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Jermaine's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 4, 2008

University of Richmond ’05 – Men’s Basketball

It wasn’t until my sophomore year of high school when I realized I was capable of playing basketball at the Division 1 level.  I remember distinctly creating three new goals for my basketball career that year.  The first of which was to play basketball at the Division 1 level.  Second, I wanted to become a member of the Canadian National Basketball Team. Third, was to continue on after college to play professional basketball. Once I established these three major goals, I needed to make sure I attended the college that would put me in the best possible position to accomplish all three of my goals.


I was fortunate enough to display some of my talents at a few well-known showcase tournaments and I began to be contacted by Division 1 schools.  Some programs just sent letters; others phone calls, and some both letters and phone calls.  After researching all the schools that had contacted me, which included location, history, academic background, coaching history, athletic department’s history and so on, I was able to narrow it down to the four schools for official visits.  At the time I thought that I would be visiting the University of Montana, University of Richmond, Boston College, and Notre Dame.


I had been in close contact with all four of these schools and their basketball programs for a number of months before taking my first visit, which was to University of Montana.  I took this visit with my entire family because I wanted them to all share this first experience with me.  We had a great visit and I loved the school and the surrounding atmosphere.  University of Montana was a school that I was familiar with because I had attended a few of their summer basketball camps so I was comfortable with the coaching staff and players.  Attending University of Montana would also allow me to stay close to home and the ability to drive home on occasion was appealing to me.


My next visit was to the University of Richmond.  The second that I stepped onto the campus I had an extraordinary feeling of comfort and security.  I loved the campus and the arena where the basketball team played.  After having the opportunity to meet the coaching staff and my potential future teammates, I knew Richmond was the school for me. There was a sense of family and unity within the program, which was important to me, especially since I was going to be so far away from home.  I met with the academic adviser on my visit and figured out what field of studies might be of interest to me if I decided to attend the school.


I had a great visit to University of Richmond and after returning home; and speaking with my family along with a lot of prayer I knew that I wasn’t going to take up the offers on my other two visits.  University of Richmond was the school for me.  I thanked University of Montana, Boston College and Notre Dame University for their strong interest and continued forward with my vision of attending University of Richmond.  I weighed all of the positives and the negatives and realized that University of Richmond would be the best place to help me achieve all of my goals with basketball and at the same time I would be receiving a top-notch education. 

After my visit I committed to the University of Richmond.  I continued to build a relationship with not only the coach, but also the players.  I kept in consistent contact with two players over the remaining months of my senior year of high school and the summer leading into my freshman year of college.  The following fall, upon arriving to the University of Richmond I was only a freshman but because of my previous communication I felt like I had been a member of the team and program for much longer.


I feel extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend the University of Richmond and to be a Division 1 athlete.  I was able to achieve all three of my goals by playing basketball at the University of Richmond. I was also able to receive a great education and meet some outstanding life long friends.


My Advice:


  • Seek advice from your family and those close to you who have gone through the decision making process before you

  • Make a choice that will make you happy! You can always transfer but it is a difficult process.  Don’t make a decision on your school because you are trying to please someone else.  You have to live with it for the next 4-5 years

  • If you are serious and passionate about your sport, then go to a school that is going to allow you to play and become a better athlete

  • Make sure that the school you go to allows you to have a life outside of your sport

  • Make sure that you get along with your teammates!  You will be spending more time with these people then you have ever spent with anyone in your life other than maybe your immediate family.  You want to be able to enjoy your time around these people and build strong, firm relationships.








For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

3,024 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: basketball, ncaa, recruiting, athlete, college, virginia, high-school, richmond, recruit, student, recruiting-101

John's Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 4, 2008

Dartmouth College '01 - Men's Lacrosse

I remember my recruiting period as being a total blast. I was behind the ball in getting to know colleges and gathering an idea of where’d I’d like to go to school. So through recruiting camps, and receiving letters from different colleges, it opened up a whole world of colleges I had never thought of.


My recruiting process began by mailing out letters and resumes to the coaches of the schools I was initially interested in my junior spring. I was pretty certain I wanted to attend a bigger school in an urban atmosphere. After a few weeks of correspondence and speaking with different coaches that summer, I had a sizeable list of schools where both I and the coach there shared a mutual interest. As a recruit you’re only allowed five official visits to D-I schools, so I had to make some early choices.


Initially, my list included schools of every size and shape, from Washington College to the Naval Academy. I had a wide range of choices. I quickly narrowed down my choices to three schools, Boston College, Dartmouth College, and Brown University. Though Dartmouth College didn’t fit my initial criteria, it was recommended to me by one of my high school coaches whom I had a lot of respect for, so I figured I would at least explore the idea.


My interest in Boston College stemmed from the fact that my older brother had played there. I had already spent a lot of time there and didn’t really need to take an official recruiting trip. I had essentially been taking recruiting trips there since I was 14. I knew what the school was about and knew I would really like it there.


The only two official visits I took were to Brown University and Dartmouth College, on consecutive weekends my senior fall, and I couldn’t have visited two schools that were more different from each other. I enjoyed my weekend at Brown University. I got along great with the coaching staff, was really impressed by the athletic and academic facilities, and definitely felt like I could have gone there. However, the one catch was that socially, I didn’t really click with anyone I met there outside of the lacrosse team. I came away weighing the pros and cons – it was a top caliber lacrosse program, but would I enjoy my time there off the lacrosse field?


The following week I traveled to Hanover to visit Dartmouth College – small school, remote, and not anywhere near anything resembling a city. I figured there was no chance this school was for me, but I figured, “What the heck? At least it will be a weekend away from home.” My first impressions were that it was one of the most beautifully classic campuses I had ever seen. It was small, pastoral, with the central green surrounded by the old brick and tin roof buildings, and the clock tower crowning the far end of the green. It also didn’t hurt that it was the peak of the fall foliage season.


I met with the coaches after my arrival and got a tour of the athletic facilities. Right off the bat, I knew that the head coach and I would never have a great relationship – his style of coaching was very different from the style I best responded to. On top of that, the facilities at Dartmouth College at the time were pretty poor, especially next to those at Brown University and Boston College. My first afternoon there didn’t do much to change my initial lack of interest in the school. I then spent the weekend with some guys from the team, and I was immediately struck at how happy everyone was at this school. The more I spoke with people, both athletes and non-athletes; I was amazed how almost no one had a bad thing to say about their experiences there. And the more time I spent in social settings there, the more comfortable I was with the people around me, especially compared to my time at Brown University.


I spent a weekend at Dartmouth College and came away with essentially the opposite impression of my time at Brown University – I wasn’t thrilled with the athletic side of the college, but I was enamored by the academic and social structures.


Now came the hard part – the decision. Generally, college coaches will require a commitment from you before they will take your name through the admissions process. Both of the staffs at Brown University and Dartmouth College were pretty clear, I wasn’t being admitted without committing to play. I was offered an academic scholarship by Boston College, so I knew I was in there. I agonized for a week over my choices, pouring over each college’s information package, plowing through college selection books. I was trying to find a very hard, quantifiable reason why I should choose one over the other.


Each had something I liked, as well as things I didn’t like. I loved that Boston College was in a big city with a big time sports program and was offering me a full academic ride, but I felt compelled to get out from under my brother’s shadow and blaze my own path. I loved the lacrosse program at Brown University and its campus in Providence. At Dartmouth College, I knew I’d love my time there socially and in classes, but was not excited to play in a lacrosse program with those facilities and a coach I had a bad feeling about.


In the end, I made probably the most mature decision I’ve ever made. In a moment of unexpected clarity, I simply asked myself, “If I get hurt and cannot continue to play lacrosse, where will I be happiest?” When I looked at it from this angle, it was such a simple decision for me. Against my initial requirements of a bigger school in a big city, I chose the small, rural college in New Hampshire. For once, I put my academics ahead of my athletics. It was the best decision I ever made. As fate would have it, I ended up sustaining a career ending injury my sophomore year and I loved every single day I spent on that campus for four years.


My Advice:


  • Be on your best behavior at all times. College coaches are just as concerned about who you are off the field as on. I received a letter from one coach, essentially terminating their interest in me. I later found out it was because they saw me slam my stick on the ground in frustration during a game. There are so many athletes out there these days that coaches are looking for reasons to cross you off their list.

  • Don’t pigeonhole yourself to one type of school. What you’re interested in as a sophomore or junior in high school can quickly change as you mature.

  • Don’t choose a school based solely on the sport you play. If suddenly you can’t play anymore, you sure don’t want to be stuck at a school you can’t stand outside of your sport.

  • If you are really interested in a school, but are not hearing from the coach, don’t give up. Coaches love players that are persistent and show a real interest and determination to play for their program.

  • Lastly, don’t play one sport in high school. Collegiate coaches want athletes, not specialists.








For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

1,634 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: ncaa, recruiting, athlete, college, lacrosse, recruit, recruiting-101, division-1, new-hampshire, dartmouth

Eddie's  Story

Posted by saraallent Mar 4, 2008

University of Richmond '06 - Football

Throughout high school, I never had any dreams or visions of playing a college sport.  I had always been a pretty good basketball player because of my size, but had never played football until my freshman year.  I never imagined that it would be my eventual ticket to a free education and the best experience of my life. 


Though I enjoyed basketball the most, I just seemed to be a natural at football, because of my leadership and my never-quit attitude.  My team always seemed to thrive on the energy that I brought into each and every game.  After my junior year, I all of a sudden started receiving awards and recognition from out of nowhere, which was the first time that the thought crossed my mind of potentially playing at the next level.  Though I was definitely not the strongest or fastest player on the field, I never ever quit on any play and kept my intensity and my team's energy up for the entire game.  I had a solid work ethic and that is one of the main things that college coaches look for in their recruits.


I was very excited when all of the recruiting letters began pouring in, but it was very overwhelming.  I received letters from top programs like Penn State University, all the way down to small D-3 schools.  I never wanted to count any schools out however, because things in the recruiting world can change very quickly. 


The whole recruiting process was the most stressful time in my life.  I lost a lot of sleep at night.  I saw the University of Richmond, and new that it was a perfect fit for me.  The players, the coaches, the school, everything about it was just right.  However, at the time I had a high school girlfriend, and was very close to settling on Towson University, because it was much closer to home.  However, I never got the same sense of team, or sense that I belonged at Towson, like I did at Richmond.  I realized that Richmond was where I needed to be, and it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made. 


Whatever you do, don't look at the immediate impact of your decision.  Odds are that you will get homesick; you will be overwhelmed with work, and the speed of the game, and the pressure from the coaches.  Getting through all of these things will shape who you are as a person, and will make you into a much stronger individual.  You will be able to handle life's challenges more easily having been a college athlete, and you will have no regrets.


My Advice:


  • Almost every college program offers some sort of camp in the summer.  This is basically a legal way for coaches to see what players can do up close, though they are very limited by NCAA regulations.  If there are any schools that you are really interested in, make a great effort to get to their camp.  This will let the coaches know that you are interested in them, just as they are interested in you.

  • You should also make every effort possible to get your name out into the recruiting world.  Join recruiting websites, make video tapes, and call coaches.  It is okay to brag as much as you possibly can; it will only help you out in the long run.  Treat your senior season as an audition, as every game could be your ticket to a free ride.  If you make a mistake on the field, don't feel like scouts are going to pack it up and give up on you.  Everybody makes mistakes, just make up for it on the next play or in the next game.  As I said, there is NO replacement for hustle on the field. 

  • Recruiting trips after the season are one of the most fun times that you are going to have throughout the whole journey. You are only allowed five official visits so be sure to pick schools that you would legitimately want to consider going to. 


Some things to consider on your official visit:


  • School. Odds are you will not go pro. Will you end up with a degree that you will be proud of once you graduate?

  • Location. Is it too far from home?  Too close?  This is important, as many freshmen will get homesick and a weekend trip home can be enough to help you make the gradual transition.

  • Coaches. These are your new parents. Be sure that they are honest and truly care about their players. Don't fall for the old "come here, and you will play right away" line, which is used frequently to lure in recruits. If you are good enough, you will prove that you can play right away on the field, not through promises.

  • Players. These are your new brothers and will become the closest friends that you will ever make. You will go through the toughest few years of your life with them. Be sure that there is a sense of team among the players.  Ask them all the questions that you can, about coaches, school, social life, etc.


Good Luck!









For more information check out the Active Recruiting 101 special section.

1,496 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: football, ncaa, recruiting, college, virginia, richmond, recruit, recruiting-101