Football Fridays in Georgia: 'Make That Kid An Offer' Special
Many student-athletes across the state get overlooked regarding recruitment offers from colleges and universities. On this Football Fridays in Georgia podcast episode, Hannah and Jon discuss the recruitment process and the Make That Kid an Offer segment that spotlights these students. Plus, we hear from Rob Vaka and his son, Kyle Vaka from Kell High School who received a Division I offer after being featured on the segment.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Watching your child live their dreams is really gratifying.
Matt Stewart, Voice of FFIG and Host of Recruiting 2023: There's just so many kids out there. You know, it's inevitable that there are going to be kids who slip through the cracks.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: I think that people need to understand that your voices are saving kids millions, families millions, and then hundreds of millions of dollars. But you're also saving kids’ lives, and you're putting them in college, and you're giving them a future.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting, the monthly version. Since we are not in actual games, state, and game weeks, and we're, you know, letting you know what else is going on around the state, but when we're in the off-season, meaning no games, we like to do special topics. And today, Jon, here. Hannah there. And it is definitely a special topic today.
Hannah Goodin: It is. We are highlighting our "Make That Kid an Offer" segment.
Jon Nelson: Never heard of it.
Hannah Goodin: On Recruiting 2023. And this has been something that has been special, like you said, Jon, highlighting kids who are underrated. Now, for those who have never heard about this topic or this segment. Jon, give us a little background on what it is, what makes it special, and why we're talking about it today.
Jon Nelson: Well, for me, it's about those the student athletes that are too whatever, too slow. And the thing is, I'm going to use air quotes for those listening to the audio version.
Hannah Goodin: Oh boy.
Jon Nelson: It's a voice too slow, too small to whatever. And they're always great athletes, great in the classroom, great combinations. But because they're too whatever, they may not be getting looks, or they may not be getting the looks that their coaches feel they deserve. And so there you go, Make That Kid an Offer because we know from our weekly coverage that there are very special student athletes all around the state. And it's an all-around-the-state thing, 425 schools, a lot of student-athletes with the opportunities. So we just decided for those athletes that were too whatever to have to Make That Kid an Offer.
Hannah Goodin: So, it's a segment that runs at the end of our show, Recruiting 2023. There's also a blog version, so we wanted to break it down, and we asked the question, what is happening to the kids after they're featured on this? And to our surprise, a lot is happening.
Jon Nelson: A lot is happening.
Hannah Goodin: So today on the podcast, we're going to have Matt Stewart, the co-host, along with Jon Nelson of Recruiting 2023, who helped develop the segment. We have Fannin County head coach Chad Cheatham, who has had multiple players get offers because of this segment, a player himself who received an offer after the segment ran, and his dad to talk all about the recruiting frenzy and the Twitter frenzy that went on post segment. So, it's going to be a really fun podcast.
Jon Nelson: No doubt about it. So, it's Kyle Vaka who is now at Cal via Johns Creek and his dad. Rob, we get to catch up with them and find out what it's been like for the Vaka family to be a part of Make That Kid an Offer. But first, then we have to talk to catch up with the guy who's even been with Make That Kid an Offerlonger than you and I have.
Hannah Goodin: Yes.
Jon Nelson: That means it's time to catch up with Matt Stewart and find out the genesis of the genesis of Make That Kid an Offer.
Hannah Goodin: All right, Matt. So how did Make That Kid an Offer get started? Give us, and Jon, you too. Give us the behind-the-scenes-
Jon Nelson: I'm deferring to Matt here.
Hannah Goodin: On how this segment got started.
Matt Stewart, Voice of FFIG and Host of Recruiting 2023: Well, it goes back to my days at Comcast Sports Southeast. We had a similar show. Mark Simmons and I were on that show, and we just kind of came up with a segment to recognize somebody who, you know, was not good enough offers or had no offers or anything like that. It was not to the extent of what you know, to the level of that we've taken it at GPB. But that's kind of where the seed was planted. And then when we started up Recruiting 20, 22, 23, you know, you get the idea. We carried it, you know, we just carried it into that. And it's really just kind of taken on a life of its own. So it's been a very popular segment because there's a lot of kids who are not getting offers for various reasons and some that feel like they should be getting more and bigger offers for various reasons. So, I think that's why it's it's so popular.
Jon Nelson: And it started out just as like one or two kids at the end of the show. And it has completely and totally mushroomed into this rapid fire last block, seven or eight student athletes. I mean, this thing has absolutely exploded since we started.
Matt Stewart, Voice of FFIG and Host of Recruiting 2023: Yeah, because like I said , there's a lot of kids out there who fall into that boat, and it's a pretty wide boat. Is that boat of I'm not getting any offers. What can I do to, you know, you know, improve that? And that's where we come in. You know, we can't get you an offer. We don't contact coaches, but we do give you some exposure. And so, you know, and coaches will watch this. They'll see it on social media. And then they can use they can make a determination. There's just so many kids out there that, you know, it's in that, you know, it's inevitable that there are going to be kids who slip through the cracks and, you know, don't get offered. I mean, just watch the Super Bowl every year when the Super Bowl comes around, you know, somebody does a story about, you know, how many two and no stars are playing in the Super Bowl and not just on the roster, but they're actually playing in a starring role. And making money is professional football players who, you know, never even hardly ever even got recruited. So it's as big as the business is. There's so many kids who just just because of sheer numbers, get overlooked. And so that's why I mean, you never run out of kids who to aren't getting offers, don't have enough offers, and want better offers?
Jon Nelson: Okay, Matt, let me bring in Chad Cheatham, the head coach at Fannin County, into this discussion.
Hannah Goodin: Coach, what's recruiting like in the mountains outside of a major metropolitan area, especially for a program like yours that's growing so much in success?
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: It's hard, It's tough. But I think because of the success that we've had and innovative we've done in our program over the past five years, we're getting a lot more looks at schools that are comparable to the type of athlete that we can produce for them. And when you talk about the Rinehart's, the Shorters, the Berrys, and and schools like that, Cumberland and you know, those are all places that are that our kids can play, that are close to home that those coaches like to see. And it's really been obviously with COVID and then you know, the portal and things like that and then for years it's been tough on our kids, but her kids have been pretty resilient. We've been really fortunate to sign quite a few people, and a lot of that obviously, is because of the work of you and Jon and what you guys do on Friday night.
Jon Nelson: All right. So since you've opened that door, let's go ahead and talk about a little bit. And just so folks know, Chad, Chad is not fighting anything. He's just fighting morning workouts and track meets and things like that. He's not. It's not spring cold or nothing. But now this is this is what happens, Chad is coaching 14 months out of the year. That's why he's that's why he sounds the way that he does just wanted to-.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: It's 25, 366 or something like that. Somebody said.
Jon Nelson: Yes. That is definitely how you work up there at Fannin County. And the last couple of seasons, it was it's been back to back 10-1 years. And it's the most wins, I want to say in 20 years, double digit wins, first time in like 20 years when Joby Scroggs was head coach and then 7-5 last year getting into the playoffs. Let's go back to the first round of Make That Kid an Offer, and I was telling Hannah the background on it a little bit where it was kind of two separate tracks that kind of came together and it was the sum of the kids and the karma that was there when it came to Seth Reese, your quarterback at the time, two seasons ago, it was really cool to see all of this start from a point and then go through, Make That Kid an Offer and then come and visit you in Fannin County. There were a lot of different steps here and it was all pretty cool.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: I think that I think one of the most important things is the opportunity, Jon, that you gave us as a mountain school and you saw something that was special and you reached out, you understood the Jackson-Davis story. And you know, this started with Seth year before that when we were making that playoff run and Luke "Blue" Holloway got hurt and we had to move him back there to quarterback him. And then and then the next year, when you guys recognized Jackson's struggles and the relationship that he himself had to get together and you and I talked extensively and there were many nights and, you know, we kind of cried together and laughed together. And it was amazing, you know, when you knew-I don't think you guys understand how many people watch you guys like we all from Friday night we recorded you guys and we go back and all of us go. Which is in all the college coaches listen, because you're our lifeline for other schools around the state and things like that. But to hear your kids being called out on the television set and Make That Kid an Offer the way that you challenge colleges because you see the potential in these kids that aren't necessarily in the metro area. Obviously, that's because of GPB, you, and Hannah.
Jon Nelson: I mean, it's really cool to see that. And then it's humbling to hear you say that about what we do here with just that one particular segment, why we could be the voice of an entire state and trying to sit there and balance 159 counties and more than 400 schools, and seeing student athletes that have merit and more than just one aspect of everything.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: I think you have to get every advocate on the planet that you can get on your side. I think you have to get every bit of content and exposure on your side. And I think that that segment on GPB and the exposure that it provided was really important and significant. And I would just say like a brand, if you're Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts or Houston's restaurants, you're not going to expose your brand from a marketing perspective in one place. You've got to put it everywhere. You've got to go to a billboard in Times Square, you got to go to TV, you got to go to digital, you got to go to social, you got to go to peer to peer, you got to go to MIT. You got to do it all. So if you're a player again and you're not Juju Lewis or you're not Caleb Downs, you need as much exposure and as much advocacy as you can get.
Jon Nelson: Okay. Now let's turn to your son, Kyle. Kyle, as a player, what was it like getting that first off or how did that feel?
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete Oh, man, it was awesome. It was really it's truly like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I was actually at lunch in the cafeteria with all my friends, and when I got the offer and I called my dad and me and my dad, and then we both got emotional on the phone because it's just so much hard work that went into that moment. And I felt like for a moment it all paid off and I was super grateful. And it was really just a special moment because it was a lot of living up to that point.
Hannah Goodin: Well, more offers have been rolling in since. Tell me about those and what your recruitment so far, the process. What is it been like so far?
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete Yes, ma'am. So my recruitment, I like the pace is going out right now. Last we got to go over from UPenn and Louisville. So it's been really good. Starting last year, last spring is when I really started taking visits to schools and says, Then I'll get on to Vanderbilt, Clemson, William & Mary, Rice, SMU schools like that. And then this coming week on my spring break, I'll be heading to I'm heading to Wake Forest this weekend and then I'll be at UAB and Louisville and Tennessee next week. So, it's been really exciting and I'm just grateful for how it's all unfolding and I'm excited to see how it continues.
Hannah Goodin: Wow, that's super busy.
Jon Nelson: How did business pick up in that household after Make That Kid an Offer happened? Was it trickles? Was it texts? Was it phone? Was it email? How did business pick up and how much did business pick up?
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Well, again, you've got to look at the different points of light and the lanes that you get exposure in. And I would say that that segment, which aired late in the fall, had to help because he got his first offer to a Division 1 school from Trent Dilfer and the UAB Blazers in January. So not that long after he got an offer and then he last week he got an offer from the University of Pennsylvania and two days later, the wide receiver coach at Louisville, Coach Magee, called him and offered him. So, he now has three offers. He's got three Division 1 offers. And I would just say thank you to Make That Kid an Offer in the segment that you did, because it's one of the exposure points and it takes a lot.
Hannah Goodin: Congratulations. First of all, I can just hear how excited you are to be his dad and getting all of these offers. How does how does that make you feel for him and you in general?
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: My gratitude is significant. My sense of satisfaction is significant. And it's because not because I want him to post on Twitter, not because I want him to say he's got X number of offers, but because I know how many tens of hundreds and thousands of hours he's worked. He has worked feverishly. He has given up being a Friday night or Saturday night kid with friends. He's given up, you know, doing things maybe that some teenagers do for work and work and work. And to see the fruit of the labor come to pass for him is really gratifying.
Jon Nelson: Now, Chad, you're seeing a different side of the recruiting process. Tell me how business picked up after Seth Rich, your quarterback, was featured on Make That Kid an Offer.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: Oh, man. You know, you start to get blown up on Twitter and you get you're getting these messages from colleges. And I think another thing that I hope you guys understand is that not only are colleges in the South listening, I mean, the academies are listening. All of those schools are listening and watching those segments. And yeah, business picks up tremendously. Then, you get the film sent in and you hear, and they see him and talk with him. And same with Jack that that happened this year with Jack Quinn, our kicker. I mean, we were sitting still in the water, and we knew we had something special and you, you guys knew we had some special and you called me up and I was like, "Absolutely." And the next thing we know, I mean, we're getting calls and offers and things like that. So again, I think that people need to understand that your voices are are saving kids millions, families, millions and then hundreds of millions of dollars. But you're also saving gives lives, you're putting them in the college, and you're giving them a future. And I applaud you both for that.
Jon Nelson: And the funny thing was, and I told this to Hannah, and Hannah gave me a bit of a bit of a look. She kind of raised an eyebrow when I first told her this, that when we were up there to do the story on Jackson and we're out there on the football field doing the interviews of Seth and Jackson-Davis at the time, literally, we're talking to Seth on the football field.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: That's right.
Jon Nelson: Your phone vibrates and it's one of the service academies. While we're doing this interview, that you're having to talk to a coach and say, "hey, can we talk to you later?" Seth kind of busy right now doing a TV interview.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: Yeah, Yeah, we were doing it. We were. We were down. It was a beautiful day and you guys were up and we were doing the interviews, and I think it was my time to go. And you said, Coach, you said to come on over and, you know, my phone's ringing. It's the service again, the Army, you know? And I'm like, you're not going to believe this, but this is actually what's going on right now. And oh, I promise you, I'll call you back ASAP, and so that's an absolute true statement. And it's kind of surreal in the fact that it all happened right at the same time. It really is really. I mean, I can't tell you how much we appreciate, you.
Hannah Goodin: Know, that Make That Kid an Offer does its thing, but pull the curtain back a little bit on recruiting for us. What else do you do to help? And and from a coaches perspective, what's it like to to watch these kids get their offers and and just what all goes into it behind-the-scenes.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: Yeah we I was fortunate. Seth's brother, Jacob, who played in Carson and I was fortunate enough to hire him Seth's senior year to coach in our defensive line and coming out he was a business major and then that worked his way into coaching and education just by working with me. And he had a he had his ear on the recruiting industry because he had just been through it. And so he had developed a program that we use that we, we send out to colleges that tags their Twitter, all the things that they do, their max, their videos, their films. And we sent out massive numbers of video and stats and things all the time. And Coach Reese has done just a fantastic job with that. We obviously use Twitter our big platform and some of the national collegiate databases. And so I would say that that he he does most of the legwork. And then I kind of get in there and get to finish the selling point. But that's huge. Obviously, there's an education process that goes on with our parents here in the mountains, because as you guys know, which a lot of people don't know, FASFA comes into play, the Pell Grant, and FASFA is not an easy thing to do if you've ever been involved in that process. And we have really tried to educate our parents not only in football but in other sports. And we actually have a person in the community who will help our athletes and families with their FASFA, filling out those forms, and doing things like that so we can get them as much help as we can give them. Obviously, the HOPE scholarship, Zell Miller, making sure that our kids grades are where they need to be, doing grade checks every two weeks, things like that, and just keep it a funnel. But yeah, Jake, Jake's done a great job for us in that area. And I think educating your community on exactly what it takes to play at the next level doesn't matter if you're playing at Georgia or it doesn't matter if you planted it Cumberland or Eastern Kentucky or [00:20:29]Shoulder [0.0s] or whatever. It's a major, huge commitment by everybody that's involved in that family.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Well, let me give you an example of a typical week. So on a typical week, there's two days a week. Right now he's running track. He is in school. And one of the periods in school, like a lot of schools, is football, weightlifting and training. So, he's got a football, weightlifting and training period for 100 minutes or 110 minutes a day in Cobb County, which is a new shift for us with the block schedule, then he has track practice after school. After he's done with track practice, he's going to skills wide receiver training.
Hannah Goodin: Wow.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Then, he's getting home at 9:30. And I said to him last night when he got home at 9:30, because they had a work deal where the football team volunteered to do a work project. I said to him, "shorter, shorter school day today." He laughed and he said, "Dad, I left the house at 7:30, and I got home at 9:30. What are you talking about?"
Jon Nelson: 14 hour day and now. All right. So, let me let me let me ask about organization.
Hannah Goodin: More than I'm working.
Jon Nelson: Let me let me ask you.
Hannah Goodin: Actually? Not really. I'm a mom.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, you're a mom.
Hannah Goodin: You can add that in.
Jon Nelson: But see, that's the thing. That's Mom.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: The moms are definitely overworked.
Jon Nelson: You ain't kidding. So then let me ask this. How how does-how do you keep track of all of this stuff? I mean, you know, for some folks, it could be, you know, a stylus. You pull a stylus out of a phone, you sit there, you write it down on a document, you jam the stylus back into the phone, you put your phone down.
Hannah Goodin: Could be the, your paper, your giant paper calendar, Jon.
Jon Nelson: It could be the giant paper calendar that I have at my desk. It could be a three ring binder notebook. It could be the white board that's attached magnetically to the fridge where you sit there and you have all the different things going on during a day. Or it could be like one of those big, gigantic white boards. It's like six by eight that you've got in like maybe your office or something like that. How do you how does he keep track and how do you guys keep track of everything to make sure that there's no step in this process that's missed? So you're getting 100% of the effort that you're looking for as a parent and as a student athlete.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: One word, Mom.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. Yeah. Look at that.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: You know, to her, to Hannah's point. His mom, my wife, Angie. She calls herself the equipment manager. So, I'm just telling you, without this, without this woman in his life, he might practice barefoot.
Jon Nelson: I know I would.
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: So, this is the stuff that Mom does to prepare him to make sure he's on track, to make sure his schedule is right, to make sure he doesn't forget things, which he does. And she she makes up for it. I'm sort of the CEO. She's the COO. That's like the person doing the stuff. She's got the harder job.
Hannah Goodin: I love equipment manager. I am stealing that for sure.
Jon Nelson: And CEO and chief operations officer.
Hannah Goodin: I love it.
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete Oh, yeah. She definitely helps out a lot. Her, my dad, you know, they supporting me since day one when nobody supported me or believed in me when I didn't have offers, when, you know, nothing was happening, you know, freshmen year or whatever. They've been with me day one, and they believed in me. And they always push me to be my best, not only in football, but in every area of life. So, I really appreciate, appreciative of them and I love them and their support for me.
Hannah Goodin: So, what's something about this process that has surprised you?
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete I would say. Really? Just how? Just how difficult it is. Honestly, like, like I said, my freshman year and before I got Twitter and realized all these things by recruiting, I really just are like, Oh, play good in high school, I'm gonna go to college. Like, that was really my mindset. But, I think the hardest thing is really just understanding how difficult it is to take this step. You can't just play good and gets it. You got to like, play really good and make a good highlight tape. Then, you got to reach out to coaches. They got to respond. So, I think really just the entirety of it and getting coaches to see your tape and all those things, getting your name out there, creating a highlight tape is really just a lot more complex than I thought it would be.
Hannah Goodin: You were featured late last fall. Your name was at the top of the article. What did that segment do for you, and what happened afterwards?
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete Yeah, that segment definitely was a big ingredient to my overall recruiting. Like I said, when I was talking about the hardest thing, you know, when the hardest thing is getting your name out there, obviously. So, you know, I had had a good season up to that point and Make That Kid an Offer really just put my name out there even more and expose me to the new, new people. You know, I got a ton of followers on Twitter after it, so I'm just grateful for the segment because it really it just adds to the exposure. And any exposure can help because, you know, it's so difficult nowadays. There's so many kids.
Hannah Goodin: I've heard about the Twitter frenzy post. Make That Kid an Offer from your dad and from many other athletes. What is it like getting on Twitter afterwards? What were people saying to you?
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete Oh, yeah, it's awesome. You know, first off, I got my friends. They told me, oh, you're in this article, La la, And then go on Twitter and see like follows from, you know, people that follow GPB, people they're for high school sports, sports writers, which is a big one because, you know, the sports writers follow you then, you know, they can write about you more. That can lead to other things. So, it was just really cool to see those people know who I am and like, recognize who I am and build those connections.
Jon Nelson: So as one of the hosts of the Make That Kid an Offer segment, I want to bring Matt Stewart back into the conversation.
Hannah Goodin: When it comes to Make That Kid an Offer, what gets somebody nominated? What stands out? What on their resumé are you looking for specifically that says, I want this guy on my show?
Matt Stewart, Voice of FFIG and Host of Recruiting 2023: Well, number one, you know, we do defer towards seniors a little bit more because they're running out of time. You know, we're doing as we're doing to make that get an offer show during, you know, their senior year. They're running out of time. That means that, you know, the window is getting ready to close on these guys. So, yeah, we're looking for great careers. I mean, you know what? You know, and it's not all statistics, but, you know, let's say if you're playing and having a great career, your statistics are going to reflect that. So we look at that kind of stuff. We look at anything that coach might say. For linemen, it's something different size and speed and stuff like that and some. But sometimes we I mean, we've even included some sophomores on that Make That Kid an Offer show. When that sophomore has had such an extraordinary season that you just can't even ignore it. Yeah, I mean that you just can't ignore the fact that even though they're just a 10th grader, you know, they're having a phenomenal season, so we'll include that. But generally speaking, the closer you get to that window being closed, you know, the more closely scrutinize and study, whether you make you know, you make the shot, make the cut.
Hannah Goodin: Rob, turning back to you, this journey has been going on for years. What is it like being a football dad?
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Yeah, it's really, really interesting. It's fun. It's frustrating. It's enlightening. But I would say that in the end, watching your child live their dream and accomplish things and grow and put themselves in position for what's next is really gratifying.
Jon Nelson: How far back are we talking about here? When? When did you first become a football dad? What was the evolution of this?
Rob Vaka, Kyle Vaka's Dad: Well, I played football in college. I was a kicker. I played Division 3 football, Wittenberg. But, I had a chance at the NFL. I had some tryouts in the end didn't make it. My son began playing football in the third or fourth grade from a tackle perspective. He played flag when he was in first or second grade, tried to take him down the right path. That would be the path of being a kicker. He snubbed this snub that he told me it wasn't a real position. He told me that he was going to play a real position, even though his dad didn't.
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete We would always go out in the driveway and there were these two trees in my driveway that I would try to kick the ball through. And I was just never really good at it, never could really get it through as many times as we would like, so kind of thing that we would take a different route when when I couldn't really kick it through the trees as well as we would have liked me to.
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: And so early on he was a skinny kid, but he was athletic enough. And more importantly, he cared. He wanted to play. I thought it was fun and he wasn't. You know, some people I know Gary Downs really well. Caleb and Josh Down and Gary tells me that age five or six, he knew Caleb would be a Division I football player. I can tell you what, that at age five or six, Kyle looked like a string bean is what he looked like.
Hannah Goodin: Well, that leads me right to the question I wanted to ask you. What was the moment that you were like, "Okay, Kyle's pretty good."
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: You know, he as a freshman at Johns Creek High School, like all freshmen that come in, very, very few of them get to play varsity football. There are enigmas. There are players like Caleb Downs and Peyton Zachary who are just different. They play as as a freshman or Juju Lewis. But Kyle grinded and worked and he was skinny and he was working in the weight room and he was working extra on routes. And he was training with Terrance Edwards, who was the all time leading receiver at Georgia since the eighth grade. And by the end of that freshman season at Johns Creek, he went from playing J.V. and being a ball boy one game for Varsity to suiting up on varsity to in the playoff game of the freshman year in 2020, the COVID-shortened season, he started in a state playoff game against Allatoona as a freshman after starting out as the skinny little kid who, you know, was intimidated by the men with hair on their faces. So, it was at that point I was like, "This kid is serious and this could be — this could be something."
Kyle Vaka, Kell Student Athlete I would say definitely in my my freshman year at the end of my freshman year, going into my sophomore year, I'd always known like I wanted to play football and play in college, but I didn't really understand what that meant until the end of my freshman year. I would say when I got Twitter that year, I started seeing things by recruiting and I knew that's when I realized what it was going to take to get to where I wanted to be. And I started to take these more seriously, started to train and really hit the weight room hard. And yes, I'd say at the end of my freshman year, going into my sophomore year is when I was when I knew I wanted to play in college for sure, take it seriously. I knew what I had to do to get there.
Hannah Goodin: So, Rob, what are the next steps for Kyle at this point in his recruitment process and moving towards college?
Chad Cheatham, Fannin County Head Coach: We've got to continue to focus on the grades. He's got to continue to focus on being known as a kid who is that kid who you can count on? Who is the kid that is a leader, not a leader, because he tells you a leader, but he's someone you want to follow because you look at him and you say, "that kid's doing the right thing." He is well-mannered. He respects people. He cares about people. He had a job until we moved at a an assisted living facility where he served meals to the elderly and he built relationships with those people. And they just loved him. And they're devastated that we moved because he's not interacting with them. So it's who he is off the field, who he's becoming, What he believes in is his purpose. He loves God. He loves people. He loves football. He loves his family. So far, he's doing the right things. And we're just going to continue to guide him and support him. You know, you need a lot of support. He's got training that has to be paid for. He's got places he's got to get to. He's got visits. He's got to go on. All that stuff takes mom as the equipment manager and COO and dad as the CEO.
Hannah Goodin: I'm glad. I'm glad I have your cell phone number because I'm going to need some major parenting tips.
Jon Nelson: Okay. So, have you officially written this is a cell phone number in your phone?
Hannah Goodin: It is. I have him saved, and I will be reaching out.
Jon Nelson: I just I just wanted to check.
Hannah Goodin: Because Kyle is a very well-rounded young man. I don't know their daughter, but I would love for my girls to have a 4.0 GPA and multiple D1 scholarship. My husband wants them to play golf.
Jon Nelson: And this is. Where this is where the mom is making an influence already when it comes to her daughters.
Hannah Goodin: Absolutely!
Jon Nelson: "I'd like for my daughters to have a 4.0 GPA."
Hannah Goodin: I'm putting them on Make That Kid an Offer.
Jon Nelson: You're putting them on.
Hannah Goodin: Can I go ahead and do that.
Jon Nelson: You're putting them on blast is what you're doing.
Hannah Goodin: You're 15 months old, but Lilly can throw a ball across the room, let me tell you.
Jon Nelson: Okay. So, Make That Kid an Offer, Class of 2040.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, Oh. Man.
Jon Nelson: Jon. But that's, but that's the fun part of this particular show we got to catch up on, Make That Kid an Offer. You know, Rob and Kyle get to mention the importance of Twitter. Obviously, that's integral to us when it comes to Make That Kid an Offer. Because without everyone who reaches out to us on Twitter, Autumn Rose, and everybody in social media keeping track of all of the nominations and ideas when it comes to Make That Kid an Offer, everyone who shoots us an email saying, "Hey, you know, look at my student athlete or the student athlete that I know without all of our social media, without all of our emails reaching out to us at GPB & GPB Sports. She's, what are you, Hannah C.?
Hannah Goodin: @HannahCGoodin.
Jon Nelson: @HannahCGoodin on the Twitters. I'm at @OSGNelson, @GPBSports. Reach out to us however you want to do so. Mail, snail mail, carrier pigeon, Twitter, all those kinds of things to reach out to us. It's all part of this process to Make That Kid an Offer successful as it is.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, and we talk about this all season long. I mean, it's almost every podcast. We're like, "If you have a kid,"
Jon Nelson: Well, yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Jon does this whole spiel about "undersized and underrated." But seriously, it's making a difference. So, now I am going to back you up with that. If you have a kid who has any of these qualifications-
Jon Nelson: Now you're going to say it, and it's okay, but when I say it is okay? So, when I say, and I see it too much.
Hannah Goodin: Yes.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, when you say it, that's okay.
Hannah Goodin: Yes.
Jon Nelson: I see how this works.
Hannah Goodin: Yes.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: You say it too much.
Jon Nelson: Of course.
Hannah Goodin: But now that we know it's really working, you don't say it too much. We need to be saying it more. Because if you have one of these kids who needs an offer and is overlooked for whatever reason, send it in. The segment will get started again in August.
Jon Nelson: Before You know it.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah. So send it in. There is a blog version where we list a ton of kids each week so get get those paragraphs in.
Jon Nelson: We do rapid fire on on on Recruiting 2023. I mean, literally we would there be times where we would shoehorned like eight into a segment and literally it's like 20 seconds a piece. Our producer is like, you've only got this amount of time, "You keep sending us kids."
Hannah Goodin: We'll go.
Jon Nelson: And keep going. Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: But then the blog version as well is even longer.
Jon Nelson: Yeah.
Hannah Goodin: So, we try not to miss anyone who is sent in.
Jon Nelson: Send them, send them and keep sending. When it comes to make that can offer.
Hannah Goodin: Autumn is the one that that backs that blog. It is a beast.
Jon Nelson: It is.
Hannah Goodin: Going through all those nominations every week.
Jon Nelson: But it's a fun beast to have and it's great to showcase the state off to the rest of the state and to showcase the state to colleges for kids that wouldn't have necessarily had the chance or the recognition to do so because they're too whatever.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, and people are listening. People are listening.
Jon Nelson: Time to send us home, yeah.
Hannah Goodin: Yes. So, we are doing our monthly podcast and now we will be bringing back our monthly blogs. Jon, you will have one in a couple of weeks about coaching Carousel coming.
Jon Nelson: Up and you and I will compare notes as to who's gone where. And so that way we're not talking to coaches at the same time. I just heard from Hannah. Well, I just heard from Jon. So, it's the same kind of information.
Hannah Goodin: It happens.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. So, we're not going to cross the streams and catch up with a lot of folks. Traditionally, it's about 18 to 20% of the turnover here in the state of Georgia for 420 schools. I think we're in the high seventies, low eighties when it comes to coaching changes. We catch up with some. We'll catch up with more as we get to everything that is going on here in the state of Georgia because spring practice and then you're getting ready for it just around the corner. So it's going to be here before you know it. See.
Hannah Goodin: Take us home, Jon.
Jon Nelson: See. You're like you're nodding your head in agreement. So it's like, All right, so who's all right? So who's on the other side of the glass? All right, so we got Commander Sandy, Ambassador Jeremy.
Hannah Goodin: Reagan's back there.
Jon Nelson: Ah, Governor Reagan is with us. And we go, wait a second, we got new folks.
Hannah Goodin: Budduh is here.
Jon Nelson: Oh!
Hannah Goodin: Victoria is here.
Jon Nelson: So Queen Victoria.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, good one.
Jon Nelson: So, yeah, Queen Victoria.
Hannah Goodin: Ha, she doesn't like that. She doesn't like.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I can see that she's smiling behind the monitor. Budduh, oh we got to come up with one for Budduh? See, now we got to think about that. All right, So that one's in. That one's in debate.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, we'll circle back next podcast.
Jon Nelson: So, we'll circle back when we see Budduh in the studio. So for everybody behind the glass, for everybody here at GPB, for Hannah, I'm just Jon. Play it safe, everybody. Thanks for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast. We'll see you and hear you next month. We'll be writing to you very soon.