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The huddle

April 4, 2016

Half Time Talk: AD Michael Jabour Offers Advice to Recruits

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We caught up with Milton High School (Milton, VT) Athletic Director Michael Jabour. Jabour talked about his recruiting experience as a football player and his decision to transfer colleges. He gave advice to student-athletes going through the recruiting process:

Tell us about your recruiting process experience.

Coming out of high school, I set unrealistic goals thinking that I was going to be this star college player. I was set on going to play college football down in Florida without really doing a lot of research into the schools. All I did was look to see if they had football, what division it was, what their offense was like and their roster. There was no research that went into my first two years of the process besides going down to Florida and looking at the schools. I ended up not getting accepted to any of the schools I was looking at except for Jacksonville University, and they didn’t promise anything for football. My senior year of high school I fell into American International College, and all I cared was that it was Division II and ran a spread offense. I didn’t look at the school, get to know the coaches or the team, so I didn’t really take that part seriously. Looking back at when I transferred to Castleton University my senior year, I did it for all the right reasons: I liked the school, the students, the football players, I felt comfortable with the coach and I had an idea that I would be able to play. It took me three years to finally figure out the right steps in what I was supposed to do in the recruiting process. I definitely needed help from my coaches, my AD, and my family. When I started out, I did it all on my own. My advice is to reach out to people that you trust and keep an open mind.

What do you think the biggest issue is as far as lack of knowledge in the recruiting process?

A lot of athletes have unrealistic goals, and parents continually set the bar really high for their kids. They tend to do a lot of club sports and specialize in one sport, but they get burnt out by the time college comes around. The student-athletes have a tough time speaking up and saying they don’t want to specialize in one sport in particular.

What aspects do student-athletes need to look into to narrow down their college search?

No one knows what to look for in a school. Student-athletes only know if the school has the team and they’re interested in playing for that team. They don’t know to look for club teams, studying abroad programs, internships and other opportunities colleges provide students with. People are too focused on playing their sport, they don’t realize they need to look at what the school really offers. Also realizing how much time you spend as a college athlete is a major key to understanding if you want to play in college. Do your research on the community, on the school, and ask questions.

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