College Coaches Off the Road for a Month

The NCAA mandated “dead period” has arrived for the Class of 2008. Starting Monday, December 17 and ending on Sunday, January 13, recruiting for this current crop of seniors grinds to a near halt. During this almost month long period, college coaches cannot leave campus to recruit and phone calls are limited to one per week. Coaches still have unlimited mail and email privileges, so it behooves prospects to make sure that coaches have their emails and that they check emails regularly. High school kids live in a text message world, but for the next month, its time to go “old school” and check your email regularly. Prospects can visit team practices at bowl sites, but aren’t allowed to have any contact with college coaches of the participating teams.
What does this mean to both coaches and prospects?
College coaches will still mail and email their prospects, but as a staff, each team will meet to assess the status of their recruiting class. They will look at more tape, worry about “babysitting” their committed prospects and figure out strategy to get those prospects currently “on the fence” to make decisions. Once January 13 rolls around, the pace of recruiting will be break-neck the final three weeks until National Signing Day on February 6.
For prospects, it is time for a reality check. If you are verbally committed, you need to decide how strong that commitment is. Other schools will likely make a run at you once the dead period ends. Realize that if you decide to make additional visits, your currently committed school is likely to get upset and may likely pull their offer. You can’t have a steady girlfriend and still date around!
If you have an offer on the table, expect a call after the Holidays to see if you have a decision made. If you say “NO”, understand that that respective college may say that they are bringing in other players at your position and if they commit, your scholarship will be withdrawn. If you are a recruit with an offer, you need to always know what your decision-making timetable is. In only rare occasions, will those offers be still on the table until Signing Day, February 1.
If you are one of those prospects who is making a January visit, expect to be asked to make a verbal commitment on your trip. Those slots are filling up and coaches want to fill their scholarship vacancies. You better have talked with your parents about each of the schools who are still recruiting you, because you DON’T have until February 6 to make a decision.
If you haven’t been offered, haven’t been scheduled for a trip, and/or aren’t receiving phone calls from college coaches, you need to come to the realization that a Division I football scholarship is not going to be a reality. You need to readjust your goals and start considering Division II or III type offers or make a decision to walk on somewhere in Division I. If the latter is your dream, then you also better know when the application deadline is for that school, because you can’t be a college football player without being a college student first.