Return to Blog

#8 Recruiting Corner: Do High School Sports Matter Anymore?

Do you have questions you want answered on the Recruiting Corner? Ask them in the comments below.

Joshua: Hey guys, welcome back to another round of The Recruiting
Corner. Joshua Zimmerman, David Frank, as always. How are things going?

David: Going well, loving it. Obviously, if you don’t know, signing
day was this week, this past Wednesday. Awesome news coming as
always. No puppies, no crazy over the top stories this year, but
lots of interesting stuff. We’ll get right to it. Coming from, great story about the Twitter backlash on
commits. It’s getting crazy. What’s going on?

Joshua: So basically, we talk about social media quite a bit and the
way that social media might be able to help you out as a
recruit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that
use social media for negative impacts. We read it on as David mentioned, and we saw a lot of
athletes who are getting negative feedback on their choices of
their college commit. So basically, obviously being signing day,
football was the big highlight. There were a lot of athletes
that basically took it in the pants for the fact that they made
the choices they did, and a lot of people were saying some
pretty rude stuff. That’s an unfortunate part of the social
media process that you sort of have to be open to and realize
when you have an account like that, but it’s still unfortunate.

David: Yeah, no good to see, but there’s nothing we can stop about it.
It’s going to be a trend you’re just going to have to learn to
deal with. Another story, okay, maybe it wasn’t any puppies and
crazy stories, but this one’s ridiculous. Casanova McKenzie
committed to Auburn over Clemson because Auburn was closer to a
Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Joshua: I don’t disagree with him. I love Chick-fil-A. It’s a fantastic
restaurant. Shout out to Chik-fil-A there. But yeah, pretty
crazy. You know we talk about recruits all the time that are
going to be choosing their schools because of the academics the
schools can offer them or because of the athletic opportunities.
Possibly they want to be near a city. Maybe they want to be as
far away from a city. They like the region, they like the
weather, whatever. Those are important things to focus on. He
chose Chick-fil-A. I can’t argue with him. I may not understand
it. But at the same time, I wanted to be close to a Chick-fil-A

David: At least he knows what he wants out of a school. Better than
some recruits I suppose. I wanted to follow up on a story from
last week. Junior Gnonkonde was the defensive end recruit we
covered who got his scholarship pulled by Georgia Tech. Good
news for Junior. He actually committed before signing day but
signed yesterday with the University of North Carolina. Georgia
Tech QBs watch out. Junior is coming for you.

Joshua: Revenge is sweet.

David: Yeah. So one important thing to remember is signing day gets
tons of publicity. You’ve got kids signing all over the place.
But you’ve got to remember this is just the start of the signing
period. This is not the only time to sign a scholarship. So
really what’s the news for kids going forward? What’s the
signing period all about, and what do kids need to know?

Joshua: Well basically, guys, understand that February 1st is the first
day of signing period. August 1st is the last day of signing
period. And there’s a marker in there in the beginning, which
would be April 11. So there are different sports signing at all
different periods, and of course they’re for the D1 and D2
divisions as well. So basically, just understand that a lot of
hype is put around February 1st, but it’s not the only day that
kids are signing scholarships. And football wasn’t the only
signing period that opened yesterday. So there are a lot of
other sports that opened up as well.

David: Right, it’s a trickle down. So once you get the top schools
committing and locking up their classes, the schools underneath
start to see what kids are available. It’s this time as a senior
it’s critical you get out there, you contact coaches, because
there’s a really good chance you can fill a seat that they need
because maybe some recruits that they were hoping would fall to
them didn’t fall. So it’s just the start, but you’ve got to get

Joshua: Definitely.

David: All right. Great article coming from the LA Times. Author Eric
Sondheimer wrote a really great piece about, in his opinion, how
high school sports aren’t becoming as important in the
recruiting process, and he’s really pushing like the club sports
and the travel ball. Why don’t you explain what that story’s all

Joshua: Well, I agree with his opinion 50%. So basically, what he’s
stating is about a baseball player in Southern California that
earned a scholarship to University of San Diego by not playing
high school baseball. He hasn’t played since his freshman year.
Instead, he opted to play some high level club ball. Most
coaches, if you play a sport that has a club, they’re going to
want to see you play that club. And I agree with that because in
club sports you see the best athletes. You see kids that are
probably going to be playing in college. I believe in the
article the UC Irvine coach said it best where they want to
recruit from the clubs because those are where the best athletes
are. Now, when you consider the high school football, high
school basketball, high school baseball, high school football
doesn’t have club sports, so you’re still going to get your best
athletes there. Basketball and baseball still are pretty heavy,
although you do have the AAU’s and things, they’re still pretty
heavy into the high school scene. So I don’t see it, but I do
see it with all your other high school sports that are more
heavily club.

David: I can’t say that you should only play travel or you should only
play high school. Play them both. If you need to make a decision
one way or the other, you need to have one of those discussions
with your coaches, both high school and travel.

Joshua: Communication is going to be key.

David: All right. Great question coming off our Facebook page, again
from Joanna Johnson. She’s got a daughter who’s a freshman,
tennis player. She wants to know, “What do we need to begin

Joshua: Joanna, thanks for participating on the Facebook page. You guys
all know you can at any point. Basically, for your daughter the
biggest thing is going to be tournaments. Tennis is one of those
sports that tournaments count, and coaches are looking for heavy
rankings. They want that USTA ranking. They want to see you
playing in the regional tournaments. They want to see you
playing in the big USTA tournaments. So you’re going to have to
start planning that out.

As you’re planning out her tournament circuit, you also want to
be looking at all her statistics. She’s a freshman this year.
You have a great opportunity to start keeping her statistics
early. If you can start keeping them early, you have the
opportunity to really show coaches her progression over a
several year period. Then also, school lists. Just because she’s
a freshman doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know what she wants at
this point. Start researching schools. Start possibly taking
visits to schools. You have an unlimited amount of unofficial
visits to use. I’d think about using some.

David: Yeah, all great points. I want to go right back to what you
were talking about the rankings and keeping track. Tennis, maybe
more so than any other sport, one big win against a highly
ranked competitor can do so much for your recruiting. It’s
really critical that as an athlete, as someone that wants to
play tennis at the college level, you’re playing against the
best, because you might not beat the best every time, but one or
two big wins can really go a long way in getting you a tennis

Joshua: Definitely.

David: All right, guys, that about wraps it up for this week. Going
into another great weekend here on the West Coast. Josh, what
are you doing?

Joshua: Super Bowl man. We’ve got the Giants/Pats game on Sunday, so
it’s definitely going to be a fun weekend. Who’s your pick?

David: I want to see the Patriots win. I think they’re going to do it.
Belichick and Brady going for that redemption against the
Giants, I think it’s going to happen. What about you?

Joshua: You know I’m a Dolphins fan at heart. I have to stick with the
AFC East. Although I despise Tom Brady when they’re playing the
Dolphins, he’s an amazing athlete and looking forward to a Pats
win as well.

David: All right. Awesome guys. Let’s wrap it up.

Joshua: Guys, hey, thanks for tuning in. You guys know you can contact
us at any point with questions @JZimmy67, @DavidRFrank, always
@Athnet. Have a great one.

David: Thanks.

Gain Exposure. Get Recruited.

Find opportunities for athletic scholarships and get connected to college coaches.