A new path for high school athletes seeking to be recruited amid coronavirus shutdowns

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The high school sports season has been halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed. College recruiters can’t leave campuses until April 15 at the earliest under new NCAA rules. What’s a high school senior in basketball or spring sports supposed to do with no games being played and no recruiting going on?

Torino Johnson, the women’s basketball coach at Cal State Los Angeles and a former head coach at Palisades, said now is the perfect time for athletes to show off their 21st century skills in social media, computers and videos by becoming proactive and communicating directly with recruiters.

“This is the time to be sending videos and resumes,” he said. “No one can actually physically see you. Everything is going to be virtual over the phone. Dominate that set. Those ... who don’t embrace the 21st century approach are going to struggle. If you’re a student athlete who doesn’t have a scholarship or inkling what to do, I would recommend they use their social media and that they be very professional in sending emails. They should be proactive.”


Coaches are still communicating with top recruits via FaceTime and other voice and video ways. But Johnson recommends athletes start using their personalities and persuasive powers combined with video highlights to get their stories out to recruiters who are also hunkered down like them. You never know what a positive impression can make and what’s the downside? There is none.

“This is the moment to create your separation,” Johnson said. “This is a business.”