Athletes weigh merits of early commitment

Coach, athletics director note benefits


Christian Daniels

Indiana State commit senior Daijon Collins scores a touchdown during a regular season game.

Max Wirth , Sports Co-Editor

Choosing the right college has transitioned into a quickly moving process. High school athletes are receiving scholarship offers in a much earlier time frame, propelling kids to pick their future universities sooner. Despite the change in the system, students and administration both agree it is an advantage to commit prior to senior year’s athletic season begins.

Cathedral pipeline grows

Senior linebacker Hugh Davis said, “It can be stressful but at the end of the day when you find out what you want and where you want to truly be out of the options that you have, it’s an easy decision.” Davis committed to Boston College in May at the end of his junior year. Three former Irish football players have headed to Boston College, including Ben Stewart ‘17.

“Boston College suits me because it gives me the challenge I need academically,” he said, “and also gives me the opportunity to live out my dreams and play at the highest level against some of the best programs in the country from the ACC week in and week out.” Boston College is recognized as prestigious academic school across the nation and competes in the Atlantic Coastal Conference against powerhouses Clemson and Louisville.

The qualities a prospect searches for in a school can vary. Davis said he “looked for academic fit, culture of the school and team, how I fit with the on field scheme and relationships with coaches and players.”

In-state pledge likes mix of school, football

Senior wide receiver Daijon Collins has made an in-state pledge. Collins committed to Indiana State because committing “early is more beneficial. It gives you the opportunity to just worry about football and your grades without the added pressure of worrying what colleges are calling you and them giving you their sales pitch,” he said. Making the college decision earlier terminates distractions from other schools during the season.

Collins found a safe haven in Terre Haute. “You know the school fits you when it feels like home,” he said. Collins explained the value in living comfortably amidst sport, school and coaching staff at a new destination.

This senior wideout is seen as a smaller, shifty athlete. Bigger schools such as Iowa and Minnesota overlooked Collins, but he used the moment as fuel to up his game. He chose a school that wanted him badly, and looks to utilize his weapons in the future. “I looked for a program that would value my potential on the field and in the classroom as well as a coaching staff that would help me grow on and off the football field,” he said.

Senior combo guard Jarron Coleman is taking his talents up State Road 37 to Ball State University in Muncie. His path was not difficult as he had this MAC school in mind: “It wasn’t a difficult decision because I knew that I wanted to go into the (high school) season committed so I could focus,” he said.

Coleman had scouted the Cardinals, becoming familiar with the scheme and School, alike. “I knew that Ball State was a good choice for me because they play an offense that fits my play style and their coaching staff is full of great coaches,” he said. The coach-player relationship is greatly valued by the senior, along with the academic layout the school offers. “I look at what relationship the coaching staff has with the players. I also looked at what I can achieve academically at Ball State,” he said.

Athletics Director Mr. Doug Seagrave supported the progression of early commitments, saying, “I think they are good. It takes a lot of stress off of them, as well as their families too. It also helps for them to focus on their high school seasons.” Getting such a big decision out of the way can assist a family in continuing their day-to-day without such a big weight looming in the fast approaching future.

“The focus goes back onto high school athletics with earlier commitment dates,” Seagrave said. “You’re secure in knowing you have opportunities to go places and you can finish your senior year in high school.”

Former football Head Coach Mr. Rick Streiff commented on the benefit of committing early, saying, “The decision is over and they can concentrate on their high school career.”

Picking out a school gives kids a head start   in a strenuous decision making process. “If they are offered early it allows them to do a lot leg work on college earlier than other students. (It) gives them a better perspective of things to come for them and their peers,” he said.

Despite the evident plus factors, there can be mayhem. The recruiting circuit is challenging as is. “Things change both with the student and the schools they are committed to,” he said.

Coaches are also subject to losing their jobs as a result of a lackluster season. With a coaching change and shift in current staff, athlete’s can waver in their opinion and stance. In addition, other opportunities present themselves that might be better for the student collectively.

Streiff provided his thoughts but did not choose a side. “I don’t think there is one right or wrong way to do this.  It is really an individual idea of what works best for them,” he said.