UCLA, Tennessee, Arizona State, San Jose State, UNLV, Colorado State, University of Arizona, Oregon State, Texas A&M, University of Colorado, University of Louisville, California, University of Tennessee, University of Utah, San Diego State, and University of Hawaii. These are some of the colleges that junior football offensive lineman Kanan Ray received in the month of February alone.
“It was crazy. I had one offer from Washington State during the season, then the day before signing day to the end of February, I picked up 16 offers. It was crazy. It was a blessing. Everything I dreamed of came true in such a short time,” said Ray.
The recruiting process is different for every athlete, but the rules are all the same. The NCAA has strict rules that prohibit coaches from contacting athletes until Sept. 1, of their junior year. Although college coaches are not allowed to contact the players, if a player calls them, the coach can answer the call, and they can talk for as long as desired about anything. Coaches are not allowed to call back or text the players. The only way a coach can reach out to a player is through email regarding an upcoming camp. However, that does not stop athletes from committing to colleges before junior year. Nothing is official until the athlete signs their letter of intent their senior year. However, all of these rules expire in their junior year which allows open communication between players and coaches. Any communication can lead to unofficial and official visits. Athletes can go on an unofficial visit at any point in their careers. This is where the athlete schedule a meeting with the college coach to tour the campus, but the athlete must pay for all expenses. Once in the junior year, the athlete can go on an official visit where the college pays for your trip. On either of these visits scholarship offers can be made and accepted.
For Ray his recruiting took off when the class ahead of him had officially signed their letters of intent. He received offers from some of the biggest football colleges in the nation.
“When I got the first one -Arizona state- I was actually at a Lakers game. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Then I got another two more the next day and then I was like okay I think it’s going to start coming on,” he said.
Once an athlete commits to a school, that athlete must make sure that their grades and test scores stay in the parameters of the school’s requirements. This is not a problem for most athletes because usually they commit to a school that matches their academics. If the athlete does not get accepted to the school, the scholarship is rejected.
The biggest part for an athlete during the recruiting process is making themselves known to colleges. That means emailing their highlights and schedule on a regular basis, and starting relationships with the coaches at the colleges they hope to attend.
“Working hard every play really and playing for the name on the front of the jersey so they know about the name on the back. I was a team player first. I really hit up the coaches a lot and emailed coaches. I say who I am and what my interests are in whatever university it is,” said Ray.
Overall, Sierra Canyon has powerhouse athletics program that produces great athletes and utilizes this system to reach the next level of athletics in colleges. Currently, Sierra has over 60 athletes in college.