Gary Andersen: On recruiting film, I want to watch a kid play a quarter or two

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday July 27, 2017

The recruiting process includes thousands and thousands of high school highlight tapes sent to coaches, but Gary Andersen wants to judge an at least an entire quarter of a game.

At Pac-12 Media Days, Andersen was asked about recruiting. Of course, every coach wants to physically see the players in person, be it at a camp or at a game, but it comes down to a lot of tape for a head coach, and a highlight tape doesn’t show that much.

“Film is my most valuable weapon,” Andersen said. “I don't like to just watch a highlight, I will watch a highlight tape, but then I like to watch a kid play a quarter or two, just so I can see his effort more than anything.”

Camp season is now over, as fall camps begin. With the new December signing period, the recruiting evaluation has to happen quicker.

For assistants, that means getting out to more games. But for the head coach, it’s more tape. Oregon State only has five commits for the class of 2018, per 247Sports, so there’s work to do.

“I love the individual opportunity to watch them compete. I rarely get that firsthand,” Andersen said. “I do when I get to the camps and a few things, but I don't get to see as many of those kids as I'd like to. … But it is important for us to put an eye on a kid and physically watch him compete or physically watch him practice.

I think you can learn so much and you can see who he's really playing against. You get an idea of what's the competition like he's playing against. That would be our most valuable spots, one and two.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to