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COVID initiates challenges for athletes in college recruiting process

WED. | 10-28-20 | SPORTS

     Kids all around the nation grow up playing sports with the hope of someday playing at the collegiate level. They spend countless hours practicing, training and pursuing their dream. Many of these high school athletes, including Rose seniors Julian Long and Wade Jarman, have experienced the recruiting process being put on hold due to COVID-19.  Both Long and Jarman, football players at Rose, have experienced challenges because they both missed out on recruiting opportunities in the spring, summer and fall of 2020.  

     “COVID has definitely affected the recruiting process, crammed everything in a short period, delayed our season, given college coaches less options as far as offers go” Long said.

     The college recruiting process has looked very different this year as coaches are forced to meet virtually or via phone calls.

     Some athletes were fortunate enough to have college coaches and recruiters scout them before the pandemic. Long built relationships with college coaches and was getting closer to making a decision. However, other athletes were less lucky in regards to getting college exposure and are dependent on this upcoming season to gain attention.

     “I thankfully have been recruited by Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Elon,” Long said. “I actually had multiple campus football visits planned to Harvard, Columbia and Elon, but were cancelled due to the virus.”

     Many high school athletes had their spring seasons cut short or cancelled due to COVID-19. The fall 2020 sports seasons, including football have been delayed until early 2021. Many of these athletes have lost opportunities to be seen and recognized by college recruiters. Athletes have had to lower their expectations and realize that it may take longer to get scholarship offers.

     Some athletes have given up on their dreams, while others continue to pursue their dreams knowing they may have to take a different path to get where they want to be.

Both Jarman and Long have a strong family support system and coaches that have helped guide them through this tough time. They also have had a lot of support from coaches and teachers who are helping these student athletes get through this challenging time. 

     “My family and coaches have always had my back and are telling me to be patient throughout the process,” Jarman said. 

     Though the process has been difficult, Long has stayed strong and continued to work hard. 

     “One lesson I have learned is that nothing is deserved or given, regard your time as precious and never get discouraged.” Long said. 

     This past year has been so tough for high school athletes. There has been discouragement, questions, and uncertainty because of the virus and changes in recruiting. Athletes continue to chase their dreams by working hard in the classroom and in their sports so that they are prepared when their opportunity comes.


Graphic by Jay Tyndall

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