You Have 5 Recruiting Visits....Where Would You You Go?
Under NCAA rules each prospective student-athlete is limited to a total of 5 all-expenses-paid official visits in recruiting. There was a time when recruits took all 5 visits, but now, because of so many early commitments, very few take more than one or two.
So for today’s blog, the question is where would you take your 5 visits? For the purpose of this discussion eliminate your favorite team or Alma Mater—so Penn State will not be on this list for me. So with that as the only ground rule—which 5 visits would you take?
My list includes a visit to one school in each of the Power 5 Conferences (and keep in mind like all recruits I can and will change my mind):
1. Alabama—Nick Saban and the current success factor in here, but Alabama Tradition looms large—the same uniforms, team goals, Coach Bryant, unbelievable athletic success. If the NFL is one of your considerations, they’ve killed it in the draft. But it’s not all football. Academically Alabama has made moves to become a national school and now over half of their students come from out of state.
2. Ohio State—Urban Meyer is a proven Head Coach with a top notch staff. The off season addition of former Head Coach Kevin Wilson to run the offense and with Greg Schiano already on the defensive side he has two former Power-5 head coaches running those units. Columbus is a thriving city with plenty to do on High Street and beyond. OSU has also upped their graduation rates with a commitment to accountability that seems to run through the program.
3. Texas—This was a tough call between Texas, Oklahoma (Bob Stoops) and Baylor (Matt Rhule), but Austin is Austin. Who knows—local resident Matthew McConaughey may even loan you a Lincoln to drive for the weekend. UT has a storied tradition, cool campus, great climate and is an excellent school in a thriving city of young people. AND the original Chuy's serves The Elvis Presley Memorial Combo--a plate of Tex-Mex Heaven on earth.
4. UCLA—Lots of Pac 12 schools were considered--Oregon (facilities & Phil Knight), Washington (great city & a team on the rise), Stanford (it’s Stanford), Colorado & Utah (skiing!) and UCLA. The Bruins win out because it’s Hollywood, because the school is strong in so many areas and the campus is beautiful. Heck you play your home games in The Rose Bowl. If you’re going West Coast for a visit, go big. The coaching staff has experience at the highest levels. Head Coach Jim Mora has been an NFL head Coach, new offensive Coordinator Jed Fisch has been a coordinator in the NFL and defensive coordinator Tom Bradley is one of the nation’s best.
5. Virginia—In the ACC Virginia edges out UNC. This may surprise you with Clemson or Florida State in the conference but UVA and UNC are phenomenal college towns. UVA wins out because of the school’s history (founded by Thomas Jefferson), phenomenal campus (they call it “the grounds”) and elite academic excellence. The football program is down now, but that will not last. This school has the resources to compete with a large number of highly successful wealthy donors. And after graduation the networking possibilities are tremendous.
So those are my five schools…..where are you going for your five visits? Feel free to comment below.