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The huddle

October 19, 2017

The Catholic University of America Football Coach Mike Gutelius Offers Recruiting Advice

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The Catholic University of America Football team is coached by Head Coach Mike Gutelius. Gutelius holds over two decades of coaching experience, including coaching at numerous colleges before returning to his alma mater, Catholic University.

Before Catholic, Gutelius most recently coached as a defensive coordinator for a Lindsey Wilson College where he was chosen as the 2015 American Football Coaches Association NAIA Assistant of the Year. Gutelius spent seven seasons at Lindsey Wilson where he helped completely revamp the program. While under his coaching, the team earned the most wins in program history, appeared in three-straight NAIA Football Championship Series and achieved the program’s first-ever No. 1 national ranking.

Before coaching at Lindsey Wilson, Gutelius spent six seasons as an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Concord University and two seasons as defensive ends coach at Wingate University, the University of La Verne, and St. Norbert College.

Q: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?

A: First is always academics. If they are not qualified for us academically, I am not interested in how good they are. The second is love for the game. Do they love it enough to cut the non-essential parts of their life down enough to be a champion?

Q: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?

A: The best way is to share Hudl highlights and academic information. Filling out an online questionnaire is key to making sure we have all the necessary information.

Q: When should an athlete contact you, and what is the best way?

A: Spring of junior year. Email and filling out the questionnaire are the two more efficient ways.

Q: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field?

A: In the classroom, they need to value their education and perform at a level that is congruent to their ability. In the weight room, we expect absolute focus and hard work while they are in there. This is a chance to train your body for the sport you love. On the field, they need to get better every day and go as hard as possible every minute. No holding back, no excuses.

Q: What are the do’s and don’ts of being recruited?

A: Do: Update your Hudl with recent highlights often.

Don’t: Dismiss any schools because recruiting is a strange process and you never know which school is the best fit until you check things out.

Q: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?

A: Stay on top of your academics and find the best fit for you with or without the sport. Remember that this is a 40-year decision, not a 4-year decision.

Q: What really jumps out to you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?

A: Acceleration and change of direction as well as physicality and aggressiveness.

Q: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?

A: Don’t put any music on it with curse words and don’t make it too long.

Q: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during offseason, in the middle of season, or after each game?

A: Make a junior year highlight at the end of your junior season. Make a senior highlight after 3-4 games and update it every two weeks.

Q: What advice do you have for recruits who get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?

A: They should ask their high school coach for help. They need to be realistic and objective in assessing their own ability. There is a school for everyone who wants to play – the question is are you willing to accept what that school offers?

Q: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?

A: Social media can help and hurt. Twitter is a large recruiting platform now so it is pretty clean, but Instagram can get a little more cloudy. Do not put anything out there you don’t want us to find. We will always find it sooner or later.

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