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|Mario Cristobal is trying to build Florida International by finding the right recruits.|
Says a Big 12 assistant, "Coaching is a copy-cat business, and when you see and hear about how other guys are watching all of this film and writing all of those personal recruiting notes, you have to keep up because if you don't, the kids you're chasing will know." For as much attention as the wooing and chasing part of the recruiting business gets -- and it gets a ton these days -- coaches say it's more vital than ever to spend as much time as possible in the evaluation process because of the increasing number of distractions both inside and outside of their programs. "It's not only the talent part of it but now the 'intangibles' are becoming tangibles," said Cristobal, a guy who had been considering a career as a Secret Service agent before going into coaching. "Work ethic and character are now rated as part of 'talent' in the way we approach it. And I think it's paid dividends, especially when you're trying to build a program because if you don't have those guys with the builder type, no-excuse mentalities, you're going to struggle." Cristobal said he thinks he and his staff dedicate as much as 20 percent of their time in-season geared to recruiting. "Every day there's some time dedicated to recruiting," he said. "Our guys get in to work out at 5 a.m. and then we're watching recruiting film or writing recruiting letters. We're going full throttle recruiting by 6 till about 7:15. And then typically you take your lunch break to call high schools, tracking down the tapes that you don't have yet and to make sure you're keeping up with the kids in the next year's class. And if it's already Sept. 1, you're finishing the day by calling kids every night. It never stops. It really doesn't. "College football really is changing. Just think about the divot or the hole that you put in your roster if you have one bad recruiting year. All of a sudden your second-team tackle who was supposed to be a stud and this 'can't miss' guy, only he didn't work out and your starting tackle gets hurt, now you might have to play someone who is not capable and it's all because of your recruiting miss. I think the pressure and the accountability that comes with recruiting will continue to get higher and higher."
|Anthony Gaitor helped make signing with FIU trendy.|