An inside look at recruiting at Bethel University |

Fascinating look inside the world of NCAA D3 football recruiting at a Christian college in Minnesota.

A blizzard covers the quaint town of Yuma, Colorado. A fresh coat of snow blankets the road. Glaring ice an ever-present threat as the howling wind pushes against the side of Scott Kirchoff’s car like an offensive line doing sled drills. A strong gust pushes the white Ford Focus towards the shoulder, and Kirchoff yanks the wheel back to avoid the steep ditch that lies in waiting.

Kirchoff, Bethel University’s former assistant football coach, thinks that he is on the way to Woody’s restaurant to meet the next starting quarterback for the Bethel Royals, because that’s who he was told he was meeting. However, waiting for him is a 300 lb. offensive lineman named John Chouinard and his mother, Margaret.

As a recruiter for the Bethel football team, Kirchoff scans the small diner looking for what he thinks a quarterback might look like. Across the room is the only high school boy in the place. Kirchoff walks up tentatively and asks if the young man is John Chouinard, wondering as he approaches how in the world this man can do a seven-step drop back without tripping over his own feet.

The first question out of Kirchoff’s mouth was: “Son, what position do you see yourself playing?”

John responded, “Offensive lineman coach, why do you ask?” Kirchoff let out a sigh of relief and proceeded with his recruitment pitch.

The world of Division III Christian College football recruiting is not one of glitz and glamour. It often involves weird hours, long road trips, and a lot of lukewarm hotdogs at high school football games all across the country – even during the season. When it comes to recruiting for Bethel, coaches are after specific types of players.

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