NCAA 2005 (XBOX) - Maximizing Recruiting Guide
version 1.00 - 1/23/05
created by: spooky8170
randy.choy@gmail.com

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Contents
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1. Introduction....................................................[INTRN]
2. Recruiting budget...............................................[BDGT]
3. Scouting........................................................[SCTNG]
4. Targeting.......................................................[TRGT]
5. Stay away from defensive ends...................................[DFNSVNDS]
6. Getting the right pitch.........................................[PTCH]
   6.1 Playing time................................................[PTCH-PT]
   6.2 Coach prestige..............................................[PTCH-CP]
   6.3 Program prestige............................................[PTCH-PP]
   6.4 Coaching style..............................................[PTCH-CS]
   6.5 Location....................................................[PTCH-LCTN]
7. Pitching every player...........................................[LLPLYS]
8. Managing week 4.................................................[WK4]
9. Managing week 5.................................................[WK5]
10. Versatile players..............................................[VRSTL]
11. Legal..........................................................[LGL]


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1. Introduction                                                    [INTRN]
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I believe that recruiting is a game within the game of NCAA 2005. In my 
opinion there isn't an enormous difference when playing the game with
players between a 72-99 rating. So I don't put a gigantic amount of stock in
the importance of recruiting, but it's fun and challenging.

Using these strategies I have been able to take a cupcake level team (D+) from
Texas and finish #1 in recruiting every year.  My best class was seventeen 5
star blue chippers and six 4 star recruits.

One of my key strategies involves an exploit of a game glitch I found.  You
obviously don't have to use it and can still garner an exceptional draft class.


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2. Recruiting budget                                               [BDGT]
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Typically I leave the budget at the default 34%/33%/33% levels.

-Recruiting points: The law of diminishing returns takes effect as you pump in
more and more points. I have found the default amount is enough if your school
is based in Texas, California, or Florida. In that order are the most in-state
recruits so you can cheaply recruit (1 pt) and scout (5 pts). I think Texas is
the best with the most in state recruits and Louisiana and Oklahoma are great
neighboring recruiting states. Florida doesn't have as many recruits as TX or
CA, but compensates by being next to Georgia and Alabama.

-Training: I haven't been able to tell significant difference to warrant
pumping in more points into this.

-Discipline: As seasons go by and you cut/graduate your bad apples and only
recruit well disciplined kids, you can siphon off some of these points into
recruiting points so you can scout more players.


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3. Scouting                                                        [SCTNG]
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Scouting is extremely key and under-rated. When I got my 17 blue chippers I
neglected to scout and ended up with NCAA sanctions. When I find out a player
has POOR discipline or a note that describes his affinity for getting into
trouble, I cut them loose no matter what. I don't care if they are VERY
INTERESTED, I'm their first choice, and I hit their right pitch. A+ players
do get into trouble on occasion, but it's a numbers game. You want to diminish
the chances of being in violation. Ten less scholarships over 2 years may as
well be the death penalty. I just don't think 1-2 players are worth that risk.
You miss out on a few juicy recruits but you won't have to sweat every time
that take action pop up window appears. My roommate thought he could offset bad
apples by having more discipline points. I think that's a waste. Why use up a
scholarship to get a guy and then have him just sit and endanger your program?

Scouting also fleshes out what I call pseudo-blue chippers and 4 star diamonds
in the rough. On average a typical 5* will be 78-82 OVR and a typical 4* 74-78
OVR. When you scout you can find that those legions of 4* WR with A+ awareness,
A+ hands, and 4.20 speed are more like A-/B/4.39. A lot of 5* are not as 
advertised and are really 4* (hence the pseudo pre-fix) and some of these 4*'s
are true beasts.  Once I had a 4* center that showed up as an 84 OVR. 


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4. Targeting                                                       [TRGT]
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-Target only 4 and 5 star recuits: The only time I would consider taking a 3*
player is for my first recruiting class with a cupcake or academic school. You
will find by week 5, there will be blue chippers coming out of the wazoo and
you'll be kicking yourself for settling on lesser players.

-Weeks 1,2,3: In the first 3 weeks I spend 85% of my points in scouting. I
start with in-state recruits and then adjacent states. Then I start scouting
5*. I will only spend 25 points on a far away recruit if I really want him. The
only players I will actually target are those who have been scouted, live up to
their reported stats, and have me as their #1 choice.  On any given week I
would guess that there is a 50% chance they will sign with you without getting
the right pitch; 65% if you do.

-Points: If you have the wrong pitch, you can put in the maximum points and I
don't think it'll make any difference than if you put the minimum. I always put
the minimum regardless. I think the only real difference in increasing points
is if you are their second, third, or worse choice, and you are trying to climb
their list.  I normally don't bother even targeting a player that I am not
their #1 choice unless I really want them bad. If you had a player targeted
from the prior week, they will still be targeted but at 0 points if you don't
mess with their pitch.  If you are #1 on their list and you hit their pitch,
they will often sign at 0 points invested for that week.


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5. Stay away from defensive ends                                  [DFNSVNDS]
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I have another section on versatile players in different positions, but I felt
this was so important that it gets its own section. Never recruit a DE. A 5* is
usually 78-82 OVR as a freshmen; 84 at best. It could take him 3 years to
develop into a 90+ player.  DE is a postion that most other postions can switch
to and often become much better; especially ATH and MLB.  I have had several
4* ATH and MLB as freshmen convert to a DE in the 90's. The biggest jump I've
had is a 74 MLB turn into a 91 DE.  Sweet and cheap.


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6. Getting the right pitch                                         [PTCH]
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The pitch is everything. If you don't get the correct pitch, the chances of
landing any particular recruit decreases exponentially.  You will get the
occasional recruit that says, "when it came down to it, he just wanted to play
[your school] football." Each recruit will only respond (positive or negative)
to one pitch. But you can manipulate almost every pitch in your favor.

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6.1 Playing time                                                   [PTCH-PT]

It's all about needs. If you have your requirements fullfilled for a particular
position, or worse, more than you need, playing time will be a hard sell. The
response will either be that they don't care or it will be a negative reaction.
The key is to create a need. You do this by cutting players and strategically
switching seniors to other positions. If you have low walk ons or remnants of
a bad starting class, they could take up roster spots and scare away potential
recruits, even if you never play them. The fact they are there worries
recruits.

You have to carry a minimum of players at each position (ie 3 QB's). If you
have a bad QB but he is a sophomore, then he'll be stuck in your system for 3
more years. But you can't cut him, yet. Find a position that you are deep at
and that has a senior. Now switch that senior after all of your recruiting has
finished over to a QB. In all likelihood, he will now be a 40 OVR QB. Doesn't
matter because he'll never get a snap in front of your other 2 QB's.  Now you
have 4 QB's. This will enable you to cut the bad sophomore QB and next season
you will have only 2 max returning QB's because the player you switched to
become a 40 OVR QB has graduated thus creating a need. Now recruits who care
about playing time for the next class will respond positively to playing time
pitch.

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6.2 Coach prestige                                                 [PTCH-CP]

If you have 3 stars or less in your coach's prestige, often (but not always!)
you will get a negative response from players who care about coach prestige
when pitched it. Every year you can gain 1 star max, unless you are coming off
of a year AFTER the first in a probation period when you can jump 2. To get
that star every year you have to have a winning season and probably a bowl
appearance.

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6.3 Program prestige                                               [PTCH-PP]

I used to think that if a recruit's first 3 choices were Florda State, Ohio
State, and Texas that the program prestige pitch would work. Not really the
case. The stars are what matter if they care about program prestige. You can
get the yearly star by having a good season with a bowl appearance.

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6.4 Coaching style                                                 [PTCH-CS]

I have decided that awards don't count for squat. I've led the nation in
rushing yards, yards per carry, +20 yd runs, broken tackles, doubled second
place in touch downs, won the Heisman, Maxwell and Doak Walker, and still had
every running back who cared about coaching style respond negatively to the
coaching style pitch. Why? Becuase I ran the ball in timely spots to get big
runs and stats but I threw 2/3 of the the time. RB's don't care if you were
even successful at running. They only cared that you ran a lot. Conversely, you
don't have to complete a lot of passes. Just attempt a lot and you'll have
passing QB's and WR's falling over each other wanting to play for you. I've
found that your win/losses affect coaching style somewhat as well.

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6.5 Location                                                      [PTCH-LCTN]

I used to think if a recruit was from Texas, and his first 3 choices were
Texas, Texas Tech, and Baylor that the location pitch would be money. Not
necessarily the case. Location is the one pitch you have no control over. They
either like it or hate it. I usually use this pitch last (unless I am stacked
at a position and know the playing time pitch won't work).


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7. Pitching every player                                          [LLPLYS]
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This is the one thing that falls under exploit. Don't flame me about it if you
have problems; just don't use it. For those of you who don't have such
compunctions, utilizing only this and the week 4 trend will be the 2 things
that have the greatest bearing on a killer recruiting class. I have established
that getting the right pitch is essential in landing a recruit. But you only
get to pitch 25 player max from week to week (minus the number of players you
have signed). There is a way to pitch every single player in the game! Every
week on a player, select a pitch and target/extend a scholarship.  Then
immediately withdraw the scholarship. The game will treat the player as if he
were being targeted. For the next week only, you will be able to see how that
player responded. But right when you get off of that player, the info
disappears. The best way to keep track of all of the data is to, for example
pitch all QB's coaching style, then next week pitch program prestige, etc. If
they responded positively, the following week don't extend/withdraw a
scholarship to that particular player, but continue pitching everyone else.
It's a lot of work and thumb pressing, but after 5 weeks you'll know every
player's pitch. It is only worth doing this with 4 or 5 star players, because
in conjunction with the week 4 trend, you'll have about 60-70 players VERY
INTERESTED in your school. I can't emphasize how powerful this is, considering
you have no problems with exploiting the game. Again you don't have to use
this to be successful.


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8. Managing week 4                                                [WK4]
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When I first started I didn't waste my time with anyone who didn't at least
have a HIGH interest in my school. But I stumbled onto a trend where if you
extended a scholarship (it counts if you subsequently withdrew it as well),
after week 4, no matter what their interest level was prior they will now be
VERY INTERESTED in you.  Many times you will also be their #1 choice as well!
I don't believe this is a glitch because there is a logic at play. A recruit
has his wish list of schools. But if he is not wooed by them and still left
hanging after 4 weeks, he gets antsy and will show interest in schools that
once showed interest in him. In week 5 they will show up green very interested.
But they will still jump to that interest level if you pursue them in week 4.
Therefore in week 4 dump every targeted player that you haven't hit the correct
pitch or who are just standard 4* recruits. There are even players who won't
respond to any of the 5 pitches (I lose patience with these). Now pick up every
blue chipper and diamond in the rough 4* recruit that you have previously
scouted and should also know the correct pitch.


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9. Managing week 5                                                [WK5]
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Keep doing every thing you have been doing in week 4. Soak up all of the blue
chippers, MLBs, ATHs, anything. If after during week 5 you begin sweating that
you have a need that hasn't been filled yet, don't panic and settle for
anything less than 4 stars. If you have been targeting a recruit (who is now
VERY INTERESTED and you are his #1 choice) in a position that you have a need
in and he doesn't sign after week 5, all is not lost. There is an excellent
chance that he will walk on to your school. And if he doesn't, there is still
a good chance the best player floating around out there will sign with you even
if you never bothered recruiting him. If you adhere to these strategies, you
will normally see about 5-6 recruits in week 1-3 and 16-19 in week 4-5.  


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10. Versatile players                                             [VRSTL]
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Don't feel trapped if your recruiting class is thin at a position you need to
fill. Normally there is a plethora of WR's, QB's and RB's. The thinnest
positional players seem to be TE and FB. The good news is that those two
positions are interchangeable. Usually there is a -2 to +6 difference when you
make a TE and FB and vice versa. So if you really needed a TE, but there were
no quality TE's left, draft a FB and make him into a TE. MLB's transition great
to OLB's and DE's.  SS transition well to other DB's. Punters and kickers are
interchangeable as well. But you have to edit positions right after recruiting.
If you do it during the year when they haven't had an off season to get
accustomed to the change you'll see an 80 OVR P become a 40 OVR K, when he
would've been an 80 OVR is you edited his position in the off season.


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11. Legal                                                         [LGL]
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