With dead period lifted, here's how Lane Kiffin, Kermit Davis approach return to normalcy
OXFORD — For the first time in 18 months on the job, Lane Kiffin and his Ole Miss staff are hosting camps and prospects.
The NCAA lifted the recruiting dead period on June 1, giving coaches the opportunity to meet recruits in person and host them on campus for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Kiffin, who was hired at Ole Miss in December 2019 and was only able to host a few official visitors before National Signing Day 2020, is now allowed to host recruits for camps and visits in Oxford for effectively the first time in his tenure.
Kiffin said hosting camps isn't the stressful part of the recruiting calendar. He and many of his staffers have been doing it for years. But this is the first time Kiffin and his staff are doing so as a team.
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"Yeah, you forget that they don't know and they've never done it together," Kiffin said. "We've never had a camp together. You go out there, and they don't know exactly what you're expecting. It's really a work in progress. Then at the same time there's unofficial visitors going on and we've had these things the last three nights. It's a situation where it's new, and it's all going on at once."
There's no bigger illustration of the effects of coaching and recruiting in the extended dead period than what Ole Miss men's basketball coach Kermit Davis is working through.
Davis is a few weeks into summer workouts with his revamped team. Ole Miss has seven new players heading into the fall, four freshman signees and three additions from the transfer market. In the cases of freshman Eric Van Der Heijden and Miami transfer Nysier Brooks, these workouts are the first time Davis has gotten to see some of his players play five-on-five basketball.
The thing Davis missed most was the personal connection of recruiting. He likes being able to bring families on campus and show them what their son will be signing up for. Now that the dead period is lifted, that process can resume.
But Davis hopes he and his colleagues don't forget the lessons learned from the many video calls over the pandemic.
"A lot of it, we know we recruit because so-and-so might be there or so-and-so may be there so we all put pressure on ourselves to be there at the spot," Davis said. "But we do miss the in-person. I hope we'll learn some things about the time management that we can accomplish with Zoom and spending more time with our players and families."
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or email@example.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.