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The most overused words in recruiting


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Year after year, you read football message boards during the recruiting process and you see fans talking about the character and leadership qualities of their recruits. Those are obviously important traits for a successful program to look for, but extremely hard to actually pin down, IMO. Nevertheless, every fan base believes they found the motherlode of high character.

Just my opinion, but all this analysis of character and leadership, based on words spoken by recruits, is a waste of pixels. Not because those aren't important traits, but because they're fairly evenly distributed and tough to predict based on what we actually know about these kids. Something that an 18 year old says, or doesn't say, on signing day is not that helpful in predicting whether they'll be a team leader, IMO. Leadership is created in the trenches and in day to day life, not in the press conferences.

If you avoid signing the obvious troublemakers, that's a good start. Beyond that, you can tell which teams have true discipline and character by seeing who has a public code of discipline that's fairly enforced. The players who last in that system will meet a minimum standard of character, although you'll sacrifice some talent along the way. It doesn't alway pay off over the short run, but longer term it does. That's one of the main reasons I hope that Mark Richt is around for a long time at UGA.

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