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Sports Column:College Recruiting simplified with visit of guest speaker

Sports Column:College Recruiting simplified with visit of guest speaker
National college recruiting expert Jack Renkins speaks across the country to athletes and parents about how to market themselves as incoming freshmen. He recently made a stop at the high school to talk to young recruiting prospects in the district.

This time of the year is when high school athletes dreams of playing sports at the collegiate level take the national stage.  Most of them are getting a full scholarship and will play for a good college if they have the talent. At least, that seems to be a common idea.

The reality is, college recruitment is a whole new world of business that athletes have very little understanding of. That’s why Jack Renkens, author of “Recruitment Realities” made one of his many stops around the country to clear things up for the underclass athletes in Duncanville ISD.

Contrary to what some might believe, the recruiting process begins freshmen year. It’s never too late, even if your a senior, but the ideal time to start is freshmen year. You can sign up with recruiting companies that send out your information to every recruiter in the country. You can’t get recruited even if  colleges don’t know who you are your freshman year.

Movies and news stories about talented athletes getting a full ride to prestigious universities, paint a false picture for the common student athlete. Those athletes are in a small percentage of success stories. Student athletes have to realize that being picky and close minded will not get you very far at all, and might even lead to you not even playing at all for college.

An example Renkens used was when athletes start getting letters from several colleges, they start to form piles of the colleges they want and those they don’t. The problem is athletes usually put in one pile all the big name schools in which they are less likely to play for and discard the small or lesser known  colleges almost right away. Athletes have to be willing to play anywhere, and I mean anywhere.

“You don’t pick the school, the school picks you,” Renkens said.

Paying their way through college is tough, especially in today’s economy, and even athletes will find it frustrating.  Athletes can quickly forget about that full funding from an athletic scholarship, it’s unlikely. But that doesn’t mean an athlete still can’t get their education funded. This brings about the factor of grades.

Renkins says these universities have hundreds of kids to pick from, and if your grades and tests scores are low they can definitely pull someone else from the list. But as an athlete you can still get funded, with academic scholarships. In fact some athletes are 70, 80, 90, or even 100 percent funded based on their academics.

College recruitment is a difficult process, and can require sacrifice from both parents and students. But it is not impossible by any means, and if done right, athletes have a good chance of gaining a full ride to a college. It all depends on how open you are, support, responsibility and knowing the rules of the “game”  when it comes to recruiting.

You can visit Renkens website for more info here

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