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You finally get a college coach on the phone or in front of you! You are halfway there! After the introductions and small talk, one of the first questions that they will ask you is, “What other schools have offered you?”
PAUSE. Don’t worry, there are no wrong answers to this. Some of you may say, “Texas, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Florida State and a few others I can’t remember.” Others may say “Elon and James Madison,” “Temple, Rice, Sacramento State,” or “Western Carolina, North Carolina A&T, Florida Atlantic.” And even more recruits may say, “Nobody yet.”
Remember—there is no wrong answer to this question. It’s like the chicken or the egg debate, SOMEONE has to be the first to offer you! Hey, maybe one day it will be this coach you are talking to!
This quickly gives coaches a good idea of your ability, it’s a reference point for them. If other schools have already done their research on you and found SOMETHING in you, your ‘dream’ school may be more willing to take a look too. But, even if you have no offers—that doesn’t mean they’ll immediately reject you—they will probably just ask you to submit a highlight video or invite you to camp.
Never lie about what scholarship offers you have because coaches can find out within minutes, and it will only eliminate you from their list if they catch you in a lie. Coaches DO double-check your offers, usually the minute they hang up the phone!
The next thing college coaches will want to know (especially if you have no offers) is which schools have tried to get you to campus for an unofficial visit or camp, or which programs have come to see you (not one of your teammates) play or practice. Remember—just because you haven’t been OFFERED, that doesn’t mean other schools may not be INTERESTED. Coaches may still be doing their research on you, so other coaches who you are reaching out to may ask you which schools are scouting you, inviting you to unofficial visits, Junior Days or camps.
Be up front but never make excuses! The worst thing you can do at this point is lie or give coaches a long list of why-nots… “the coach hates me,” “my mom hates me,” “my team sucks.” Even if your coach hates you, your mom is trying to interfere with the process and your team didn’t win a game last year—never start making excuses! Ever!
If you haven’t had much contact or feedback from college coaches, get some exposure at regional or national combines or tournaments. Give coaches a list of past and future events that you have or will attend, and they will be able to get an idea of your talent level from those invites as well.
Don’t bother with the, “see what happened was…” and just tell the coaches the truth—“I’m just now starting to reach out to schools, here is my highlight video, stats and contact info, can you take a look and let me know what you think?” Period, skip the rest!