If you were like me at all this week as you were scrolling through your Instagram feed, you thought "wow, there are a lot of 22s committing right now!" While I don't know the exact number, there certainly seemed to be a lot. Now you might be asking, "Jason, how are all of these girls committing during a dead period when they can't get on campus?" The short answer is that they aren't making visits. There are a few things going on right now that I will try my best to explain.
First, if they are coming to campus, they are NOT having any interaction with coaches (supposedly), that would of course be a violation during a dead period. But chances are they are doing some sort of self-guided tour or maybe campus tours are available right now on that campus; totally plausible. Several athletes I know are going and visiting campuses on their own dime to at least get a feel for campus as a whole, even if they can't interact directly with the staff. Chances are that some of the athletes on campus are potentially interacting with PSA's (potential student-athlete) but of course they are doing that without the coaches knowing (#sarcasm); you can't always control who runs into a recruit when they are on campus(#shouldershrug). I do think now that practices are in full-swing it's happening less in order to protect the "bubble" that's been created on campus.
Second, a lot of them aren't going on visits at all! Potentially they visited last summer for a camp or something like that. But there was at least one program that told their recruits, "If you're waiting to make a visit before you make a commitment, then we are going to move on to someone else." In other words, coaches are seeing the writing on the wall that this thing is goin to disrupt a lot moving forward, including visits this Fall (remember, the dead period is going to get extended through December) and their potential Spring season. They aren't willing to wait until March of 2021 to make offers and they aren't going to sit on an offer for the next 6 months either.
Third, coaches aren't the only ones that can nudge people into making a decision sooner than they would like. Some of what you're seeing is certainly athlete driven. Athletes don't want to wait that long either! So if the #1 choice says that they are ready to make a decision without coming on a visit, are you willing to let the top athlete on your recruiting board go away? No, you aren't. You're going to offer them. I know several coaches that had planned on waiting and letting the process take it's course like normal. But these are anything but normal times.
Everyone's recruiting story is different. I've said that for a long time. So if you have the opportunity to jump on an offer from your top choice, you do it. If you're a coach and you have the opportunity to get the #1 kid on your board, you take it. It isn't a science, but it's how the recruiting world works sometimes, especially right now. I think a lot of things could potentially change through the 2021 recruiting season. I'm not the only one and that's part of the reason you are seeing so many in the 2022 commit right now.
If you haven't committed yet, it's OKAY!! There are still plenty of coaches out there waiting until they can have athletes on campus again before they make any final decisions. They know that meeting an athlete face-to-face and the ability to interact with their athletes that are currently in the program is a huge deal. Those coaches will wait and some of those athletes will wait. It's not right or wrong, it's about making a decision once you're ready.
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