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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Coach/Trainer | Recruiting Takes A Village Too

April 17, 2021

Adam McCann is working to help put Buffalo, N.Y. on the recruiting map and he’s taking a multi-faceted approach to doing so.

He’s doing it in his role as Assistant head coach/receivers coach at Western New York Maritime Charter School. He’s doing it as the founder of King To King Athletic Training and Mentoring. He’s doing it with his work with Elite Raw Talent. And he’s doing it with a podcast titled Teach Me The Game Coach.

“The first few guys that I've had, they're from Buffalo, my guys I've trained,” says McCann, who coaches and trains 2022 Notre Dame receiver target Addison Copeland‍.

“The general idea behind the podcast is basically teaching others about the game. ‘The game’ of going from high school to the next level. We're going to have parents on there talking about how the recruiting process has been, trying to help their kids and the things they see, the things they look into as far as schools and stuff like that.”

The plan is to highlight athletes from the Buffalo area and athletes from across the country who are going through the recruiting process.

“Basically, just letting them give back and talk to their peers about how it's been for them, don't rush it, this and that, whatever advice they have to give other athletes,” says McCann. “All of us coaches and recruiting coordinators, we're educated, but sometimes the kids listen to their peers a lot more, which is still good.”

A couple months ago, McCann was joined on the podcast by another Irish target, 2023 Alabama cornerback AJ Harris‍.

“We do AJ's recruiting out of Elite Raw Talent,” says McCann. “We all have an individualized relationship with him. Coach Raw (Elite Raw Founder Rodney Williams) has the best relationship with him because they deal with each other on a hand-to-hand basis.“I just wanted to get a little interview with him and see how he's doing, see how the recruiting process is for him, so we can help other people.”

The purpose of the podcast is to educate those who may be going through the process or preparing to go through the process for the first time.

“I try get the peers as well as some big-time athletes on there talking so guys can listen and talk to them,” McCann says. “I'm going to have some trainers on there just to give them some general tips about why training is important, some 7-on-7 coaches to see how they're helping their kids and their programs.

“If they come work with us at our 7-on-7 program, we do A, B and C. Just trying to highlight the football world as 360, not just an offer here, an offer here. It's a 360 view and all the components that it really entails.”

McCann understands the value in presenting the experiences of a wide range of people.

“There's no cookie cutter,” he says. “Like my guy Addison, he only had, I think it was like 200 and something yards receiving, but he has Power Five offers. And then you go to a guy who has 855 yards and he doesn't have any offers.

“There are aspects we talk about with trainers of how they've trained their guys to look a certain way and play a certain way, which coaches are looking for. Like the fast twitches and stuff like that. It's very valuable if people listen and I tell all my kids, all my parents, all my coaches you have to listen and take out what applies to you because everyone is different. Everyone is 100 percent different and everybody's recruiting process is different.”

When McCann is working with young men, he explains where they currently are and where they can go.

“With the recruiting process and services we apply, we try to give them additional help and an additional layer of support,” he says. “We're not trying to replace anybody's high school coach. We don't want to get in the way of anybody.

“We just want to actually give an extra helping hand, like a village. They say it takes a village to raise a kid, well in the recruiting game, if you don't have a village, it makes it a lot harder. When you've only got one person trying to contact millions schools and thousands of coaches, it's just not going to work.”

It's not just players and families that McCann is trying to help, he’s also trying to help his fellow trainers and even has a quick recruiting guide available via eBook.

“It's very basic, he says. “It's 32 pages on Kindle, it's $10. But that $10 could be worth $250,000, or a $100,000 scholarship. It's important, people just have to listen and apply.”

McCann says the Buffalo area is “definitely underrecruited,” noting that it’s had just a handful of Power Five prospects in recent years.

But in the Class of 2022, he knows the area has two for sure in Copeland and St. Francis defensive end Jimmy Scott and he’s optimistic about wide receiver Nick McMillan’s chances of reaching that level as well.

“Right now, we're emerging to being seen, not just by Power Five, but by schools period,” McCann says. “I've had schools like Georgetown, Nebraska, Syracuse, Arizona has been calling it a bit more. (University of Buffalo) is starting to offer in-state a little bit more. Every college from here to a 4-6-hour radius is now starting to see like, 'Hey, Buffalo really does have some talent. We really should be taking some of these guys.'

“It's been underrecruited for a long, long time. I would say because there've been eras where there have just been dominant, dominant players, like Corey Graham.”

Graham is a safety from Buffalo who played at New Hampshire before a lengthy NFL career that included a Pro Bowl selection, pair of Super Bowl titles with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles.

“It's picking up, which is what I want to do and be part of the new culture of, 'Hey let's go down to Buffalo and get some unseen talent and then win some games with these guys.'"

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