NCAA Football

May 14, 2019, 9:02 pm

NCAA transfer portal keeps teams busy searching for additional talent

Justin Crouse, manager of participant force for Memphis, makes his archetypal bank check of the transportation entrance about 8 a.m. each day, inquisitory for new names in the NCAA's database of

NCAA transfer portal keeps teams busy searching for additional talent
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Justin Crouse, manager of participant force for Memphis, makes his archetypal bank check of the transportation entrance about 8 a.m. each day, inquisitory for new names in the NCAA's database of football game participants sounding for a new educational institution .

He bank checks once again at luncheon and one more time — at least — earlier he calls it day.

For years, Crouse's capital duties for Memphis have been distinguishing and evaluating recruits in high educational institution and junior college. That was pre-entrance.

"I would say 40 percent of the time now is concentrating on guys that are departure different places," Crouse said.

The NCAA's new transportation rules have denatured the process by which athletes switch educational institution s, loosening some restrictions and leading more participants to explore options. Football coaches have responded by throwing more manpower toward monitoring that growing talent pool and scouting the entrance.

"We get an alert every day that somebody gets added into the entrance, but then we get a weekly breakdown of position, hometown," Memphis coach Mike Norvell said. "And then trying to collect all the information, the video, to get a sense of who these kids have developed to be."

The entrance is the NCAA's cryptic name for the database it maintains to track which athletes in all sports have notified their educational institution s they wish to transportation. The big change from last year's rules reform was athletes no longer needed to request permission to transportation. Schools and coaches no longer can stop a transportation and dictate where the athlete goes. The point of the entrance was to create transparency and order.

The transportation process could be clandestine earlier rules reform. Because athletes needed permission from their current coach to be contacted by different educational institution s, it encouraged third parties to get involved, an active grapevine filled with high educational institution and 7-on-7 coaches, personal trainers, parents and friends of friends.

"Before it was by word of mouth," Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. "Somebody gave you a call, 'This guy might be transportationring,' and get going. Now it's every day we have people that are in our program bank checking the entrance."

The entrance provides more exposure for the transportationring participant and ostensibly more opportunities. Instead of deals being struck under the table even earlier participants officially were granted their release, every educational institution in the country now has chance to make a pitch.

"It takes away ... the middleman in making the connection," Norvell said.

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said: "I think it's beneficial for the participants."

Portal patrol duties tend to fall to the participant force department — or some equivalent.

Crouse said he prioritizes participants from Memphis' recruiting area and those who play positions of team need. All highly productive participants and quarterbacks get a look, too. Crouse compiles background material and film going back to high educational institution using services such as Hudl and Pro Football Focus. He then sends that information to the Memphis coaches sorting by position, recruiting area and previous relationships.

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Georgia coach Kirby Smart compared working the entrance to NFL teams having a portion of their scouting department dedicated to veteran free agents.

"We just happen to have a larger pool (of participants), which is the entrance," Smart said. "We know most of the guys on the board because we knew them coming out of high educational institution and so we had a background on that. We said, 'Yeah, we didn't think that guy was very good there and that's why he's departure. So we'll pass. That guy is an intriguing guy because we don't have that position or we just had a mass exodus of three guys leave some position, juniors came out early we weren't expecting. Better go to the entrance, find a good backup.'"

The entrance has opened the process, but ultimately relationships built during high educational institution recruiting still play a major role.

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said he wants his staff to keep track of participants who really liked Oregon coming out of high educational institution but chose to sign elsewhere.

"This is one we may want to keep on a hot file," Cristobal said. "So if it does happen, then you have the option to act relatively quickly."

Staffers are on the lookout not just for talent, but fit — on the field and off.

"He went to this college, but he's from here. Yeah, that raises attention regardless of position," Collins said. "He's departure because he wants to be closer to home. Well if his home is Dallas then don't worry, we're good."

Background bank checks might be the most important part of entrance scouting. Why is the participant departure?

"There's always a story," Norvell said.

It's those stories that have made some coaches stick to an old-educational institution approach to pursuing transportations.

Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott said if the Panthers bring in a transportation, he prefers it to be a participant with which the staff already is familiar.

"But you know we do look at (the entrance), but like I said I don't think you want to build your football game program with a bunch of guys that have already quit somewhere," Elliott said.

And that grapevine still is plenty active.

"I think everyone's just kind of waiting for that bulletin to pop up," Cristobal said. "But I think everyone speculates as well."

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