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National Letter of Intent

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October 2, 2012 8:58 PM

My son has been given an offer from a DII program. The school is competitive and they have told my son they are grooming him to be their starting shortstop by his soph. year. He is intent on holding out to make a decision until the Spring. He thinks he can play DI. He had some interest from two DI schools, but is not being actively recruited by a DI at this time. We have talked to him about the "allure of the label" - he is similar to so many other kids in thinking DI is the way to go. He is not 100% sure where he wants to go to school and has no strong feelings about any schools except that he wants to play DI. Any advice?
 
 
 
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October 2, 2012 9:33 PM

Talk to Floridafan,his son played at an outstanding D2 and was in playoffs every year.He was drafted and just finished his rookie season and was MVP of his team,and an all star of the league.
 
 
 
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October 2, 2012 10:18 PM

allball1- Welcome to the HSBBWeb. My first question before diving into things is: Why does your son want to play DI baseball? Why doesn't college baseball at any division suffice?
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 6:25 AM

quote:
We have talked to him about the "allure of the label" - he is similar to so many other kids in thinking DI is the way to go. He is not 100% sure where he wants to go to school and has no strong feelings about any schools except that he wants to play DI. Any advice?
I think your son needs to research this topic alot more. If baseball is a prime motivator, he needs to understand that an opportunity to be groomed as a starting shortstop at a D2 (with money) is far better than no D1 offer or an offer to walk on as a D1 and presumably sit the bench. I hate to burst his bubble but D1 is just an NCAA designation that many kids get hung up on. Could there be other reasons?

Here is a link to the NCAA Eligibility Center that discuses these differences between D1, D2 and D3. www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org

Good luck.
 
Last edited by fenwaysouth October 3, 2012 6:30 AM
 
 
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October 3, 2012 8:31 AM

Sounds like a very very good opportunity for your son. It comes down to play time for me, imo. My example, while it is only related to highschool:
My son could have "choiced" to the school where I work, which is a school very well known for football and baseball. The opportunity for play time at my school, for baseball, would have been limited due to large numbers. The opportunity at his zoned school was greatly increased due to lack of numbers. He chose to stay at his zoned school, worked hard, started every JV game, pulled up to Varsity at spring break as a frosh and has never looked back. He would not have had that opportunity at my school. Although my school had a much better program and "Name" in our area, the experience he obtained by playing vs. sitting was priceless.

As he explores his options now that he is in the heat of the recruiting process as a JR, I keep reminding him of lessons learned form that experience and that IMO, there are only two positions....on the field and on the bench.

I am sure your son will make the decision that his best for him, best of luck.
 
Last edited by lefthookdad October 3, 2012 8:33 AM
 
 
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October 3, 2012 8:34 AM

What is the real motivator behind wanting to play D1? I would sit down and have this conversation with your son. If your son has any interest in the D2 school, I would go and visit it (official or unofficial). I would find out if the school fits the needs or not.

My son is a freshman playing at a D2 college. He is having a great time playing on a very competitive team; his teammates are "real good" and he likes the coaching staff. He is playing behind a senior 2nd baseman and is being groomed to start next year. He will see the field this spring as he already has this fall.

My son had some D1 interest, but it would have been a walk on status with no guarantee. It sounds like a very similar situation as to your son.

For us the school was a perfect fit size wise (smaller), not horribly far from home, and they are picking up half of the costs. The coaching staff also loves him; this is how we learned the difference between being recruited and "interest."

I wouldn't get hung up on a label of D1. I would be more concerned about does the school fit his needs, costs, and will he get a shot at seeing the field.
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 8:59 AM

If he is not actively being recruited by a D1 in the fall of his senior year, it is time for him to reassess. D1s are mostly finished with their 2013 recruits. Sure, a few slots will open up, but he will need to be lucky and not picky.

D2s won't be far behind.

Congrats to him on getting a good D2 offer. That is fantastic! Only 6 percent of seniors playing baseball continue on to play in any NCAA division. He will be among the elite if he plays D2.
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 9:24 AM

I agree with what everyone is saying. My son had some interest from D1's, but nothing solid panned out. Got a great offer from a D2 and is playing there now. Loves the school, loves the coaches and will get an opportunity to play as long as he does well.

The school he is playing for is always in the hunt for the conference title and for going to the D2 CWS. They are usually nationally ranked every year. One of the things that the coaches pointed out when he was being recruited was that if he played for them, there was a legitimate chance every year that they could be playing for a national title. Go to a mid to lower D1 and you realistically don't have that chance.

All something to think about. Nothing wrong with D2, especially a good competitive program. Look what happened last year. Francis Marion, a D2 from the Peach Belt Conference (my son's conference) beat South Carolina during the season. There is some very good, very competitive baseball being played in D2.
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 6:10 PM

you might want to check but, I think you can sign with different divisions. potentially he could sign a NLI with a d111 school and potentially still have interest from a d1. I could be wrong thou.
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 7:34 PM

Your son is probably right in that he can play at a D1. There isn't much difference between the numbers, once you get away from the major D1 teams.

I don't think the coach who offered him a spot and money at the D2 will wait for him until the spring. I'm sure the guy wants to end the recruiting process so he can focus on the coming season.

What is a bird in the hand worth?
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 8:54 PM

quote:
Originally posted by J H:
allball1- Welcome to the HSBBWeb. My first question before diving into things is: Why does your son want to play DI baseball? Why doesn't college baseball at any division suffice?


I think he is trying to prove to us he is good enough to play DI. We have told him he is good and can play at DI, but he needs to decide if he wants to just make a team or be a player on a team. He is very confident in his ability as he plays on the level of many of the other kids from our high school conference who have gone on to DI schools. We will make an official visit to the school soon and I am hoping he likes the team, the campus, and everything the school has to offer.
 
 
 
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October 3, 2012 9:06 PM

Last year in our DII conference we had a team that dropped from DI the year before and they ended up going 6-17 in our conference. One of our starters threw a perfect game against them. They've now retreated back to DI...go figure?

My son was recruited by three middling DI's in TX, but he ultimately went to a DII that is always in the chase for national honors. He ended up having a great time all the way to the National Championship final game at the DII college World Series in 2012 as the starting centerfielder and leadoff batter for his team. There is no way he would trade going to one of those three DI's who have not really done a whole lot in the last three years. One of them had won 40 games the year he was being recruited but has fallen off and changed coaches. Go to the school that really wants you if you believe the coach is telling the truth. As a side note, his team had five seniors in 2012, three of whom were drafted and another signed a free agent contract with the Astros. In 2013, the team may have even more drafted.
 
 
 
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October 4, 2012 12:55 PM

My son had similar options but was driven internally to bank on himself and not accept a D2. I wanted him to for all the reasons mentioned above but it was not my decision to make.

We had long talks about it and he chose to keep grinding past November of his senior year. By December he had multiple D1 opportunities....guaranteed roster spots but coaches that really wanted him. He chose one, accepted the loans it would take to make up the difference in what I was able to pay and is happier now then I have ever seen him.

I really think there are lots of ways to be happy and people tend to think the path their son took is the best. It would have been economically better for me had my son gone D2 but it's his experience and he was very clear with me, he did not want to be at the top of the team but to be pushed by the talent around him to keep improving...his words and feelings not mine. He had a clear vision of what he wanted and a clear understanding of what it was going to cost him to make that decision.

I think you really have to listen to your son and educate him on all the ramifications of his decision but bottom line, it's his life and his experience and sometimes the best thing we can do is support our kids choices and let the chips fall where they may.

My son has not experienced anything remotely like everyone cautions about non scholarship players. He is treated exactly like everyone else...remember 1/4 of every team has no athletic money at a minimum and often more if the school is desirable enough to attract high quality players that can pay. This is a program that finished top 25 last year and likely will start there this year too. It is competitive and he is treated identical. Contrary to what some seem to believe, my son's coaches don't see each guy by what they spent on him but by what he contributes to the team....maybe that's why they are successful?

I sure hope I can continue to post here as what at times seems like the only person with positive things to say about being a recruited roster spot. I think everything depends on individual kids and the programs they chose. Our role is to guide them but I can say with certainty, my son would not have been happy had I pushed him into something that wasn't his goal but mine.

Kids and families have great experiences at D1, D2, D3 and JC. They have great experiences as a 75% scholarship guy and as late signing walk ons. When a kid goes to college hopefully he is prepared to make his own experience and take from it the good and the bad. My son is WAY happier then some of his early commit team mates who are struggling through crushing expectations at programs not as high achieving.

Educate your son on the baseball, educational and financial implications of his decisions and if you are able to, support his choice and let him live with the consequences. Contrary to what many say, having lived it, plenty of D1 opportunities exist beyond the EARLY signing period, perhaps with out athletic money but if you are able to afford it, you will never regret letting your son pick the right college for him. I don't have the bragging rights of some of those team mates over the years but now, as they are actually in college and playing, my son is the happiest of the bunch and that's enough for me.

Good luck, there are many ways to have a great outcomeSmile
 
Last edited by calisportsfan October 4, 2012 1:02 PM
 
 
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October 4, 2012 1:29 PM

I agree with all. Talk to your son about the quality of D2, which in many instances is as good as Mid D1s. The simple fact is that there are more D1 caliber players than roster spots. So there are plenty of D1 talent players at all levels (D2, D3, JUCO, NAIA). Good luck.
 
 
 
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October 4, 2012 5:05 PM

Calisportsfan...

What GREAT advice!!! I am new to this site and absolutely love it. A great find for sure! Glad your son is happy and had parents willing to let him chase his dreams. You must be a VERY proud!!!
 
 
 
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October 4, 2012 6:30 PM

quote:
Glad your son is happy and had parents willing to let him chase his dreams.


For the most part, I think the vast majority of parents/posters on the HSBBW support chasing the "dream" whatever that means from son to son.
One distinction I consider quite important for the DI dream in the post of Calisportsfan as contrasted with the OP is the former says her son had a number of DI coaches who were very interested and communicating and providing walk on assurance.
The OP says a DII is very interested,but there is little to no interest, especially now, from DI coaches. All the DI interest is one direction, from and with the son/player. My impression is allball1 is doing a very nice job of staying grounded with the information for their son just as Calisportfan was with her son and the information they were working from last December.
To a very large extent, it does not matter what DI dreams and/or talent a player possesses by the time they are a HS senior and unsigned. If DI coaches are not expressing solid interest and usually more than one, that silence is some communication. While that DI interest can certainly change and occur between now and August of 2013, there is a message in the silence which a parent probably should share with their son in a direct way and manner. This would be especially true if the player is one who has had a significant amount of exposure to DI coaches and isn't getting interest.
"Dreams" get satisfied in baseball after HS in many, many ways. I just checked on FB and found a wonderful post from a terrific player I met several years ago. Coming out of HS, he was a wonderful player but not one who got recruited at the DI level. To me and more than a few, he was a very solid DI talent. He followed the same path, initially, as our son to Trinity(Tx.) When he found out a California surf kid had a hard time riding the waves in the Gulf, he transferred to Chapman. From there he transferred to UCSB, sat out one year, led the team in hitting his senior year, got drafted by his dream team, the Giants, and today was honored with a Rawlings' Gold Glove Award for his work at 2B in AA ball.
I would venture to say far more players chase dreams than probably actually achieve them in baseball beyond HS. No matter how hard they chase, I personally think it is prudent for the parent and player to recognize the messages from words, or silence, to maximize the chances for turning the dreams into reality.
 
Last edited by infielddad October 4, 2012 6:50 PM
 
 
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October 4, 2012 8:48 PM

quote:
Originally posted by calisportsfan:
My son had similar options but was driven internally to bank on himself and not accept a D2. I wanted him to for all the reasons mentioned above but it was not my decision to make.

We had long talks about it and he chose to keep grinding past November of his senior year. By December he had multiple D1 opportunities....guaranteed roster spots but coaches that really wanted him. He chose one, accepted the loans it would take to make up the difference in what I was able to pay and is happier now then I have ever seen him.

I really think there are lots of ways to be happy and people tend to think the path their son took is the best. It would have been economically better for me had my son gone D2 but it's his experience and he was very clear with me, he did not want to be at the top of the team but to be pushed by the talent around him to keep improving...his words and feelings not mine. He had a clear vision of what he wanted and a clear understanding of what it was going to cost him to make that decision.

I think you really have to listen to your son and educate him on all the ramifications of his decision but bottom line, it's his life and his experience and sometimes the best thing we can do is support our kids choices and let the chips fall where they may.

My son has not experienced anything remotely like everyone cautions about non scholarship players. He is treated exactly like everyone else...remember 1/4 of every team has no athletic money at a minimum and often more if the school is desirable enough to attract high quality players that can pay. This is a program that finished top 25 last year and likely will start there this year too. It is competitive and he is treated identical. Contrary to what some seem to believe, my son's coaches don't see each guy by what they spent on him but by what he contributes to the team....maybe that's why they are successful?

I sure hope I can continue to post here as what at times seems like the only person with positive things to say about being a recruited roster spot. I think everything depends on individual kids and the programs they chose. Our role is to guide them but I can say with certainty, my son would not have been happy had I pushed him into something that wasn't his goal but mine.

Kids and families have great experiences at D1, D2, D3 and JC. They have great experiences as a 75% scholarship guy and as late signing walk ons. When a kid goes to college hopefully he is prepared to make his own experience and take from it the good and the bad. My son is WAY happier then some of his early commit team mates who are struggling through crushing expectations at programs not as high achieving.

Educate your son on the baseball, educational and financial implications of his decisions and if you are able to, support his choice and let him live with the consequences. Contrary to what many say, having lived it, plenty of D1 opportunities exist beyond the EARLY signing period, perhaps with out athletic money but if you are able to afford it, you will never regret letting your son pick the right college for him. I don't have the bragging rights of some of those team mates over the years but now, as they are actually in college and playing, my son is the happiest of the bunch and that's enough for me.

Good luck, there are many ways to have a great outcomeSmile
 
 
 
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October 4, 2012 8:56 PM

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. I especially enjoyed reading the post from Calisoprtsfan. It is so true that our children know what they want and we need to support them in their decisions. My son is not me and does not think like me; he needs to follow his own path. I feel better seeing positive comments about the many directions he may take. I know in the end it is important that he is happy. If his choice leads to unhappiness, he will feel good that the decision was his and he will hopefully learn from it rather than place blame on someone for making him do something he did not want to do.
 
 
 
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October 4, 2012 11:13 PM

As Henry David Thoreau said,"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

Think about those words and how true they are....don't be afraid to chase your dreams.

My son's song is incomplete but the kid is singing. I admire his resolve and at 50, can learn from it.
 
 
 
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