July 1st marked the initial contact period for the class of 2016 athletes to be recruited. We reached out to some of our top 2015 standouts to get their take on the process and offer advice. Auburn signee Drew McMichael climbed up the pole vault all-time lists ending his high school career at number two with a clearance of 16'9" behind only Mike Holloways 17'1.5.
When did coaches first start reaching out to you and how did you manage that?
I received my first recruiting letters after my sophomore summer going into junior year. Getting attention from top colleges as a sophomore was definitely a confidence boost, not that I needed any more. Honestly, in my junior year my dad was a huge help. He reached out to school for me and let me know how to handle the coaches.
Did you have an official visit? How did it work? What was it like?
Official visits were by far the most enjoyable part of the recruiting process. Athletes get five recruiting trips and I suggest you take complete advantage of all of those. You get to truly understand what the college has to offer.
What did you look for in schools when you narrowed your options down?
Personally, I was looking for a big school that had the college town atmosphere. I really wanted to stay as southern as possible but still wanted to go out of state. Auburn was the perfect college for me. It had everything I wanted and some.
What ultimately made you decide on your college?
I talked to a lot of schools and I went to quite a few to visit but I felt like really apart of the team when I visited Auburn. The team is great and the coaches are all amazing.
Looking back on your recruiting experience, do you have any tips for those athletes who will be recruited in the future?
Some tips for the upcoming athletes is to talk to every college. It doesn't matter if you have no interest in going there. The more you talk to coaches the better you become and you learn the questions to ask. I had 50+ colleges contact me and I talked to them all. Only 29 were D1 but talking to those smaller schools get you prepared for the big colleges. Also don't ever tell a college no. Never burn a bridge that you don't have to. You will receive a lot more money if you have 10 offers on the table cause you kept those colleges on good terms. If you only have 2 or 3 offers the money is limited.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Enjoy it! The recruiting process is one of the best times of my life. It is a blast. Keep an open mind to all colleges and don't be afraid to contact college that you have interest in. Best of luck to all. War Eagle!