National Signing Day is one of the most anticipated days in the world of college football and the feeling was no different this year for Tech’s first-year head coach Marcus Satterfield and his recruiting coordinator and safeties coach, Chris Polizzi.
The first time that Satterfield and Polizzi spoke on the phone, Polizzi asked what his long term plan was for Tech. Satterfield told him, “We’re going to develop young men; we’re going to be there for a while; we’re going to make it the number one football program in the country.”
Polizzi simply responded, “I’m in. I’m totally in.”
When Satterfield met with the athletic director he had one request, to give him the financial means to hire “men,” not “boys,” who have coached, who can mentor, who know how to develop young men and how to recruit the type of players they want in their program.
“If we’re going to be a developmental program, if we’re going to extract every ounce of potential from the young men who are coming through this program, we need to recruit ‘high character’ kids,” Polizzi stated. Using this philosophy, when the coaching staff traveled to scout and recruit the new prospects, they did not just talk to their families and coaches. The staff would approach the janitors, the secretaries, the strength coaches and other faculty working at the prospect’s high school to find out more than just what you see between the lines Friday nights.
Polizzi said, “If we recruit kids who are just good football players, but not of high character, we’re going to spend more time dealing with them and trying to correct their mistakes than we will developing our other players.”
Tech was able to sign 19 new players to the roster from seven different states with 10 of those players coming out of Tennessee. Polizzi said that in-state recruiting is extremely important and it was great to “dominate” the state of Tennessee. One factor that very well could have contributed to the “domination” of in-state recruiting could be the energy of the new head coach. Coach Satterfield has been going to the TTU basketball games and sitting in the middle of the student section.
Polizzi added, “He [Satterfield] actually single handedly started the wave in the Hoop. When’s the last time that’s been done?” These kind of antics definitely draw the attention of young men who are looking for a coach that will not only prepare them for football and life in general, but also knows how to have fun.
Polizzi stated, “We are going to be the most physical football team in the country. We know right now that we are the best football program in America.” He also added that he knows people are going to laugh at that statement, but “If you set your standards any lower than that, then that’s how you will run your program.”
The rally cry of the coaching staff as they recruited was to “develop our players, develop young men, so that when they leave campus, exit off the stage with diploma in hand, that they will unequivocally have every ounce of potential drained from them,” according to Polizzi. With this being the goal and philosophy from day one, maybe the new players will embrace it as much as the coaching staff has and will propel the 2016 Tech football team to achieving their goal of being, “the best football team in America.”