Results mixed for signing athletes and committed recruiters, futures of collegiate athletes hang in balance

As hard as playing a college sport already was, it got harder this year. With everything going on, student athletes in high school had to work even harder to get in touch with college coaches, and get noticed. 

“It was difficult to get noticed and have recruiters and coaches come to my games because of COVID restrictions. With everything going on the recruiting process got really stressful,” Grace Hall said.

Many seniors who lost a spring sports season last year, and most likely a delayed fall or winter season this year, are struggling to get on the radar of college recruiters. 

Senior Bri Hill, a soccer player, has struggled immensely. “Since I lost that junor season it really made it hard for me to play and look into colleges. If I would have gotten it, I would have been more inclined to search. I don’t play soccer with a club outside of school so I lost that opportunity to improve and play.” 

According to CNBC, “ In a recent T-D Ameritrade survey, 47% of student athletes said they now believe the cancellation of sports during the pandemic could put their college scholarship at risk”

A correlating problem with missed, delayed, and restricted seasons is visiting colleges and their programs and being able to meet the coaches and get a feel for what your future may look like. It is important for many different coaches to watch athletes, and meet them to see if they would be a good addition to their team. 

The Recruiting Coordinator for  Central Michigan Football, Jason Johnson, said, “It has been harder to recruit though due to lack of ability for coaches to evaluate on the road as well as recruits not being able to attend Jr days, practice, or camps. The recruiting process has been different especially from an evaluation standpoint.” 

Another issue with this is singing and committing. Although coaches do their best, it still can be hard to plan a signing and be able to do it with your team and loved ones around you. We had a student that was able to get it all figured out. 

“Right now I am committed and signed to Lourdes and I am going to be running there,” Andy Schlaff 12, track and cross country runner. 

On the bright side of things, athletes say that it isn’t too difficult to contact college coaches or recruiters. 

“I contact all my coaches via text message, so there’s nothing different,” Grace Hall said. 

As athletes go through this process, there are many different ups and downs. Many are doing their best to recognize  the good in the midst of the bad. 

“It’s a once and a lifetime opportunity to be able to run in college. I am privileged to be able to have this opportunity. Being a college athlete is something I’ve wanted to accomplish for a long time, “Schlaff said, “It was really cool to be able to sign and see all my friends and family come out and support me. The whole process was still fun.”