Hot Reads: How Not to Recruit
Photo Credit: Aaron Babcock

Hot Reads: How Not to Recruit

February 13, 2017

Scottsdale, Arizona, wide receiver Kade Warner, son of Hall-of-Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, was in Lincoln this past weekend to check out the Huskers’ program. Kade, a record-setting high school receiver without any major scholarship offers, is looking for a school that will allow him to walk on to the team.

How did his trip to Lincoln go? Erin Sorensen spoke with Kade about that (Premium), but I think it’s safe to classify this visit as “better than UCLA”:

Compared to the last unofficial I went on to UCLA, UCLA did the same thing touring me around the facilities and stuff but when it came down to the coaches, I didn’t meet [UCLA’s] wide receivers coach, their offensive coordinator or their head coach. Compared to now at Nebraska, I got to meet all three of those guys and not only meet but also get to talk to the head coach for a very long time so that aspect was awesome. That’s obviously why I go on the unofficials to not only see the campus and the facilities but to also meet the coaches and see who I’ll be playing for.

Now, I realize this wasn’t a typical recruiting visit for a potential scholarship recruit, but if UCLA was interested enough to say “sure, come for a visit” it probably could’ve seemed…y’know…interested during the visit.

Kade shared much more in that interview, including which two schools he’s now deciding between, his connection to Nebraska’s program and when he hopes to decide. Check it out here.


Stanford head coach David Shaw was on Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel’s podcast, The Audible, last week to talk about recruiting. The Cardinal landed a top-15 recruiting class despite signing just 14 players.

That’s some serious quality-over-quantity, but even more impressive might have been how few players Shaw offered to fill his class:

“I don’t know the exact number, but it was nowhere close to 100, and it might have been in the 30s or 40s,” Shaw said on Fox Sports’ college football podcast, The Audible. ”And lot of those were initial offers, and a young man didn’t do well on a test academically and kind of fell off our board or decided not to cross the country. When it really came down to who we’re choosing from, we’re talking about 20 guys for 14 spots.

“I know what other people do, and you could look at it negatively or positively. A lot of people offer a whole bunch of guys, ‘Let’s say we need three corners, and we offer 15.’ Now for me, it feels like a game show. Who’s the first to jump? ‘This guy jumped, so somebody has to be next.’ For me, that pressuring guys to commit is the opposite of what I want to be.”

Head over to to read Shaw’s full comments, because he goes on to touch on a number of interesting topics as it pertains to recruiting. Stanford occupies a unique spot when it comes to recruiting. To the right kind of 4- or 5-star prospect, a Stanford offer carries as much weight as one from Alabama or USC, but it’s a limited group.

Stanford has to do it differently, but it seems clear the Cardinal are executing their specific recruiting plan as well as any other school in the country.

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