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What Your Local College Recruiting Story Isn’t Telling You

local sports sectionAll across the country newspapers publish stories about the local star athletes who are getting recruited by the top college coaches. These are great stories meant to fill communities in on what’s happening with their top local prep athletes. Unfortunately, these are also the stories that many parents and athletes use are their bases for understanding how the recruiting process works.

For 99% of recruits, your process will be nothing like the all-everything star DI recruit. I recently came across one such article written in the Las Vegas Sun about start quarterback Drew Doxtator (here is the article) and wanted to use it to explain some of the recruiting myths it promotes.

“Still waiting for a written scholarship offer”

Do you know why he is waiting for a scholarship offer, because the written offers can only be made during the national signing period. The first official offer can’t be made until February 5th of 2014 when the signing period for football begins. Anytime you hear about a scholarship offer or commitment from an athlete not in their senior year, it is unofficial, which means it officially means nothing.

“Has been contacted by more than 40 schools including Stanford, Wisconsin, UNLV…”

Most recruits will probably only have serious recruiting interest from 5-10 schools if they are proactive in contacting the coaches first. Chances are you do not have the raw athletic potential and combination of stats that is going to get college coaches trying to reach you. For many most of the players on college rosters, they were the ones who let the coach know they were interested in that school before the coach started recruiting them.

“He confirmed his status as an elite recruit… passing for 450 yards per game in a three game stretch…”

Too many recruits and parents are stats obsessed. We are always hearing complaints about not getting the minutes, looks, or opportunities to put up the numbers. The reality is your stats are only part of what coaches look at. There are major DI basketball players who scored under 10 points per game in high school and DIII athletes who averaged over 20 per game and were the best in the history of their school. Coaches recruit on ability and potential, stats don’t matter as much as you think.

“The kid gets a ton of mail, the college coaches all know who he is…”

You don’t need a ton of mail and every college coach to know who you are in order to have a successful recruiting process and receive a scholarship. Technically, you only need one coach to know about you, the right one. Don’t get caught up in stroking your ego with how many coaches you have contacting you or how much mail you receive. These are just for vanity; you want to use your time finding the school that is right for you. Make sure you establish a good relationship with the coaches that matter, not getting yet another school you will never attend to try and contact you.

“Recruiters are always calling…”

Too many athletes assume college coaches are going to be calling all of the time. This couldn’t be further from the truth. College coaches very rarely call just to see if an athlete is interested. When you hear situations like this where coaches are calling all of the time, it is because they have already sent letters, communicated over email and are just following up to continue to develop the relationship with a recruit. For the majority of recruits (this means you) the responsibility to stay up to date with coaches is yours.

This article might sound cynical but it is important you understand what recruiting is like for the majority of recruits. Being successful in finding a scholarship and getting recruited doesn’t require every coach know your name. You need to find the right school and find out if that coach is interested in you.

Do you have questions about what to do next? You can contact me on Google+ here.


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