/seasons/2013/contrib/20131219swb1cc

A day in the life of D3 football recruiting

More news about: Berry

It's pitch dark outside, but Berry College Head Coach Tony Kunczewski is off to locate high school student-athletes for the Viking football team.

In addition to Coach K, four other BC coaches are on the road throughout the Southeast. As they prepare for the football program's second year, the staff is looking for the talented athletes--but also the type of young man who will succeed at Berry College.

"There may be six or so graduating seniors at a school looking to play college football," said Kunczewski. "But it's usually about one or two at each place who might be the right fit for us."

The Recruiting Season

From mid-November to late December, college football coaching staffs hit the road in this annual rite of passage. Early mornings, rental cars and fast food receipts are standard operating procedures.

Whether the program is NCAA Division I, NAIA or NCAA Division III like Berry, this is a vitally important part for future success.

"If you work hard and do the right things in December, your next season is going to be better," Kunczewski said.

Today Coach K is in Northern Georgia. Other staff members are in Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama on this chilly December day.

"In most cases, we like to get an early start. If we start early, we can get back to Rome in the early evening. Whenever possible, I want our staff to be able to be at home at night."

The Right Fits

Recruiting is an ongoing process. By following the high school football season—an arduous task since there are many other duties during the Vikings' playing season—and building and maintaining relationships with prep coaches, the staff has laid the groundwork.

"The life blood of college recruiting is building good relationships with high school coaches," said Kunczewski. "Almost all of these men want the best for their kids. It helps their program to send players on to college and the coaches have an investment in their student-athletes and want the best for them."

Coach K and his staff will develop a list of potential recruits at each school. Due to Berry's rigorous admission standards, the pool can be limited.

"In most cases, we are seeking tremendous students who happened to be outstanding high school football players," he said. "We work the coaches to identify the best fits for Berry and our football program."

The High School Visit

Armed with a fresh transcript and video highlights for review, college coaches then prepare for an informal interview.

Each member of the Berry football coaching staff carries an IPad, which allows for a slideshow presentation about Berry College, and to be able to take notes and document information about each prospect.

Kunczewski is at ease in speaking to recruits, just like he is at a Rotary meeting or an on-campus event. Since he's done his homework, he's not exaggerating by telling a young man: "We like you and think you would be a great addition to our program and we'd like for you to visit Berry."

Berry College Visit

The coaches sing the praises of Berry College. It's the world's largest college campus, recently was named the top "up and coming liberal arts college" in the nation, deer out-number students two-to-one, impressive athletic facilities, nationally-recognized student work program, are a few of the key points.

"Our campus sells itself," Kunczewski said. "Getting a prospective student-athlete to one of our recruit days is important. Ideally, we have 12 or so prospects for each date. That gives the kid and his family an opportunity to ask questions and to meet other families and prospective student-athletes."

After the Berry College visit, the young men are in an opportunity to answer the big question: Do you see yourself being happy here the next four years?

Summary

Our visit took us through to five counties (Dawson, Pickens, Gilmer, Gordon and Whitfield), covered 273 miles and we met with 11 high school seniors.

In most cases, other football coaches from competing programs cross paths, but we were the only visitors to each school on this day.

"Today was a very good day," Kunczewski said. "We got to visit with every prospect and the coaches provided great insight."

Aug. 31: All times Eastern
TBA
Moravian at King's
7:00 PM
Methodist at Campbell
7:00 PM
Alfred State at Coast Guard
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7:00 PM
Allegheny at Thiel
7:00 PM
Stevenson at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Wesley at Delaware Valley
7:00 PM
Mayville St. at Buena Vista
7:30 PM
Manchester at Trine
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
McMurry at Okla. Panhandle
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
8:00 PM
Greenville at Millikin
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Salisbury at Albright
7:00 PM
Mount Ida at Mass-Dartmouth
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Curry
7:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Washington and Lee
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7:00 PM
FDU-Florham at TCNJ
7:00 PM
MIT at Becker
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7:30 PM
Anna Maria at WPI
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7:30 PM
Gettysburg at Bridgewater
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
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Kalamazoo at Oberlin
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Heidelberg at Olivet
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Worcester State at Salve Regina
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Wilkes at Muhlenberg
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Catholic at McDaniel
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Grove City at Juniata
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Birmingham-Southern at LaGrange
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Carthage at Aurora
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St. Norbert at UW-Stevens Point
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Knox at Eureka
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at SUNY-Maritime
12:00 PM
Norwich at Morrisville State
12:00 PM
Bethany at Ursinus
12:00 PM
Brockport at Hobart
12:00 PM
Augustana at Cortland
12:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Washington U.
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12:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Mount Union
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1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Alma at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Castleton at Plymouth State
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Susquehanna
1:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at John Carroll
1:00 PM
Alfred at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Merchant Marine
1:00 PM
Albion at Wabash
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1:00 PM
Dickinson at Randolph-Macon
1:00 PM
Bluffton at Wooster
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1:00 PM
Union at Husson
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1:00 PM
Springfield at Western New England
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Westminster (Pa.)
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Ferrum at Emory and Henry
1:00 PM
Averett at Hampden-Sydney
1:00 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
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1:00 PM
Waynesburg at Muskingum
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1:00 PM
William Paterson at RPI
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Chicago
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1:00 PM
Kenyon at Sewanee
1:30 PM
Franklin at Thomas More
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1:30 PM
Centre at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Capital
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Defiance
1:30 PM
Earlham at Wilmington
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Guilford at Huntingdon
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Simpson
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Nebraska Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rockford at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Finlandia at Concordia (Wis.)
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2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Bethel
2:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Macalester at Carleton
2:00 PM
Grinnell at St. Olaf
2:00 PM
Hamline at Crown
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Whitworth at Central
2:00 PM
Coe at UW-River Falls
2:00 PM
Loras at Elmhurst
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Ripon
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2:00 PM
Presentation at Lawrence
2:00 PM
George Fox at UW-Platteville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Beloit
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
Austin at Bacone
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at La Verne
6:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Adrian
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Southern Virginia
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7:00 PM
Brevard at Davidson
7:00 PM
Gallaudet at Shenandoah
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7:00 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Marietta at Geneva
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Utica
7:00 PM
Southwestern at Denison
7:00 PM
Martin Luther at Minnesota-Morris
7:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
7:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Illinois College
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7:00 PM
Trinity Int'l at Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas-Permian Basin
7:00 PM
Luther at UW-La Crosse
7:00 PM
Wayland Baptist at Louisiana College
8:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Redlands
8:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Cornell
8:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at North Central (Ill.)
8:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Benedictine
8:00 PM
Lyon at Hendrix
8:00 PM
Howard Payne at Southwestern Assemblies
10:00 PM
Rhodes at Willamette
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