The Big East is home to the most competitive Division I Men’s Basketball teams in the country, including Catholic private school Villanova University, the two-time reigning champions of the NCAA tournament. Kalif Young, standing at 6’9” and at a weight of 255 lbs, had the luxury of being heavily recruited by two prominent names in the Big East; Marquette University and Providence College. The Providence College Men’s Basketball team was ranked 5th in the Big East at the end of the 2018 regular season with 10-8 conference wins, and 21-14 wins overall. The Marquette Men’s Basketball team is one below Providence being ranked 6th at the end of the 2018 regular season with 9-9 conference wins, and 21-14 wins overall as well. Providence College ended up making the 2018 NCAA tournament on a bid only to lose to Texas A&M in the first round.
Standing at 6’9” at a weight of 255 lbs, being recruited as a Forward for any basketball program was not a big problem for up and coming Junior, Kalif Young. He even recalls a handful of schools emailing and calling him daily, checking in on everything from what his response might be to their offer to what he ate for breakfast that morning. “Recruiting is hard because you have to say no a lot.” Young expresses a problem most up-and-coming high school athletes would love to have. However, having every school from California to Rhode Island recruiting you is not all it is cracked up to be, who knows who’s telling the full truth?
Eighteen-year-old Kalif Young from Vaughan, Ontario, unfortunately, did not know the world of recruitment, as well as someone from LRT Sports, would. Were the coaches entirely interested in what his potential skills could bring to the court? Or, did they want him to better the starting players that were already there? He had no idea the true intentions of each coach he talked to. However, wherever he went, he wanted competition, the opportunity to play, to be as close to his family as possible, and he wanted to be treated as a person rather than property.
As he went through his recruiting process, however, he started to understand which coaches wanted him and which ones probably did not. “There were some coaches who would call and check up on me every day, so it was hard to let some of them go,” Young says, in reminiscence; those were the coaches that cared because they made it apparent in their actions. It was not always a call about basketball but also about his well-being. He felt it was quite hard to say no to those colleges, but some schools just aren’t the right fit. He found it better to pick schools that lined up best with the criteria he had first set out when thinking about the recruitment process. So, he had to cipher through colleges regularly, even if meant saying no to the cooperative schools.
Young says that coaches lose interest quickly, but he also says that some of those colleges probably didn’t want him in the first place. “Some colleges didn’t seem to reply as fast as others or seem very interested in me as a person,” Young says, something that he feels is very important when dealing with the recruitment process. There is always a college that reaches out a bit more than the others; those are the colleges that would prove a better fit; it did for Young!
When it came down to the last two college options – Marquette University or Providence College – Young went with the coach that seemed to care for him most. “Coach (Ed Cooley) seemed to care for me as a person, and I liked that, so I committed there (Providence College).” Young disclosed his final thoughts before his decision to commit to Providence College as lucky number 13. He followed all the previous guidelines that he set out to make his final decision, and it worked out in his favor.
Where there is a “yes” however, there is also a “no.” Marquette was still left on the wrong side of Young’s decision, and he had to deliver the fatal word he hated so much – no. However, although Marquette seemed very interested in Young at first, after he finally rejected their offer, it had seemed Young was never an interest to them at all. “They cut me off pretty quickly after that,” Young remembers after his inevitable phone call with Marquette. However, Young says that their reaction had just shown him even further that he had made the right decision.
When it comes to the recruiting process, no matter how sweet the deal may seem, it is always nice to know all the facts and history about how the school recruits. Following guidelines that were set early saved Young the pain of possibly picking the wrong school for him. The recruitment process is full of surprises, even for players who seem to have it all figured out. Knowing in advance what is wanted out of the recruitment process can save a lot of time and heartache, take it from Young!
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.