Power Recruiting Deep Dive

Recruiting is the lifeblood of any college football program, and the process has long been a part of the NCAA Football franchise. This year, recruiting takes a big leap forward with the new Power Recruiting system, a streamlined process that maintains the depth that fans have come to expect. It’s the fastest, easiest, most rewarding way ever to sign those coveted players.

RECRUITING 101

Power Recruiting is a points-based system that allows coaches to assign a number of points to each targeted recruit every week. At a base level, coaches are given 5,000 points each week during the season to distribute amongst their targeted recruits, with each player having a cap of 500 points. There is one pool of points for scouting, as well as recruiting and offering scholarships, so you’ll have to carefully manage your resources and choose wisely. 

During the offseason coaches are given 10,000 points with no player cap, so coaches can allocate points however they want. If there’s that one player that you feel can take you all the way, then you can pump in ALL your offseason points in the hopes of making a big splash. It’s probably not a strategy you’ll want to employ every year, but it can be worth it in those seasons when you see a once-in-a-generation talent that is a perfect fit for your system.

These numbers are all based on the assumption that you have no Coach Skill bonuses which can boost your Recruiting abilities. Skills like “Kitchen Sink” can significantly enhance your point totals week-to-week, while “Letter of Intent” will provide help in the offseason. For a full explanation of the ways to enhance your recruiting abilities, check out the Coach Skills blog.

Point allocation carries over from week-to-week, so the only time you have to dive in and make changes are when you want to adjust point allocations or  plan something extra like schedule a visit.

You’ll also be able to get constant feedback on targeted players, with weekly updates on gains and losses, as well as how close they are to signing with a school. Players can be filtered to show who needs the most attention and where you may be dropping off a player’s radar. Sometimes you’ll see two schools locked at the top of a prospect’s board, at which point a recruiting battle will break out as both schools go all-out to land the player. These competitions can be fierce, and will sometimes rage all the way up to Signing Day.

BONUSES AND DEAL BREAKERS

Last year marked the introduction of Dynamic Pitch Grades, which allowed you to improve your school’s stock in the eyes of recruits with strong play and consistent excellence. Those grades return this year in the form of Top Interests, which breaks down the top three factors a recruit takes into consideration.

The cool thing about Top Interests is that if your school’s strengths align with the prospect’s interests, you’ll be automatically granted bonus recruiting points for that player. The bonus is pretty significant, as you can gain up to 410 extra points for a given player if there is a fit. You can still add more points out of your pool if you want, but the bonuses gained can help you spread your resources around to target more prospects.

On the other end of the spectrum are Deal Breakers, which some prospects use as an absolute determination of whether or not they’ll even consider a school. If a player has a Deal Breaker and your school rates at a C+ or worse in that category, you won’t be able to add that player to your board or spend any points on scouting or recruiting. However, if you can get your grade above a C+, the prospect will unlock and you can continue with the process.

For example, if your team is in need of a wide receiver, the “Playing Time” factor will display as an “A” grade. If a wideout prospect has a “Deal Breaker” for Playing Time you can add him to your board and recruit as normal. However, if you start targeting and offering scholarships to other receivers, the Playing Time grade may drop and you’ll be locked out of further recruiting that original player. 

SCHOLARSHIPS AND VISITS

Power Recruiting places a renewed emphasis on offering scholarships and scheduling campus visits. Now, recruits will expect to see scholarship offers earlier in the year to prove your interest, and waiting too long can result in recruiting penalties or even being locked out entirely. Perhaps you’ll want to get a good scouting report on your targets before offering, but don’t put it off too long or you may get locked out.

Things are quite different for campus visits, as you actually get more of a boost by waiting later in the year to schedule a visit. So while you may get a 100 point boost by scheduling an early visit, holding off until the last few weeks can net a bump of 700-800 points or more. There’s a risk-reward element since each prospect can only make 5 visits a season, and other teams will be jockeying to schedule their own visits. 

There are several other elements that factor into deciding when to invite someone for a campus visit, and many of them will grant bonuses. Scheduling a visit for a rivalry game or big matchup against a ranked opponent will give you a points boost, as will planning complementary visits. An example of a complementary visit is bringing in a quarterback, wide receiver and offensive lineman all in the same week so the guys can get to know each other a bit as potential teammates.

The flip side of the coin is competitive visits, which can harm your bonus if you bring in multiple players at the same position. The players will view each other as rivals, and will likely spend so much time looking over their shoulder that they don’t really enjoy the trip. For that reason, you’ll want to minimize competitive visits whenever possible. Here’s the breakdown of the number of players that can visit in a given week without any negative repercussions:

  • QBs, HBs and FBs – More than 1 per position, per week, triggers competitive visit
  • WRs, TEs and Safeties – More than 2 per position, per week, triggers competitive visit
  • All other positions – No limit, no competitive visits

When you’re scheduling visits, the screen will show you if it creates a complementary or competitive visit, so you can see at a glance what the repercussions of your decision will be.

Bonuses can also be earned with a strong in-game performance. Beating a rival or Top 25 team will make a good impression, as will meeting specific yardage goals. If you manage to schedule a complementary visit late in the season against a rival or ranked school, you can make those visiting players take notice with a strong performance. Add in the Royal Treatment Coach Skill and it’ll be hard for anyone to say no to you after you show them around campus.

Power Recruiting streamlines the art of recruiting, while adding new, deep wrinkles as well. It’s easy to jump in and set your board, but true masterminds will love diving in to account for Top Interests, schedule visits at the perfect time, and truly squeeze the most value out of every week. No matter your strategy, Power Recruiting has something to offer everyone.

 

Did you miss the earlier talks about NCAA Football 14 Dynasty Mode? Check out Part 1 and Part 2 here.

NCAA Football will be available on Tuesday, July 9, for Xbox 360 and PS3, and fans can learn more at the NCAA Football website. Pre-order today to receive exclusive Conference Packs.

Fans can keep up to date by visiting the NCAA Football websiteFacebook, and Twitter for exclusive assets and unique insights into all of this year’s new features. College football enthusiasts can also get involved in the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #PLAYTRUE.