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#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.

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