This is not speculation; this is how the system was meant to be used. First let me start out by reminding everyone that the worse your team is the harder it is to recruit. Now if you are playing as a 5* or 6* team you can land recruits without having to do much and this post will not really help you out. But if you are using a 4* or less team, this can help you get a top recruit class. It still works with top schools but if you are already #1 on the recruits board, why create more work for yourself.
Ø Watch the recruiting tutorial that comes with the game, it helps.
Ø The football face simply shows you how the recruit is feeling towards you on that specific call! If you leave him happy it does not increase his interest in your school. In fact I have had the recruit hang up on me with a pissed off face and the next week it was happy or average when I called him.
Ø If the pitch is locked, stop hard pitching it, the only time you should hard pitch a locked pitch is if you want to change the mood of the phone call, if it is going south, use a hard pitch on a category you match with him on and it will make him happy again. THIS DOES NOT INCREASE HIS INTEREST BY HARD PITCHING A LOCKED PITCH, even if it is his most and your elite.
Ø Recruits interest change based on their pitches unlocked and how close each pitch matches your school, good and bad. So unlocked as many pitches as possible is NOT pointless, unless you are already #1 on HIS board. The reason for this is the fact that you can sway his feelings positively towards your schools ratings. When you look at a recruit's detail (R3 button on the PS3), the third tab will show his interest compared to each of your schools attributes. Notice how green means good and red means bad, unlocked show neither. The more green the better.
Ø You can change those Reds to neutral or Greens by swaying. This works BOTH WAYS. If your school is good at something and it is high for the recruit, that is NOT a good thing for you. Here is how you want it, no matter what the circumstance you want these to always match up, if he has low interest and your school is fair, pump him up it will raise his interest. First category is your school, second category is recruit:
Very Good=Above Average
So if you need to increase his interest and there are pitches that are not locked (some do not match up but are also locked, it really just is random based on each recruit), you should sway them or hard sell them (also can change stance of recruit). Examples: Your school is Good and Recruit is Fair, raise him to Average and it will lock. Your school is Excellent and recruit is Above Average, raise him to Very High (I have done this up to a Very High, never used a school with Elites though). If your school is Fair and the recruit is Above Average, LOWER HIM to Low and it will lock once it gets there, THIS RAISES HIS INTEREST because you both feel the same way about that category, make sense?
Ø You can Hard Pitch instead of starting with Find Pitch, this is mentioned in the tutorial, although I have not played with it at all, but it is supposed to either give big rewards or a lot of anger, hit or miss using that method. If anyone plays with this, let me know what you find out
Ø After you have "swayed" prospects up and down, go back to the recruit interest screen (that shows the breakdown) and you will see red areas change to neutral and neutral change to green... remember you may not need to do this, you can unlock 3-5 pitches and have the recruit at max interest because he matches on them or your school is great at everything.
Ø If your Green areas are his most, very high, high areas, they can easily out-weigh many red areas, you can high top interest from the recruit with only 3-4 greens and 5 reds if he cares about those greens the most!
Ø HARD PITCHING: Stop using this on categories that you do not match or are not close to matching, you are wasting time. If his most is your schools good, don't hard pitch it, you don't match. If his most is your schools excellent or higher, go for it.
Ø When the recruit visits, he may say I want to do this "meet with profs..." if academics is his most and are less than say Great, do not schedule that in the visit, it will make him grade you lower. What you should do is schedule him for activities that both of you are high on (look at the chart listed earlier), even if you don't schedule any of his very highs or most, you will get a better grade because he sees your school matches his interest at what you showed him!
Ø If you can schedule visits later in the season and/or against rivals, if no rivals (road games) then schedule him against top teams or conference teams, non ranked - non conference teams are your worst option.
Ø It matter where you put the recruit on YOUR board, again in the tutorial it mentions this, he can see your board and it effects his interest. I don't think it makes a big difference but it could move you up or down a few notches.
To re-cap, if you are #1 on a recruits list, don't waste phone time on him unless you drop or really want him to commit early in the season, BUT if you totally ignore him other schools will pass you on his interest meter (you can see where the other schools are by looking at the recruit detail). This takes a good amount of time to sway recruits, in fact you can waste all your time on 4 recruits one week, but the effort may move your school from #6 to #3 on all their lists, then try again next week. DON'T HARD PITCH and wait for it to say complete when the category is locked, if you are not hard pitching to sway him, just do it until the desired smile is achieved and you only need to do so if you want to keep pitching other categories to him, don't waste time trying to make him happy before you hang up. When you see the RED DOWN ARROW, don't freak out, this is good, not bad, it means he agrees and thinks it isn't as important as he first thought, you will never have a NEGATIVE pitch, he either will not sway or will sway in your favor, never against you, going down just means your school isn't great at it and he doesn't think it matters that much anymore.
Please if you have anything to add to this let me know, but make sure there is research and time spent to verify it helps.