HBU Huskies recruiting for next football season
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- They won't start playing until next fall, but the Houston Baptist University football staff is already game planning.
The office walls may be bare and the HBU playbook is still a work in progress, but for Huskies Head Coach Vic Sheeley and his staff, every day is the start of something big.
"I think it all starts recruiting and then how you work there to sell athletes on this is their best choice to come to go to school," Sheeley said.
Even though their first game is still more than a year away, the response to the Huskies' recruiting has been good. Think about it: for local players not going D-1, HBU is the home option.
"You want to sit there and be able to look that parent in the eye and say that 'we may be FCS, we may not be Big 12, we may not be the SEC, but football is football and we can give your son a great football experience,'" Sheeley said.
Some players look for football tradition. At HBU, it's about getting in on the ground floor, and Sheeley says that has been a key Huskies selling point.
"I think we look at a lot of guys, they think, 'well, you know, not that I don't want to compete, but I come in and there's not a lot of upper classmen that are going to keep me from playing early,'" Sheeley said. "So you can sit there and look at them straight in the eye and say, 'you will start a lot of football games here.'"
Former University of Texas quarterback Shannon Kelley is one of Sheeley's offensive assistants.
"Right now if you don't go to Rice and you don't go to U of H, you've got to leave the city of Houston," Kelley said. "Well, we've got 6 million people in the city of Houston. There's a lot of ball players and a lot of moms and dads that want to come see their kids play."
Kelley says the game has changed since he played at UT in the mid-80s, but the players are the same.
The locker rooms, the weight rooms and an on-campus stadium soon to come for the Huskies. HBU is a tough sell for some, but not Sheeley.
"You have to kind of recruit to a certain degree on trust and their hope," Sheeley said.
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