#21 Recruiting Corner: Starbucks Giftcards, Creating an Account on the Coaches’ Contact Database, & an Interview with Social Media Guru Kevin DeShazo

Do you have questions about the recruiting process you would like us to answer on the recruiting corner? You can contact us on Twitter, Facebook or leave your questions in the comments at the bottom of the page!

Joshua: Hey, guys. Back for another week, it’s the Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman here. As I introduced last week, my friend Mac. Hope you are all doing well. Guys, couple of things I want to address in the very beginning. Again, I mentioned it last week, $5 Starbucks gift cards for anyone giving us feedback on either what they’re doing in recruiting or, more importantly, what you want to see on the Recruiting Corner.

All you have to do, leave a comment on our blog, whether it’s on the blog, on the website, or on the comment section in our YouTube channel. Go ahead, leave us some information. Leave us an email address so we can go ahead and send you back a $5 Starbucks gift card.

Also, on Mac right now is our coaches’ contact database login site, where you can create your account. Athleticscholarships.net, go to the orange button, bottom right-hand side, hit create your account. It’s free. It’s for you. It’s to help you get started in the recruiting process, help you contact coaches, help you figure out what you want out of school. You can search every coach’s contact in the entire country.

You can break it down by what state you live in, what state you want to go to school, what region, possibly what you want to study. Fill out recruiting questionnaires, figure out the tuition costs, compare and contrast schools. All for you, all the time, right there. It’s free. Sign up for it as soon as possible and start contacting coaches today.

Guys, today’s interview is with Kevin DeShazo. I’m really excited. You guys ready? Let’s go ahead and meet him. Hey, guys, as promised, sitting here with Kevin DeShazo from fieldhousemedia.net. Kevin, how’s it going?

Kevin: Doing well. How are you guys?

Joshua: Hopefully, they’re doing well. I’m doing really well. Really excited to get you on the Recruiting Corner and then see what you have to say about social media. So, guys, just a quick introduction. Kevin’s company helps monitor and educate student athletes’ social media so that they don’t get in trouble, basically.

We’ve talked about it a lot on the Recruiting Corner. Social media can be a very positive thing. Unfortunately, sometimes, it can be a very negative thing, as well. So, Kevin’s going to talk to us about that.

Kevin, the first question I have for you is, why social media? What drew you to social media to start a company that really centers itself around the social media movement?

Kevin: Yeah, good question. I’ve been involved with, and I’m still involved with on some levels, social media consulting and strategy with businesses.

Joshua: Okay.

Kevin: But I have a passion for sports. I’ve always been a sports fan. Following athletes at every level, seeing how they utilize social media and just seeing a lot of mistakes. I thought to myself, okay. They have a significant opportunity. Somebody needs to be showing them the proper way to use this, so that they can use social media to the advantage of both themselves and their program.

Joshua: Okay. Leading into my next question then, which I think is a great segue, why do you feel it’s important that social media, and more importantly, why do you feel it’s important that student athletes learn how to properly use their social media accounts?

Kevin: Yeah. The student athletes, for better or for worse, are under a significant microscope. We’re not going to see a lot of articles in the newspaper about your typical business major, but you are going to see a significant amount of articles in the paper about any number of student athletes. They’re in the public eye, and even more so when it comes to social media. A report came out last week where 22 to 31% of 18 to 24 year olds are now using Twitter on a consistent basis.

Joshua: It’s growing fast.

Kevin: Obviously, [inaudible 00:03:45] being college students. I think it’s important for student athletes being in the public eye that they understand how to use this well. Because people are looking for them to mess up. That’s sad, but they’re looking for them to mess up to make a story out of it.

What I want to hopefully create is, change the culture of that to where the story written about student athletes and social media are positive stories. How they’re using it in an appropriate and positive way to benefit themselves and their university.

Joshua: Fantastic. So, understanding that, your company, Fieldhouse Media, monitors the social media accounts of student athletes if the school decides to bring you folks on. Do you feel that that’s invasion of privacy on some level?

Kevin: Really good question and a really hot topic right now, obviously. I don’t, the way that we do it. I say that, because we do not monitor any private information. So, if they have a private Twitter account, I can’t do anything to make them give me access to it. If they have the privacy settings on their Facebook account set up a certain way, I can’t force them to give access to that information to me.

They’re 18-year-olds. They’re legally adults. We’re not monitoring any public information. In fact, we advise them on how to utilize privacy settings on these social networks, specifically when it comes to Facebook.

Joshua: So, it’s definitely not looked at as when your company comes in, or an athletic department brings you folks on, that every student athlete has to give up their password. It’s more that you’re just making sure that they understand exactly what they should or shouldn’t be putting out there, and making sure that they’re implementing, basically, your strategies.

Kevin: Exactly. We never require them to give us a password for any unethical access to their information. We’re not logging into their accounts. We’re not gaining access. They don’t have to install an app that gives us access to every picture, every status, every relationship. That’s not something I would be comfortable with if they were my kid.

If my kid were in that situation, I wouldn’t be okay with that. That’s the approach that we took to try to be different when it comes to monitoring, because I do believe that there are some companies or ways that it is being done where it is invasive. I don’t think students respond well to that. I think that’s creating a culture of fear, and our approach is social media is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing.

Monitoring isn’t going to prevent some crisis. I mean, if the Tweet happens, it happens. Monitoring isn’t going to prevent a Tweet from happening, but it’s a great compliment to the education side of things. It creates more opportunities to have continued education with these student athletes.

Joshua: In the end, guys, and what Kevin will probably agree with, is that you as a student athlete are representing a brand at that point. You are representing your university, so you go from being an individual student to becoming this aspect of a brand. If you’re a popular student athlete, let’s say a major college football player, you’re even more important to that university, and what you do or say does matter. Would you agree?

Kevin: Absolutely. That’s the thing that gets tricky, because obviously these student athletes aren’t paid, but they are huge ambassadors for their programs. If they’re the starting quarterback of a conference champion or a BCS level program, starting point guard of the basketball team, if they’re a part of these revenue generating sports, they’re a huge face for that program.

Athletics impacts academics. So, it’s important that they understand, when you walk out on a field, you represent more than yourself. You represent more than a jersey on your back, but you’re also representing your family, your hometown, any groups that you happen to be a part of, and the same is true online. It’s understanding who you are and who you represent and making decisions that accurately represent the groups that you are a part of.

Joshua: I couldn’t agree more. An important question for you. What do you think student athletes should consider before making a post on any social media outlet, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, any of them?

Kevin: Yeah. One thing that we try to do, which I think is a little bit unique, during our sessions, we tell student athletes, “Look, you have the power to choose your identity and to define your identity online. So, pick three to four identity words that you want to be known for. Maybe it’s hard work, maybe it’s faith, maybe it’s being reliable, whatever the words, but words that you want to be known for.

Every post, put it through that filter. Okay, is this post going to build up my identity that I want to be known for, or is it going to tear it down? If I want to be known as the hardworking student athlete, what is this post going to say about that? How’s it going to reflect that? Is it going to contradict that, or is it going to reinforce this image and this idea that I’m hardworking?

We just want them to put it through that filter and understand, again, who they are, who they represent, and make positive decisions.

Joshua: That’s actually great advice. I love that aspect of creating your own filter and then consistently going back and looking at that. Last question for you. How would you like to see social media be used in recruiting as we sort of venture into the next social media age?

Kevin: Yeah. It’s already obviously playing a significant role, and it’s going to be really interesting. You see a lot of student athletes now, I think it was an assistant coach from West Virginia was on a recruiting trip last week, and he Tweeted this out.

He goes to talk with a kid, the kid just said, “Coach, YouTube me.” These kids are already making their own highlight reels, they’re putting them on YouTube, they’re Tweeting them out. We’ve seen a kid, Kelvin Taylor, former NFL running back Fred Taylor’s son, running back out of Florida, he has his own app–

Joshua: Go Gators!

Kevin: …that the coaches can download that has videos, statistics, where they can [inaudible 00:09:58] in real-time. Not every kid has the financial ability to create an app, but I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to think that a lot more will be doing something like that.

The thing about social media, it’s all about connecting. That’s why I love social media, is I love meeting new people. I love connecting with new people. This is a way that student athletes that may not normally get recognized to get their name out. If they can understand social media, and they truly have talent to play at a league level school, they can now get the attention of a coach or a recruiter from that program because of social media, if they understand how to use it well.

It saves these coaches a lot of time. They’re still going to have to travel and meet kids, but it significantly cuts down on their travel. They can look at highlight reels on YouTube, look at a kid’s Twitter and Facebook page and say, okay, does this kid have the character that we want. Then make a decision, okay, do we want to go now make a visit to this kid. So, there are positives all around, and I just see things moving more and more that direction.

Joshua: All right, guys. Thanks so much for tuning in. That’s our show for us. You know I’m @JZimmy67. The company is @Athnet. Kevin is @fieldhousemedia, and you can check out his website at fieldhousemedia.net. Kevin, thanks so much for being a part of the show. I’ve really appreciated it, sir.

Kevin: Okay. Thanks for letting me come.

Joshua: All right, guys. You guys have a great one. Tune in next week. Thanks.

#20 Recruiting Corner: Starbucks gift cards and Interview with Coach Matt Sonnichsen


Joshua: Joshua Zimmerman here bringing you another round of “The Recruiting Corner” guys. Thanks for tuning in and I hope this past week has been great.

Listen, a couple housecleaning issues before I go into this week’s episode. All right. Last week we spoke about a $5 Starbucks gift card. Judy introduced it, said the first five people that gave us feedback on either what they’re doing in recruiting, where they’re at in recruiting, or more importantly if you give us feedback on The Recruiting Corner, what you want to see, we’re sending you a $5 Starbucks gift card. All you have to do is look at the blog, write a little description, a little feedback in the comments section of the blog at the very bottom, or if you’re on our YouTube channel, leave a comment. Let us know what’s going on. First five people to do that we will send you a Starbucks gift card. Nobody responded last time, so those gift cards are still available.

Now, let me introduce my friend to my left. This is Mac. Everybody say hello to Mac. And Mac, say hello to everybody. All right guys, Mac is going to be working with me bringing some interviews your way. So we’ve reached out into the writing community. We cover a lot of blogs, and we want start talking to those bloggers. We want those bloggers to share their experiences with you. So that is what I’ve been working on.

Today I’ve got a great interview with Coach Sonnichsen. He runs www.CollegeVolleyballCoach.com. It’s a great blog. It is volleyball specific. He will talk about it, and we’re going to go ahead and introduce him now.

Matt, how are we doing?

Matt: I’m doing well. Thank you so much for having me on. I appreciate it.

Joshua: No problem. So just to briefly introduce Coach Sonnichsen here, guys, he knows his volleyball. He was a two time national champion with UCLA as a player. He was a US national team member. He was a former professional volleyball player over in Europe. He’s coached at seven different colleges, including four stops as a head coach. He’s got a lot going on.

So first question, why did you decide to start the www.CollegeVolleyballCoach.com?

Matt: Well, you know, college coaches we have a lot of free time on our hands, so I thought it would be something to keep me busy. No, that’s a joke people.

Joshua: That’s definitely not true.

Matt: The reason that I had actually started it is I do a number of volleyball camps each year that I’ve done for many years, to where I’ll go in to high schools and put on a camp specifically for that high school program. I call them my road camps. Without
fail, at these road camps I would get many, many questions about the recruiting process, about the culture in college volleyball.
Many of these coaches, the high school coaches, they were multi-sport coaches. They weren’t in big cities surrounded by big clubs. They were medium sized cities or maybe they had a small club. But I would get a lot of questions. So my thought process, and this was a number of years ago, and I read an article in the US Today newspaper about blogs when they were just coming to be, and I thought well, if I’m getting all these questions during my camp run, maybe there’s a lot of families out there that would like straightforward information, because the feedback that I was getting from these camp and high school coaches was a lot of the information they were giving was secondhand, it was half correct, it was incorrect, and it was really causing a lot more grief.

So the end of this was just to try and reach out, help the volleyball community, and then selfishly I kind of wanted a venue or a platform where I could put out my opinion just about different changes in our sport. I’m very passionate about it. It has created so much worldwide opportunity for me to travel and develop as a person. So in a sense I’m very protective of this sport. So being able to have a venue to [inaudible 4:01] but also setting some good assistance out to families was important to me.

Joshua: Well, the assistance is definitely needed. As we all know, the recruiting process is extremely confusing. So it’s great to see that somebody’s out there really answering the questions, and especially someone of your stature with your history. So I have
a question for you, and we all, because we answer questions all the time, always have our favorites. What is your favorite question that you’ve been asked in the past six years of running the blog?

Matt: Well, you know probably the favorite questions I get just in general are the ones where, and this is going to sound a little selfish, where people express, “Hey, I’ve been reading your blog. It has really helped.” It’s more of the feedback that I get. I’ve had parents say, “There’s no way our daughter would have got a college scholarship unless we followed your advice.” Or families
saying, “You have given us a clarity and really calmed us down because we hear all these other things or you see players committing.” So maybe not so much a specific question, but the feedback where I know that I’ve really positively touched the family to make their next four years more enjoyable or the two or three years that they’re just slogging though the process, that they’ve got a little bit of a touchstone or a base to go back with to manage it. Those email, those comments where I know I’m able to help families is very, very rewarding to me.

Joshua: I can imagine it would be. I know that personally here when we have families that really spend time getting to know us and
really use the advice that we do give them and they are successful, that we feel good inside. It’s something we sort of celebrate throughout the office. So I can definitely appreciate that.

So next question for you: What is your recommendation for when a student athlete writes in and asks you when they should start the volleyball recruiting process?

Matt: Well, because of the change in the culture of volleyball recruiting, that it has become in a very real sense very . . . utthroat is maybe too strong. Professional maybe isn’t the right terminology. But it has become much more demanding once you get
into college. I like to encourage families to start the education process as freshmen. Now, does that mean you’re active in the recruiting process? Most likely not, but there are some freshman families that are. The biggest thing is to get educated early, to get on the front side of the learning curve with all the changes in conference memberships and NCAA rules, and the abomination of club volleyball.

The term that I use quite often on my website, www.CollegeVolleyballCoach.com, is “freshman free, sophomore slow.” Your freshman year is kind of a free year. You’re only 14, 15 years old. Your physicality is changing so much that to really go intense into the recruiting outreach there, it’s a little rough because you still have so much growing physically and mentally in volleyball skill-wise to do. So I really say that freshman is free. If you get contacted by a school, fantastic, but don’t reach too much into it. If you’re not comfortable yet reaching out, don’t worry about. But sophomore year, start to slowly take a more active step into the process of reaching out and communicating with schools. You would expect to tighten up some of your desires.

Joshua: That makes perfect sense, and freshman year is what we preach. You have to go into this process eyes wide open. It doesn’t
matter what the sport is. In this case, as he said, freshman year even for volleyball. So keep that in mind guys. Now you mentioned earlier, this will be the last question, we’ll go ahead and wrap it up, that you run summer camps, that you call them volleyball road camps. It is June. We are right smack-dab in the beginning of summer. What is your advice for a student athlete looking at a volleyball camp? Are there things that they should be looking for?

Matt: You bet. Well, the first thing is you should look at my camp.

Joshua: Look at his camps.

Matt: If you go to a specific high school. My camps are focused just on the high school program. So I work pretty intensely with the high school coach to target things for their program. And there, the nice and interesting thing is you have a whole plethora of camps
to choose from, camps by your club coach, camps by college coach, site specific camps like what I do. I mean, there’s just the whole gamut to run at.

The first thing that I encourage families to do is make sure you’re not looking at camps as a recruiting opportunity. Too many families feel, “Well, if I go to state university’s camp, they’re going to discover me and I’m going to get recruited.” No. University camps, one, are very expensive. I used to run them. Sometimes it’s because of greed they’re expensive, and other times it just costs money to run camps on a collegiate campus. But college volleyball programs spend a lot of money in recruiting. Unless you are traveling cross country, odds are they’ve probably been in the same gym where you are, or they’ve probably already evaluated you. So to use it as recruiting I think is a waste of money.

What I suggest that families do is make sure that they’re targeting the camps that fulfill their specific needs. I think there are two [inaudible 9:30] for camps. One is skill specific. Go to a camp where you know you’re going to get good training, where maybe the numbers aren’t huge. A lot of teams, say for instance Giant State University, has a huge camp. Okay. Well, there are only three olleyball coaches at that university that are true full-time coaches. Now hopefully, that school will bring in some JC coaches or other coaches, but most often you may be getting coached or trained by a college kid, which can be a positive, but I tend to look at those type of camps as destination camps. You want to be on state university’s campus. You want to be at the big school arena. You want the T-shirt of the school that says, I really like Texas A&M or Nebraska or UCLA. That’s fantastic, and they can be good camps, but those are more of a destination camp.

I think it’s better maybe to target some smaller camps that are still specific, like a setters camp or an outside headers camp,
something where you can get some specific training in a positive arena by people that have been doing this for a long, long time.

Joshua: You know, everything that Coach Sonnichsen just said is extremely important. Take his advice and put it into your summer
regimen this year. Guys, that’s the show for us today. Coach Sonnichsen, thank you so much for being a part of it. Really appreciate the insight.

Matt: Glad to help.

Joshua: If you have any questions guys, you can always contact us. I’m @JZimmy67. Athnet is of course @Athnet. And you can reach Coach Sonnichsen personally if you visit www.CollegeVolleyballCoach.com or his Twitter handle @CollegeVBCoach. Thanks guys.

Matt: You bet. Thank you both.

Joshua: Have a great one.

#19 Recruiting Corner: We’re Back! Why Don’t You Like Us?!!? Facebook, Twitter, & Starbucks?


Joshua: Hey guys. Welcome back. The Recruiting Corner is here. I know you’ve missed us. We’ve missed you. I want to introduce somebody new. This is Judy. Judy works here in the office, and she does a lot for us. So she’s going to start joining us on The Recruiting Corner, as are a lot of different faces. So you’re going to see a rotation here, but of course, I’m your standard fixture. Sorry about that.

Judy, how are things?

Judy: Doing well, Josh. Thank you. I’m excited to be here at Recruiting Corner. This is all new to me, so be nice. It will finally be nice for you guys to see who I am because I know I’ve talked to a few of you via email, Facebook, Twitter, those kinds of things. So I’m excited.

Joshua: As I said, Judy does a lot. The first question we have for you, and something we try to focus on, and really is the reason of our absence is: Why don’t you like us? Seriously, though, we’ve noticed that over the past 18 episodes of The  Recruiting Corner, we’re just not getting the views that we really want. We’re here every day trying to make your lives better, and NOBODY’S PAYING ATTENTION. It saddens me, breaks my heart, and we want to know.

Judy: We’ve been doing a few things. Josh invited me here on Recruiting Corner, so this is going to be great. Hopefully more of you will see it. But as far as reaching out to you guys, we want to know what you want. We want to know what you want to see on The Recruiting Corner, what you want to see on our Facebook, what you want to see on our website, and what you want to see on Twitter. We are open to all of your feedback. We want to hear from you.

We’ve been posting some funny stuff on Facebook. Josh is a funny guy. You guys have been liking it, but if you have other ideas, we’re game. We want to hear it. I’ve had a great opportunity to reach out from my personal Facebook as well as  from the Athnet Facebook to talk to people who’ve talked to us before and asked us recruiting questions.

I’ve talked to Lorena [SP], she’s a tennis player, great conversation with her. She’s doing really well in her tennis recruiting as an international student. That was awesome, getting to talk to her. I also got to talk to a parent, Mike, awesome  conversation on the phone. He called up, had all these great insights, was saying how much he liked our Facebook and how all the  information that we’re putting on there is helping him and his family with his son’s recruitment.

We love hearing those kind of stories. Even if it’s just a great story, we want to hear it. We want to hear how you guys are doing.

Joshua: To reiterate, guys, what Judy’s saying is your opinion matters to us. We don’t do this for us. We do this for you. We want you to tell us if what we’re telling you makes sense. If everything that we’ve talked about on The Recruiting  Corner and everything we’re putting on Facebook and on our blog and everything else doesn’t make sense to you, we need to know that. But the only way we’re going to know that is if you folks are interactive with us, letting us know what matters to you. If it’s great information and you’re using it, let us know. If it’s horrible information and you’re not using it, let us know. It’s going to allow us to do a better job in teaching you.  Now you mentioned Facebook. As I mentioned, Judy is 95% of the time the person you speak to on Facebook. If you write us a comment, she’s writing you back. If you write us on Twitter, she’s writing you back. Let’s talk about that. What kind of conversations have you been having on  Facebook and Twitter?

Judy: I’ve been having great conversations. You guys ask great questions. A lot of people come to our Facebook, it seems like they’re finding us to get started in their recruiting. So we have a lot of questions. Just being like, “Hey. How do I get recruited?” We have tons of resources we can supply you with. The links and everything from our website, I’m happy to give out to you guys to get started, to learn about the recruiting process, whether it’s going to be creating your sports  resume or even getting video out. A lot of the video stuff, Josh can help out with.

Joshua; Listen, if you guys have a highlight video and you want somebody to critique it, throw it up on Facebook, send it to me via YouTube. If you want a resume, you have no idea how to make a resume, let us know. We’ll send you a  template. We even have an entire e-book on how to write resumes. All sorts of resources all free, all the time. All you have to do is take two minutes, write us an email. Take two minutes, write us a comment on Facebook. I know you’re talking to your friends on Facebook. Talk to us, let us know what you want, let us help you out, let us help you be successful.

Speaking of Facebook, do we have a Facebook question?

Judy: Let’s see here, Facebook question. We actually have one from yesterday, Fernando. Can a community college student get recruited to play at the NCAA Division One?

Joshua: It’s a great question. Obviously, yes, you can get recruited to any division via playing junior college, and junior college is a great stepping stone. You go to junior college for two reasons. Number one, you need athletic development. Number two, you need academic development. Those are usually the two reasons that people go to junior college. It is a stepping stone. Eligibility issues are hammered out a lot in junior college. There are certain schools that do pluck junior college athletes. Not every school recruits, but you do have a good opportunity to be recruited from a junior college if you’re pro-active. That’s a big key term there, pro-activity.

You want to share anything else with the guys?

Judy: I have a couple more shout-outs from all these great people that we talk to on Facebook.

Joshua: Shout-outs are great. We like shout-outs.

Judy: Becky was a parent I got to talk to. She emailed me with all these questions I have been asking Facebook folks. Sherika also emailed me. She’s a basketball coach. It seems like she’s working really hard on getting her athletes out there, getting their names out to coaches.

Joshua: Kudos to coaches who are helping their athletes.

Judy: One of our favorites, Lodewijk . . .

Joshua: Lodewijk, how are you doing, buddy?

Judy: Lodewijk is always out there helping us out, giving us good feedback; even helping others out. Lodewijk, we love it.

Joshua: Lodewijk is Athnet’s number one fan. He’s awesome. If you guys aren’t friends with him, try to become friends with him. He’s a really good guy, and you see him all over our Facebook wall. So thank you very much.

Judy: He knows a lot about recruiting, as well. And last, but not least, we want to talk about the little giveaway we’re going to do?

Joshua: Yeah. Judy, all you.

Judy: For watching this, for letting me be here to help Josh talk, we want to give you guys a Starbucks e-giftcard. All you have to do is we’re going to give it to the first five people who comment on this on our YouTube, as far as what you’re  doing in your recruiting. That’s all we want to know, what you are doing in your recruiting, whether it’s going to be starting off, or whether you’ve contacted five coaches or 500 coaches. Tell us!

Joshua: Let us know what’s going on. First five, you comment on the YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to. Via this video you can also comment on the blog. First five people to comment, we will send you a $5 Starbucks e-giftcard so you can get hopped up on caffeine.


#18 Recruiting Corner: Andrew Luck, Contacting College Coaches & NCAA Eligibility Center


If you have any questions for next weeks recruiting corner, leave them in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Joshua: All right guys. After a long break we are back with The Recruiting Corner. As you see a new face here. This is Ashley Lawrence. She is our Creative Director and a recruiting expert. I see you are donned out in your Giants Gear.

Ashley: San Francisco. Hey, we’re in the new office. You got to rep the team. Grew up with the Giants. I absolutely love them.

Joshua: Yep. So we have season tickets to the Giants. Everyone’s enjoying some games. Obviously, she’s really excited. Guys we are here in San Francisco, coming to you from our brand new offices. Hopefully, you guys will enjoy everything that the new Athnet is able to bring to you.

For myself, I am donned in my Miami Dolphins jersey. NFL draft was last night, first round. The rest of the rounds are finishing out this weekend. For the first time in my life, thank you, thank you, thank you, the Miami Dolphins selected a quarterback in the first round.

Ashley: It’s about time.

Joshua: First time since Dan Marino, 1983. So yes, I am not that old.

Ashley: Don’t date yourself at all there.

Joshua: We definitely have some news to bring to you guys. Also, we’re going to learn a little bit about Miss Ashley. So she’s got some great tips for you as well as college recruiting.

First up, we’re going to jump into Business of College Sports. So we’ve talked about their blog. Alicia Jessop wrote an interesting blog about the number one pick of the NFL draft, Andrew Luck, and basically what his playing for Stanford meant for Stanford athletics and Stanford overall, how much money he brought into that program.

So, what do you think? I mean $15 million in donations have come in since he played for them.

Ashley: You know, that is an awful lot of money, and he obviously worked hard, being the star quarterback, doing, bringing them to tons of wins over his career at Stanford. My experience and my opinion has been, as an athlete, you sign up to be in an ambassador for the school and you do work hard, but you are a student athlete and you are earning a free education. In Luck’s case, he was earning a Stanford education for free, and as much as he’s bringing in to Stanford and the donations and the ticket sales, everything that he’s been able to contribute to there, I’m still not agreeing with the idea that athletes should get a cut and get an extra paycheck or whatever else. I think that just needs to stay out of that.

Joshua: You know, it’s a tough side, and I really do see both sides. $15 million in donations alone, again, not counting ticket sales, not counting concessions, not counting any merchandise, $15 million. They’ve probably made hundreds of millions beyond that. It’s hard to say he doesn’t deserve a cut, and for you athletes out there, maybe you would be in this position someday, maybe you’re never going to be, but it’s a huge controversy surrounding college sports. It’s one of those situations where there is no right or wrong. You are receiving a free education. He did get a Stanford education, which is worth its weight in gold. But at the same time, that’s a lot of money.

Ashley: Yes. Yes, it is. But, you know, that degree is going to carry him for the rest of his life and obviously past the NFL experience, however long that may be.

Joshua: I definitely agree.

Ashley: Good for him though. I grew up near Palo Alto. So he’s a local hero around here. So it’s good.

Going next into Coach Thurman’s blog, we had a couple great questions come in. The first one was, a student athlete recently played in a golf tournament, didn’t do as well as he had planned or had hoped, should he still tell the results to the college coach?

Joshua: You know, I really like what Coach Thurman did with this. And as we’ve told you in the past, Coach Thurman is a great outlet to answer your questions, but so are we. Coach Thurman’s advice was this. You know you’re building a relationship with a coach when you’re contacting them, and coaches understand that you have a bad day. It’s okay to let them know that sometimes things just don’t work out in your favor. It actually shows the human side of your recruiting, because too often coaches only hear from athletes when, number one, athletes want something, or number two, athletes are trying to tell them how great they are. For a coach to hear that you are human and you do make mistakes and you’re admitting those mistakes and maybe trying to fix those mistakes, it’s actually a really good thing. So I am all for an athlete admitting to a coach that maybe they didn’t have the greatest game or maybe they didn’t get all the playing time in the world or they didn’t shoot the greatest sport.

Ashley: Absolutely.

Joshua: I think it was great advice.

Ashley: And there’s a good chance he’ll find out anyway. So it’s best to just kind of bring it up to him in the first place.

Joshua: Yeah, come directly from the source. Next up, another Coach Thurman question because again, some great stuff this week. A kid wrote in: How often should a recruit call or email a coach who they’re talking to?

Ashley: That is obviously a great question. It depends on, what Coach Thurman discussed was where you are in the recruiting process. So, early on you probably won’t be talking to the coach as often. It’ll be just a phone call here, an email there. But as you start to develop that relationship with the coach and you get to know them and you really start becoming interested in their program and you really want to show them what you can bring for them, the emails and the calls will come more frequently, and the coach will reciprocate. A good way to go is to ask the coach exactly, “When’s the best time to contact you and how often can I do that?”

Joshua: Definitely. And another question is, “Which way do you prefer your contact to be had as well?” Some coaches only like to email in the very beginning, while some coaches are okay with phone calls. So you really have to feel them out. Guys, it’s all about creating a relationship. You can imagine, if you’re in high school and you’re into relationships with boys, girls, whatever, in the beginning you’re probably not talking to that boy or girl as often as you are once you get into a relationship with them. So if you can think in terms of that, maybe in the beginning it’s a little slow, but towards the end when you’re in that relationship, you’re probably talking 30 times a day. You may not talk to a coach that much, but you get the idea.

Ashley: Same idea.

Joshua: So next, we’re turning our attention to you. So guys, Ashley was a former D1 athlete. She rode crew. No, I can’t say that.

Ashley: That’s not nice, Josh.

Joshua: She was a crew athlete at UC Davis, and I just want to kind of have her explain to you folks her experiences as an athlete. So, for you, being a walk-on, tell me about your experience as a walk-on, how that worked out, how you sort of viewed walk-ons after your experience.

Ashley: Well, basically, as a walk-on, I wasn’t very involved in the recruiting process at all. My only experience in rowing at all before I got to Davis was a brief summer camp at, actually Cal-Berkeley, and they just taught me the basic techniques and all this great stuff. Once I got to Davis, I saw that they had a women’s crew program, and I decided to try out. I did really well, not even having that much experience. So they asked me to come on, and I eventually was able to earn a partial scholarship, which helped immensely.

But essentially, being a walk-on is quite different than actually going through the entire recruiting process. Those athletes who go through the recruiting process are very interested in the program. They know what they want, and they’ve sought out this school to become a rower at Davis. So, meeting all the girls and getting to know them, a couple of them were recruited pretty heavily, a couple local girls actually, and it was interesting to hear their experience having known so much about the program, knowing the coaches coming into the thing versus me who I hadn’t met any of the other girls. I hadn’t met any of the coaches. So it’s an interesting dynamic, but I still had an incredible experience. You get to know everyone. It’s a huge time commitment, but I definitely, absolutely loved every part of it.

Joshua: Guys, couple of things I picked up just from that little story right there. Number one, Ashley realized that maybe she wanted to recruit once she was at UC Davis, although never having much experience in it, she found out that they were looking for crew athletes. So she actually sought that out, and as a walk-on that’s important. You have to figure out when tryouts are and all that. She tried out and she got a partial scholarship. Now eventually, you did get a full scholarship, correct?

Ashley: Yes.

Joshua: But in the beginning, partial scholarship, which means sometimes you will get a partial scholarship. Other times you are paying for tuition on your own until you earn that scholarship opportunity. So just a couple of things there. Walk-ons are tough, but they are also great opportunities. And you ended up as a D1 athlete because of it.

Ashley: Absolutely.

Joshua: Fantastic. So next up, you mentioned the workload was a little tough. Tell us about your balance between academics and then having to get up at 4:00 in the morning to row.

Ashley: Yeah, it’s quite an adjustment having never been up that early, probably ever, before going to Davis. Essentially, you really have to be organized with all of your schedules. You really fall into a routine, especially with the crew because you are up so early. You go to practice. You go to class. You have to take the time to schedule out your assignments and what’s due and when tests are coming up. But another great thing that I learned at Davis was all the resources available to athletes. So there’s study hall. There’s free tutoring. You really have to take advantage of what the school will offer athletes in order to help you balance the school workload and the crew workload, or whatever sport you’re doing. Really, you need to take advantage of it, and that’s just one of the ways that will help you not get burnt out on everything.

Joshua: Fantastic. Do you have any other tips for any athletes that are watching that might either want to become a walk-on or are just sitting there trying to figure out if they are going to be able to have the maturity to balance both work and sports?

Ashley: You really never know. It was an adjustment, obviously coming from high school, never having that kind of sport commitment time schedule before. You really just kind of have to give it a try and go for it. I am so glad that I went and tried out that one day. I made great friends. We had a great time and competition was fierce. It was a lot of hard work, but I don’t regret any part of it. So I suggest if you’re really on the fence about it, go and give it a try. I mean, there’s nothing that’ll hurt you, and you’ll learn something from it.

Joshua: Definitely don’t want to play the what if game later in life. So, if you want a shot, you got to take it. Appreciate it, thank you.

Ashley: Yes. Glad to share. So, last part we have a Facebook question from Malcolm. He asked: The NCAA gave me his ten digit ID number, but he hasn’t been cleared. So can he use it? What’s he supposed to do with it?

Joshua: Malcolm, listen, here’s the way the NCAA works. All right, millions of students every year are applying for NCAA ID numbers. Unfortunately, the NCAA doesn’t do as much with those numbers as you might think automatically. What has been done with your number so far, it’s been put into a computer system. The only way your information is ever going to be accessed is if you are put on what’s called an institutional request list.

Now that request list is made by coaches once coaches have contacted you or you’ve contacted a coach and that coach has asked for that NCAA ID number. Until that point, your stuff sits in a computer system and will never be accessed.

Little fun fact, 80% of the student athletes that actually sign up for the NCAA Eligibility Center never have their information accessed by anybody, because again, it’s only for Division 1 or 2 coaches. So until a coach requests your information, it will sit in that computer system. So it’s just a couple things to know.

Normally, our advice, don’t get an NCAA ID number until you know that a D1 or a D2 coach wants your information.

Ashley: Absolutely.

Joshua: All right, guys. Thanks so much for tuning in. As you know, you know how to get a hold of us on Twitter. You can ask us questions. You can subscribe to our Youtube channel. It’s @JZimmy67, @Athnet, and a new one, @AshPlaw. Thanks so much.

Ashley: Thank you.

#17 Recruiting Corner: Walking on at Ohio State, NCAA slowing change, Benefits of D2, Neon Deion


Be sure to ask us questions about the recruiting process in the comments below.

Joshua: All right, guys. Back for one more Recruiting Corner in our Monterey office. Joshua Zimmerman. David Frank, how are things going?

David: It’s good. Final stages of packing, living out of a suitcase in my own house, sleeping in a sleeping bag, all the fun stuff that comes with moving.

Getting right to it, guys, we’re going to be talking about Ohio State is getting two star linebackers to walk on to their team. We’re going to tell you what that means for you.

Joshua: We’re going to talk about the NCAA tapping the brakes on a lot of their changes.

David: A really great blog we want to share about why Division II might be right for you.

Joshua: And we’re going to talk about life after basketball and how important it is to graduate.

David: And Neon Deion Sanders is starting a new profession. We’re going to talk about what he’s up to next.

Joshua: And, of course, a question coming from Twitter. So let’s go ahead and jump right in.

David: This story is coming from Tony Gerdeman. He was talking about, we all know Urban Meyer can recruit. The guy’s a recruiting genius, but he’s doing some pretty impressive stuff already at Ohio State.

Joshua: So check this out. Ohio State, obviously, one of the most notable programs in all of college football, bringing in Urban Meyer this spring and really trying to vamp up their recruiting efforts, which they did right away. Now what I want to share with you is how good you have to really be, because we get a lot of confusion. Everybody wants to play Division I football. It was my dream to play Division I football. It’s everybody’s dream to play Division I football. But how good do you really need to be?

Well, check this out. Urban Meyer just took a 6’2″, 229 pound, All-State linebacker, who also happens to be ranked as a two-star prospect and made him a walk-on at Ohio State. They basically said, “We love you. We’ve recruited you, but we want to offer you preferred walk-on status.” So what does that tell you as the recruited athlete, and what does that tell everybody? That’s how good you have to be. This is a ranked athlete who is still being asked to walk on at a major program.

The other side of that is that the athlete did a lot of his homework as well. He realized that Urban Meyer had already offered five linebackers scholarships, which he knew going in, if he wanted to play at Ohio State, he probably wasn’t going to get a scholarship. So you see both sides there. You see how good you have to be, and you see that you also need to understand  what that coach has already recruited and the system in which that coach recruits.

David: Yeah, and I think it’s a good opportunity for him as well. He might not be getting a scholarship, but he also knows he can go in and be a linebacker right away at Ohio State. There’s a lot of competition there. It’ll be interesting to see how it all
works out.

Joshua: I think he’s chasing a National Championship. As big a Gator fan as I am, and you guys know it from when I was wearing my Florida stuff for March Madness, I truly see National Championships in Ohio State’s future, which pains me to say very, very much. Urban, I just don’t understand, man. Still, tears, I hold my pillow and cry at night.

Next up, I’m going to get over my emotions, and we’re going to jump right into the NCAA. Apparently, Mark Emmert was told to kind of slow down a little bit. What’s that all about?

David: An article from Brad Wolverton, one of our favorite writers. He covers a lot of the NCAA beat and explains what’s going on. He’s been a busy man. The NCAA is doing a lot of changes with their new president. He just wrote an article that says they’re kind of being asked to slow their role a little bit. The NCAA’s been really aggressive, which I think they need to do, in pushing a lot of changes, talking about multi-year scholarships, $2,000 over the amount of the scholarship. But I think what this article pointed out is that, for the majority of the NCAA schools, this is going to have a negative impact. They want to take their time and make the right decision.

I think, as a recruit, what you need to know is that these changes, which we’ve been talking about the last few weeks on The Recruiting Corner, are going to take some more time. Don’t think that next year when you’re signing for a scholarship, you’re going to be signing a multi-year deal or you’re getting $2,000 more. There’s a lot more to be worked through before
these things become reality.

Joshua: Definitely.

David: All right. Next story is coming from the STACK blog, which is an awesome blog about working out and fitness. They did a little something different for their blog and talked about recruiting and, specifically, why it might be good to be a Division II recruit.

Joshua: So check this out. We have talked about before on the aspects of focusing on one sport, and if you’re a multi-sport athlete, maybe taking some time to really evaluate which sport would be your best option. For some of you out there, you might excel very much at two sports, three sports, whatever it is. If that’s the case, Division II might be your option. That’s what this blog really went towards talking about.

With Division II, it’s partial scholarships, and that’s what you have to understand. Most of it is what are called “equivalency scholarships.” Playing multiple sports could financially benefit you in the long run. This blog spoke about the financial viability, I guess, of having multiple sports and scholarships. So if you’re an athlete and you’re playing basketball and you’re playing football, you might get more money, and you’re a good academic, than someone who just may play one sport. So multi- sport athletes, definitely pay attention to Division II, still competitive, still great academics, and the best part of all, smaller school, smaller class size, more one-on-one attention.

David: I think so, too. There’s a lot that goes into making a decision beyond how big a school it is and how much visibility you’re going to have as an athlete. Great article, we’ll definitely link to it and suggest you guys read it.

Joshua: Definitely. So next up, life after basketball. Jen Christensen talked on CNN about some basketball players and how important graduation rates are.

David: Right. She used a lot of stories coming out of the UConn men’s basketball program, which, if you don’t know, has one of the worst academic track records of any men’s Division I sport, and in particular one of the worst in basketball. They graduate less than 24% of their men’s basketball players. Absolutely atrocious, and they’re going to pay for it. They’re going to be ineligible for next year’s NCAA Tournament, which is pretty amazing considering only two years ago they would have been the National Champions.

She interviewed a lot of the UConn players for whom it’s hitting home that they’re done with basketball. They’re not in the NBA, they’re not playing overseas, and they don’t even have a college education to get a job and it’s really hitting home. That’s some great testimonials from these guys about the importance of getting an education.

This guy went from being a UConn men’s basketball star, thinking he was going to the NBA, to getting paid $75 to play semi-pro basketball and having to work AAU camps, running a lay-up line. Come on. Get an education. He’s got to have a better future than that. So again, another great article. It just stresses, guys, you’re student-athletes. Get a degree and finish school.

Joshua: One of the things I took away from that article was a statistic. They said, “Listen, we all know you want to play professional sports.” Everybody wants to play professional sports. Everybody wants to be rich. Everybody wants to be a celebrity. One percent of college athletes, and this was done through basketball, so one percent of college basketball players will play professionally. The other 99 percent have to do something else.

If you still want a career in basketball, that’s fine, but it’s still a very small percentage that either play overseas or become coaches. Guess what? To become a coach you have to have a degree. You cannot coach in college without a degree. For most of you, Masters degrees. Keep that in mind. Education’s important.

David: So next up, Deion Sanders is turning into quite the TV personality. He’s got a new show coming out. This article comes from Bob Cook, one of my favorite writers in the sports world. He talks about Deion Sanders, the psychologist.

Joshua: Listen, Neon Deion, I love you. You’re funny to follow on Twitter, but I don’t think that you’re a clinical sports psychologist, and I’m not sure if this is exactly the avenue for you. But it’s reality TV, and it’s what it’s going for.

He is coaching parents on how to become good sports parents, and basically follows through each episode a different set of parents and how they ride their children to become the best athletes possible. Unfortunately, parents, if you’re watching, don’t do this. Let your kids be kids. If your dream for your kid is to get a scholarship, that’s great. That’s notable. Make sure it’s your kid’s dream as well, because a lot of these kids just want to do sports for fun, and the whole work ethic and “I need to get a scholarship” and the pressure and everything else that you put on them is hard. It’s taxing.

So really, maybe you should watch this show, although I’m not endorsing Neon Deion at all as, again, a sports psychologist. But it definitely, I think, has a positive message on the fact that parents need to relax a little bit. Understand your role as a parent, and listen, if you’re a coach and a parent, understand there’s a divide. When you leave that field, you are now a parent. You are no longer the coach. Don’t take it home.

David: It’ll be interesting. I don’t anticipate the show getting picked up for a second year, but it’ll be funny to live on YouTube forever seeing Deion in that role.

Joshua: Definitely. We got a Twitter question, and, David, I’m throwing this one to you. “What do I put in an email to get a coach’s attention?”

David: Here’s the secret. There’s no one thing in an email that’s going to get the coach’s attention. It’s the email as a whole. It has to be a well-written email, and it has to have all of the facets that a coach needs to see you as a player. You need to introduce yourself athletically. You need to introduce yourself academically, make sure that’s in there. Then overall, it needs to be well-written and look like you took the time to write it and personalize it to them.

If you do all of those things, that will get the coach’s attention. Will that mean that he will recruit you? No. It doesn’t mean he’s going to recruit you, but it means he’s going to read the email. He’ll be more likely to respond to you and let you know what he thinks. Coaches are looking for a reason not to respond. If you don’t have the information they need, they’re not going to ask you for it, and if you write a really poorly structured email, they’re not going to respond to it.

So there’s no one thing. It’s doing all those things. Just as a tip, what we’re going to do is link to our free e-book on writing emails to college coaches in the show notes. Definitely, Jake, click on that and read that. It’s going to give you all the tips you need to have a well-rounded email and resume.

Joshua: Jake, hopefully that helps out. David, what you’re telling me is if I send an email to a coach that says, “I want a scholarship,” they’re not going to pay attention?

David: Unless you put your height in there and you’re really, really tall, no, they’re not going to.

Joshua: Makes sense. All right, guys, you know to subscribe to YouTube so you can catch all of the episodes as well as listen to all the frequently asked questions that we have listed there for you. @JZimmy67, @Athnet, @DavidRFrank. Make sure to contact us, wish us luck over the move. You guys have a great one.

David: Thank you, guys.

#16 Recruiting Corner: Access to Our College Coaches Database


 Here is the link to get access to our college coaches database. Create your account and get started with searching for schools. Be sure to ask us questions about the recruiting process in the comments below.

Joshua: And we’re back. It’s The Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman. David Frank. Hope you guys are all doing well. How are you doing, sir?

David: Doing really, really good. It’s another week of The Recruiting Corner. Again, a reminder, everybody subscribe to our YouTube channel and get this sent to you every week when we have a new episode. What are we covering this week?

Joshua: So, this week we’re going to start out with an athlete taking a trip over to Asia getting perspective of USA sports.

David: Right. And some really good advice on managing expectations between your high school and your club coach.

Joshua: And then we’re going to jump right into our Facebook question.

David: We’ve got two of them this week. So we’ll be going over two really good Facebook questions and talking about how to get started in the recruiting process.

Joshua: Definitely. So guys, not too much to cover today, but we are going to go into depth on some things. First off, we’re definitely going to jump into the NCAA guest blogger Andrea Dalton. She took a trip over to Asia, and she got some really good perspective on sports in America.

David: Yeah. So she’s over there on behalf of the NCAA as kind of an outreach and teaching kids in other countries what it’s like to be an NCAA athlete, and she said something that I thought was really interesting, “How great of an opportunity it is to be an athlete and a college athlete here in the U.S.” What we have here in the U.S. is unique to anywhere in the world. You talk to kids from other countries, and they can’t believe that you actually can go to school for free for being an athlete, and I think her article is really good. We’ll definitely link to it, and I suggest you read it because she just says we need to look at this as how thankful we are to even have the opportunity to be college athletes. I know we talk a lot about should athletes be paid. Kids are complaining about scholarships not being enough. It’s an opportunity that no other kids in the world get, and it’s got to be appreciated.

Joshua: David, is this where I break into my “and I’m proud to be an American, where at least I . . .”?

David: Yes.

Joshua: And that’s my American Idol audition guys. Randy, look for me.

David: Next up, coming from Monica McNutt. We featured her on here a couple of times. She’s a great writer, and she wrote an article about managing the expectations of multiple coaches.

Joshua: So, Monica, another great article. Thanks for writing it. Guys, listen. We all understand that it gets a bit confusing when you’ve got your club coach telling you one thing. You’ve got your high school coach telling you another, and you’re sort of stuck in between saying, “Well, what do I do?” She wrote a great article talking just about that, and one of the most important things that I found in her article that was interesting was the fact that she basically used her maturity in thought to think out through her recruiting process. She played both high school and club basketball, AAU basketball, and she was trying to figure out, okay, well, my high school coach is telling me this. My club coach is telling me this, and more importantly, my high school is playing in these types of games and my clubs are playing in these types of games and which is going to be the best for recruiting for me.

And the interesting thing for you guys out there is that you might be facing similar circumstances, and what she decided was which is going to give me more exposure and which is going to be having me play at a higher level. Those are the games that she went to. So sometimes she played her high school games, but many times she played her AAU games because they were playing in bigger tournaments and they were playing better caliber of talent. For you guys, we’ve talked about it before, club sports are starting to be the trend of where college coaches are recruiting.

David: The message I took home from that article that I really liked is she said it was really hard. It wasn’t easy to manage these expectations, but that’s just part of the recruiting. I think so much of what kids are looking for is the easy way to do recruiting. How can I easily contact coaches? What’s the easy answer to this? And sometimes, there is just not an easy answer. Sometimes there’s just not an easy answer. Sometimes it’s just hard. You’re going to have to grow up a little bit, try and handle some difficult situations, and her article really explains how to do that.

Joshua: Definitely, yeah. Great article. Guys, so next up is a Facebook question. As you know, you can always write us on Facebook. You are possibly going to be featured on The Recruiting Corner. If you want to be featured on The Recruiting Corner, tell us. So, Trina asked us, “Can a coach take away my scholarship before I start to play my season?”

David: Yes, he can. This is that whole issue about over-signing. So when you sigh an NLI and you sign for a scholarship, it doesn’t guarantee that there’s a scholarship there for you. NLIs are really a one-sided agreements, and that why I think down the road you might not see NLIs any more. But currently, when you sign an NLI, it’s an athlete committing to a school, but it doesn’t guarantee that there’s that scholarship there. It’s a really, really tricky situation. It really only happens in football, where a program signs more kids to NLIs than they have scholarships and they have to tell some of those kids that they won’t be coming in that year. It’s a really, really touchy situation. Trina, if you have a specific example that you want to give us or you want to call us, let us know and we’ll try to help you out as best week can.

Joshua: Definitely. Next up, next Facebook question is from Omar, and he has been focusing solely on soccer schools. We’re going to use this as a two-fold because it is going to parlay us into how do you get started. But he says he has been focusing in on soccer schools specifically, but he also has a very, very big want to go to a high academic program as well. He’s really caring about his grades and his academics and sort of where his education comes from. He wants to know where he can find maybe a list of top 50 schools or how he can go out and really learn about the school situation.

David: Omar is on our college coaches database. So he’s been using this tool to find schools and contact coaches. Omar, one of the things you need to do is on the filter for our databases, you can select really high academic standards, and that should help you find some of the higher academic schools. If you’re looking for a business specific, maybe Josh you have has some recommendations there.

Joshua: Definitely guys. Number one, David mentioned the database. Great tool. If you have not been on the database yet, check out the link in the notes. You guys can go ahead and get access to that. Now, when getting started as a student-athlete, one of the biggest things you have to figure out first before you try to think about, “Oh I want a scholarship and oh I need to contact coaches,” you have to know what you want out of college. And I’m not telling you that you need to know, “Oh, I want to study business. I want to go to a top-50 school.” But you need to know a couple of things.

Number one, you need to know what’s affordable. You need to know what you can afford with a scholarship. You need to know what you can afford without a scholarship.

You need to understand possibly what you want to study. It’s going to help you out a little bit better. How far away you want to go to school. There are all these questions that you should start answering and put together lists. They don’t have to be necessarily your final list. Start with 100 schools. Try and figure out from those 100 schools which schools you academically qualify for. Are you on track to get into these schools if you applied today?

Once you start to figure out those, talk with your family about them. Try to get their opinions. Don’t let them sway you one way or another, but have solid reasons on why you want this school over another school, and then think about unofficial visits. You don’t have to take them right away, but hopefully you’re starting this as a freshman and a sophomore in high school and not mid-senior year when you’re panicking to do everything at once.

These processes take time. That’s how you get started. It’s not, “Hey, I won a scholarship. I want to contact the coach.” It’s okay, let me think about this process logically. Go through the steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on what you want out of a school. Then, once you can come up with a logic list and say this is why I want this school, this is what I want do, this is why your school benefits me, then you can go out and try to start contacting coaches.

David: Yeah. And the real big benefit there is like we say all the time, you have to have a personal email to college coaches, and unless you’ve spent some time to think and understand what it is about that school that appeals to you, you’re not going to come through with a really convincing message for that coach. Yeah. That’s exactly what you need to be doing to get started, and for someone Omar, you’re on the right track. Look for those high academic institutions, but make sure if you’re looking at these top 50 schools, you have to understand, you have to have elite academic status. So if you don’t have that status, maybe you need to try and again use our tool and find where you fit in academically.

Joshua: Guys, one thing that’s really important when it comes to recruiting and I cannot drill this home enough is that if it’s easy, it’s not for you. No way ever will a scholarship be earned easily. There’s a lot of work that has to be put into it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great athlete or not. It still means that you still have work to put into the situation. If something comes too easily to you, it’s too good to be true.

David: Yeah. That’s exactly right. All right. Good. So got you guys started on some recruiting. Now, Josh, what are you doing this weekend?

Joshua: This weekend? I am going to relax. As you guys know, we’re in the midst of packing up. We will be in San Francisco as of Monday, April 8th. So, the next two Recruiting Corners will come from here, and then we will all be in San Francisco. Yourself?
David: Same deal, packing up home, packing up the office, taking care of everything I need to take care of. I’ve been living here in Monterrey for eight years. So I’ve got a lot of good-byes to say, but looking forward to moving to San Francisco.

Joshua: We’re going to say goodbye to California central coast, goodbye to the sea lions and the seals and hello to the big city, at least the big city on the West Coast. Guys, you have a great one. @JZimmy67, @Athnet, @DavidRFrank. You guys know the drill. Thanks.

#15 Recruiting Corner: How to Find Scholarships, Multi-year Scholarships and Social Media in Recruiting


You can leave questions in the comments below.

Joshua: Hey guys, welcome back. You know what time it is. We’re back with another Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman, David Frank.

David: Hey guys, how’s it going? Just a quick reminder, subscribe to our YouTube channel, get this sent to you every week once we’ve got it. Let’s get right to it. Josh, what’s going on?

Joshua: It’s March Madness. Got my Florida gear on. So taking on Marquette tonight. What about you? How’s your bracket looking?

David: My bracket, it’s tough to . . .can you say your bracket is a bust already? I think it was bust before it even got started.

Joshua: I think most people’s brackets got busted as soon as Lehigh beat Duke.

David: Yeah.

Joshua: I don’t remember the other 15 seed that won, but it’s been a pretty ugly March Madness this year. But like I say, go Florida. I’m hoping that they do well tonight. All right. So we’re jumping right in. Today we have a lot of topics to cover. Definitely going to run through them, but we’re definitely going to cover Friendship Charter School.

David: Yep, Friendship Charter. We’ve got Dante Pool, the Murray State star.

Joshua: The Volleyball Coach is bringing us more great advice.

David: Texas opposing multi-year scholarships.

Joshua: Then we have some more on, guess what, social media.

David: And people are making laws to help student athletes ask questions.

Joshua: And then, of course, we’re going to cover – I know I’m a Florida fan but – my alma mater, FSU.

David: Right, and one last thing, guys, instead of the Question of the Week, this week we’re giving away a special offer at the end of the show, so stay tuned and you’ll get a great opportunity.

Joshua: Sweet. All right, guys. So first things first, we want to jump into Friendship Charter School. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of them. They are out of Washington, D.C., and someone told me that their head coach, Abdul Rahim, has some great luck with scholarships.

David: Yeah, this is a great article. We’re going to definitely link to it in the show notes, and I wrote a blog article that explains a little bit more about it. But I think the take home message is this little charter school in Washington, D.C. is getting 19 kids off of their football team scholarships to play college football.

Joshua: It’s amazing.

David: What this coach does is just exactly what every coach and every athlete should be doing to get themselves recruited. He talks about academics. He’s talking about character. He’s talking about promoting yourself. So definitely check out the blog, check out the article. There’s just too much good stuff to cover, but we wanted to point out that article today.

Joshua: Definitely, the interesting thing with that is he’s getting 19 players with scholarships this year. Usually, only 11 per side play, which means he probably has backups that are getting scholarships.

David: He does. He’s got non-starters getting scholarships to play college football. Really, really cool. Tons of great tips. Anyways, like you said, it will be linked to in the show notes.

All right, Dante Pool, he’s a Murray State basketball star. He took kind of a bend-around path to get to Murray State and to get into the NCAA. Why don’t you explain what that is?

Joshua: So definitely, so Dante Pool is actually Murray State’s number two scorer this year. He’s having a great March Madness. We definitely wanted to talk about him for the fact that he originally signed with Colorado State University. He came up half a credit short of your NCAA eligibility, and ended up not being able to fulfill his NLI with that school because of the fact he was ineligible. He went to prep school, ended up then after prep school signing with Murray State. The interesting thing here is, kids, make sure you know what your eligibility status is. As a freshman, start looking into the core classes and follow them. Get with your guidance counselor. It would be awful to be a senior, already signing a NLI, and finding out, guess what, it’s not going to happen.

David: Yeah, and Dante was . . . kudos to him for all the hard work. He had to go to a prep school and work back his eligibility and ended up getting the opportunity at Murray State. But more times than not, those eligibility kids don’t get the opportunity.

Joshua: I definitely agree. So next up, College Volleyball Coach brought us another great article. A parent wrote in about her daughter basically being toyed around with a D-1 coach and had some confusion over the language the coach was using.

David: Yes, it’s a really great article, and I think what I like most about it was this parent was a really, really informed parent. They used some sensibility to understand and break down the coach-speak. So their daughter was kind of a fringe D-1 player and was being strung along by this D-1 program. Ultimately, the parent said she asked the question because she wanted to confirm her own suspicions. She said, “Look, I don’t think this coach is that serious about us. He’s not really giving my daughter a direct answer on where he ranks her in his recruiting class. We don’t feel comfortable with going here. Are my suspicions right? Is this just a walk-on opportunity?” And the coach does a great job of explaining yes, you are right, if coaches aren’t giving you a direct response on where they rank you in their recruiting class, they’re not that serious about having you on their team. Then he goes into some of the pitfalls about walking on that I think is really useful as well.

Joshua: Guys, keep in mind, walking on is a great opportunity, but it also can create liabilities and make you expendable. So you have to know what you’re getting into and you have to do that by asking questions.

David: Yeah. All right. So the next article is by David Ubben, and he’s got an article . . . I was actually really surprised to read this, that the University of Texas, one of the biggest athletic programs out there, opposes multi-year scholarships. So what’s that all about?

Joshua: So what’s interesting with this article is, number one, Business of College Sports just came out and they ranked all the athletic departments. Texas, in revenue, was number one, making $150 million in overall revenue last year, which is interesting to see that Texas coach, Mack Brown, with all that money that Texas has, is still opposed to multi-year scholarships. But I like his ideology. He’s opposed to it because he says, “Guess what? If I’m telling a kid that he’s getting an automatic five-year scholarship, where’s his effort? Why would he try? What’s he supposed to do to continue to use that?” Right now, at least Mack Brown can hold it over his head and say, “Guess what? If you don’t try, you don’t have a scholarship next year.” He says he needs that continuous competitive advantage there, which the multi-year scholarship now takes away.

David: Yeah, I think he’s right. And the rule, I think, itself was made like a lot of other NCAA rules, hastily to make up for a couple abuses of the privileges, but I like Mack Brown’s point. I think scholarships need to be year-to-year.

Joshua: I definitely agree. So next up, we have a joint venture by Kevin DeShazo from Fieldhouse Media, along with Ronnie Ramos from SportsJournalism.org, that are talking about perceptions of how social media might be starting to swing.

David: Yeah, so if you guys aren’t picking up on it, we talk about social media every week because social media is becoming integrated with everything about recruiting. If it’s not current student athletes, it’s prospective student athletes. It’s junior high kids on Facebook and Twitter. Both of these guys cover it that there are just some really good best practices when using social media, and they talk about the double edged sword, the term you love to use, and I think it covers social media perfectly. There are so many benefits, so many good things that it does, but there are the pitfalls of social media. People like Fieldhouse Media and Kevin, they do an excellent job of telling you the good ways and the good uses of it. Those articles are really useful for you to read them over and just get an idea of best practices.

Joshua: Definitely, guys, and like he said, a double edged sword. What he means by that is that, you know you do have people that are out there using social media for its benefit and for everything that it’s positive for. But then you do have the knuckleheads that just refuse to learn how to properly use it, and unfortunately when you bring in sometimes uneducated, immature athletes, it happens. So definitely pay attention to that article link in the notes.

David: Next one coming from Dan Fitzgerald. It talks about a new law coming down in California and what was the other state?

Joshua: Connecticut.

David: So California and Connecticut passing a law that is going to that mandate schools make student athletes aware of certain things. Essentially, it’s a law about getting student athletes to ask certain questions about their scholarship rights. What is this?

Joshua: So basically, Dan Fitzgerald is a lawyer, a sports lawyer, but he also writes for Connecticut Sports Law, which is his blog. The interesting thing to me on this is that the law passed January 1, 2012, and it basically said through – it’s called the Student Athlete Right-to-Know Act – that the athletic departments have to post and disclose information that was either previously unknown or usually unasked about scholarship opportunities. It basically says that they have to disclose all the information about scholarship renewals, how those work, exactly how they work, transfer rules, to let you know how you can and can’t transfer, as well as what is covered and not covered, including medical expenses. So as a parent or an athlete, you need to know that you have to ask these questions. Don’t just sign a scholarship offer thinking it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. You need to go in wide awake and with your eyes wide open, knowing that there are some things that might catch up in the end. I think it’s great that they are telling people that they need to ask these questions, but I also think it’s ironic that they have to pass a law so that people know that they need to ask questions.

David: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how this law actually gets mandated. It’ll probably end up as a page on the back of their website saying, “Hey, you didn’t read this page. You missed out.”

Joshua: I definitely agree, and it’s interesting only two states right now have it. So we’re waiting for the rest of the states to possibly jump on board. So next up, ESPN writer Mark Schlabach, you guys have seen him all over NFL Live and all that other stuff. He wrote an article on Florida State University’s offensive line and their international presence.

David: Right. So when you read this article, you get the impression that these football programs are going out and recruiting internationally and finding these recruits all over the world, when for me, I read this article and I read between the lines. It’s nothing like that at all. What’s happening is these kids who are maybe in their ninth or tenth year abroad in Europe or somewhere else, and they happen to be huge, 6’6″, 300 pounds, typically, they get asked to come over and play at huge high schools here in the U.S. and with a couple of years experience, end up playing at the major college level. I think the story itself is interesting. But if you’re a recruit and you read it, you’re going to think “Oh, they’re recruiting international student athletes,” and it’s not really that easy. They’re recruiting really, really big student athletes who are coming here and playing high school for one or two years. It just shows that’s what it takes to play for these types of programs. They’re not coming over to Germany and finding somebody and putting them on the line at FSU.

Joshua: Definitely. As a matter of fact, and the two that we’re talking about, Florida State right now has three international athletes. Their defensive end is from Germany, and they have two offensive tackles. One’s from, now, Switzerland, and then England. The guy from England is 6’6″, 350 pounds, and he actually used to play D-1 basketball at another school. So it’s just interesting to see where that size goes into.

David: All right, guys, so something different. Typically at this point, we talk about the Question of the Week. We wanted to let some of our viewers who might not know that we get a lot of great questions from users on our College Coaches Database. This database lets you search for schools, say your favorites, and get the contact information for coaches.

Joshua: It’s a great tool.

David: Yeah. A lot of these kids are moving forward in the recruiting process, and so what we want to do is make sure that you guys take the time and subscribe and get this link and the opportunity . . .

Joshua: The link is here.

David: . . . to join this College Coaches Database. It’s completely free. It’s free because of our relationship with our sponsors, and we want more people using this tool to get in recruiting.

Joshua: Definitely, guys. Definitely ask us questions. Once you get on the database, you’re going to notice that you have access to every college coach in the country, and you’re going to want to know how to get a hold of them. Well, don’t just start blasting out emails. Consult us. Ask us how you should be approaching this. Let us hook you up with resume templates and some ideas to help you really get a great start to your recruiting.

David: Right on. Okay. So what are you doing this weekend?

Joshua: I am packing. Guys, you guys don’t know this yet, but we are actually moving offices from Monterey, California to San Francisco, up about two hours. We’re excited, so we get the fun of packing all of our items and making a big more.

David: Yeah, we talked about a lot of cool things on the weekend – golf tournaments, skydiving. It’s boring this weekend. We’re packing.

Joshua: Guys, thanks so much for tuning in. Again, subscribe to the database please. Also, if you want to check out, all the episodes are on YouTube. Subscribe to that as well. @JZimmy67, @Athnet, @DavidRFrank, have a great one.

David: Thanks, guys.

#14 Recruiting Corner: High School Live-Streams, Letters to Coaches, & Jr. College


If you have any questions leave them in the comments below.

Joshua: All right. It’s time for another round of The Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman and David Frank as always. What’s going on?

David: Not too much, guys. I want to get started. Ask you to subscribe to our YouTube channel. That way you get the weekly episode of The Recruiting Corner, and we have over 130 video answers to the most common recruiting questions. Anything you can think to ask, we’re trying to cover it on there. So subscribe and let us know what you think.

Joshua: Definitely. I think we do a great job of addressing the questions you guys have. So definitely pay attention and we’ll help you out. So I know we have a lot to get through. I know our starting topic is going to deal with high schools and live streaming

David: Yeah. Hearing from Coach Thurmond again. He’s giving advice on how to email college coaches.

Joshua: We’re going to introduce you guys to Yuba City Hoops.

David: And UVA signs one of the top QB prospects using video.

Joshua: And then a little birdie told me that we’re talking about social media again today.

David: Right. Coach Dooley at Tennessee wants to let the NCAA know what he thinks about over- signing.

Joshua: And then we’re going to answer one of our YouTube questions, bringing us back to subscribing to our YouTube channel.

So, definitely first off we want to address a post that was brought up by The Washington Post, and they are talking about some high school lacrosse programs that are starting to live stream games. What do you think about that?

David: Yeah. I think this is a really cool thing, because this group of lacrosse teams has taken it upon themselves to make their league more visible, get that information out to college coaches. Live streaming on the Internet costs next to nothing. These games are already being filmed. All you have to do is hook that camera up to the Internet. You can live stream all these games. I think it’s a really good message.

If you’re in junior high or just starting in high school, take some time to look at the different athletic leagues in your area and see who’s being more proactive on getting their kids noticed. I think live streaming is going to become really, really commonplace. But for these first few years, it’s going to help to find the schools that are trying to do it.

Joshua: Do you feel that live streaming is going to offer a recruiting advantage for those certain areas?

David: Yeah, of course. If a coach can save some money on traveling to go see games, he can sit down, put up four live streams on different recruits he wants to watch, then it’s going to be a distinct recruiting advantage. You’re going to be able to be seen by coaches easier. So I definitely think it’s going to be the way of the future, and it’s nice to see it happening already.

Joshua: Definitely. I completely agree.

David: All right. One of our favorite blogs over with Coach Thurmond of the UW Men’s Golf Team wrote a letter a letter to everybody who’s been contacting him. He says, “Look, if you’re going to write me an email, don’t call me just ‘Dear Coach.’ Use my name and make it personal.” What are some of the take-homes for that message?

Joshua: Listen, guys, one of the biggest mistakes a recruit can make is putting “Dear Coach” at the top. And I think Coach Thurmond did a great job of basically explaining why.

When you write “Dear Coach,” all that tells the coach is you’ve done no research and that’s a form letter that you’re sending to everybody. And I read a recent article on another coach that basically said, “As soon as I see it’s a form letter and realize it’s a form letter, gone.” Bye-bye. Doesn’t care, doesn’t want to read it because you didn’t take any time as a recruit to think about why you’re applying to that school.

Listen, we all know you want a scholarship. Again, that coach knows you want a scholarship. But why else do you want to go to that program? Try thinking about, number one, addressing the coach by their name. Try thinking about why you want to go to that school. Is it the academics that are drawing you to that program? Is it the location? Is it because your family went there as well? It’s a family alma mater. Whatever it is, make it personalized and it’s going to stick a lot better.

David: That’s right. These coaches, they’re evaluating hundreds of recruits a year, and they’re making the effort to be personal and communicate with these kids. They’re asking you, in the 25 to 50 coaches you should be talking to, to take the time to be personal back. That’s how these coaches weed through the hundreds of kids that they’re talking to.

Joshua: Definitely. So next up, guys, Yuba City Hoops and Brett Ryan [SP]. Brighter Domain [SP] wrote an article that basically talked about the advantages that Yuba City Hoops has had towards not only winning in junior college hoops, but towards recruiting as well.

David: Yeah. So this is Yuba City Community College. It’s up in Northern California, and basically this coach has created a recruiting pipeline from his community college to D-1 programs all over the country. And I think the really amazing thing is this coach is getting kids recruited. Not just his two or three best players and starters, but his role players, his bench players. He’s getting five and six and seven kids a year to the next level. The story was really interesting to me that it covered that these kids recognize their role as a bench player, and they get recruited as a role player. Coaches who are recruiting them say, “I see this kid’s a team first person. I want him on my team because I know he’s going to come in and do whatever it takes to get my team to the next level.”

Joshua: Definitely. One of the highlights of that article for me was when he was talking about one of the bench players. One of his bench players was one of the best players coming out of his area, and yet he accepted the role, came in, and has been basically the sixth man for the team and has done really well and actually is going to a four-year college now. So he’s done really well. And congratulations to Yuba City.

David: Yeah. It’s a great story and we’ll have it linked to the bottom of this episode, and I highly encourage anybody that’s interested in playing at the four-year level check it out.

Next story coming from AJC.com. Love that blog and love that site, by the way. UVA signed one of the top QB prospects using video. The coach made a video for the recruit to see. He would sit down with his parents and watch it. I think it’s some really, really great take-home messages. What have you got?

Joshua: First off, guys, you can follow AJC @recruitingAJC. So, you can follow them on Twitter. Secondly, getting to the story. Listen, the cool thing that I’ve found in this post was, number one, Virginia coach Mike London recognized a couple of things. Number one, he realized that this quarterback recruit, Greyson Lambert, was a top recruited quarterback. Nick Saban was going after this kid, and I’ll be honest with you. Nick Saban does not lose very many recruiting battles.

The cool part with the way that Mike London approached this was that he realized when Greyson was going to be on campus, Mike London wasn’t going to be there. So he did create a video. Creating a video in the NCAA is sort of wishy-washy. You have to make it completely available to the public. But what he did was realize he realized the relationship that he had built with Greyson over a period of them talking. So he built a personalized, tailored video towards that person.

The cool thing to me was he realized that Greyson is interested in academics. He realized what all the important aspects of college were going to be to him, and he pitched towards those aspects.

Now, listen, the take-home message here is that when you start getting personal messages from coaches, you’re being recruited. You get a letter that says, “Dear So and So,” and it just tells you about the college and it’s all typed out and maybe it has the coach’s stamped signature on the bottom, it’s a form letter. Fill out the recruiting questionnaire. Let that college know you’re interested in them. But you’re not being recruited at that point.

When a coach starts signing you handwritten letters or inviting you to the campus and sitting you down in person and creating videos for you, gives you these personal messages, that’s when you’re being recruited and that’s the important part. The fun part for me is when I’m trying to sell myself to a school in the beginning. But, once I’m starting to get recruited, you’re going to notice that role reversal, and that coach is going to start selling himself and his university or herself and her university to you. That’s exactly what Greyson Lambert experienced in this situation.

David: Yeah, I think there are a lot of parallels in this story to the way Tim Tebow was recruited by Urban Meyer at the University of Florida. Urban Meyer did a great job of tailoring the message and understanding what it was that Tim Tebow wanted to hear. I think this bodes really well for UVA. I’d be really excited. That means you’ve got a sharp coach and great recruiters. So, things are looking up.

Joshua: Good luck to UVA this year. So, next up, guys, we’ve talked about social media a lot. Writer Dave Copeland wrote an article about the NCAA taking the pressure off schools to monitor social media. What’s this all about?

David: Yeah. So, I think this story’s a little bit misleading for the average reader. It makes it sound like the NCAA isn’t requiring schools to monitor social media. I know we’ve talked a lot about that in the past and talked about it at Vanderbilt in specifics. Their job is to monitor social media and make sure that kids aren’t violating recruiting rules. And this article says that the NCAA isn’t mandating that you monitor for social media, but you can still get in trouble for what is said on social media by your athletes. So they are indirectly requiring you to monitor it.

Basically, it’s legal jargon on the NCAA, meaning they can absolve themselves of any liability for a violation of rights for student athletes and that sort of thing. Very typical NCAA. The facts are your social media is going to be monitored, officially, unofficially, or during the recruiting process. So keep it clean and follow best practices as an athlete using social media.

Joshua: I have nothing to add. David, you said it perfectly.

David: All right. We’re going to touch on a quick note from Coach Dooley at Tennessee. He is really upset with the SEC’s new rule on over-signing, and he had some snark comments about the NCAA in his recent article. Again, from AJC.com. So, what do you have to say?

Joshua: So listen, first off, over-signing is basically when you sign more athletes than you have scholarships for, over 25. So every team can sign up to 25 athletes per year for football. What they’re complaining about is the fact that teams were signing 27, 28, 29 players, promising them scholarships and then not coming through with them.

The problem is, yes, in the beginning that does look a little morally questionable. It’s a little unethical to promise a kid a scholarship that you don’t necessarily have. But, if you play the numbers, every football team doesn’t get the 25 scholarship players they’re looking for every year. So by asking 29 and maybe getting 24, you’re still covering your losses there. The only time you miss out is when you actually sign your allotment.

The interesting thing here with over-signing is they’re not supposed to be doing it. But, yet, if they’re not signing 25 scholarship players, they’re actually still over-signing. It gets really interesting with the jargon that surrounds it. I don’t understand it. I think that a lot of athletes are going to lose out now, because, as Coach Derek Dooley said, you have injuries. You have grayshirt opportunities and stuff for kids that want to go to the school, that now won’t have an opportunity because the coach isn’t going to take a risk. They can’t over-sign any more.

David: Right. I think Coach Dooley said it perfectly. We’re still over-signing. So, just because a school can sign 25 kids in a year, it doesn’t mean they have 25 scholarships. If they only have 18 and they get 25 kids signed, those kids could still not end up with scholarships. They either have to come in at the half year. Go a year of prep school. Go to junior college. So it’s a very short-sighted rule by the NCAA again. I think it’s not the last we’ll hear of over-signing, and I’m sure it’ll be touched up and we’ll add a couple more pages to the rulebook on this one.

Joshua: So next up, guys, our YouTube question. Again, we’re promoting our YouTube this episode. Evan wrote into us on our YouTube, which you can do as well. He wanted to know because he got some advice from his mom. Now, Evan’s a freshman, and he gave us a great freshman highlight film, by the way. But Evan’s a freshman and he said that his mom told him that he cannot contact coaches right now and he has to wait until his junior year. What’s this about?

David: Right. So I think, Evan, what your mom’s understanding is when colleges can begin communicating with athletes about recruiting specific material, and that is at junior year. So, coaches can’t send recruiting-specific material until junior year. But they can send letters about their school, admissions packets, and that sort of thing to athletes whenever they want.

As an athlete, you’re allowed to contact schools whenever you want to. You can call a coach. Email a coach. You can set up a time to go visit them. And it’s really, really important as a freshman or sophomore, if you want to play top-level football, like it looks like you do, you really need to start contacting coaches at that time, finding the right camps to go to this summer, next summer, and definitely the summer after your junior year.

Joshua: Definitely. Evan, you definitely want to look towards those unofficial visits as David mentioned, and look at camps too. But make sure you’re giving the coaches your information before you go to that campus. Send them that film. It’s a good film.

David: Yeah. And also, thanks for subscribing to our YouTube channel. Evan did subscribe and we’re subscribed to him. So we’re going to get to see all his highlight videos when he sends them our way.

Joshua: Fantastic. So, any big plans?

David: It’s March Madness. I’ll just be watching basketball and hoping that my bracket doesn’t go bust in the first round games. How about you?

Joshua: I’m thinking the same. And this weekend is St. Paddy’s Day. So, everyone out there have a safe St. Paddy’s Day. Stay off the roads.

David: Thanks, guys.


#13 Recruiting Corner: 7-on-7 Football Recruiting and Character in Recruiting


Do you have questions you want us to answer on the recruiting corner? Leave them in the comments below.

Joshua: Hey guys, welcome back, another of The Recruiting Corner here. Joshua Zimmerman, David Frank, as always, bringing you the latest and greatest in recruiting news. What’s new?

David: Oh, not too much. Glad you survived the skydiving. How did that go last week?

Joshua: Skydiving was awesome, so I definitely encourage you guys. Shout out to Skydive Surf City. If you are in California’s Bay Area, definitely check it out. I got to do some flips, which was awesome. First time students are not supposed to do that, and my skydive instructor, an electrical engineer during the week, skydiver on the weekends.

David: A lot cooler than my second job.

Joshua: Definitely a nice little hobby.

David: So we’ll break down the articles we’re covering this week. Going to start off with a summit on 7-on-7 football at USC.

Joshua: We’re going to get Rich Rod’s opinions on some recruiting.

David: Prime Time Junior decides to hold out and find a better college to play his football.

Joshua: We’re going to find out from a volleyball coach how important character really is.

David: And Ole Miss trying to land the number one recruit in the nation through his best friend.

Joshua: And Twittergate. So stay tuned.

David: Yeah. All right. So we’ll go back to this USC story, so 7-on-7 football is becoming really popular for the skill positions like we talk about, and USC held a summit. They wanted to discuss how can 7-on-7 be cleaned up so it doesn’t end up like the AAU of college football?

Joshua: Number one, I love that USC is trying to clean up college sports. They’ve never cheated before. All right. So check this out. 7-on-7 is becoming interesting. It’s a hot topic because is 7-on-7 the next AAU, and is it causing the same problems that AAU did for basketball? There’s a big yes that goes along with that. So the NCAA intervened earlier this year, decided to go ahead and axe any 7-on-7 tournaments from college campuses as well as banning college coaches from attending any 7-on-7 tournaments. So what were great recruiting areas for students are no longer.

The interesting thing with 7-on-7 is it does offer a lot of benefits, and this article, written by Ted Miller, does highlight a lot of those. It does help highlight your receivers and your quarterbacks, especially if you do run a run-oriented offense. It helps get them much needed exposure. At the same time, it causes issues with agents, and basically, these street runners that are pushing kids towards moving high schools. I think one of the parts that was interesting was talking about the two coaches, and you’re basically creating a two-headed monster there. It’s hard enough for one athlete to pay attention to one coach, but when you have two coaches pulling you in two completely different directions and basically talking to college coaches on your behalf, it causes some issues.

David: Yeah, I think the long story short is that the NCAA is doing the same that led to the problems with AAU. They’re restricting coaches’ access in these recruiting opportunities. They’re great opportunities to get recruited. You need to let coaches and programs be there, or else you get the third party people involved.

Joshua: Definitely. So next on the list, we’ve got Rich Rodriguez, and he gave his opinion on some recruiting visits. Ivan Maisel, from ESPN, covered a little bit.

David: Yeah, so it was just in support of my rule, the NCAA rule change that I wanted and I brought it up a couple of weeks ago and he just says, “Look, it’s simple. We need to give recruits a chance to come on official visits, starting at least in May of their junior year.” I say great, if not earlier, and he also says we should have the right to bring in the families to these visits and pay for that visit as well, and I couldn’t agree more. You can’t ask these kids to make huge decisions that are going to impact the rest of their life and not let their families come along and ask them to make these commitments to schools before they even get to see them. So I think Rich Rod is right on that one. Now maybe he can get back to focusing on his athletes punching up people at parties down there in Tucson.

Joshua: Definitely. Yeah, I definitely agree with you on that. I do believe, especially the family aspect, I one hundred percent agree that the athletes should be able to come earlier, get better decisions, a longer period of time to make those decisions, less pressure, but the families are huge. A lot of these kids come from low economic backgrounds, and their families may not be able to afford to travel with their student athlete. So it’s definitely important.

David: Yeah. All right, Prime Time Junior, Deion Sanders, Jr.

Joshua: Neon Deion.

David: His son wants to play big-time college football. Of course, it’s the Sanders’ ego, that’s what they’re going to do. But he chose an interesting path. He decided, “I didn’t get the offers from the schools that I wanted.” He said he got a lot of offers from schools in Texas, and he has decided to hold out, play a year of prep school at a great school in Alabama, and see what offers come next year. So why don’t you explain kind of what that means for a normal recruit.

Joshua: Definitely. So I like two things about this story. Number one, Deion Sanders, Jr. played his junior year of high school as a quarterback and decided that he wasn’t going to play quarterback. He understood that. “I’m not going to play quarterback in college. I need to play a position that I’m going to play in college.” So he decided, he switched over to wide receiver and cornerback, much more position friendly for him, and he plays a little wildcat quarterback, automatically positions he will likely play in college. Then he recognized that, “Listen, I still have to develop. I’m still a raw corner. It’s a brand new position to me, I need another year.” As a recruit, you guys, use that to your advantage. Understand where you fit in the system, understand if your skills are in tune with what you want. If you really want to play D-1 ball, and maybe right now you’re a Division 3 player that has potential, maybe junior college or prep school will help you out, and I think that’s sort of what he recognized. Although he had D-1 offers, he said, “You know what? They’re not the schools I want at this point. I know if I develop, I can get there.”

David: Yeah, and I think an important thing to remember is this isn’t what you get to do when . . . the scholarship isn’t the most important thing. If you have the money to go to a really expensive prep school, or you have the opportunity to maybe spend a year walking on without that scholarship right away, this is a great way to utilize that flexibility and get the development that you need.

Joshua: I definitely, 100 percent agree. So next, The Volleyball Coach, which is a great blog to follow, and the coach, as the author, wrote an answer to a parent whose daughter has a bit of an attitude problem while playing. She’s a great athlete, but apparently she has some character issues.

David: Right. So the story goes that she’s a very talented recruit, and she’s got terrible body language. She just beats herself up. She’s really negative on the floor, and the parents want to know how’s that going to impact recruiting and what should be we be able to tell her to kind of get her to pick up her attitude and clean it up a little bit? So why don’t you explain. How important is your attitude in recruiting?

Joshua: Listen guys, you can be a great athlete, and unfortunately, great athletes can cause themselves recruiting problems with their attitudes and their character. We’ve talked about it several different times. It’s littered all over our blogs. Character is everything. So basically, you want to make sure that you’re projecting that you’re a great person at all points in time, and you have to understand, coaches are constantly evaluating you as an athlete. They’re not just looking at your film and saying, “Oh wow, great athlete. Here’s a scholarship.” No, they want to see how you interact with your fellow teammates, with your coaching staff, with them as coaching staff. That’s why they bring you on visits. It’s not only to sell you on their campus, but it’s also to see you in person and how you react in certain situations. Always know you’re being watched, and I love the fact that the coach told the mom to film her.

David: Yeah, I think he did a really good job of summarizing the article when he said at the end, from a coach’s perspective, he says, “An attitude creates problems and problems create job loss.” So that’s what a coach looks at when they look at a person with a bad attitude. That’s going to be a problem, and they can’t afford to bring that on their program.

Joshua: Nobody likes drama.

David: No, not at all. All right, next part, coming from Ole Miss, they’re going after the number one football recruit in the country. He’s considered an all everything recruit, once in a lifetime type of talent. He might be, he might not be, but what they decided to do at Ole Miss is go ahead and offer his best friend a scholarship in an effort to try and lure in this number one recruit. As you said, probably not the first time this has happened in recruiting, but go ahead and give us some of the ramifications.

Joshua: So, what I see here is a chain reaction. Number one, love the strategy. If you’re going after a kid you really want, why not invite his buddies, his family, his cousin, his cousin’s cousin, whatever it takes to get that kid? That really is the mentality in Division 1-A football, whatever it takes. So they’re doing this. Now, notable, let’s not forget that his best friend is also a D-1 talent corner. He has already gotten offers from D-1 schools. So it’s not like Ole Miss is taking the water boy, but they are choosing to bring on a kid that they may not have recruited otherwise, if they weren’t going after his best friend. Other schools are going to jump on the bandwagon because Ole Miss has now set a precedent, and every school either has to meet and/or exceed that precedent to be able to lure this athlete in.

He’s taken a visit to Clemson. Clemson is mildly interested in this kid’s best friend. Well now, they had better become really interested if they want the other kid to commit. Georgia’s going to do the same thing. I’m sure Alabama is going to jump on it, and those are his top four schools.

David: Right, and see, you’ve got to understand, at these top levels and these programs, scholarships are used like money. They’re used in exchange for getting the athletes that they want, and sometimes a star recruit is worth two or maybe even three scholarships, if you can get that one kid on your team. It’s really, really big business. It’s really, really impersonal sometimes, and just be prepared. If that’s where you want to play and that’s what you want to do, you have to understand the business of it.

Joshua: Definitely. So next guys, I like to call it Twittergate. We talk about social media all the time. Listen, so the AP wrote a story about some Michigan recruits who got in trouble for tweeting a prospective student athlete. Notre Dame got in trouble for tweeting prospective student athletes, and then Kevin DeShazo, from the Fieldhouse Media, also wrote an article on tweeting. Why don’t you go ahead and talk about that.

David: It feels like every single week we’re getting more and more articles about Twitter and recruiting, Twitter in this, and Twitter in the NCAA. From the Michigan story, these guys got in trouble because after a kid made a commitment to the University of Michigan, some guys who play football for them tweeted out to him and said congratulations. I don’t see that as a problem necessarily. I think that this guy has made a commitment. These guys are recognizing that and they want to say kudos, looking forward to having you on the team.

At Notre Dame, it’s a little bit different story. Those guys were tweeting out to a recruit who was making an official visit. That guy had not committed to this school. He had not done anything of the sort, and these guys were trying to influence him before he had made a commitment to the school. I see that the NCAA could have a problem with that, but again, you’re starting to split hairs and I wish the NCAA would just say, “Listen, if kids want to talk to kids and other recruits, let them go at it.”

I think that’s the point that Fieldhouse Media tries to make. Fieldhouse Media is a company that wants to teach athletic programs and recruits the positive benefits of Twitter and social media. All the time we’re reporting on the negative things that happen, the bad things that happen with Twitter or Facebook, people getting in trouble. What they don’t understand is that it’s a huge benefit. You get to reach your audience, reach your recruits a lot more, and that’s what Fieldhouse Media is focused on. I think Kevin’s got the right idea. Twitter’s not going anywhere. The NCAA can make a million rules one way or the other, but the fact is it’s here to stay, and we’re going to need to find a positive use for Twitter.

Joshua: Definitely, yeah, and it’s pretty interesting to see how things play out. Granted, the NCAA has put rules in place that say, “You know what? If you represent the school in any way, you can’t contact a prospective student athlete in a public forum.” But I do think that done in the proper ways, it can help programs out, especially smaller programs that may not have the media coverage that some of your larger programs have.

David: Yeah. I still think, for all of you recruits out there, if you guys are interested in a particular school, friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter. You get a great idea of learning about the coaches, the staff, the team environment. It’ll really, really help you find a program that’s a right fit. Social media is a great, great tool for doing that. So I highly encourage you guys to friend and follow the teams that you want to play for.

Joshua: Again, I one hundred percent agree.

David: Right on. All right. So social media, going to our Facebook question of the week coming from St. Clair Soccer Association. They work with youth soccer players and they asked: “At what age should kids begin thinking about their recruiting?”

Joshua: Definitely a great question, popular question. We love when the big club teams are asking us questions. So check this out. I know that you guys work with kids from 3 to 18. Usually, that 3 to about 13 is a little young to really start thinking about recruiting. But once you hit that 13 to 14 mark, entering your freshman year in high school, it’s really important to start, especially with soccer, because soccer recruiting starts early. So usually freshman year, check it out. You want to make sure you’re giving coaches all the right information, and you want to make sure that you’re creating good videos, so as a club, try helping and providing kids with video services.

David: Yeah, I agree. The other thing, when we talk about getting started your freshman year, it’s as simple as creating a wish list of schools. Look at schools at the D-1 level, look at some D-2 and NAI schools, and as a family, you guys can sit down with your families and say, all right, these are the camps that your kid should probably be going to, if these are the schools that he’s going to want to go to. That’s how you get started your freshman year. The scholarship offers will come if you are attending camps and in contact with those schools.

Joshua: Definitely, and take unofficial visits as often as possible. You can take them as a freshman, you can take them as a sophomore, and that’s where the camps become involved as well guys.

Well, I think that’s all for us today. Any big plans?

David: Not too big of plans on the weekend. I’ve got a golf tournament coming up, first tournament in two or three years, so I need to get out and hit the links.

Joshua: He’s a handicap 103. Average score.

David: Yeah. So I’ve got to get some practice. How about you? What are you doing this weekend?

Joshua: I think I’m going to chill out, man. Last weekend was pretty adrenaline-filled, so I think this weekend I’m just going to hang out and see what happens.

Guys, you know the drill. @JZimmy67, @DavidRFrank, @Athnet. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact us. Have a great one.

David: Thanks, guys.

#12 Recruiting Corner: HS vs. Club Sports, Recruiting Strategies, Unofficial Visits, Duel-Sport Athletes


Do you have questions you want answered? Leave them in the comments below.


Joshua: Hey guys, welcome back. You know what time it is. Another round of The Recruiting Corner. Joshua Zimmerman welcoming back David Frank how are things going?

David: Good. Good to be back missed out last week, so happy to share some news this week.

Joshua: Glad to have you back guys. Just a reminder you can catch all of the episodes via YouTube. Check out Athnet Sports along with all of our frequently asked questions as well. So there’s a lot of information on there to help you through your recruiting process. So David, what do we have going on today?

David: Lots of news per usual in recruiting. We’re going to start off with somebody else coming out against high school sports in favor of club teams.

Joshua: Definitely. We’re also going to talk about whether using the newspaper is a great way to get recruited or not.

David: I think we know the answer to that already. We get to hear from a D1 coach who gives us his policy on recruiting overseas and a little bit of insight into how other coaches recruit overseas.

Joshua: Definitely. We’re also going to talk about how beneficial unofficial visits can be.

David: And more about dual sport athletes and whether you should try and remain a dual sport athlete or not.

Joshua: And because we’ve forget it last week, we’re going to go ahead and do two Facebook questions this week as well. So lots and lots to go. Why don’t you go ahead and get us started off

David: All right. Well, the first story is coming from Bill Wells, and his article is “College Recruiting Process Swing Towards Clubs.” This is again another article about how important clubs are becoming in recruiting and sort of against high school sports. So why don’t you explain what it is about.

Joshua: Basically, what he’s talking about in this is how heavily weighted the club sports are becoming versus the high school sports. We talked about it a couple of weeks ago, and really it’s a stress-er. It’s great to see another writer coming out and saying the exact same thing that we are saying and seeing the exact same thing that we are seeing. The trend is that high school sports for many, many sports are sort of falling off. I mean, you’ve got swimmers that are competing in heavy club sports. You’ve got soccer players. You’ve got baseball players. The reason behind it, what I found interesting, is because not only do the coaches get to see all the top level athletes in one particular area, but also that it’s opposite their season. So it’s really hard for a baseball coach to go during baseball season and recruit. It’s very easy for a baseball coach to go during the fall when they’re not doing anything to recruit. So it’s really interesting, and that’s why club sports are becoming so prevalent

David: Yeah. I thought that was a great point. It is that it’s out of season for them and they can go and see you during your club season.

Joshua: Definitely. So guys, check this out. Sticking with Bill Wells, he wrote an article because some parents were a little miffed at the fact that there was an error in the newspaper about their athlete, and they thought that that was going to hurt them in the recruiting process, because they thought that the newspaper was actually going to help them get recruited

David: Yeah, and Bill Wells know something that we’ve also found out. I get it from parents and athletes all the time, like, “Oh, do you think that I should share my newspaper clippings with coaches?” No. Coaches don’t want to see the newspaper clippings. They don’t cull the newspapers to find out information about recruits. It’s not an important piece of information for college coaches. It’s great. I know it makes you feel good, warm and fuzzy that you got in the newspaper and maybe you got a picture. But I’m telling you keep that in the scrapbook. Don’t send it to coaches and don’t waste their time

Joshua: Definitely. I still have my scrapbook from when I was in high school. Unfortunately, I don’t think a college coach ever called me, as heavily recruited as I was for a little while, I don’t think any one of them said, “Hey, I saw you in the newspaper. I think you’re a good athlete.” So just keep that in mind guys.

David: My scrapbook articles are all, “Oh, yeah, the cross country team ran.”

Joshua: Nice.

David: All right. We get to hear from Coach Thurmond again at the University of Washington. He got a question from an athlete presumably overseas who says, “What’s your policy on recruiting overseas, and when you go overseas, is there a lot of pressure for that athlete to commit once you’re there?”

Joshua: Definitely. Great question. Coach Thurmond has a wonderful blog, and it’s really great to hear from him as a D1 coach a at this point. Listen, as an international athlete, your opportunities to get recruited are ten times harder than it is for someone here in the United States, and that is simply because of access. It’s really expensive for a coach to board an international flight, go overseas, stay internationally for a period of time, and then come back. So when they do go, they have to not only have the budget to support that, but also they have to make it worthwhile, and that was one of the big things that Coach Thurmond said. If they’re going overseas, they’re going for a specific reason. It’s not for one athlete. Normally, it’s for multiple athletes, and the pressure there to commit is huge because if they flew all that way and they spent all that money to come see you, you better be the athlete that they really want.

David: Yes, that’s right. I think another take home message is he says most programs do make at least one trip overseas a year, and they go to the biggest tournaments available. He’s a golf coach, and he talks about going to either the European Boys Championship or something like the UK Boys Championship. If you’re not playing in those tournaments, you’re going to miss out on probably 90% of the coaches who are coming overseas to see you. So really good insight. Another great article from Coach Thurmond.

Joshua: Definitely. So check this out. A couple of major D1 athletes are taking unofficial visits. We read a story from Michael Carvell from AJC.com out of Atlanta, and then also from Jeff Borzello at CBS Sports. They basically talked about two athletes. One of them was a commit for Georgia and Nick Saban sort of had a deal with him, and then also Shabazz Muhammad. You can go ahead and talk about that in basketball.

David: So the story goes these two very high-end recruits – Shabazz Muhammad by the way is the number one or two top basketball recruit in the country – and what it talks about is the extensive amount of unofficial visits these guys have been going on. In the case of going up to see Coach Saban in Alabama, this recruit got in a car with all of his buddies, drove up to Alabama on his own, and was in the office with Nick Saban. Shabazz Muhammad, the story was reported he made over 15 unofficial visits across the country. I think the really, really important news is that guys, if the best recruits in the country, the biggest names in recruiting are getting out there and seeing schools on their own dime, then you really, really need to make the effort to see these schools. Pile in the car with all your buddies, make a road trip up there to see these coaches, and make sure that you establish with these coaches that you’re coming so that when you are there you can visit with them. Two really, really good articles just to promote those unofficial visits.

Joshua: Definitely. As David said and he mentioned in there, listen, unofficial visits are completely on you. Coaches aren’t paying for anything, which means that you have to go. The unfortunate part for Shabazz is the fact that he had some people pay for his unofficial visits, and it could cost him a little bit of eligibility. But I know that’s still and the thing, you have to pay for it. So keep that in mind. This isn’t something that maybe family friends or business friends or whatever. This comes from your family and it’s tough. But they are a necessity in recruiting these days.

David: Right. Exactly. I think unofficial visits are not an option. It’s a necessity.

Joshua: Definitely. So next?

David: Next, coming up Monica McNutt, she wrote a great article. It’s “Transition Game, The Dual Sport Dilemma.” She talks about the difficulties of being a dual sport athlete in high school and how it impacts recruiting.

Joshua: Definitely. Listen, I was a dual sport athlete in high school for a couple years. I played soccer and I played football. My football coach sat me down and he said, “Listen, Josh, are you going to play college soccer? You’re a good soccer player. You’re not a great soccer player. You’re a great football player. Which is going to pay for your college education?” And I said, “Football probably.” He said, “Exactly. You need a quit soccer.” I was a sophomore in high school when we had that discussion. Probably the best decision I made at that point because soccer just wasn’t going to take me anywhere. Many, many high school athletes face this, and Monica McNutt talks about the fact that sometimes being a dual sport athlete hurts you more than it helps you, and that’s because it does take you away from maybe your bread and butter sports. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s great to say you are three-sport athlete. But if you find yourself losing focus, then sometimes it’s better to focus on one sport than try to be Mr. All American.

David: Yes, and I think that just goes for the advice to those top level recruits. These coaches need to see you playing year round, and you can’t play other sport if you’re trying to be at these elite programs.

Joshua: Definitely. Keep in mind, guys, if you play a sport, like let’s say its football and track. If you are a wide receiver and you’re a sprinter, those sort of go together, so that’s okay. If you’re a lineman and you’re a thrower, it’s sort of okay. But if you’re trying to play football, baseball, and soccer or you’re trying to play a fall, winter, and a spring sport, it’s really, really taxing. You need some time to let your body rest.

David: Yes, exactly. All right. So on to our Facebook questions. We have two coming from Thomas, two excellent questions by the way. First one up is he wants to know, “I’m emailing coaches. How do I get more responses?”

Joshua: Right now, Thomas, unfortunately emailing is not enough. Depending on your age, I realize that some people think you can or cannot contact. But right now you can contact coaches. So instead of just sending emails, we want to go ahead and make sure that you’re calling coaches, that you’re setting up unofficial visits, that you’re making sure that you’re persistent enough to let that coach know that you want this beyond just sending one e-mail.

David: Right. If you are only able to send email, something that is really important is make it personalized. Don’t write a “Dear I’m interested in your university,” put the university’s name in the title. Put the coach’s name in the title. Let them know that it’s addressed to them personally and not just some email you’ve been sending out to every other coach.

Joshua: That’s a great point.

David: All right. The next question Thomas asks and he goes, “Coach got back to me. He said, ‘I’ll follow up.’ But what should I do?”

Joshua: So basically, listen, if you get any response from a coach, feel lucky, because a lot of times coaches don’t respond automatically. If you get a response, respond back to them and thank them. You need to let them know that you care that they took their precious time and wrote you back. What you can do in that email is just let them know that you’re looking forward to corresponding with them over the next period of time, and always ask them how they prefer to receive their information, because some coaches might prefer email over phone, but some coaches want you to maybe call in once a week and just let them know an update on. So you might want to ask that question as well.

David: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Coaches, they’ll never get tired of hearing from a recruit once a week, once every two weeks with just an update. So if he says he’ll follow up, great, but don’t just take his word for it. Be ready to give him that new information when you get it and stay up to date on your contact.

Joshua: Definitely.

David: I think that about covers it.

Joshua: I think we wrapped it up today.

David: So what’s up for the weekend?

Joshua: You know, I’m actually jumping out of an airplane this weekend. So if you guys don’t see me, it’s been fun. But definitely going to try that, getting to go skydiving on Sunday. Yourself?

David: I can’t compete with that. I’m just going to be hanging out at home. No skydiving for me.

Joshua: You were dog sitting this weekend. So you get to have some fun there, Guys, thanks so much for tuning. Listen, as always, if you have questions, definitely hit us up on Facebook and on Twitter. We always answer them, and maybe we can make you part of the show. You know our Twitter handles @JZimmy67, @Athnet, and @DavidRFrank. Thanks for tuning in.

David: Thanks guys.