Recruiting Stresses Can Outweigh Unique Courtship

Many of Arizona’s top prep football prospects received the ultimate learning experience the past few years.

Coincidentally, it has nothing to do with any knowledge they gained in their high school classrooms.

With National Signing Day now past and the smoke having been cleared from endless texts, calls, letters, visits and promises, many of the Valley’s best are ready to move forward at their college choice.

The recruiting courtship may appear easy on the outside but the struggle for some of these students-athletes is real as they attempt to make not only the best choice but the right one, as well.

“The most difficult part was deciding which school I was going to make number one,” Highland High two-way star and ASU signee Tyler Johnson thoughtfully said to “I learned that being humble is the number one key. Be calm, weigh your options and do what’s best for you.”

Certain players were wise enough to lean on others when the pressure was highest.

“The middle part [of recruiting] was when I was most overwhelmed,” Centennial’s Andrew Nichols explained to “My parents helped me through that and my coaches at school helped me, as well.”

Sometimes saying “no” is even harder to saying “yes” to their suitors.

“For me, it’s the relationships I’ve built with all these coaches,” ACU commit Maverick Gamez said of his struggles. “Having to tell them, ‘no, I’m not committing to your school because I found a better fit for me. A different place that I want to go for my education and my football career.'”

With the stress, also comes a little relief when players visit potential schools and the proverbial red carpet is rolled out.

“At Columbia,” Nichols explained of his future school with a wry smile. “They took me out. It was fun. They took us out to a bowling alley and a nice Italian restaurant. All the food you could eat. They just kept bringing it. It was amazing.”

Everything is fine in moderation, sometimes even the wild game of recruiting.


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