruit and his family, and distinguishing which prospects will take their visits before making an informed college decision. Before delving into each of those three, one additional point.

For 15 months, COVID-19 took away the opportunity for these young men to visit college programs. Whether an unofficial or official visit, it was not permitted, per NCAA rules. That’s why so many 2022 and 2023 recruits drove or flew to campuses across the USA since June 1st, and will continue to do so until the next recruiting dead period.

Due to that long gestation period, it’s likely that many recruits will want to meet several college coaching staffs. Having the time and opportunity to finally meet someone that offered a scholarship, yes, of course these young men want to finally meet coaches. That’s why there could be more recruitments dragging out in 2021/2022 than in recent memory. Now, back to those aforementioned three topics, beginning with when commitments will happen.

The post-visit time frame that’s usually most likely to produce a commitment would be the Monday and Tuesday after a recruiting weekend. It certainly depends on the recruit in question, but a day, perhaps two days, then a player and his family will decide if a commitment is the best decision. Here’s the catch.

That’s just a general outline, and it does not take into account those prospects that make up their minds but still take additional official visits. Some of these young men may not even tell the UCF coaching staff they made a decision. That’s recruiting. Here's a quick synopsis via video:

Beyond that scenario, a few more phone calls and Zoom meetings could be the reason that a recruit decides to go public with his commitment to UCF football. Whether it’s UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn picking up his cell phone and calling a recruit, or it’s a prospect doing a video chat with the entire UCF coaching staff, there could be opportunities to land a few prospects later this week as well.

It’s all subjective. Each recruitment is different, and again, there’s the COVID-19 situation to consider. Moving on to the relationships category, this is where UCF scored the biggest this past weekend.

From communicating with numerous recruits, as well as contacts, the overwhelming feeling is that UCF blew this recruiting weekend out of the water. That’s tremendous news because there’s only so much planning and projecting a coaching and administrative staff can calculate. At the end of the day, the only factor that matters would be what the recruits and their family’s think about the facilities, the current UCF players they met, the academic support staff, and of course the people operating the UCF football program from Coach Malzahn down to the student managers.

Every recruit or contact that was communicated with provided a positive answer, and that’s the biggest information of the day. May seem like a basic answer, but if the people running the recruiting weekend did not do a fantastic job it would not bode well for future UCF recruiting events either. Hats off to the recruiting staff.

Relationships matter, and the UCF staff -- from top to bottom -- made recruits and their families feel comfortable. That fact alone will keep UCF in the recruiting hunt for elite prospects like wide receiver Marcus Peterson and defensive end Keahnist Thompson, two players with offers across the SEC and ACC. Peterson attends Lake City (Fla.) Columbia and Thompson attends Lakeland (Fla.) High School. The last topic is up next.

Attempting to gauge the interest of a recruit while also knowing that prospect will likely make a decision further into the recruiting process. This subject could branch into numerous topics, but here’s the vital aspect of the topic.

Because of those prior mentioned relationships, the UCF football program will gain more straight answers from recruits and their families. Trust matters. UCF built trust this weekend. That means being told when a young man will most likely make his college choice, and that of course helps the UCF football program because they will then know if and when they need to move in another direction to fill a recruiting need.

While one might think this is commonplace, think again. Recruits often leave college coaches guessing, and that can create much uncertainty with how to move forward with a prospect’s recruitment, as well as how to go about recruiting other players that would play that same position.

Final Thoughts

The Knights will likely receive a commitment or two this week, although nothing is guaranteed. The coaching staff and recruiting staff built the relationships necessary to win the weekend, Bounce House Weekend that is, and that will provide valuable insight for each recruit that visited UCF this weekend. Hopefully the Knights will continue the momentum.

Next weekend there will be more visitors and more chances to secure top-notch prospects. It’s all a part of the recruiting grind that the UCF program conquered during Bounce House Weekend and will lead the Knights into the June 18th recruiting weekend.

Recent UCF Recruiting Articles:

UCF Football Recruiting Looking for Versatile Linebackers

33 Prospects Make Visits to UCF Football

UCF Football’s Alabama Prep Connections Will Pay Dividends

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