BIRMINGHAM, AL -
You can't escape it. College football recruiting gets year-round attention now. The media coverage is not nearly as strong for collegiate golf, obviously. But the competition might be just as fierce as it is in football.
"There's a lot of parallels to it," Auburn head coach Nick Clinard said. "I watch a lot of that football, whether it's Rivals or 247 Sports. Golf is kind of the same. A lot of early commitments these days, kids making decisions earlier and earlier. There's a lot more visits earlier and at a younger age. There's a lot of it."
"It really is selling the heartbeat or the soul of your team, your program, and Alabama," Bama head coach Jay Seawell said. "that's the reason I came. When I stepped foot on campus for the first time in 2002, just looking at the school there's a heartbeat here. There's a soul. I like to call it that. That's what we try to sell."
Clinard says other programs at Auburn, especially the football program, help him get a recruit's attention.
"The better football does, the better basketball does, the better baseball does, the marquee sports, the better it helps golf," Clinard said. "No doubt about it."
"(It's) the atmosphere, the fan base, and the positive energy when you go to a game, showing them a packed stadium. Winning cures everything," Clinard said."
With the opportunities some golfers have to leave school early and turn pro, is college golf recruiting similar to college basketball recruiting in that respect?
"I really don't discuss it," Seawell said. "I think this is a student athlete. Justin left early and Bud left early. It's part of it. It's a good problem to have. If guys are good enough to turn pro, then we're doing our job correctly."
With the talent level of the SEC in men's golf getting higher and higher, coaches will continue to compete harder and harder for talent.