Florida football: Maybe a good time to rethink recruiting strategy

The Florida football team took another hit Friday when it was reported that 2019 signee Arjei Henderson is not eligible to play due to his inability to clear admissions.

Now there are three.

On Friday, The Athletic’s Will Sammon reported Florida 2019 wide receiver signee Arjei Henderson is not eligible to play because he can’t clear admissions for the school.

That means Henderson joins linebacker Diwun Black and offensive guard Deyavie Hammond as Gator signees who are forced to go to junior college due to academics. Florida football is still waiting on offensive tackle Wardrick Wilson’s visa issues to be cleared up. Wilson is from the Bahamas.

We also can’t forget Chris Steele and Jalon Jones — both 2019 signees who left following issues stemming from an allegation of sexual assault against Jones.

This just feeds into my philosophy that college coaches need to have a better benchmark for determining if players should come and play for them.

And, it certainly has to go beyond just a star rating given them by a third-party.

Because, at the end of the day, those stars don’t mean much if the player can’t do the school work, or becomes a bigger off-the-field issue because they don’t know how to treat women (yes, yes, I know it is ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ but the message is clear that most of these issues stem from players getting themselves in precarious situations with women).

Teams in the National Football League do a fairly good job of screening potential draft picks and signees. They put them through, not only the physical tests we like to see on television, but most teams also put players through rigorous interviewing with coaches and even psychologists.

Of course, sometimes those NFL interviews can be a little odd.

But, the point is college coaches need to look beyond just a star rating or the on-the-field performance of players they recruit.

What is their character? How are they off the field? What is their mentality towards others off the field?

And, perhaps more importantly, how are they in the classroom?

I get that not all high school football stars double as Einsteins in the classroom, but if they hope to be successful in college, they have to understand what that means.

It means understanding how to take tests, understanding how to study and understanding how to ask for help. All of those things should be instilled in an athlete’s head before they go to college.

All I’m saying is college coaches, like Dan Mullen, need to raise the bar a bit when it comes to recruiting. Look at more than just the film of them on the field, because there are two other components college coaches need to be concerned about: 1) how are they off the field, and 2) how are they in the classroom.

Until the star mentality of recruiting becomes secondary, we are going to keep seeing stories from all universities of students not able to fit the bill on the next level.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts. Hit us up on the comments section below!