Don’t Limit Your Options
My recruiting story starts the summer after my freshman year in high school. I grew up in Ohio and it had always been my dream to play for The Ohio State University. I attended their summer camp and a coach from Buffalo University approached me. He said to me, “In four years, there’s a place for you at Buffalo.” I knew then that I might have a shot to play at the level and school that I always dreamed of. I thought to myself, “Man, if Buffalo wants me now, the buckeyes have to be interested in a few years.” I was right; as I entered my junior year of high school I was receiving regular mail from Ohio State and many other schools throughout the country. This is really where I made my first mistake in the recruiting process. I failed to take full advantage of the all the schools that were interested in me. I didn’t respond to coaches’ letters, I didn’t call any one to let them know that I was interested. I didn’t really do anything.
As my high school career rolled on I was fortunate to play on a very successful high school team. We had completed my junior season, with a 13-1 record, our only loss in the state semi finials. This marked two years in a row that we had completed the regular season undefeated. My goal at that time was finish my high school career with three undefeated regular seasons and go to the state championship game. I really put the recruiting process on the back burner. I wasn’t proactive; I didn’t take any unofficial visits. Again I did nothing.
As I was about to enter my senior season everything was in full swing. I had received several division one scholarships, but not the school I wanted. Ohio State had informed me that they would make a decision during the first few weeks of the season, as I was scheduled to play one of their defensive line commits. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to play in that game. During a preseason game a suffered a dislocated knee cap and would miss almost the entire regular season. I would return for the last few weeks of the year.
Needless to say I didn’t put myself in a great position with other schools. I had ignored them, while only focusing on the Buckeyes. Fortunately I still had a few offers to choose from and ended up at a great academic institution in Northwestern University. If I would have had Athletes Wanted while I was in high school I would have been better educated on how to deal with colleges and been more prepared for the bumps in the road that almost every student athlete goes through.