If you are using this site and learning more about the overall athletic recruiting process, I would assume that your goal is to land a college scholarship. This scholarship will help offset the costs of getting a college education and could help you finish with a degree debt free afterwards.
So if that is your goal, your entire family is likely waiting to officially hear the words that a college will be offering you a scholarship. This could come over the phone, in-person, or even in an official letter. But what makes it tough on the journey is the college programs that through you off by saying how much they like you and how they are getting serious about an offer. The problem is unless they actually pull the trigger on it, all the talk means nothing.
Over the last six months, I have talked to a great number of athletes about the football recruiting process. Players at a variety of positions have told me that a certain school was recruiting them that is in their area. Three of these players told me that they think this school could be close to offering a scholarship based on what they said on the phone. Things about how much they like you, how close you are to an offer, and how it is between you and two other players.
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Two athletes said that they talked to this program about scholarships in the spring and another this fall. Yet neither currently holds a scholarship from this program. Could they come before Signing Day 2013? Of course they could. But I personally don’t think it is very ethical as a college coach to be leading on high school athletes.
The best part of this was that the two recruits who said that they both talked to the school about an offer play quarterback. Each was told that they were extremely high on their recruiting wishlist and that they were in line for a scholarship offer. The problem is that schools don’t frequently take multiple quarterbacks in a class.
What you can take from hearing a school that talks about scholarships is that they like you. But until they either verbally or send a letter that states you have a scholarship at the school, I wouldn’t be expecting an offer to come. I have even seen schools where they have verbally offered a scholarship but they never sent the paperwork and eventually moved on. So wait until the official letter arrives. If a school really want to offer, then they will pay the postage to send the offer.
I hate to say it and be cynical but take everything they say with a grain of salt. I know I talked to a recruit who signed last year with a major program. He was told after one camp that the coaches knew he was a Division I player. The problem is that they didn’t think he would be a Division I player at their school. The good news for him is that an even better school closer to home eventually offered and that led to a very quick commitment.
While this story is more geared towards football, it applies to all sports. I know coaches who will questionably talk about scholarships and how bad they want you at their school, but if an offer isn’t on the table, then they must not want you bad enough.