The athletic recruiting process is never over until you sign your Letter of Intent

The athletic recruiting process is never over until the fat lady sings (or you sign your Letter of Intent)There is an excellent story that happened last year that involved a recruit by the name of Jonathan Davis.  What happened in his recruitment is the perfect example of how quickly things can change in the football recruiting process.  Davis had thought he ended the recruiting process early when he committed to Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.  While there is little doubt that he is talented, being a 5-foot-9 linebacker is not something that all coaches are seeking during their recruiting.

The scholarship was offered by South Carolina assistant coaches Shane Beamer and Ron Cooper.  Cooper was the one extremely high on Davis but he ended up being hired away by LSU.  Few other coaches on staff felt Davis had the ability to play at the school so they decided to pull the offer.  What this meant is that they were creating some terrible publicity for their school.

The best part is that the program that Davis played for, Tucker, produces Division I players every year.  And from what their coach said, South Carolina is no longer welcomed to recruit their athletes.  Most smaller schools who have athletes that get their scholarships pulled don’t have the ability to black ball a school simply because they don’t have even players at that level.  This school hopefully will do that in future years.

But what this shows is that anything can happen during the football recruiting process or for any other sport as well.  The college coach you committed to as a junior may end up moving on to a bigger school.  Your commitment to that program may no longer be honored by the new coaching staff, which leaves you with few last minute options.  This could be rare but anything can happen late in the recruiting process.

The first thing that this shows is that you need to keep your options open during the recruiting process.  Even if you have a Division I-A (BCS) scholarship offer, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look into all your options at the Division I-AA (FCS) level.  As long as you are uncommitted, building relationships with the coaches is a great thing to do.  It may be harder to tell them no in the end but having that option as a backup or a potential transfer school could be easier down the road.

If you are currently a committed athlete, this article was not written to scare you.  The reason that it was written is because things can change so quickly in the recruiting process.  If your position coach has been the one that has pushed you to a scholarship offer leaves, this similar situation could happen.  It sucks but as shown by South Carolina, something like this can definitely happen.

Over the last few years, there have been situations where athletes have gone on their official visit having been committed to the school for an extended period of time and being told that all that was going to be offered is a grayshirt.  How would you like to hear that bombshell after spending the last nine months being committed to a program?

So if you are going to go to a school that is offering you a scholarship, a commitment means very little.  What will help you finally be completely relieved, at least for one year, is signing your National Letter of Intent.  This is a binding letter that will map out the scholarship that you are accepting at the school.  And even if the coach leaves, you will be stuck to attending the program unless you plan to sit out.

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