From The Desk Of Bobby Wilder: Recruiting Future Monarchs
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 18, 2009
I assume you are all missing football season as much as we are at Old Dominion Football!!!
The excitement level we all felt after our thrilling win at VMI on November 21st is still fresh in our mind. Finishing with a 9-2 record and being the best 1st year program in the history of FCS football is an accomplishment we are proud to share with Monarch Nation. Our team is finishing up their finals this week and will get some much needed time off to re-charge their batteries for the spring semester.
Our coaching staff hit the road in full force right after Thanksgiving for recruiting. We have been focusing our attention on the state of Virginia, while also reaching outside our borders, for the best student-athletes we can find.
Unlike the past two years, we are now able to focus our attention on filling out our roster with great players as opposed to trying to recruit an entire team. Our staff is on the road Sunday night thru Thursday visiting schools and meeting families. We return to Old Dominion on Thursday night and welcome the student-athletes and their families to Old Dominion for what is called a recruiting visit on Friday. The families spend the weekend touring Old Dominion and researching what it would be like to be a student and an athlete at our school.
The reaction from the families can be described in one word; "WOW" Old Dominion is an outstanding academic institution that can easily "sell itself" in recruiting terms!!! By the time they leave our campus Sunday morning, they are completely satisfied with what our great institution has to offer.
People have often asked me, "What does a college football coach look for when he is recruiting a young man?". At Old Dominion, our coaching staff looks for three things - Great People, Great Students, and Great Football Players. We are firm believers that these three areas are all essential to building a championship program.
These young men are often faced with adverse situations on the football field and in life. In six of our games this year, we were losing the game at some point. We always managed to battle back vs. our opponents because we believed in ourselves and each other. Handling adversity is essential in becoming a great person.
We focus on the academics during recruiting. Reviewing high school transcripts is always the first order of business when we visit a school. We want to know if the young man will be successful at Old Dominion. All of our current players are striving to be Dean's List students. We want every student we recruit to have these same aspirations.
Lastly, we want to know if the young man will help Old Dominion win a championship. Our goal is to recruit student-athletes that strive to be the best in everything they do.
Great people, great students, and great football players are what it takes to build a great team!!!
In closing, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Old Dominion football looks forward to seeing you in 2010!!!