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August 26, 2021

College Coaches Using You to Recruit other Athletes

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Typically, when being recruited, coaches are interested in you because you have displayed talent and a particular skill set in your sport. Among other things, coaches are usually concerned with your grades and the qualities you can bring to their organization. They rarely, however, focus on who your friends are. 

When current college junior Nick Lizana was in the recruiting process, he had an official visit at Yale University. At the start of his visit, Nick had a meeting with all of the coaches to get to know him as a student and “Measure the level of interest I had in the school.” To Nick, the meeting seemed nothing out of the ordinary as he had attended similar meetings with many other coaches before. 

Related: Reaching out to Coaches

The Screw Up

What he did not expect to see was a whiteboard in the corner of the room. The recruiting board had what Nick described as three tiers of about 20 names, “The first tier was filled with names that the coaches were certain they wanted to recruit, the second they were on the fence about, and the third they were not really serious in pursuing anymore.” When their meeting was coming to an end, the coaches decided to address the whiteboard in the room. Nick said that they awkwardly tried to laugh it off and said that he clearly was not supposed to see it. 

The Strange Meeting

Nick recognized a few names, including his, and his friend Brendan’s. The coaches had clearly done their research because they knew that Nick and Brendan were friends and started asking about Brendan. Brendan’s name was unsurprisingly on the top tier list as he was a hot commodity throughout the lacrosse world at the time. The coaches started to ask Nick all sorts of questions about Brendan such as how close they were and if he had expressed any interest in attending Yale if accepted. The coaches then asked if Nick could assist them in getting Brendan to come to their school, telling Nick to say how beautiful the campus was and how good of a time he had on his official visit. Nick left the meeting confused and unsure of how to interpret the conversation. 

Related: ECU Head Lacrosse Coach Talks about Exposure

The Outcome

Nick finished his official visit and ultimately decided to not attend Yale University. 

After this disaster of a recruiting trip, Nick went on to play lacrosse for Bucknell University and later transferred to Tulane, but his story remains as a reminder of the complexity of the recruiting process.

Related school ratings: Bucknell University, Tulane, Yale University