Being deadlined by a college coach and living through it

As I have mentioned many times before, being deadlined is when a college coach tells you that you have until a certain date to accept the scholarship or they will offer another prospect at that same position.  When you are in this situation, it is always extremely tough because this may be the school that you want to end up at.  However, the pressure they are putting on you may actually be a turn off for your school.

I had a chance to speak with a basketball recruit who recently made a college decision.  This senior had mid major scholarship offers from throughout the country and is relieved to have the recruiting process behind him.  But he went through having multiple coaches try and deadline him to make a decision.  And while he had multiple offers to choose from, he didn’t let what the coaches said pressure him into choosing the wrong school.  Here is what he said:

Recruiting-101: How does it feel to have recruiting over with?
Basketball Recruit: “It feels awesome because it was getting really stressful at the end. There were schools pressuring you to commit. Well, not really pressuring you but they were saying that you don’t have much time before this other guy commits. That and it feels good to get it off my back so I can focus on the season.”

Let me note how the coaches may not be lying here but they may be bending the truth telling recruits that another prospect at their position is going to commit.  This pressure is trying to help their team in the recruiting process land an early commitment when it seems as if the player doesn’t want to end the recruiting process.  This happens frequently, especially during the fall before Signing Period in basketball.  

Recruiting-101: Did the coaches give you deadlines on when they were offering other players at your position?
Basketball Recruit: “Yeah, there were a couple of schools that did that. I didn’t really pay attention to them because I knew I would make the decision when I was ready. If someone else committed before me, I wasn’t supposed to go to that school in the end.”

I personally think that his stance on the recruiting process was great.  If a school doesn’t work out and they don’t have any scholarship offers for me, I wasn’t supposed to go there in the end.  Things may push you towards different schools and hopefully doors will open up that you never expected during the athletic recruiting process.  

Recruiting-101: Would your stance have changed if you didn’t have so many scholarship offers?
Basketball Recruit: “That always helps. If one school didn’t work out, I could go to another. I guess that did play a factor. It was nice to have a lot of schools to choose from.”

This athlete ended up with a total of five to ten scholarship offers.  He really did have the luxury of moving on from School A if they were trying to deadline him into a decision.  As a recruit, it may be best to try and take your time and make as informed of a decision as possible.  The problem is, with all the pressure that football recruits and basketball recruits get, it is not going to be easy to step back, take a deep breathe, and tell the coaches you want to wait.  

Recruiting-101: Did any schools do anything unique during the recruiting process?
Basketball Recruit: “School A took me to a rap concert. That was pretty sweet. Also after I committed to School B, they sent me 48 letters, all in one day. It was a bunch of different quotes.”

Schools will do a variety of different things in the recruiting process to catch the eye of a recruit.  After he committed to the school, they didn’t have to send him all that mail.  But I think if anything, they really wanted to make an impact on him and show him how excited they are about him.  Good thing they have a huge recruiting budget!

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