WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - August 14 would have been the unofficial start of the high school football season in North Carolina, before the North Carolina High School Athletic Association pushed back the start of fall sports.
The BB&T Football Jamboree is typically held this weekend at Legion Stadium, but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.
For high school players hoping to be recruited to play collegiate ball, the change in schedule could change the course of their futures.
The recruiting process has slowed down and moved online.
“When coronavirus came out, it really knocked down the recruiting process,” said New Hanover senior Bryson Boyette. “No coaches could come to the school and talk to you. You can’t go to schools and talk to coaches.”
East Carolina University Coach Mike Houston acknowledges it is difficult to evaluate players in this era.
“It makes it very, very difficult with senior prospects,” Houston said. “Especially when you don’t get a chance to see them play and you’re going off junior tape. That’s just tough. You want to have that validation from summer camp.”
Players are turning to other methods of showing off their talent, with the hope that scholarship money will still be available.
“I’ve seen a few players do a combined style video for coaches,” Boyette said. “I’ll probably end up doing something like that to send out to coaches, and keep sending my film out, messaging coaches on Twitter and do the best I can with what I have.”
New Hanover Head Coach Dylan Dimock said, “it’s gonna be interesting when you have an early signing day and you have the February signing day and it can go on forever, but it will be interesting to see who will hold offers in the back to kind of say ‘hey we have four [spots] left, lets wait and see’ I would think some schools would do that.”