Signing Day is a thrill! It's the wedding day, where the pursued (college athletes) get to put their stamp of approval on one of the schools which was courting their talents for the last year (or 4 years, and for some top blue chips, since they were in middle school) .
Though the days taken off from school for a college visit, countless
personal cards from recruiting offices, and nationwide media press can be both
flattering and exhausting; there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted. Anywhere
from 3 to 5 offers are extended to a typical athlete on signing day.
However, there are many prep athletes who spend signing day with no offers to
contemplate. Such was my experience back in 1996 as a high school senior
(except an offer to walk-on the USF football team on their inaugural year of
having a football team). No one was scouting me, so I made a decision to pioneer
a path to the school where I always wanted to play football; I chose to
walk-on the FSU football team.
There is a vast difference between the experiences of receiving promises
from recruiters soliciting your commitment to their program and having to make
cold calls begging for a no-guarantee opportunity to walk on with a university;
you might not even get repetition at practice.
Deep within us all is that desire to be pursued as top prep athletes are
during this season of their life. However, that is not what life presents to
most of us. We have to go looking for job ads, we go searching on Match.com, and
we beg friends to like us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel.
The reality of life is that if we want to wear that dream jersey, our
journey will involve more of a walk-on path than that of a recruited scholarship
If you want to start your own business you're going to need to seek out
the prospective investors, you'll have to offer free written articles to the
local newspaper to earn your spot on a column, you'll have to swallow your
pride and call that girl (and be a gentleman about it) if you feel you're meant
to be together.
The gripping tension within us all is that we know exactly what we want but
we're waiting for someone to make us an offer. We may even have our three to
five options but none is exactly the true desire of our hearts.
What do we do in this situation? Do we limit ourselves to what is presented,
or can we remain committed to what we really want and create a path to get
there when that is warranted?
I saw many recruited athletes during my college years meander through four
years at FSU and hardly played a down. Some even left to go somewhere else. But
for me, is was a PASSIONATE PURSUIT to make my dream happen that helped me to
become a team captain of the '2000 defending national championship FSU football
Offer or none, Pursue your Passion!