Believe it or not, Akron has already extended scholarship offers to about 15 high school juniors who will graduate and sign with their colleges in 2010.
The coaches start the process by using two search firms that scope players in their targeted regions. At this early point in the process, they pinpoint players they know will be worth a scholarship.
The downside is that BCS schools know the same thing. For example, none of Akron's early targets from 2009 ended up signing with the team. Patrick Nicely had such talent, but nobody knew it during his junior year, when he threw lollipops to make sure his receivers could catch the ball. (Once he started to show off his cannon arm, the offers came in.)