Ohio State hosted their first “Junior Day” today. Toledo has one next weekend. I am sure schools every where will be hosting “junior days.” What are “junior days?”
Best answer – A group unofficial visit. That is, parents and the recruit have to pay their own way. They get to visit campus and meet with coaches. These “junior days” are not limited to just members of the 2016 Class. Prospects in the 2017 and 2018 Classes can attend, but by invitation, just as the 2016 are invited.
Many programs use them as a way of introducing high school football recruits to the school’s program. Junior days unofficially kick off a year long recruiting process for juniors. They are starting to be more exclusive. Most are by invite only.
Players and parents get a chance to meet with the head coach in person. This is significant because NCAA rules prohibit players from making official visits until their senior year.
Coaches could not talk to recruits during school visits in December or now in January. They can not visit with recruits off campus during the spring evaluation period. Of course, the “bump rule” is used during this time, but no long discussions are legal. Getting to speak with assistant coaches, and, sometimes the head coach, s critical one on one “face time.”
Prospects are often encouraged to bring parents or high school coaches. They meet with the head coach. Additionally, junior days typically include meetings with position coaches, coordinators, strength coaches, nutrition staff and academic advisors. The visitors take campus tours and/or attend a basketball game. Sometimes they participate in some serious football talk.
Obviously, a “junior day” works as a two-way deal. College coaches get to “eyeball” a perspective recruit. They also get to gauge how much interest a recruit has in their school. Sometimes coaches will talk football to see if a recruit can pay attention and understand what the coach is going to teach them. All in all, the college coaches can get the recruit’s perspective.
The recruit can see some of the inside goings-on in the football program. They can get a feel for the coach who will be working with them or the coach who will be recruiting them. This a good time to meet and socialize with some of the other prospects who are being recruited by the school. A player gets an inside look at the program with his own two eyes. Sugar-coated, but at least he gets a look.
Typically at larger “junior days” a recruit will not get an “offer.” At the more exclusive “junior days” getting an “offer” is a possibility. For example, last Saturday, Ohio State offered some attendees. Some prospects verbally committed after attending the “junior day.” he problem sometimes the repercussion of who did not get invited.
Please remember – JUST because a school invites you to a “junior day,” does not guarantee a school is recruiting you. This time is also a good time to start eliminating prospects. Also, keep your eyes open and watch who the coaches spend the most time with. Sad, but this will give you an idea of hard the school is recruiting you.
Keep everything in perspective. I now that is really hard to do.