By Danny Dunn
Humboldt State’s head football Coach Rob Smith understands that there is a stigma that comes with recruiting at Humboldt.
“We address the marijuana reputation head on and say yes that element exists here, but we think it exists anywhere…and that is not who we are,” Smith said.
Despite the stigma HSU’s football staff feels there are many reason’s for football recruits to choose to play for Humboldt.
“This is a football program with a proud tradition, and a solid success rate recently, seven consecutive years nationally ranked…that is what we focus on here,” Smith said.
The recruiting process is arguably the most important part of the offseason for college football programs. With all the turnover from season to season because of graduating seniors or students transferring elsewhere for eligibility purposes, coaches need to fill the voids that are left by these departures.
That is why Humboldt State Football is very fortunate to be returning a majority of their offensive core, including quarterback Robert Webber, running back Ja’Quan Gardner, and All-American lineman Alex Cappa.
“There is always a good group of seniors that leave, but I feel we have a good base to build around, and we have high expectations for next season,” Cappa said.
With the retention of the offensive core, it allows Humboldt State Football to focus primarily on the defensive side of the game when it came to recruiting.
Linebacker Curtis Williams remembers what it was like when he went through the recruiting process.
“It was stressful, but also exciting with the coaches showing an interest,” Williams said. “Overall I would say I enjoyed it.”
Williams went on to say that he felt that Humboldt State was the right fit for him.
“Out of the schools I visited with, Humboldt was the most family oriented,” Williams said. “The coaching staff really makes you feel wanted.”
Head Football Coach Rob Smith says that recruiting is really time consuming. He relies heavily on his coaching staff to help with the process, including setting up official visitation days where the recruits and parents can come see what Humboldt has to offer.
“I am upfront and honest with the recruits, and sell them on the athletic benefits at Humboldt State,” Smith said.
Smith went on to say that relationships are the key to landing a recruit.
“There’s no magic formula to it, just be yourself and develop a relationship with not only the recruit, but the recruits parents…and continually show that recruit that he is wanted at Humboldt State,” Smith said.