December 19, 2013

A day in the life of D3 football recruiting

More news about: Berry

It's pitch dark outside, but Berry College Head Coach Tony Kunczewski is off to locate high school student-athletes for the Viking football team.

In addition to Coach K, four other BC coaches are on the road throughout the Southeast. As they prepare for the football program's second year, the staff is looking for the talented athletes--but also the type of young man who will succeed at Berry College.

"There may be six or so graduating seniors at a school looking to play college football," said Kunczewski. "But it's usually about one or two at each place who might be the right fit for us."

The Recruiting Season

From mid-November to late December, college football coaching staffs hit the road in this annual rite of passage. Early mornings, rental cars and fast food receipts are standard operating procedures.

Whether the program is NCAA Division I, NAIA or NCAA Division III like Berry, this is a vitally important part for future success.

"If you work hard and do the right things in December, your next season is going to be better," Kunczewski said.

Today Coach K is in Northern Georgia. Other staff members are in Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama on this chilly December day.

"In most cases, we like to get an early start. If we start early, we can get back to Rome in the early evening. Whenever possible, I want our staff to be able to be at home at night."

The Right Fits

Recruiting is an ongoing process. By following the high school football season—an arduous task since there are many other duties during the Vikings' playing season—and building and maintaining relationships with prep coaches, the staff has laid the groundwork.

"The life blood of college recruiting is building good relationships with high school coaches," said Kunczewski. "Almost all of these men want the best for their kids. It helps their program to send players on to college and the coaches have an investment in their student-athletes and want the best for them."

Coach K and his staff will develop a list of potential recruits at each school. Due to Berry's rigorous admission standards, the pool can be limited.

"In most cases, we are seeking tremendous students who happened to be outstanding high school football players," he said. "We work the coaches to identify the best fits for Berry and our football program."

The High School Visit

Armed with a fresh transcript and video highlights for review, college coaches then prepare for an informal interview.

Each member of the Berry football coaching staff carries an IPad, which allows for a slideshow presentation about Berry College, and to be able to take notes and document information about each prospect.

Kunczewski is at ease in speaking to recruits, just like he is at a Rotary meeting or an on-campus event. Since he's done his homework, he's not exaggerating by telling a young man: "We like you and think you would be a great addition to our program and we'd like for you to visit Berry."

Berry College Visit

The coaches sing the praises of Berry College. It's the world's largest college campus, recently was named the top "up and coming liberal arts college" in the nation, deer out-number students two-to-one, impressive athletic facilities, nationally-recognized student work program, are a few of the key points.

"Our campus sells itself," Kunczewski said. "Getting a prospective student-athlete to one of our recruit days is important. Ideally, we have 12 or so prospects for each date. That gives the kid and his family an opportunity to ask questions and to meet other families and prospective student-athletes."

After the Berry College visit, the young men are in an opportunity to answer the big question: Do you see yourself being happy here the next four years?

Summary

Our visit took us through to five counties (Dawson, Pickens, Gilmer, Gordon and Whitfield), covered 273 miles and we met with 11 high school seniors.

In most cases, other football coaches from competing programs cross paths, but we were the only visitors to each school on this day.

"Today was a very good day," Kunczewski said. "We got to visit with every prospect and the coaches provided great insight."

Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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Final
MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
Box Score
Final
St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western New England 59, Curry 28
Box Score
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Colby 9, at Williams 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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Final
at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Final
Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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Final
at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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Final
at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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Final
at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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Final
at Springfield 28, WPI 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Final
at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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Final
at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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Final
at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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Final
at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
Final
at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
Final
at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Final
Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Final
Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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Final
at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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Final
at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Final
Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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Final
at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
Box Score
Final
at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Final
Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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Final
at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Final
Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
Box Score
Final
Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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Final
at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
Box Score Recap
Final
Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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Final
at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
Final
Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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Final
at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Final
Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Final
Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
Final
at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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Final
at Ripon 33, Knox 19
Final
Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Final
UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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Final
UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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Final
at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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Final
at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
Box Score
Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
Box Score Photos
Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
Box Score Recap
Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Live Stats
Sep. 30: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
Box Score Recap
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
Box Score
Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
Box Score
Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
Box Score
Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap