There is no doubt that one of the most difficult parts of the football recruiting process is being patient. Every athlete wants to hold multiple scholarship offers and avoid heading the words “Keep up the good work and we will evaluate your film in the fall.” Those words are uttered by every assistant coach in the country and if possible, should be avoided like the plague.
The reason that coaches say things along that line are two fold. The first is that the coaches want to see if you improve on what was discussed at camp. If you stay where you are, chances are pretty good that you won’t get a scholarship. But coaches cannot be truthful and say that. The biggest reason that the coaches will pull out that almost pre-recorded line is because they are waiting on their higher rated prospects to decide. Once another recruit picks another school, it may be your time to step forward and receive a scholarship. But in some cases, it may be too late.
There are two different cases that I have seen where the dominoes have fallen for a Big Ten school that forced them to offer a different prospect than they had initially wanted. One happened where a defensive end recruit picked that certain Big Ten school. Then he decided to look at other programs and ended up decommitting. The coaches at the school obviously have back up options so they looked at their recruiting board and made a decision. That was to offer a prospect who had committed to another school.
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In speaking with the prospect before he committed to a state rival, it was obvious that they wanted the offer from the Big Ten school. The athlete had grown up following them but apparently was not good enough to get the offer in the first place. The proverbial dominoes fell and he ended with an offer. But this recruit had built a relationship with the school that he committed to. His dream early in the recruiting process had changed and he ended up sticking to his commitment. Had the offer been extended before he made a final decision, my guess is that the Big Ten school would have likely ended up with him. But things don’t always work as planned for athletes or coaches for that matter.
The second example is from an athlete a few years back. Another Big Ten program had recruited this athlete hard and were one of the first schools to offer him. This athlete ended up nearly having double digit scholarship offers before he committed to that school. If he had waited, even more scholarships could have been on the table. Everyone assumed he was a done deal to the school he had committed to because it was in-state.
But that didn’t end up happening. A few months after he committed, he stock many by changing his mind and picking another powerful program. With fans shocked, the coaches did what they always do. They look at their recruiting board and try to figure out who is next in line to offer. Because athlete was an important position to recruit for that class, the school extended an offer to a recruit that had been waiting patiently. The dominoes fell into place right in front of his eyes and he ended up with that offer he was hoping for.
The reason I am telling these stories is that they happen all the time throughout the entire country. It doesn’t matter if it is in the Big Ten, SEC, Pac 10, or anywhere else. Schools know where you rank on their recruiting board. They may not come out and openly tell you but they have a good idea of what they feel about you. Keep that in mind when they keep shifting the blame as to why they don’t want to offer just yet. They will make up just about every excuse possible to buy time. In the end, they are waiting to see where the dominoes of the higher ranked prospects end up going. Then they can reevaluate where you are on their list and go from there.
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