by Jason Sirovina | Staff Writer
In recent years college athletics(NCAA) recruiting has experienced a sudden spike due to the fact that the media has made it more accessible to fans and coaches. Thus, ‘hyping’ this time of year where high schoolers make the decision of a lifetime. The special day dedicated to these future collegiate athletes is known as National Signing Day.
“Recruiting has become a bigger deal and the more hyped because of all the social media and recruiting sites such as ESPN, Scout, and Rivals,” senior JC Rast said. “These sites allow the athletes get noticed and give them a greater opportunity to play college sports,”
Once this day comes the athletes have crucial decision to make which will affect the next four years of their lives. As for each athlete, the reasons for committing to a particular school can vary depending on location, education, and or wherever they feel they are in the greatest position to excel.
“I chose the Air Force Academy because I fell in love with the mountains and the feel of the outdoors around the Academy. I’ll also be set for life after graduation because – the ring opens doors,” Rast said.
When selecting a school to attend there are there are many factors that need to be accounted for. As a student you should know as much as possible about a school and not just the athletic program. The reason for this is recruiting has become so competitive so its a good idea to have a career to fall back on.
“Make sure you visit the school first and ask the students there what they like and don’t like about the school, basically you need to know the negative and positives before you commit,” Rast said.
Despite the competitive nature of recruiting, the increase in publicity it has gotten has opened doors for more high school athletes. The reason for this is schools have more scouts now so they can broaden their search for the next great college sensation.
“The hype of recruiting gives every college an equal opportunity to focus on the high level players,” junior Zack Koboldt said. “Also it helps the athletes because the lower level recruits can put out more or prove themselves with the same chance as the five star recruits,”.
Another contributing factor to the growing hype in college committing is the demand by the fans and interest it gathers. Sports sites have recognized the opportunity to capitalize on the economic standpoint of recruiting.
“Recruiting has basically become a chicken and the egg argument because of the demand of coverage it has gotten from the media,” teacher Eric Price said. “This demand has been created by the fans which is short for fanatics because of how extreme they can get. The diehard fans in the SEC want to know everything about their team so the major companies have jumped on this new aspect,”.
Another factor that goes into the coverage of is the caliber of the school. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is the strongest Conference in college football and is why they have the largest recruiting class. Thus, they get the most attention because of this ability to produce high levels on talent.
“The conference also plays a big role in the coverage because the SEC is the top conference in the college football and attracts the most attention. For example if a Texas A&M or Alabama is looking at an athlete he’s going to get a lot of publicity from the media,” Price said.
Throughout the sports universe the unpredictable happens a lot due to the fact that there is always teams who fly under the radar and take the nation by storm. This shows the vast talent
“One thing that makes college sports so entertaining is every year a small school rises in the national rankings opening a door for underrated athletes seeking the next level of competition,” Koboldt said. “The reason for these mid major phenoms is because recruiting is so hard to figure and good talent scouts are crucial to the process,”.
The importance of the signing day is immense on an athlete because they have to make a life altering decision at such a young age. Whether they make the right decision or not is yet to be seen. But, for some athletes their hard work will pay off with an opportunity to have a career in athletics.
“If I were a high schooler that was committing, I would choose a school that prepares me for my future,” Athletic Director Ron Rittimann said. “This opportunity comes only once a lifetime and its important to go to school for your career and not just for the sports. You should fit in and enjoy college and take sports out of the equation,”.
For more information on the latest signings click here