Ever wonder what it's like to be recruited by a top Division I football coach, be it position coach or head coach? Well, now we know thanks to a blind survey distributed by The Sporting News -- as relayed by the Portland Oregonian -- to 102 of the nation's top recruits. The survey sample was designed to provide both geographic and talent diversity, but all athletes surveyed held at least four scholarship offers when they were sent the questionnaire.
When the answers were in, a few incredible notable things emerged, but none were more obvious than the following: College recruiters are absolutely full of it when they're trying to convince a player to come to their school.
Among other similarities, players almost universally bemoaned coaches who they knew were lying to them, particularly when it came to playing time. When asked what one line a player had heard from a recruiter that made them roll their eyes, a number cited promises about starting or contributing as a freshman.
Here are some of the best, most audacious examples of those little white lies.
"Having a recruiter tell you that you can start immediately if you come there. That line is the key for you to cut them (off your list)."
"They told me I'm absolutely starting my freshman year, even though I know that most offensive linemen like me need a year to develop."
"A recruiter told me that I was good enough to skip college and go straight to the NFL. I laughed in his face."
"One coach told me he could guarantee me an NFL contract."
"They'd help me make an NFL movie and I could star if I'd want to after I graduate from the school. I mean … come on, man."
While most of the pet peeve recruiter lines had to do with a student's performance once he arrives on campus, there were other ridiculous, over-the-top promises and comments made as well. One coach openly lauded the female population of the school -- "There are some nice women at our school" -- while another promised a defensive lineman that he'd be the face of the entire program. Another high school athlete noted that multiple coaches had promised that their institution boasted the nation's best business school … yet none of them did when he researched the subject (evidently he wasn't being recruited by the University of Pennsylvania).
There were a number of other fascinating trends from the survey -- a majority of the athletes themselves didn't seem to be fond of the hat-donning celebration that comes with National Signing Day each April and more students said they'd love to take a visit to Oregon than any other school not recruiting them (Nike dollars at work, anyone?) -- but the salesmanship tactics of the recruiters stood out above all.
Now the matter will focus on whether coaches will still try to tell all their recruits that they'll start as freshmen, even though the coaches now know that the players themselves think they're ridiculous for mentioning it.
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