HOUSTON – At a moment’s notice, Joe Price III is ready to get a college coach everything he needs.
Setting up a visit, a player’s transcripts, test scores and whatever other info is requested about one of North Shore’s football stars is accessible at his fingertips.
Price’s phone has been busy, especially since North Shore won the Class 6A Division I State Championship and even more so since the NCAA Recruiting deed period ended on January 10.
“Obviously the night of the game I got a lot of congratulatory texts,” Price, North Shore’s recruiting coordinator, said. “Guys like Shadrach Banks were getting offers while the game was going on. Pretty much since the dead period ended the 2020 guys have been getting interest nonstop. We’ve had huge numbers coming through the school to see the kids.”
The numbers are crazy.
On a particular day last week, Price counted 17 college football programs walk into the field house on the east side.
Three of the teams had played in the College Football Playoff this year and another was the Division III National Champion.
“If you were imagining a school that you want to have come to your place, they’re coming through here right now,” Price said. “Schools that haven’t been through here in a while, schools that are trying to get a presence in Texas, a little bit of everybody.”
Price’s road to the east side actually started on the north side of Houston at Nimitz High School.
But it started on the basketball court before the football field.
Price’s father – Joe Price – served as the Nimitz head basketball coach for six years, leaving after the 2001-2002 season with a 124-68 record for North Shore.
The younger Price was there just to play basketball until the football coaches talked him into football.
Price obliged the request of Burnis Simons and the move paid off as he went on to play at the next level at Division II Harding University in Arkansas.
“I grew up a basketball player and ended up getting recruited in football,” Price said. “I’m talking about Nimitz at a time when we had guys like Klein Oak head coach Jason Glenn, Quinten Griffin, Fred Spiller. We had big time guys coming out at Nimitz at that time. So, we had some of the same recruiting spirit coming though there.”
Price remembered in his sophomore year, 17 players signed from Nimitz.
Seeing how Simons pushed every guy to get recruited, not just the four or five-star studs, really stuck with him Price said and he takes the same approach now at North Shore.
“I was always encouraged by the way Coach Simons would motivate and push all his players out to these colleges,” he said. “Honestly, that’s what it’s about. These kids do so much for us and for the school to earn the opportunity.
“It doesn’t take much to send out a text, call or hit the retweet button for a kid that’s got his stuff together.”
Just how Simons pushed Price back in 2001 to get recruited, the Nimitz High School grad is doing the same in 2019 for players at North Shore.
“I just try to make sure everything is organized in terms of having the kids contact information, having all the transcripts, test scores and things like that organized in a way that makes the process efficient,” Price said. “Just so when they come in I can hand the guys their stuff so they can focus more on watching the kids.”
Not just watching one or two players but the entire group is another goal of Price’s.
If it works out, Price said he encourages the coaches coming to recruit to arrive at a time when all the players are going to be active either in a workout or practice time.
Whenever the coaches aren’t coming onto campus, like during a NCAA dead period, Price’s work doesn’t stop.
Price has a website dedicated to just North Shore recruiting set up for the college coaches to get recruiting updates, new highlight films and transcripts for each prospect.
On top of that, Price has pushed #RecruitNorthShore on Twitter.
Anytime a player puts out stats, new highlight video, an award being presented, Price will retweet it with #RecruitNorthShore included.
“With the hashtag, retweet, like world that we live in, I think having some kind of consistent mantra is huge,” Price said. “Kids get fired up, it’s good for our program. All our coaches are on board with the ‘Recruit North Shore’ mantra.”
At the end of the day, Price admits this isn’t about him.
It’s about the guys that want to play college football and that he does everything he can to make sure that happens on some level.
“It isn’t about me, it’s about the kids in this process,” Price said. “Anything we can do to make it easier to recruit the guys we have. Just getting them off the East side, seeing another part of the country, that’s what’s important to me.”