James Groce @CoachGroce is in his second season on the Marist football coaching staff in 2019. He is in his first year as recruiting coordinator, and second as defensive line coach.
Last season, Groce helped Enmanuel Soriano earn Second Team All-PFL honors, while Eric Taylor and Eddie Zinn-Turner were both named Honorable Mention Alll-PFL. Soriano led the Red Foxes in total tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks.
Groce coached the previous three seasons at West Virginia State University, where he served as the program’s defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He had significant experience recruiting Virginia and Maryland.
Recruiting Areas: Maryland (Western & Eastern), West Virginia, Pennsylvania (Western), Delaware, Washington DC
I got to meet coach at the PSR Showcase and sit down to talk with him about Recruiting, Marist Football, and What athletes should be doing….
Nick Pennisi: What should athletes be doing during this stage of the recruiting process?
Athletes should take note of the schools that have contacted them and stopped by their schools to know those are the ones seriously recruiting them. If the athlete has any interest in those schools then go take an unofficial, go to their camps and establish a relationship. Going to an FBS camp where you have had no contact with anyone on that staff will rarely put you on that FBS schools radar. Choose camps where a large pool of college coaches will be in attendance as well.
Need to know where you will get interest from? Fill this out http://playmakersource.com/evaluation
Nick Pennisi: What should an athlete do if not yet on your radar?
If not on a school’s radar yet, email/DM every coach on the staff your First and Last Name, Grad Year, Position, Height and Weight, High School Name, GPA, Test Score. If you send it to every coach vs. just one coach you have a higher chance someone will watch it sooner.
Nick Pennisi: What are traits you look for in athletes that you have recruited?
On Film: Explosive, versatile, high motor, twitchy. Off the Field: Team leader, great student, responsive
Nick Pennisi: Do you have cutoffs when it comes to athletes measurements / speed/ agility?
Yes, but if a player can play he can play. We always want the biggest players as all coaches do. But, if you’re a dude you’re a dude!
Nick Pennisi: When are your camps and what should athletes do before during after your camp to earn attention?
June 13 and July 13. Try to contact us prior to the camp with all their information. During camp give 100% effort and FINISH the drills. We want guys that come to compete whether that is being first in line for the stretch, first in line for drills, etc. It’s all about being a competitor. Feast or Famine.
Nick Pennisi: How does it go for you on the road scouting/recruiting, how do you plan it all, how does it start for you guys?
Each coach has his own recruiting area, I typically break it all down by Counties within the state. We have a 3 step grading process. Area coach, Position Coach, Unit Grade. Prior to going on the road I will have graded most if not all the guys in my area. I plan to hit schools with my highest grades and schools with the most grades that pass the initial grade.
Nick Pennisi: Tell me and potential recruits about Marist.
Marist College is a high academic college in Poughkeepsie, NY. Our program focuses highly on academics and networking. We want our players to graduate and have grown their network of connections as wide as possible while in school so that when they graduate they have endless opportunities for career choices when they finish.
Our strong support from our alumni aids that network and creates even more opportunities. On the athletic side, we are a constantly growing athletic program. Our president strongly supports our athletics programs and is always finding ways to enhance the department rather that be through building development, creating athletic support programs or budget enhancement. Being part of the Marist Football program will challenge you to be the best player you can be.
We have a relatively young staff that is high energy and are very competitive. Watching one of our practices you will see this and see how the players draw from the coaches’ energy and competitiveness. We love having student-athletes come watch our practices and see our beautiful campus. We are always open to view so let us know through email and DM all us on twitter.
If you need contact info/twitter names, please reach out to me, @ScoutNickP