For Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, the ongoing NCAA dead period does not affect him much from an in-person evaluation standpoint.
The dead period, which was recently extended through Jan. 1, prohibits all in-person recruiting, both on and off campus. That means prospects cannot make unofficial or official visits to college campuses, and coaches cannot visit high schools to watch prospects compete on Friday nights – the latter of which Elliott did not do a lot of anyway even under normal circumstances.
“For me, it’s not much of a change with the Friday nights because of the way we’ve been structured for the last five years or so,” Elliott said on Monday. “I’d always be with the team on Friday, so the only time I would get to go out would be during the open week. So, I didn’t get to go out and do much evaluation, but it is difficult for all the other coaches who are used to that because there’s no way to travel to go see these games.”
“But for me, my schedule hasn’t changed as much,” Elliott added. “But I do have a little bit more responsibility watching some more video (game film of prospects).”
Although the dead period does not really affect Elliott personally, he feels for prospects who are trying to do their due diligence with the recruiting process and gather as much information on various schools as possible in order to make the best decision they can, but will not be allowed to check out colleges in person until at least the beginning of next year.
At the same time, Elliott understands why the NCAA made the decision to re-extend the dead period, which was first implemented in mid-March due to coronavirus concerns.
“Just unfortunate, I think, for the young men at the high school level,” Elliott said. “They’ve got to make an informed decision because they’re not granted access. And I understand, I’m definitely very sensitive to both sides and understanding the issues that both face. So, just going forward, kind of slowing it down, trying to see how all this is going to pan out because there’s been rule changes with the eligibility and roster management. So, there are a lot of things that are at play that have kind of slowed things down so to speak from a recruiting standpoint.
“And as we go forward, hopefully things will trend in the right direction to where it is safe enough for both the universities and for the prospects to be able to travel without putting either one in harm’s way. Because ultimately, I think that we’re going to get back to normal at some point and recruiting will pick back up. But in the meantime, we’re just trying to do the best with what we’ve got.”
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