Jerry Franks can tell his players the one thing they want to hear.

"I know what colleges want to see," said Franks, who coached at Navy -- where he was the team's recruiting coordinator -- and Connecticut.

Franks said players need to know a recruiter's timetable for securing their commitments. If Franks knows a player has maximized his marketability, the player should try to commit as early as possible. But if the player's resume would benefit from some senior-year game film, Franks said it is wise to sit back.

"I know from being on that side of it when to push a player or when to hold off and wait until he develops," Franks said. "You've got to make sure you know when to put the word out on the kids.

"Most colleges want to get out and get as much of their recruiting done as they could during the spring and the [regular] season."

But plenty of Division I schools take their time finding recruits. Last year, Franks held off on promoting Phil Riley because he wanted to spend a year coaching him to see how best to market Riley. Sure enough, in late winter, Riley committed to Hofstra.

"I had him wait until the season was over," Franks said. "Rather than put something out on the market that was not accurate, I waited to get an honest evaluation of him."

-- ALAN GOLDENBACH