Once you have established contact with a program, it is important you figure out how interested that school is. The challenge with this is that coaches aren’t just going to tell you exactly where they have you ranked. As a recruit or a parent, you will have to read between the lines to figure this out. In this article I explain some of the common things that happen in the recruiting process and how they be used to gauge a programs level of interest.
Scholarship Size Doesn’t Always Mean a Higher Ranking
In sports that divide their scholarships, getting a larger scholarships amount doesn’t mean you are a more valuable recruit. For example, in a sport like Softball or Baseball, pitchers get far more of the scholarship money than other positions. So you might be the top ranked recruit at your position and receiving a smaller scholarship offer than the 4th or 5th best pitcher. Another example is in track and field. Each event coach might have a limited amount of scholarship money. Because sprinters can score more points than an athlete competing in a single event, the 3rd or 4th best sprinter will often get a better scholarship offer than the 1st or 2nd best single event athlete. Don’t assume that just because you aren’t getting a significant scholarship, coaches aren’t interested in you.
How Long Do You Have to Decide on Your Offer?
In the race to lock down recruits early, coaches are routinely making verbal scholarship offers. Many times these offers these offers comes with a time limit, where a coach will need to know if you accept the offer in a few days or weeks. Based on how long you have to decide, you will get a sense for where the coach has you ranked:
- Offers made to multiple athletes and first one to commit gets it – If a coach has several recruits they have ranked about the same, they will offer all of the athletes at the same time and let them know the first one to commit gets the scholarship. The coach thinks enough of you to offer, but they are willing to take other commitments ahead of you.
- You have days or weeks to decide – As a program begins to hit or miss on commitments from their top recruits, they make offers to their secondary recruits. This can be the athletes ranked 3-5 depending on the class size.
- There is no timeline, just let us know – This type of offer is reserved for the top recruits in a class. The coach is basically saying, “We are willing to wait (for right now) because there is no one else we would rather have.” If you are fortunate enough to be in this position, you should still seek to get some sort of timeline even if it if your own.
Things Aren’t as Bad as You Think
Most of the time, the only time recruits or families are really concerned about “where they stand with coaches” is when they think something is wrong. In general, things are not as bad as you think. If a coach has gone a few days or weeks without contacting you, it doesn’t mean all is lost. It is best to relax, make sure there wasn’t anything you were supposed to get back to them with (film, transcripts, test scores) and then contact them to check in. Coaches are busy people and wearing many different hats (coach, recruiter, spouse, parent) and it is easy for things to get lost in the shuffle.
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