Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
I want players that are talented and have a proven track record of winning. The history of winning leads me to believe that the competitiveness and work ethic has already been instilled, and the drive to be successful is important to each player. I pay attention to the character of each player, his manners on the field, how he treats his parents on recruiting visits, and his overall kindness to others.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
I recruited a local player that was a 3 sport athlete in high school and never really played soccer year round until college (he was not heavily recruited out of high school). He played forward at the high school level and scored tons of goals, because he was a better athlete and faster than his opponents. Once in college his poor technical ability caused problems for him as he was not able to manipulate the ball well enough to use his athleticism effectively. He moved positions part way through his freshman year from forward to defender, at first he was not too keen on the idea but it got him on the field and feeling some success. Once he realized he was a better defender than a forward he took a very selfless approach to the team and the game. He began working on improving himself technically and defensively. He studied the game, he watched soccer, he lived the soccer culture and through his dedication he became a fantastic player and center back. My current team dreads playing against him in Alumni games. His selflessness and dedication is what made him exceed my expectations.