Because football recruiting is a game and college coaches have to have backup options, if you are an undecided prospects, things will really heat up right before Signing Day. There could be so much going on that you could get multiple calls from a variety of different schools. These schools may have never sent mail letter but may be mentioning the possibility of a scholarship over the phone.
The reason things get so crazy at that time is because college coaches have to have backup options. If a school has seen their top three players at one position commit to other programs, they will be scrambling to find anyone with the ability to play at their level. They will make as many calls as need be to make sure that options A, B, and C are replenished this late in the football recruiting process.
Here are a few quotes from the drama that a prospect went through right before Signing Day last year.
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Tyler committed to (A Division I-AA school) last Monday. A Big Ten school called last Tuesday telling us to send a senior tape because they suffered 2 decommits at defensive back. Ty actually drove it out there himself Saturday after the storm. No offer ever came, and the coaches haven’t returned calls since.
Today was crazy. A Big Ten, a Pac 10, and an ACC school all invited Ty to be a preferred walk-on. All three were coaches he had great relationships with. One of the schools was his top choice all along. However, none of the schools could offer a grayshirt or guarantee a scholarship down the road. Even Ty understood he couldn’t pass up a full ride to walk-on, no matter how tempting.
Then about 9pm a Mountain West school calls to say they had a decommit, only to call back 30 minutes later and say never mind. Not to mention playing phone tag with 2 MAC schools too.
He is completely happy with (The Division I-AA school) He has several friends attending school there and he’ll play with a former teammate. I think any player headed to D1-AA would have listened to the big schools that were calling.
I’m sure many other recruits had similar experiences Monday and Tuesday. I expected a little action, but not to the extent we saw. It made for a long night, with some good debates between Ty and me. He seems to trust my opinion.
This just shows that by committing, you may think the recruiting process is over with. That obviously is not the case. The prospect committed on Monday, received a call from a Big 10 school that wanted video, three walk on offers, and calls from Mountain West and MAC schools.
This type of thing happens all the time because coaches are desperate. They are trying to work as many angles as they possibly can to make sure they can reload the pipeline at certain positions. It is tough to tell which schools are really interested in you. Until a scholarship offer comes in the mail, it may be hard to believe at times.
One of the craziest Signing Day stories happened a few years back (which has been mentioned here before). An athlete spent the weekend before Signing Day on an official visit at the Division I-AA school in-state. Because State University (the Division I-A school in-state) had not yet offered a scholarship, the recruit decided to commit while he was on the visit. Many felt that he was a done deal and would be spending the next four or five years playing at the Division I-AA level.
At State University, a player who had committed at the same position ended up getting an offer from one of the top programs in the country (and one that was the in-state powerhouse as well). That recruit ended up changing his mind and decided to stay close to home. State University needed a player at that position, so the night before Signing Day, they came calling to this prospect mentioned above with an offer. He eventually committed after hours on the phone with the coaches at State University. Let me stress that the Division I-AA school was not happy at all.
While this is not something you should hope for, it does happen. When an athlete decommits from a school and picks another program, it creates a chain reaction. If the top quarterback in this class decided to decommit from his decision, that school would need a quarterback. If they were able to steal one away from a rival school, then that program would need a quarterback. They end up having a another commit change his mind. The chain reaction just keeps going until a school just says we don’t need a quarterback anymore.
Signing Day is right around the corner and for senior recruits out there, this could be a crazy time!