“[Recruiting] is way more mental now,” Scott said. “Especially as a quarterback.”
In the coming months, there will be more opportunities for quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs to appear in useful recruiting film, said Zohn Burden, a former Virginia Tech assistant. There will be 7-on-7 games, which are allowed in Virginia’s Phase Three restrictions, and which do not include linemen, linebackers or running backs.
Skill players can display a lot of their talents in 7-on-7, such as breaking on the ball, backpedaling, catching and throwing. While linemen can still create their own workout videos, they can’t display the abilities that set them apart, like an offensive guard pancake blocking a defensive tackle, or a defensive end swatting down the hands of an offensive lineman to sack the quarterback.
The best thing a lineman can do, Burden said, is to display his footwork or his hands in drills against other well-regarded players.
Loren Johnson, the coach at Highland Springs, said the pandemic is accelerating recruiting trends that had already taken root. In the past, a player’s game film was his most important asset to attract offers. But game film, Johnson said, doesn’t speak to coaches the way it once did.
How a player gets recruited, he said, is increasingly dependent on the relationship between the college coach and the player or his high school coaches, the player’s performance at camps, and his measurable factors like height, weight and speed. Without in-person visits or game film, some of those factors will take on greater importance.