The high school season is nearly over for one and all. So what happens between now and the February signing date? This is when recruiting gets really intense. Badmouthing starts, from the subtle to the obvious. And the increasing number of coaching changes will produce more de-commitments.
College coaches are on the road, mostly looking for juniors while trying to keep the commitments they already have safe and away from predators. Or, in some cases, they are trying to woo shaky commitments away from other schools or seeking de-commitments. At this time, nobody is safe until signing day.
Everybody is looking for bargains, players who de-committed from programs where coaches were fired or late-blooming players who developed as seniors like Naperville North's Jordan Tassio or Lemont's Bobby Earnest or Fremd's Mark Tolzien or Loyola's Peter Badovinac and Brian Lindsay or Notre Dame's Brendon Murray.
Almost all of the big names are committed so there aren't as many recruiters coming into the Chicago area as in May unless they are looking for juniors.
The 2008 season will be the year of the quarterback, nationally and in the Chicago area. The two top players in the junior class are quarterback Matt Barkley of Santa Ana, Calif., who is rated as the second best quarterback in the country behind senior Terrelle Pryor of Jeannette, Pa., and running back Bryce Brown of Wichita, Kan. Barkley already has 15 scholarship offers, including USC.
If I'm a promising junior prospect with Division I potential, what do I do to make sure the colleges know who I am?
Send me a tape. Box 59113, Schaumburg, Ill., 60193.
Also, make sure you and your parents and your high school coach are on the same wavelength, that the coach does everything he can to get you noticed. Send highlight tapes to college coaches.
If you are a Division I prospect, chances are great that you don't have to do anything. College coaches will find you. More than 100 colleges come into the Chicago area early to evaluate players. If you and your coach agree you don't have the size or speed for Division I, try Division II.