College football coaches love getting athletes that they recruit on campus during the summer for at least one day of camp. The reason is that it allows them to work with you, evaluate your skills, determine your level of coachability, and just get a general feel for what you can bring to the table. If I were to ask college coaches, there is no doubt that they would love to see all prospects in camp before offering them. The problem is that is not always possible.
But what happens if you go to a camp and just blow up? The coaches end up loving you and taking you aside multiple times while you are there. Then after the camp, the head coach tells you that there is a scholarship offer waiting for you at the school. He just offered you verbally, but the question is, do you really have an offer on the table?
The answer to that question is it seriously depends on the school. Some programs throw out verbal offers like they are nothing and others make sure that you are not confused where you sit in the football recruiting process. Another set of college coaches may make it seem like they want you to play for their program but you have no clue as to if there is an offer actually on the table.
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The true answer to this question should come within two weeks of you attending the camp (this is of course if you are in the summer before your senior year. Otherwise, it is a different answer). If the coaches were serious about the offer, your abilities, and the hope that they can sign you in February, then a written offer should be coming in the mail.
While summer camps for college coaches are an extremely busy time, if they think highly enough about you, they can take the ten minutes to send out a written offer. While this scholarship could actually be pulled at anytime, seeing it in writing shows their true interest in you and their intention to make sure you know there is an offer on the table.
A few years back I spoke with a quarterback prospect who went to a Division I-AA (FCS) school for their summer camp and did really well. The athlete claimed that the coaches had extended a verbal offer but for whatever reason, the coaches at this top tier program never ended up sending the scholarship in the mail.
In the end, despite what they told him, there was no offer and he signed with a Division II program. One of two things likely happened. The coaches told the athlete that they liked him a great deal and made it seem like there was an actual offer on the table. But they never said that there is a scholarship waiting for you and there was an issue in communication between the athlete and the coaches.
The other thing that may have happened is the coaches extended a verbal offer after the camp but ended up not being impressed during the fall by what he did with his high school team. So their response was to just stop recruiting him and not say anything. While I do believe this is an upstanding coaching staff, college coaches do stuff like this all the time so I am not out of line in saying that this really could happen.
I think the answer to the original question, like in all situations, is to wait until the offer paperwork has arrived until you can get really excited. I have heard plenty of stories where there is a verbal offer made but the paperwork never arrives. If you want to commit to that school, is there even an offer on the table? You don’t really know. So until that letter comes saying State University wants to offer a scholarship, I wouldn’t mark it down as on the table just yet.