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Different teams “sport” a variety of recruiting processes


Over 100,000 people pack themselves into “The Big House” to watch Michigan play football every Saturday. Nearly just as many pack the Coliseum in Southern California to watch the Trojans run track. These student athletes, along with others across the nation, are placed on a huge stage with the lights on bright. At this point the athletes are asked to do what they do best: compete.

However, the paths they took to reach the big stage is not as simple a story. And the paths vary  vastly from sport to sport., even from athlete to athlete.

Baseball and football have showcases and camps.

Showcases for baseball involve up to 250 prospective college athletes all converging on the same baseball facility. And they happen every month of the year. “We’re all packed onto the side of the field. We hit and field as tons of colleges coaches watch,” described Mike Moritz ‘14. “The pressure is intense.”

“After the showcase, you get emails from colleges who liked what they saw,” explained Robbie Vallone ’14. “They usually ask for important statistics from your high school career as well as your transcript and test scores.”

The recruiting process with football is similar to baseball, in that athletes are asked to travel to the actual college campus and showcase their skills in front of coaches, but different in every other way.

“It starts with coaches calling and emailing you to inquire about your academics, seeing your highlights, and getting to know you,” Nick Ward ‘14 said. Then, each individual college hosts a camp where they iinvite their recruits down to check them out in person. “I went to almost 20 camps so I could get a feel for what schools and coaching staffs I really liked,” added Ward.

This leads to many busy Saturdays. Many of these college trips are no short drive, and the family of the recruit is entirely responsible for travel expenses and getting the recruit to the college.

Baseball and football are both sports where a recruit’s personal statistics are directly related to how talented their teammates and opponents are. In football, their teammates block for them and their opponent attempts to stop them. In baseball their teammates run the bases and their opponent’s pitch to them.

The quality of an athlete’s teammates/opponents can cause their statistics to vary drastically.  So coaches need to view the athletes in person, so they can see past the numbers for themselves.

While baseball has showcases and football has camps, track and swimming have nothing.

While the former sports involve recruits competing against each other, their opponent’s abilities have absolutely no impact on their own results. The nature of these sports involve no direct competition like football and baseball where the other team defends or pitches to you. In both track and swimming, a recruit’s personal time is not affected by how fast their competition runs or

swims anyway.

This drastically simplifies the recruiting process. Coaches have no need to see a recruit play in person because their times are a product of nothing but their own efforts. And their efforts are easily quantifiable with something as simple as a time.

“I started my process by receiving letters from colleges and visiting the ones that I was interested in,” described runner Tyler Scanlin ‘14. “If I liked the school, I contacted the coach to schedule a meeting to get to know them on a more personal level.” Additionally, coaches let athletes know what times they are looking for, either walk-on or recruit. This allows prospective collegiate athletes to know if a certain college would be a good fit for them.

Just about every different sport has a different recruiting process, but the same exact endgame: student athletes signing their name on the dotted line of the national letter of intent on signing day. This is the closing ceremony of the recruiting process, and it seals the deal,.

“It feels like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” added Vallone, who recently signed a letter of intent with Manhattan College. “I’m excited to take the next step in my baseball career on the collegiate level.”

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Bobby Jacowleff
Bobby Jacowleff, Web Sports Editor
Inklings Web Sports Editor Bobby Jacowleff, ‘14 is, in a word, unstoppable. With two sports captain positions under his belt, and a demanding Inklings position, his drive and commitment alone are impressive. But more notable than Bobby’s success is his ability to fight through anything in the way of his goals. Bobby may seem nonchalant about his abilities, there’s nothing to be casual about. He is a varsity football cornerback, a captain for indoor and outdoor track, and has already been recruited for track by universities including Emory and Amherst. More importantly, his achievements haven’t come without obstacle. Jacowleff received Tommy John surgery freshman year after overuse of his arm in football caused a tendon in his elbow to displace a piece of bone. This injury failed to hinder Bobby. He soon returned to football, and when he couldn’t continue baseball, instead of just giving up, he turned to track and realized his incredible talent for it. Bobby’s perseverance and determination for success extend from the sports fields to the newsroom. He balances sports practices with the demanding duties of a web editor. His favorite article to write was on Tom Milone, the first high school student in Connecticut to be drafted. The piece required extensive investigation and direct source coverage, but again Bobby’s diligence was evident in his thorough reporting. Despite his journalistic and athletic achievements, Jacowleff’s pride is concentrated elsewhere. “I’ve never had chapped lips or a paper cut,” he proclaims proudly. “And I’ve never even tried to avoid them.”

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