Recruiting Column: Best of 2018 coach interviews

Recruiting Column: Best of 2018 coach interviews

Recruiting Column

Recruiting Column: Best of 2018 coach interviews


USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the recruiting process. This isn’t about where just the top five-star athletes are headed but rather a guide to the process and the pitfalls for student-athletes nationwide from This week’s article is written by Ross Hawley, the president of the company. is an industry leader in college recruiting.  Their technology-based recruiting service identifies the right colleges for potential recruits to pursue and provides a recruiting system that is second to none for student-athletes of all talent levels and ages.

2018 was another great year for our Friday interviews. From the importance of developing your athleticism, to what being a good student really says about you, we covered just about all the things college coaches are looking for during the recruiting process. Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the past year!

“A commitment to growth is what separates the most successful athletes from the rest, regardless of the sport they play. I am certain that as long as you see consistent growth, success won’t be too far behind.”

-Lonni Alameda, Florida State softball

“I think too many kids focus so much on developing their skill, as opposed to their athleticism. I don’t think that’s a great approach, because if you don’t reach your full potential as an athlete, it’s likely you won’t get to that full potential with your skill or your sport. In other words, the skill becomes so much easier, the better the athlete you are.”

-Will Bartholomew, D1 Sports Training

“We pay attention to how you fail. If we’re recruiting you, it’s a given that you have some physical talent. So, we pay attention to the moments you wouldn’t want us to see, or the moments you don’t think we’re watching you.”

-Mike Bianco, Ole Miss baseball

“We really push our recruits to do is to figure out what’s important to them. To do that, they’ve got to be able to take football out of the equation. They need to figure out what matters to them, as if they were only making this decision as a student. For whatever reason, student-athletes lose focus on that. They forget about what’s going to make them happy and instead of deciding for themselves, they allow recruiters to tell them what they need.”

-John Stiegelmeier, South Dakota State football

“It’s important for us to recruit good students, because typically good students are making good decisions, daily. Good students are disciplined, they do their homework and usually have great time-management skills. If they’re making great decisions all week long in the classroom, they’re probably going to make great decisions in a match when it matters most.”

-John Cook, Nebraska volleyball

“Be your best. Don’t worry about being the best, worry about being your best. Amor fati is an old Stoic philosophy that means “love your fate”. I think that could be applied perfectly here. No matter what happens, love everything that happens to you. Find the positive in everything and use it as a stepping stone for what comes next.”

-Eric Byrnes, former MLB player

“You have to take personal responsibility for this process. Whether that’s sending us an email, calling us or whatever, it’s your job to let us know you’re interested. It’s on you to make yourself known. Listen, there are so many talented lacrosse players in this country. It would be impossible for us to discover every young lady who has the potential of playing at JMU.”

-Shelly Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison women’s lacrosse


More USA TODAY High School Sports