Promises are a great tool in recruiting players to your team in NCAA Football 13. But knowing which promises to use - and when to use them - is also key.
With that in mind, which promises can you make and when is each most effective? Are there any you should try to avoid?
Let's take a brief look at how promises work in NCAA Football 13.
Some promises are made to be unbreakable.
THE PROMISE - NO REDSHIRT FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
This is one of the most popular promises in NCAA Football and also the easiest to keep. All you have to do is not put a redhsirt on the recruit when he comes in as a freshman and you've kept your promise! Low risk, high reward with this one. This is a slam dunk with incoming kickers and punters if you don't have one on your current roster due to graduation.
Promising not to redshirt a recruit is generally most effective after you have found out that recruit's interest in early playing time. The higher that early playing time is on their list of priorities, the more likely that this promise will gain you significant points with them. Of course if you find your team deep at the recruit's position, you can still use a redshirt in the second year and not break the promise.
THE PROMISE - PROMISE A GAME IN THE PLAYER'S HOME STATE
New to NCAA Football 13, is the promise to play a game in the recruit's home state. This one is simple really. If the recruit is from your school's state, then this is a no-brainer. If the player is from a state that has many schools in your conference (like California in the Pac-12) then this one is a safe bet too. Finally you can always attempt to manually schedule a game in the player's state if you aren't scheduled to play in that state.
This one is really pretty straight forward. A recruit with a high level of interest in playing close to home is obviously going to be one that you want to focus using this promise on.
THE PROMISE - SOLID PLAYING TIME FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
This is another promise that is pretty easy to keep. Get the recruit on the field in his freshman year and you've kept your promise. You can get him playing time in the second half of blowouts, use him in certain sub packages, etc. There are plenty of creative ways to get a guy on the field even if he's not the starter on the depth chart. Another low risk, high reward promise. Also another great promise to give to kickers and punters who will be starting for your team.
This is another promise that is closely tied to the recruit's desire for early playing time. If you find out for example that the player has a 'Very High' interest in early playing time, then you'll get more points for this promise than if you use it on a recruit with a 'Low' interest level.
THE PROMISE - WINNING RECORD AGAINST RIVALS FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
Depending on how good you think your team will be, and who your rivals are, this can either be another great promise to use or one that you should avoid. There is some risk with this promise but if you're rivals are Duke and ECU for example, you should be okay. The recruits who will favor this promise will have a strong interest in program tradition.
This promise is a little risky to use on recruits who aren't really interested in program tradition. That's the only time I use this promise. It can help get a hard commit a guy who is 'Most' interested in tradition.
THE PROMISE - WILL GET GOOD NATIONAL EXPOSURE
If you are running with a high profile team such as Miami (FL), Alabama, or LSU then this promise is a good one to use. This promise is fulfilled when you play games on television. If you're running with a small school like North Texas, then just leave this one alone.
Recruits who are heavily interested in television exposure and pro potential will be the best guys to promise good national exposure. This promise can be a real deciding factor with bigger schools who are trying to fend off the smaller schools trying to steal a targeted prospect. You will need to keep winning and play a strong schedule to keep your exposure levels up, so this one is not completely without risk either.
THE PROMISE - WILL MAKE THE FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN TEAM
This is one of the tougher promises to keep. Even if you are bringing in a guy and he is going to be the clear cut starter, you still need to have an excellent season with that recruited player and there are always injuries that could sideline your freshman stud. Even then, it's up to the "pollsters' to choose your guy as Freshman All-American.
Obviously early playing time is a factor for recruits here, but I believe that pro potential is at play here as well. If a recruit has high interest levels in both, than this promise gets you the most points and has the best effect.
Unless you are certain of your ability, guaranteeing championships could get tricky.
THE PROMISE - GUARANTEE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Obviously more a team goal, there are so many variables that can make this promise a hard one to keep. I wouldn't recommend using this one on the SEC for example. In a weaker conference where you find your team as the clear favorite however, it is worth the risk.
Recruits who are motivated by the championship contendor and the conference prestige pitches will be the best ones to use this promise on in your dynasty. In a given year where your team is the cream of the crop in your conference, use this pitch to your advantage when trying to put that extra push behind your recruiting.
THE PROMISE - WON'T RECRUIT ANOTHER PLAYER AT POSITION FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
Now we're starting to get into the promises that I don't use very often, if ever. This promise is a really tough one and should only be used on that one guy in a recruiting class who you think will put you over the top. For example the #1 overall prospect or the #1 overall at his position, at a position of need for your team. The danger here is that you get an incoming class that is loaded with great players at that recruits poistion and you have to pass on them to keep your promise. I personally reserve this one for skill position players and even then, it's on a case by case basis.
This promise is not available to athletes obviously and the best recruits to promise this to are the guys who are most interested in early playing time.
THE PROMISE - WON'T SIGN ANOTHER PLAYER AT POSITION FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
This one is very similar to the "won't recruit another player" promise, except you get a little wiggle room to recruit the player, but not sign him. I'm really not quite sure how this is helpful to your program, other than the fact that it let's you potentially block another school from getting the commitment by keeping his interest highest in your school.
Once again, this one isn't available to be promised to athletes, and is most effective on those recruits who covet early playing time. The upshot with both this promise and the previous promise, is that you can recruit athletes who can be turned into players at the positions of need.
THE PROMISE - TOP 10 FIRST YEAR ON CAMPUS
This is a very tough promise to keep unless you are an elite team with a preseason Top 15 ranking. You can control how your team plays, but you can't guarantee that ten teams won't be better than you. This is a very high risk promise, but the reward to your coaching trust level for future promises is great. If you are a somewhat middle of the road team usually, but you have a great core of upperclassmen at the skill positions and you can manage to sneak into the preseason Top 25, then this is a promise I might risk. As I said it can really boost your coach's trust level.
Recruits who are all about the championship contender pitch are the best guys to target with this promise. I'd also use it on a top flight recruit who might otherwise overlook you, regardless of his priorities, if you think it might get you into serious consideration.
THE PROMISE - TOP 10 DURING FIRST 2 YEARS IN CAMPUS
Now we're getting a little more out there. Unless you are a perennial powerhouse who will compete for the national title (the menu showing your championship potential is great for this) then I'd reserve this promise for one special recruit who you just can't seem to crack, but you feel like you just have to get. This promise can be an enormous advantage for those powerhouse football programs that reside annually over the next tier of contenders.
Again, players who covet the being on a championship contender make the ideal target for this promise. You can even bundle this promise with the Top 10 first year promise and really double down.
THE PROMISE - GUARANTEE A NATIONAL TITLE
And finally we come to the coup d'grace. Promising a national title. There is no more high risk, high reward promise than this, as it should be. I've personally never made this promise in a serious dynasty, even if I was the preseason #1 ranked team. There are simply too many variables to take into account. Injuries, that fluke road loss to an underachieving squad, running into a hot, buzz-saw of a team, your receivers getting the "dropsies", you get the point. I've never been confident enough that I could march straight through and ensure myself a spot in the national title game - and then win it all - to make this promise.
This is a "hail mary" promise if you will. If all else has failed throw it out there. Players who have the 'most' interest level in championship contender are the guys most likely to bite on this. Another thing about this promise - I wouldn't use it until atleast two or three years into your dynasty when you've (hopefully) got your trust levels up and recruits are more likely to believe that you can deliver.
Guaranteeing a National Championship at Boise State might seem a good idea - until it isn't.
It's all in the Promise
Mixing the right amount of promises at the right times is a key to the most successful recruiting classes. If you can match up a recruit's interests, with the correct promises, at the right time - then you've put yourself in a great position to become an elite recruiter in NCAA Football 13.
NCAA Football fanatics, what are some of your recruiting tips?