National Signing Day

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Thoughts and Insights on #NationalSingingDay LiveMaas

Today is a life changing day across the country for thousands of young women and men as they sign National Letters of Intent (NLI’s) on the NCAA’s National Signing Day for Women’s and Men’s Soccer and Football.

The events that we witness today on SportsCenter and through social media will pass quickly, as our attention spans will be drawn to the ‘next’ thing. But if you can, just this one time, give these young women and men a little bit more of your time on this occasion. These students will be taking a significant leap in the next few months. Going from very big fish in very small ponds to very small fish in a very big pond. Let them soak in the attention and allow them to feel the love from not only their families, but also their new fan base and the alumni from the school they have decided on.

Today is possible because of the hard work and determination of the student and their families, but also because of the hard work of the people behind the scenes. Over the past 9-12 months, staff members across the country have put in countless hours to secure these recruiting classes. Everyone will immediately think of the Coaches – but dig a little deeper, look behind the curtain and you will find…

Operational Staff members. Football Ops, Olympic Sport administrators, etc – their titles might vary from university to university – but these guys are the unsung hero’s of the recruiting process. Staff members like Nika Cleary, Jed Keime & Marc Davis at FIU. Matt Dudek, Ryan Reynolds and Mike Parrish at the University of Arizona. Brent Vernon at the University of Wyoming. Some of the absolute best in the business at what they do and people that (if you are in Athletics) should be high on your list of ‘people to watch’.

Academic Support Staff Members. When families come to visit, parents automatically matriculate to the academic units. Recruits can be signed or lost based on the availability of majors and the support surrounding the students academic pursuits. In no particular order – if you are a recruit, you WANT TO talk to these academic support staff members… The entire OFFICE (FIU), Katie Christensen (USC), Sara Ray (CSU), Andy Salgado & Sam Amato (U of A), Steven Cox, Jessica Goerke and Mike Maziarz (ILL), Dee Kennedy & Jennifer Barth (UNF), Britney Clarke (Syr) and Jeff Guin (TAMU). If you are a parent and your daughter or son is considering a school not listed above, do yourself a favor – pick any of the professionals above and cold call them. The way these professionals treat students and their approach to academic support will floor you.

Athletic Sport Oversight Officials. The officials who make the magic happen. Absolutely none better than Matt Whisenant at Wyoming. If you need an AD and you haven’t offered Matt everything and the moon to sign with your school, you’re losing. James Francis and Mike Ketcham (U of A). Ervin Lewis (UNF). Julie Berg (FIU). Rarely do these names get the true attention they deserve, but they are the glue to the program. Visiting one of these fine schools? Request 15 minutes with these guys. You’ll want to commit that day!

A special Thank You to all of the recruits who have signed with FIU Athletics today. We appreciate your trust and look forward to working with you! Until next time, #LiveMaas

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