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REALITY IN RECRUITING


by: Bob Howdeshell
High School Baseball Web


Recently there was a post in the "Recruiting" message board forum that mentioned the reality of recruiting.

I found that to be an interesting phrase. My thoughts are that what one player and his family perceives to be the recruiting reality may be completely different for another.

I talk to hundreds of families each year about their recruiting experiences and stories. Many are similar but each has its own wrinkle as well.

The normal assumption is that the big time top 200 prospect has the easiest time in recruiting and that the player with lower level college potential has the toughest road in the recruiting process. I have found this to be "not necessarily true."

While it is true that the top prospects have their choice of several scholarship offers, there are disappointments and problems as well. Even the top prospects do not get solid (or any) offers from their favorite school, at times. This may be due to that school not needing a player at that position, they may have signed several pitchers the previous year, all of which have performed well. Of course the opposite happens as well ....... A top prospect has a favorite school, the program makes him a very nice offer, from the very start, the player verbally commits and they all live happily ever after.

Next comes the player that I consider the mid-range. He is a legitimate college prospect. Maybe he fits at the DI level or an NAIA school or a quality D2 program.

More often than not the mid-range player will end up with a couple of scholarship offers. Maybe a mid to lower DI or DII, or an NAIA school and maybe a junior college program or two. Stories about mid-range players that have 15 or 20 offers are more often than not untrue.

For the good high school player that is a marginal college prospect the reality of recruiting may be that he does not hear anything from a college coach until the mid point of his senior high school season. Many times this caliber of player will receive one scholarship offer from a local school or maybe he is invited to walk-on. The late period (after April) is the time that many of the NCAA DIII programs, the lower NAIA and some junior colleges really turn up the heat in their recruiting process.

Many times the player is a "big fish in a small pond." His parents, peers and others all feel that he is a future professional baseball player.

We have all met folks with larger than "reality" opinions about their player's abilities and college baseball potential, that may not match the rest of the world's opinion.

So what is the "reality of recruiting?" It depends on the player's abilities, the needs of college programs that have seen him play. What type of summer program he has played in, the geographic location in which he lives and numerous other reasons. The reality of recruiting is that it is different for every player.



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