Recruiting is just plain fun in NCAA 06. I have always wanted an excuse to say this next phrase so here it is, “Recruiting is the lifeblood of your program.” Thankfully, we can now recruit year-round in a great game like 06. Before you know it, the season is over and you really start to dive in to the meat of recruiting.
Since there is a lot to cover, I felt it necessary to split both In-Season and Off-Season recruiting stuff apart. For now, I want to go over recruiting during the season since it is a little simpler to go over and understand.
Before we go into the meat of things, I want to mention Evil Dave’s Recruiting Guide that has been on the internet for years. He covers the details of recruiting very well so I did not want to simply copy his stuff. While I may differ on some things to what he preaches, his guide as whole is quite invaluable. Even though it is for NCAA 07, it covers everything that is in 06 but with the added conversion chart at the end. Click the link below for his guide.
The following are my tips on how I like to go about tackling recruiting during the season. I want to get into the more specific strategies that I use to get the most out of this feature.
Adjust your offense type and your base defense
First things first, changing your philosophy is extremely important since this tells the game what your overall personnel will look like. After going to Coach Options from the main Dynasty menu, go to Strategy. Regardless of which offense you pick, each one will require you to have a minimum the following:
- 3 QB
- 3 HB
- 3 T
- 3 G
- 2 C
What differs between Balanced, Flexbone, West Coast, Option Run, and Spread are the WRs, TEs, and FBs. I could be off on one or two of these, but here is what each one needs:
- Balanced/West Coast: 2 FB, 5 WR, 2 TE
- Flexbone: 2 FB, 4 WR, 2 TE (4 HB)
- Option Run: 2 FB, 4 WR, 3 TE
- Spread: 1 FB, 6 WR, 2 TE
The defensive side of things is much simpler to memorize. If you know what defense you will be using, then pick it, otherwise, know that you just need to double the amount of your base defense to get the minimum requirement. For instance in 4-3, you need a minimum of 4 DE, 4 DT, 4 OLB, 3 MLB, 4 CB, 2 FS, and 2 SS.
The coaching strategies below the base offense and defensive setting can be left alone since that is only if you sim your games, and since we all know 06 is so fun to play, why would you sim your games anyway?
The main point in telling you this is that you MUST meet the minimum requirement for each position, otherwise the CPU will force walk-ons onto your team at the end of the season in which you cannot cut them so prepare accordingly. Now once you go into the In-Season Recruiting menu, you can see your Team Overview by holding down O/B to get an instead of what you need, more so than want.
Turn CPU Assistance settings off
While you are on your Coach Options screen, now is a good time to turn off CPU Assistance. You need to be in full control of recruiting so you need to turn these settings off. To turn these settings off, go to Coach Options > Strategy > and L2/R2 CPU Assistance like show above. Go ahead and turn Discipline Assistance off as well. The last thing you want is for the CPU to decide how to handle your troubled players.
Establish your pipeline states
In-Season recruiting is a great time to change around your Pipeline states. Now this is entirely up to you but I like to keep things realistic here by making pipeline states that are adjacent to my state. Yes you can be Duke and have California as one of your Pipeline states, but even though you get a discount on points in the off-season, it will still cost you and arm and a leg to a recruit a player from that far away anyway.
The best tip I can give you here is to see how many recruits there are in each state, not an exact number, just an idea. This is easy by just looking at the red scroll bar on the right like shown above. Notice how for Florida, the red bar is really small therefore there are a ton of prospects in that state, obviously. Usually, the following states are always littered with prospects:
- North Carolina
Remember that these can change every year so pay attention to them, but overall these listed states are pretty steady when it comes to talent. Like I said, I tend to stay with adjacent states because it is cheaper and any of the above that are close to me as well.
Be extremely picky about choosing your “Golden 12”
You only get 12 slots to use in In-Season recruiting so choose wisely. I say this because when you pick your 12 prospects, you are only given a small amount of info for each prospect.
Regardless of position, you only get to see their 40-Time, Bench Press, Squat, and Field Awareness. Now if I was basing my offense around throwing the ball 50 times a game, I would never recruit a QB during the season.
Why? Because as of now, I have no clue what Chris Cobb’s Accuracy and Throw Power are. You will once you start the season but when you pick your initial 12, you won’t. Here is a basic breakdown of how I recruit each position:
- QB – only if my QB will run a ton
- HB – as long as they are not catching the ball a ton in my offense
- FB – see HB
- WR – only if I am a run-heavy team and I need them more for size and strength instead of catching it all the time
- TE – see WR
- OL – you have all the info you need here, go after them
- All Defensive Players – you have all the info you need here, go after them
So basically, if you are pass happy team, be careful if you decide to recruit QB, HB, WR, and TE since you don’t know what their most important attributes will be. It kills me when I recruit a QB and then find out is Accuracy is terrible. I could have just gave that coveted spot to another player in which i new is most important attributes.
Now I don;t know how accurate this is but Evil Dave described what each of these things convert with regards to ratings so refer back to his stuff to see that. Obviously 40-time is speed, bench press is strength, and squat is for several things.
If anyone knows any different on these conversions, please share.
These numbers are so important because height and weight matter in this game compared some other games I won’t mention here, you know which ones they are.
Yes, that means you can recruit behemoths on the line and everywhere else and it effects the game. I once created a DE that had 99 on everything but was 5’5 150. Guess what? He couldn’t do much of anything since he was so small. So make sure you take height and weight into account and not just the 40, bench, and squat.
Finally, be realistic when picking stars. If your school is in a small conference, don’t bother with recruiting 5 star kids, or 4 stars for that matter. I won’t give you any hard rules on this, but just use common sense and don’t get upset when a 4 star prospect doesn’t want to come to your MAC school. What do you expect?
Don’t spread your points too thin
During the season, you get 100 percentage points to spread throughout any of your 12 chosen prospects. There are two schools of thought when spreading your points out: putting points on several players or just focusing on a handful of them. Evil Dave likes the spend points on the majority of his 12 players.
I on the other hand like to focus on no more than 5. My reasoning is that the more attention you give a player, the more likely he will come to your school. If you go around barely putting 5-10 points for the majority of your players, you might not get any to commit in the end.
I focus all of my efforts on those who already show extra interest like Justin Franklin shown here. Normally you will have 3-5 players who will show this extra interest like he does. What is funny is that in this case, Justin Franklin was the only one of the 12 I picked that showed extra interest. In this case I press the Prospect Info button to see where I am at on the list. If I am in the top half, then I will probably go after them.
The most players I will go after during any season is 5. That means each player gets 20 points. That is a lot of attention and you will be rewarded for it by at least the possibility of being in the final 3 for that prospect.
If I just gave 5 or 10 points here and there to players, my chances of landing him are slim. I could have uses those points on another player, then I would have had a much better shot at.
Now you might be thinking that 5 players is not enough to commit during the season. You have to remember that the most players you can have on the team at the same time is 70. Divide that into 4 classes and you get 17.5 per class. You get 25 scholarships to hand out every year but you don’t need to have the mindset of “I must sign 25 every year because I can”. Sooner or later you will be cutting a ton of kids when you didn’t have to.
Trust me. You will have plenty of chances to sign 10-15 others in the off-season. Just know that 17-20 is the number you should go after on a normal recruiting cycle.
Pitch feedback is your friend
Pitch feedback is super important because sometimes you will get a + or – sign on a pitch from that player.
Here is my simple rule to follow:
- If they have a positive feeling on any of the pitches, go after that player, hard!
- If they have negative feelings toward a pitch, avoid them like the plague.
I have recruited too many players who have shown a ton of interest but have a negative reaction towards a pitch. These guys are so hard to get to commit. Don’t get mad if they don’t commit to you. You have been warned. Positive guys are great especially when it comes time for official visits.
Check on that status of your prospects every week.
This sounds obvious, but you never know when a kid decides to drop you form his list for whatever reason. If that happens, then take his point allotment and put it somewhere else.
After every week, a player may or may not respond to a new pitch. You need to adjust your points accordingly here. If any of them have a – sign during the season, you better think long and hard before you decide to continue to go after that player.
Use process of elimination when picking a pitch for each official visit
If you have made it this far, you should still have your 4 or 5 players ready for their official visits. Unless that prospect has a + sign next to a pitch, you are going to have to guess which one he likes. This sounds obvious but don’t pick the pitches already listed that does not have a + sign. Even if pitch has no – sign by it, that still means he does not like that pitch.
How to pick when to have official visits
It helps a ton if you pick a game you know you can win. I have lost before on a game when I had a prospect visit and was still able to get him to commit, but I believe I just got lucky. It helps a ton if you can win that game.
Also, the sooner that game is the better since if he doesn’t commit after the game, you will have more weeks to try to work on him getting to commit.
Finally, when it comes to prospects who have a + sign by a pitch, you can schedule them on an off week and still see the possibility of him committing. It might be a risk, but I have done it several times before so try it if you are feeling froggy.
That’s all there really is to it. In-Season Recruiting is simple enough that as long as you pay attention you’re your prospects every week, you should be fine.
Again, go back and read Evil Dave’s Guide since he covers the minutia stuff pretty well.
If you have any questions, please put those in the comment section and let’s talk some Crootin’!