The Scholarship Game: Do You Know How to Play?

Many athletes understand the challenges of the recruiting process but still plan on waiting for offers from the top schools. To highlight the challenges of going from being recruited to signing an offer, we want to take a look at the numbers around Mississippi’s 2013 football recruiting class.

Head coach Hugh Freeze has offered 246 verbal commitments so far for the class of 2013. This may sound like a lot of offers considering division I football programs are allotted 85 scholarships in total, and that’s because it is.

But it is even more astounding because 85 is just the total number of scholarships per program. Coaches are only allowed to sign 25 athletes per year. This means roughly only 10 percent of the kids with a verbal offer will sign with Ole Miss.

Cast a Wider Net (Number of Programs)

Between NCAA Divisions I, IAA, II, III, and the NAIA, there are just over 720 football programs. If you are at the end of your junior year waiting for an offer from the top-level schools, you need to start looking at a broader range of schools as a safety net. Ole Miss is a good program that plays in one of the six NCAA Division I Bowl Championship Series Conferences, and they have already offered 246 commitments to their 2013 class. It is no different for the other top-level schools they compete against. Maybe the number is not as high as 246 for some of the other schools, but coaches at the top levels are starting to set their 2013 recruiting classes.

College recruiting trickles down from the top level. Once the athletes at the best division I schools sign offers, the midlevel coaches will start signing the top athletes that did not get signed, and it continues like this all the way down to division III.

Think About the Pros and Cons of Attending a Particular School Once You Have an Offer

If you have a verbal commitment to the school you want to go to, you should consider all the positives and negatives of going to that school (we recommend doing this even before you have an offer). If you decide it is the right fit, accept the offer. There is no point in holding out once you have the offer you want. Verbal commitments are not binding, so you can still back out if necessary, although we recommend doing this strictly as a last resort.

If you have questions about how to get a verbal scholarship offer or how to manage them and make a decision, ask us in the comments section below or find us on FacebookTwitter, or Google+!

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