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Football “Offers” and the Brown Sugar

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During an Evaluation Period (April 15 – May 31)  and after college summer football camps, “offers” will by flying everywhere. Some have said that if an “about to be senior ” does not have an offer after this time, he will be struggling to get one. That is not really true, but the chances to get an offer are not real good. I just want to touch on the whole “offer” brown sugar.

I realize that I have done blogs on “offers” before – but it never gets old for me. People – parents and high school just put so much faith in the an offer. I do not get too excited about the “offer” part of recruiting. When it comes to “crunch time,” I worry for the recruit.

This blog on “offers” is for the prospects in the Class of 2020. But, with way recruiting is moving, Class 2021 should pay attention. Prospects in the Class of 2022 are already starting to get offers. Former Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer offered a 9th grader years ago.

Actually I cringe when asking a prospect about the offers that he has or is about to get. In fact, most of the time, I just ask a recruit “who seems to showing you the most love?” Using the word “offer” bothers me.

When I do ask about offers that a prospect has, it is to get a sense of where they are in the recruiting process. Trust me, I do not get all giddy like recruiting reporters do.

Some offers given to high school players are not committable. Meaning if the player tried to commit to the offer, he’d probably be turned down or told to wait. This is a noncommittable offer.

Why make an offer to a prospect if a college won’t accept his commitment?

Most “offers” to players at this stage are bogus offers. Sure, some are the real deal, but there are that many more that are nothing more than a way for a college to stay in the game with a prospect without losing ground on him to other schools. When in reality, the offer isn’t a committable one, though it could be down the road.

These “offers” are made, but comments like, ” We are offering you a scholarship, BUT (1) Keep you keep your grades up. (3) Work during the regular season and off season to get better as a football player. (3) Stay out of trouble off the field. (4) Represent your school – no problems in school.” If one of these clarifications is broken, a college can pull the “offer.”

The school has “offered” the prospect, but they have given themselves wiggle room. If the prospect wanted to commit right then, the offer would be based on certain criteria that must be met first.

Many offers go out before evaluations are even made on many of the prospects. This is why college camps are important. If a college does not offer a prospect before making a complete evaluation, that school is going to be running behind, because other schools have.

Basically the “offers” are a way to keep a school in the thick of the race for the kid, but if he tried to commit at that time, he would be turned down. Of course, not all situations are like this, but way too many prospects face this difficult situation.

Many offers are simply a way to stay in touch with a player that the college staff has lower on the board. If the coaching staff loses out on some of their top targets, they may have to go lower on their board. Since they have given an offer to a lower board recruit, they will be covered.

Obviously, all college football staffs need a “back up plan.”

I tell players all of the time. Somehow “ try to see how honest a coach is about the offer. ”Here is my biggest concern. A player believes that he has an “offer,” but the college coach is just “keeping him warm.”

The prospect turns down other schools thinking he has an offer from a high profile BCS school. Later he finds out the offer is not a real offer at the time. Now he has to start over again with less choices.

Once a school hears about a player who has some big time school offers, that school will most likely drop an offer whether they think they want him or not. The point is to not fall behind in case you do need or want that player.

Some schools want to be the first with an “offer” and then evaluate him. If he’s a player they want, they have become the first school to offer him. Of course, the college staff reminds the prospect that they were the first. Sometimes, it works.

If he does not make the board, eventually the coaching staff will just stop contacting him. They just do not stop at the school, or return a recruits calls or emails.

Once a player who is “under the radar” gets an offer from a high profile BCS school, he will start drawing interest from more big school programs sooner than later. If one high profile school is “offering” a player, other schools feel that they should “join the party.”

As I said earlier, “offers” make me cringe. Actually, most offers are so bogus. But if a prospect has even received a non-committable offer, he must be doing something right.

With social media and recruits wanting more and more attention, the lists of offers of some recruits is exaggerated. Just another problem with offers. Prospects are trying to build lists.

Recruiting reporters have a tough job at times. They must wade through what is committable offer and what is not. They must use the words of  17 year olds, while not always checking the facts with college coaches. Sometimes a prospect does not understand what an offer is.

Just do me a favor and understand all that is involved in an OFFER.

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