September 1st Is Here
Well, THE DAY is finally here. For a significant number of players, Saturday will become a day to remember. On Saturday, September 1st the phone will start ringing. Oh how I wish I was back in the recruiting wars. In basketball, we had this day. It was fun. It was exciting. It was THE DAY! This Saturday . . . starting at Midnight, college coaches are permitted to call players in the 2020 class. With the passing of the new legislation, recruiting contact became restricted to juniors and seniors. So a once rather free-wheeling system was locked down. And that was good. Because now we have A DAY! It’s a day that will surely be a day to remember.
Note #1 – a very good friend of ours has two daughters that play in the Pac 12, remarked that he wished he had another daughter so he could experience the anticipation and excitement.
Note #2 – while a number of athletes will be called, a number will not be called. Believe me, future All Americans will be left alone on Saturday. That is also the way of the world. So DO NOT DESPAIR IF THE PHONE DOESN’T RING!
Note #3 – Yes, some recruit’s phone will ring in the minute after the clock strikes midnight. You can bet on that one. We did this all the time in men’s basketball, and some enterprising, enthusiastic softball staff will certainly do the same.
Note #4 – many other coaches will try to make it just another work day. They won’t call early. They might even wait until Monday when their weekend is over. Who knows?
Note #5 – But I will tell you this, many “verbally committed” players will receive phone calls from other schools for the first time expressing interest in recruiting them. And I hope all players and families will listen, and evaluate, and reflect. Because the REAL recruiting is just about to begin.
If I were coaching softball right now, the #1 rated player in the country would hear from me. At ONE SECOND past midnight, I would call that family and say, “hey, just give me a chance! Listen to what I have to say over the next few weeks or months.” There is no question that I would pursue ANY PLAYER in the country whom I felt would make my program better.
So, I am hoping many of you will hear from all sorts of schools on Saturday . . . and Sunday . . . and Monday. I am hoping you will hear from schools you have never heard from before. I am hoping you all will take a deep breath and listen. I am hoping you all will understand that true recruiting is the ability of a coach to share with a recruit a vision, a path, and an experience. Recruiting is a coach showing a player and her family WHY their school is the absolute best fit for them. And the real recruiting is going to start on Saturday. I hope you will be open-minded enough to listen to all suitors because your future and your happiness depends upon you making a good, informed decision.
For those of you whose phone DOESN’T ring, well I have high hopes for you as well. I hope you will understand that Aaron Rogers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, went to a junior college before he went to Cal because his phone wasn’t ringing. That Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones are the only #1 picks in the MLB draft to be elected to the Hall of Fame. I hope that if your phone DOESN’T ring, you will grit your teeth and head out to the field and work even harder than you have ever worked before. Just to prove them all wrong. Just to show everyone that they missed on you.
Last week, we sent out a report with 438 players from the 2020 class. It went all over the country and featured all 2020s who participated in our Jamborees & Elite Camps over the last three years. It included evaluations and contact information. In doing this we were hoping that each of you will have MANY options starting this week. Because Saturday is simply going to be a great day. Some will be happy. Some will be anxious. Some will be sad. But that is life, and we have to deal with it. We hope you will share your story with us as it unfolds. We will stay up Friday night and see if anyone gets that “MIDNIGHT CALL.” If you do, make sure you let us know . . . tag us in your Instagram story, Snapchat or Twitter! If you don’t get that call, let us know too, so we can continue to try to help. So whatever happens be ready to take a deep breath. Listen. Learn. Reflect. And get ready to start the process of making one of the most important decisions of your life.