Successful recruiting is the future of any program. Bringing the best players in the country to Ohio State is what decides where the program is headed.
But for Buckeye head coach Ryan Day, recruiting isn’t about just selling the top players on what Ohio State can offer them.
Day understands the reality of what can happen when recruits are not the right fit and when they are sold on a school superficially.
That is why recruiters at Ohio State are not sales people.
“We try not to talk people into coming here,” Day said shortly after wrapping up a very successful early signing period on Wednesday. “That’s the other thing. I think the day of selling and just trying to get guys to sign their name on a piece of paper, those days are over because of the transfer portal.”
Instead, the process of recruiting a player to come to a school goes much deeper than that. For Day, recruiting is about building relationships and being honest.
“It’s not about getting a sale,” he said. “I was around a coach one time where you put a book on your desk and it was about how to close a sale. That’s not what recruiting is. “It’s about building a vision and letting them know what your program is and what you’re going to do for their sons, building that relationships, and then treat them the way they’re recruited.
“That’s what it comes down to. When you’re honest and you’re real with them, then obviously it translates better for when they get here. It’s not about getting them to sign, it’s about making sure they’re successful when they’re here.”
Even Day’s assistants have the mentality that there’s no need to sell anyone on Ohio State and what the school can offer. There is no hard sell to recruits, it’s simply a presentation of information and opportunity.
Wide receivers coach Brian Hartline doesn’t even like being called a recruiter because of the connotation.
Even though the definition of a recruiter is a person whose job is to enlist or enroll people as members of an organization, that’s not the way Ohio State looks at recruiting.
This isn’t about showing pictures from a brochure. It’s about finding the right fit for both the player and the school. And coaches can’t do that until they know the players better and players won’t choose a school if they don’t know the coaches they would be playing for.
“This recruiting… the ‘recruiter’ term just rubs me the wrong way all the time,” Hartline said. “ I feel like to me it’s not a business. These are young men that just want to figure out where they want to go to school and they are trying to find a coach they can relate to and a program that they understand the culture and that’s all it is.
“Like what are we talking about, it’s Ohio State. This is the best program in the country. All you have to do is talk about it.”