Through all the dialogue, some soft, some harsh, Rich Skrosky has stayed true to his words in regard to recruiting.
From his first day as Elon University football coach, he’s preached about taking more of a hands-on approach to recruiting with an emphasis on targeting prospects from North Carolina.
As National Signing Day fades into the distance, it’s fair to say he succeeded in that.
Elon signed 19 players in the class of 2015 with 13 hailing from North Carolina.
Running back Malcolm Summers from Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane and receiver Tereak McCray from Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington both come from schools in Alamance County. Recruiting players from the surrounding area was something Skrosky did while serving as Elon’s offensive line coach and later offensive coordinator under Pete Lembo from 2006-2010. When hired as head coach in December 2013, he brought that idea up.
“We said last year at this time, that was really important,” Skrosky said.
Then, Skrosky had little time to assemble his staff and hit the road recruiting. There were less than two months between the day he was hired and National Signing Day.
Having a full year now to establish relationships with recruits and their families was a key factor in pulling in a full class of 19 players — the number Skrosky wanted to reach. There were 17, but two more committed during Elon’s hour-long Signing Day online show.
Take offensive lineman Matt Kowalewski as an example. A recruit from Charlotte Catholic High School, Kowalewski was Elon’s first commitment in this year’s class when he verbally committed early last summer. Skrosky said Kowalewski and his family have been on campus more than 10 times already, which he beleived helped.
Then there’s quarterback Daniel Thompson, who Skrosky said is an important piece to the puzzle because of his “leadership and magnetism.” He committed last summer, too, and is someone who the staff is excited about thanks to the relationships built in the past year. His brother, Dylan, played quarterback at the University of South Carolina, so he’s from a football family.
“The mantras going out were competitiveness and [being] passionate about football,” Skrosky said. “I can’t overstate that enough, how well we get to know these kids.”
Skrosky said most of the in-state players were offered by Elon very early in the process. In fact, the 2016 recruiting cycle has already begun.
He claimed some offers have already been extended to players who could potentially be a part of next year’s signing class.
“We’ve made it a personalized process,” Skrosky said. “If we get in early on a kid, if we educate them to what Elon is and what Elon has to offer and we get them on our campus, we’ll have a great shot.”
Skrosky’s stuck to his words and established a unique recruiting blueprint. Now, it’s time for it to translate to the field.