Tackling an official visit is an important but nerve-wracking experience. You are thrown into unfamiliar territory with a stranger, an array of potential teammates, and not to mention several coaches. The goal for a recruit is to impress the coaches and team, as theirs is to impress you. If something goes wrong, it could potentially ruin your chances of going to that school, or maybe even other schools. Needless to say, making sure things go as smoothly as possible is one of the main focuses on an overnight visit. Here is one recruiting horror story where a “letter of intent” was taken a little too literally.
Last season, we hosted a recruit on a Wednesday. We were on thin ice already because we were punished the year before from going out with recruits too aggressively, but we weren’t going to let a Wednesday night stop us this year. After more than a couple of drinks with our recruit, a teammate created and printed a fake ‘letter of intent’ to give to the recruit as a joke. He presented the LOI to the recruit in a very serious tone and informed him that he had to sign it right then in order to attend the school. The recruit was in disbelief but was felling his alcohol a bit too much, so he thought it was real. In the heat of the moment, he shouted; “I love the school, I love you guys, I love the coaches anyway, I’ll do it!” At 3:00 am, everyone cheered while he signed the fake letter of intent, and in his mind, he was committed.
The next morning, he headed towards the coach’s office with red eyes, messy hair, and an old shirt from a teammate that had the school’s athletics on it. Once the recruit arrived, the coach knew something was off. After the recruit left, the coach called one of the current players and asked, “he is hungover, he puked, didn’t he?” We reluctantly told the coach the truth. We told the coach the story, he laughed, but we had to run extra laps at practice as a punishment. Not only did this happen, but the recruit was nervous that he had signed the National Letter of Intent. We told him to relax that he did not sign. He took a deep breath and said, “doesn’t matter, I’m coming here anyway.”
Where is this recruit now? He attended the college, played on the team and loved every second of his experience!
* Originally published on May 26, 2016, by Keirsten Sires