Paul Chryst on Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic, Postponed Big Ten Season on Recruiting

Jake Kocorowski

Recruiting never stops, even during the times we are in right now. 

The Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst talked with reporters on late Tuesday afternoon via Zoom, and along with topics about a potential spring season and lingering questions about eligibility, the discussion of recruiting was brought up.

One question sprang forth during the nearly half-hour session -- just how will the COVID-19 pandemic affect recruiting, with a postponed football season potentially having the option of happening in the spring?

"To say I know -- I don't know," Chryst said.

After that initial response, the leader of the UW football program spoke about some of the prep athletes they are recruiting at the moment and what they're going encountering through these times.

"Some states are going, some aren't going. Some have already moved back to spring," Chryst said, referencing high school football schedules. "We've had a couple kids planning on coming here for spring, and they're going to play at their high school, which I think fits. It's a good decision for the couple that are doing that."

Chryst acknowledged the time missed when the program may have been able to bring some current high school sophomores to campus. Though not discussed in particular during the call, UW had already canceled its summer football camps in the spring, which have been opportunities to connect and build relationships with prep players as well.

A day after Chryst's availability, the NCAA further extended the recruiting dead period on Wednesday to now run through Sept. 30, 2020.

During this time, it should be noted that recruits can go visit schools on their own with their families. However, there can be no in-person interaction with any of the coaching or recruiting staff (as noted earlier this summer by Sports Illustrated's director of football recruiting, John Garcia, Jr.).

"A lot of our class that we're recruiting now, a lot of them have been on campus," Chryst said, "but as the recruiting cycle kind of speeds up, there's a number of kids that you're recruiting that haven't been on campus which normally, probably would have been."

Chryst also admitted "everyone's going through it." Though he does not know how the pandemic and the Big Ten's postponement of football will affect the recruiting classes, there still is work to be done.

"I think it's our job to keep recruiting and to find ways through this situation we're in now to still recruit effectively and make sure you find ways that the prospects can learn all there is to learn about your university, your city, your program.

"It might be a different way to do it, but the end game is no different. It's how do you get them to know everything there is about the University of Wisconsin.