The end goal for many high school athletes is to use their athletic abilities to garner a college scholarship offer to pay for their college education. High school athletes have to navigate the recruiting process, which grows more complicated each year. The process can be daunting and confusing for the athletes and their families. Oftentimes, they must navigate these tricky waters themselves with little to no advice from those with knowledge of the recruiting process.
Most high school athletic teams do not coach their players on what they need to do to garner the best college offers for their players. Buford High School traditionally has done a superior job in helping students in their athletic department get noticed by NCAA Division I scouts. This is especially true of the Buford High School football program.
Having a winning record like Buford football helps in bringing the college scouts out, but there’s more to the high number of players who get recruited to play for DI schools. It takes a lot to gain the attention needed for their athletes. Buford football has staff dedicated to helping their players make the most out of their time playing for the green and gold.
Coach Fyrone Davis heads up the recruiting process for Buford’s football program. Davis, along with assistance from Ronald King, Devonte Mack, Justin Johnson and Rebecca Moon, do all they can to ensure Buford players have the best possible chance of getting a quality DI offer. They all pitch in to do things like edit game film into highlights videos for each player, handle social media posts about the players, make graphics, give advice to the students and their parents, act as a liaison between players and colleges and even go on college visits with the players.
No longer can an athlete in high school expect to gain a scholarship off of simply showing up on Friday nights and playing their games. There’s so many ins and outs to the recruiting process, and Buford has recognized that their players really need someone knowledgeable in their corner.
Student-athletes just entering the high school football program are educated along with their parents about the college recruiting process. They are advised about the steps that they need to take for them to receive the best offers.
The recruiting process has been changing rapidly thanks to the limits placed on high schools and college recruiting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the new NCAA transfer rules. High school athletes have to contend with college players to fill in the needs on college rosters across the country now. Gaining that top offer just got a whole lot more competitive.
In the past, Buford did not have to send their players to football camps, which serve as a place to be noticed by college scouts. College scouts would turn out in large numbers at Buford’s spring practices. After the pandemic hit, this changed, and it has forced Buford to change its stance on sending players to football camps.
Buford football players have been busy this summer attending various camps across the country. Davis said he is seeing a lot of success from the players attending the camps. Athletes are being offered scholarships at the end of these camps, and it has increased not only the number of offers but the quality of the offers.
Of course, the traditional recruiting methods of getting Buford football players recruited are being employed. Methods like Davis working the relationships he has already established with college football programs, of the staff putting together highlight videos, promoting their athletes on social media and simply pushing the players to keep working hard.
“We work with our players and their families every step of the way,” Davis said. “We advise but never push the players to pick one college over another. We want a player to pick the right school for them so they don’t wind up in the college transfer portal.”
The efforts made by the entire football program at Buford shows in the success of their team and the number of players who go on to play for Division I schools each year. Buford has players in top colleges across the country. Colleges like Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, Army, Stanford, LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia, North Carolina and Georgia Tech just to name a few.
The Class of 2021 had 16 players sign with colleges to play football. Davis expects about 15 players from the Class of 2022 to earn DI offers. The Class of 2022 already has college commitments from Isaiah Bond (Florida), CJ Clinkscales (Boston College), Ashton Daniels (Stanford University), Malik Spencer (Michigan State), Victor Venn (Colorado), Josiah Wyatt (Appalachian State) and Ryland Gandy (Pittsburgh).
“Getting our athletes top offers from colleges, helping them with their future is our end goal,” Davis said. “It is why we do what we do.”