There are many obstacles on the path of college recruiting. Injuries are one of the first that come to mind, and not many people have been bitten by the injury bug quite like soccer player and Delran, Pennsylvania senior John Verzi. In his first three years of high school Verzi has had six surgeries on his ACL due to three different injuries. That’s enough to make any athlete to want to hang up their cleats. Verzi isn’t like other athletes though.
In the first game of his senior year-the first game he ever played in high school for that matter-Verzi scored a goal. All the time spent at doctors offices and in physical therapy had paid off; he finally got to do the thing he loved.
It’s Not Over
Injuries aren’t the end to your college sports dreams, but they do throw a wrench in your plans. Don’t forget about your goals because of an injury. Yes, the path you must take to make it on a college roster changes, but that doesn’t mean it’s over.
Think Critically About How You Are Going to Get There
If you were Verzi, and you still wanted to play in college, what steps would you take? Take the time while you are injured and not practicing to start to research some colleges that you have interest in playing for and you have a realistic chance of making the team. Depending on how much you have played in high school so far, you can create a highlight film to send to coaches via YouTube.
Be Honest with Coaches
You never want to lie to a college coach about anything, so don’t lie about an injury. He will find out eventually. When he does, it will severely hurt your chances of finding a scholarship. Some coaches may stop recruiting you depending on the nature of your injury, but that still doesn’t mean the dream is dead.
You Might Need to Take a Different Path
Because Verzi has missed so much time, he will likely have trouble getting recruited. If you are in the same position as him (hopefully with a few less surgeries), junior college is a great option for you. It will give you chance to play and get some experience at a higher level, plus you’ll show coaches that you were able to rehab and overcome your injuries. If you do well grade-wise and remain an NCAA qualifier out of high school, then you can transfer after one year of junior college. If not, you must complete your associates degree, which usually takes two years.
Verzi should serve as an inspiration to all athletes bitten by the injury bug. If you want to read more about him then check out the article on Yahoo Prep Rally, and remember: if he can do it, so can you!