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#9 Recruiting Corner: Grey Shirting and Gauging a Coaches Interest

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

Joshua: Hey, guys. Another round of The Recruiting Corner coming at you. Joshua Zimmerman, David Frank. How’s it going David?

David: Going really well.

Joshua: Fantastic.

David: Lots of great news coming this week. We’ll be covering all sorts of stories. We’ll let you know what’s the chance your volleyball coach is going to quit when you’re still in school. We’ll be talking about what coaches need to see in order to answer your emails. We’ll cover what schools do, how schools allow different athletes to use social media, what happens if you get injured, and some really cool interest stories about disabled athletes going on to the college level.

Joshua: Lots and lots to cover today, guys. So definitely stay tuned.

David: All right. We’ll start right with it., this guy is the volleyball stats guru. He covers everything about college volleyball, has some great statistics. Just released a blog a couple of days ago, and some really interesting information that says that there’s a 60% chance that after four years a college coach is going to transfer schools. So, what’s the take home message for a volleyball recruit?

Joshua: The interesting part here is that it is volleyball. Volleyball isn’t really covered too much in national college news, like football and basketball coaching changes and such, but coaching changes happen. The interesting part to me is that, as a recruit, you need to look beyond the coaching staff for why you’re choosing that school because of the fact, as David just informed us, after four years, or during that fourth year, there’s a 60% chance that your coach at that point might not be your coach.

Then, I believe another statistic in that was at five years, there’s a 75% chance that the coach won’t be that coach. So, if you’re an early commitment, say you committed really, really early, then all the sudden, guess what, that coach that you committed to isn’t that coach anymore. That commitment might or might not be there for the new coach. So really interesting things. Pick schools for education, pick schools for location. Look beyond the coaching staff.

David: Yeah, very, very good points. All right. Coming from Coach Thurmond is the University of Washington men’s golf coach, runs a blog where he answers questions for recruits. A really great one caught my attention this week. I wanted to share it with you guys.

Somebody asked him, they said, “How can you tell if a coach is interested in you?” Josh, what was his response, and what should they know?

Joshua: I really agree with the way that he put it. That’s pretty much, if a coach is interested in you, you’re probably going to know. Now, I agree with that mostly, but I do believe that the athletes have a responsibility to go beyond, possibly, one email. A lot of people just think send this stuff out and the coaches are going to come crawling back.

Unfortunately, you need to have a persistence to you. You need to understand that what you’re sending them is quality information. Take the time to get to know that coach. Take the time to build a relationship. Don’t just send an email saying, “Hi, my name’s Joe Recruit. I want a scholarship.”

The coaches are very aware of why you’re emailing them. Instead, take a little bit of time. Do some research on the coach. Do some research on the school. Do some research on the programs. Be able to tell the coach why you’re interested in their program, why you’re interested in their school. Do you like their academics? All sorts of different things to try and gain their attention beyond, “Hey, I want a scholarship.”

David: Yeah, great points. If you haven’t checked it out, is a great blog, whether you’re playing golf or not. He answers questions for recruits of all sports, and I’d definitely check it out.

All right. News coming from ESPN. LSU player was given a sixth year of eligibility. If you don’t know, the rules are you get five years to compete four years. So, how did he end up with six?

Joshua: Well, in his case, and what you see, usually about one or two players a year is a medical redshirt. He was injured his senior season, was not able to play his senior year. He submitted his information to the NCAA for review, which is exactly how you get a sixth year. It’s not a guarantee if you get injured. It has to go under review, and many athletes are denied. But he submitted it for review and actually was able to earn a sixth year. So he can come back and finish his career out on the field, which is nice, but don’t count on that sixth year.

David:            No. Count on five, play four.

News coming from We talk a lot about social media, what’s going on, schools getting in trouble, recruits having issues when they commit. They did a cool little study. They asked over 10 D1 programs about their social media policies, and some interesting ideas coming out of there. What did you see?

Joshua: What I found interesting about this was, number one, North Carolina was one of the programs. We featured North Carolina, I believe on the last episode, just quickly, about how they actually had NCAA sanctions against them for failure to monitor social media. They actually don’t have a policy against social media at this point. When Butch Davis was the head coach, which he’s now not, he did ban football players from using social media. Now they’ve re-instituted the fact that they can. They are monitoring it, but they haven’t banned it completely.

Another interesting point was that every D1 department that they polled actually didn’t ban social media, but some sports did. So, although the overall institution didn’t say you couldn’t use social media, individual sports said you weren’t allowed. One of the things was Boise State. Their football players are not allowed to use Twitter, whatsoever. Chris Peterson says absolutely not on that. While they can have Facebook accounts, but they have to be set to private, and all of that is monitored.

So some pretty interesting stuff. Check out the article if you want to learn more about the different polls.

David:            Yeah. The take home there is that’s the way it’s going to be. Each team’s going to have their own policy. So, if you’re interested, if you want to have Twitter, if you want to have Facebook, if you want to use social media as a college athlete, you’re going to have to talk to your coach about that in the recruiting process. Make sure you know what to expect going forward.

All right. So, Facebook question of the week coming from Emmanuel, wants to know:  “What happens if I get injured? Will I lose my scholarship?”

This ties in to some stories coming from Alabama about some not so nice recruiting practices. Why don’t you give us a rundown?

Joshua: So basically, Emmanuel, with the way scholarships are set up right now, now granted, again, we covered it a few episodes ago, they have brought in multi-year scholarships, but don’t count on getting one of those. For the most part, most athletes sign one year scholarships, which means, if you get injured and it’s a career threatening injury, you could lose your scholarship. Now, if you hurt your ankle, you need to be out a couple weeks, they’re not going to pull your scholarship there. If you blow out your knee and you can never play again, there’s an opportunity.

With Alabama what’s interesting is Alabama is right now in the hot seat for pulling scholarships on athletes who got hurt in high school, not only hurt in high school, but they were commits to the University of Alabama for over a year. Unfortunately, when it came to signing day, Alabama recruited better athletes than what these athletes were and pulled their scholarships. Now these athletes had to sign with other programs and are pretty upset about the fact that they thought they were going to Alabama, they committed to Alabama, they were going to sign with Alabama on signing day. Nick Saban said, “Sorry, guys. We found better athletes. Your scholarships no longer are good.” They were offered gray shirt opportunities instead.

David:            Yeah. I think one of the things that I like to see when reporters are reporting about that story is that’s a really common practice, especially at D1 football. So, it’s not necessarily that Alabama is the only program pulling scholarships from guys who get injured their senior year. That happens a lot. It’s an unfortunate aspect of recruiting at that top level. You’ve just got to be aware. If you’re going to be a D1 football player and you get injured, you’ve got to understand it’s business, man.

Joshua:            It is.

David:            It’s business. There’s millions of dollars at stake. That’s why they lost their scholarship offers, because they couldn’t come into the program right away.

Joshua:            I mean think about it, you guys. Just a quick point here. Think about what David just said. It is a business, and although kids’ feelings are hurt, it’s a business. Now, in the real world, if I was going out for a job and my bosses found a better qualified candidate and I lost a job opportunity to that better qualified candidate, I can be angry about the fact I lost out on a job, but they were doing what was right by their company by hiring the better qualified candidate. So, football works the same way. Saban went after better athletes, and unfortunately someone had to lose.

David: Yeah. So, on the topic of football, want to give a shout out to our own blog for a change. We just released two awesome infographics this week where we broke down the average size of college football players on offense and defense, and we separated it out by position and division level. For our recruits, you can go on there. You can check it out. You say, “All right. I want to play running back. I’m this big, and I want to check out how big are they at the college level at D1, at D2, at NAIA?” So, shout out to ourselves for a change. Get on there, check it out, and let us know what you think.

Joshua: Hey, David, according to the statistics I’m 6’1″, 190 pounds. Can I play offensive tackle for LSU?

David: You might be able to play safety. All right. Josh wanted to give a shout out to Tyler Sharp. Why don’t you tell them what that’s all about?

Joshua:  Basically, I came across this story. As a human interest piece, I thought it was really interesting. Tyler Sharp is a swimmer out of the state of Washington. He’s actually four seconds off of being a state qualifier in his first year of swimming in high school. He also is disabled. He has one arm cut off just below his elbow. So, pretty interesting.

That story reminded me of another story in Anthony Robles, which is now the NCAA wrestling champion for ASU. What really was interesting about that was just how these disabled athletes can actually make a run at college sports. Anthony Robles was not recruited out of high school, although he was two years undefeated as an athlete, which means he was extremely, extremely good and still had to walk on at ASU. So, pretty interesting. I like seeing it when those athletes are able to overcome their disability and really compete.

David: Yeah, right on. It’s a cool story for Tyler Sharp. Definitely hope he makes it to the state championship this year. All right. That’s going to wrap it up. Another sunny day on the West Coast for the weekend. What are you doing?

Joshua:  David, we’ve had beautiful weather. There are a ton of professional golfers and celebrities in town, and I am going to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

David: That’s where I’ll be. I’ll be watching Tiger Woods, Tony Romo tee it up at Pebble Beach. So I can’t ask for much better to do on the weekend than that.

Joshua: All right, guys. We’re going to go enjoy our golf weekend. You guys have fun. Any questions you ever have, @JZimmy67, @DavidRFrank. You guys know the company tag, @Athnet. Appreciate it. Have a great one.

David: Thanks. Bye.

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