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Paul Chryst’s recruiting philosophy and reactions to 2020 early signing day

Chryst is “excited” about the “good fits” who “know how to get nasty”

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 03 Big Ten Championship Game - Wisconsin v Penn State Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After signing 19 players to the 2020 incoming football cohort, head coach Paul Chryst answered questions from the Big Ten Network and local reporters about the newly minted recruiting class. In his answers, he provides some detail on his process, philosophy and perspective in recruiting.

Here’s what we learned from Chyrst’s reaction to the 2020 early signing period.

He likes the offensive linemen as much as we do

He thinks that the in-state offensive line recruits are as good as it gets in the country.

“You can go all over the country, in evaluation,” Chryst said, “that we had some really good ones right here at home.”

He also thinks the depth of the offensive line is going to give him flexibility going forward. He said he doesn’t pigeonhole himself into a specific number he shoots for at each position, but he certainly appreciated that the in-state depth at OL stayed home.

Chryst takes a student-centered approach to recruiting

Throughout his interviews, he talks about how the athletes need to make a decision that is right for them and a good fit. As an educator, I appreciate how that acknowledges the agency student athletes have and has their best interests at heart.

While he appreciates the commitment and signing of recruits, he keeps it in context. He acknowledges that signing day is important for the school and the brand, but it’s really about the accomplishments of the students and their families. He notes that an athlete’s commitment and signing are part of a bigger process.

“We tell our kids all the time, it’s just the beginning,” Chryst told BTN.

“You’ve accomplished something; it sets you apart. But, hopefully, the best is yet to come.”

From my perspective, I believe this is why he says he is confident in student-athletes’ commitments and why he was able to sign Kaden Johnson in the end.

Speaking of Johnson...

Chryst said that Johnson committed some time last week. He really like that Johnson was a multi-sport athlete and noted the relationship they’ve built. Like most of the recruits, Chryst thinks Johnson is an excellent fit.”

Chryst doesn’t care of OSU, ‘Bama or Georgia come knocking

Chryst said that he doesn’t put too much weight on whether or not his recruits have serious interest from college football blue bloods. He said he trusts their player evaluation.

Will he add a running back?

Chryst said that they’ll continue to work on finding a running back, but he is not panicking. He continued to stress that, if they find a running back, the player needs to be the right fit.

Say what? Awesome Chryst-isms

  • In the two interviews that total about eight or so minutes of Chryst speaking, he said “excited” at least 12 times and some variation of “good fit” at least 10 times.
  • On Kaden Johnson—“I love makeup of who he is.”
  • “If you like a guy and you know he’d be a great fit, you want to get him.”
  • On his former roomate Todd Nelson’s son being in this recruiting class—“It takes a second, like, ‘holy cow, I guess we are getting a little bit older.’”
  • On Jack Nelson—“He knows how to get nasty.”