My College Recruiting Story
The wild ride from HS to college athletics and how I almost missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime
It’s National Signing Day and an assistant coach from Army West Point is calling to congratulate me on signing the NLI.
I can hear the excitement in his voice as he proclaims “super-pumped to have you on the squad I think you’ll make a real difference here!”
Before I can even get a word out he passes the phone to the head coach…my stomach is starting to churn. “Shit”, I think to myself.
There’s a BIG PROBLEM I haven’t told him or any of the other coaches about yet.
But first, let’s back up a few years to where it all started.
What fueled the athletic journey…
It was these comments that fueled me to be better. I can still remember the faces and exactly where I was when people made these comments.
“not athletic enough”
“good high school player but not college bound”
“plays against bad competition in high school”
“basketball isn’t going to get you anywhere”
All people who didn’t understand, couldn’t see the vision, or were just jealous of what I was accomplishing.
Heading in to my career post-sports people still make the same comments, but in a different light.
not smart enough
get a real job
that’s too risky
Say thank you to these people…for the FREE motivation they provide daily.
5’10 150 lb. freshman starting point guard
Since I was 3 years old, I always had a basketball in my hands.
I loved the game and had dreams of playing for the University of Pittsburgh where my Dad would take me to several games each year.
My school team went undefeated most years up through 8th grade. My AAU team was the team that got laughed at in warmups and then held the 1st place trophy up on Sunday night.
Then in a blink of an eye I was starting my first high school varsity game. I scored 11 points and hit this corner and-one three I can still visualize perfectly. This was the beginning of the roller coaster ride.
I always knew I could play in college. But, WOW, looking back I did about everything wrong and almost ruined my chances.
I was about 3 days and 1 phone call away from missing out on playing Division 1 basketball at a top 40 institution (Boston University) where I received an $80,000/yr athletic scholarship, shot 40% from behind the arc, made it to the NCAA tournament my junior year, and was a captain on the team my senior year.
All the mistakes is what led me to start putting out education on the recruiting process because playing in college is a life-changing experience.
I did about everything possible to screw it up and I don’t want you to do the same.
Recruiting isn’t complicated:
When you break it down recruiting is very simple.
Work on your game daily
Dominate high school and play on a travel team
Go to exposure events where coaches are scouting
Send film to coaches by email, phone, social media (and now AIR)
Get good grades and test scores
Build relationships with coaches and go on visits
Create a pros and cons list of opportunities
Make your decision
Ok, let’s get back to the main story real quick.
At this point I want to throw up, toss myself through a window, and switch sports all at the same time.
The head coach from Army West Point gets on the line.
“Petcash, happy to welcome you to the squad! How was the signing day event at your school?”
“Um (long pause)…Coach, I actually forgot to tell you something.”
“What’s that, buddy?”
I stutter a few times and debate lying, but I can feel my Dad staring at me. He nudges me, “Tell him.”
I’m shaking - but I manage to spit it out… “Coach, I’ve actually decided not to sign today I’m not sure Army is the right fit for me.”
“You realized you just screwed us. Let’s talk about f’ing loyalty here……
The convo didn’t end well - let’s just leave it at that. And I heard some words I didn’t even know existed. Oops.
My recruiting process almost ended worst than this debacle. Let me explain.
November 9 - August 23
The National Signing Day blunder was on November 9th.
From then, until August 23 was the most up-and-down 287 days I’ll probably ever experience.
Imagine not knowing where you’re going to college on graduation day. That was me.
I grinded everyday. Played another season of AAU. Set my sights on heading to prep school. And didn’t give up or give in to easier options.
Then, on August 23, ten days before I was supposed to leave for prep school and thirteen days before classes at Boston University started - it all changed.
After a successful workout, visit, application process, and conversation with my parents…I had to call another coach (the prep school) and tell him I wasn’t coming.
I was getting pretty good at decommitting, but finally a call that felt good.
Division 1 Boston University. In the same conference as Army West Point.
Here are my senior year HS highlights. I use to have a little bit of bounce ⛹🏼♂️
(and believe it or not we had four Divison 1 players on this team: 2 football, 2 hoops)
Here were some of my recruiting mistakes:
I’ll be breaking down several of the mistakes I made in future posts, but here are a few of the major ones (looking back…painful, but enlightening)
verbally committing to a school, but still searching for other options
posting inappropriate things on social media
telling coaches I was too good for their level
going on official visits to schools I wasn’t interested in, because the visits were paid for completely by the school
trying to bring a friend on an official visit, instead of my parents
The Petcash Post 🌐
Anyway…I hope you enjoyed this story.
If you’re new here, The Petcash Post is a free newsletter where I take the political correctness out of sports, college recruiting, and the world.
I try to tell stories, add some humor, and still teach some lessons.
Don’t be soft. You won’t agree with everything I have to say. That’s what the comments section is for.
By the way, I’m able to add audio to these posts (sort of like a podcast), so I’m thinking of doing that every now and then because a lot of the content I have is better told audibly.
Enjoyed this? Please share it with an aspiring college athlete and their parents.
For those of you new here, at the end of every post I include something that is intended to make you think on a deeper level.
The world is always trying to tell you how to think. It’s more important now than ever to think for yourself and express your views.
Are you spending enough time living in the NOW?