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#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.

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