For more than eight years now, Rivals.com has hosted a program that gives junior recruits and parents of recruits an opportunity to learn more about the recruiting journey they're about the embark on.
That event – the Rivals.com Junior Day – is coming to a location near you as dates and locations are currently being set up nationwide.
With Rivals.com's coverage of football recruiting for the past eight years, it's become clear that parents, coaches and recruits often go into the recruiting process uneducated. Many people are merely focused on how tall and how fast a player is, but they don't care about the recruits themselves.
At Rivals.com, we have a different goal.
Sure, we care about how talented a prospect is and rank players accordingly on our web sites, but we also feel that it's important to assist the recruits when it comes to understanding the recruiting process.
That's why Rivals.com has organized Junior Day events across the country.
On Saturday, March 10, Rivals.com teams up with Illinois high school publisher Tim O'Halloran for the Chicago Junior Day at Naperville North High School.
Rivals.com will travel March 17 to Lovejoy High School in suburban Atlanta for the third straight season. The event at Lovejoy has always attracted some of the top players in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.
Rivals.com will also be at Highland Springs High School in Richomond, Va., for a junior day event there on Saturday, March 17.
Saturday, March 24 will be a stop at Trotwood Madison High School in Dayton, Ohio or at the University of Cincinnati. Then on March 25, Rivals.com will travel to the University of Akron again. Last year's event at Akron attracted more than 200 top players from Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Then on Sunday, April 1, Rivals.com will be at Rutgers University for its annual stop for players in the Northeast. The event in New Jersey has been one of Rivals.com's top stops for more than six years now.
Rivals.com takes another West Coast swing in April. This time the event is on Saturday, April 7 in suburban Seattle, Wash., at Bothell High School. This will be Rivals.com's first event in Washington and it will focus on the top prospects in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.
Rivals.com has added another Junior Day event – this time in the Charlotte area. On Sunday, April 15, Rivals.com will be at Butler High School in Matthews, N.C., for the final stop of the year.
Rivals.com is close to finalizing events in several other locations in the Southeast, Midlands and in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Look for announcements on those events shortly.
The events are invitation only, but if you're a legitimate Division I recruit and you would like to receive an invitation, please e-mail Rivals.com at firstname.lastname@example.org. Invitations to the events are going out in the mail shortly.
Instead of just finding out how fast you are, the two to three-hour program presented by Rivals.com will allow recruits to get important questions about the recruiting process answered from coaches, speakers, parents of former recruits and players that have just completed the recruiting process. They will also learn what it takes to get physically prepared to make the jump to the next level from performance enhancement experts.
The following are some of the key topics that will be discussed:
• What do certain types of letters mean from schools?
• How do you handle telephone calls from schools?
• What are the rules for calls?
• What's an official visit?
• What's an unofficial visit?
• How important summer camps are.
• Being successful in the classroom.
• Making the right decision.
• What is a commitment?
The keynote speaker that Rivals.com has entrusted to help conducted the events across the nation is Joe Hornback of Des Moines (Iowa) Roosevelt. Coach Hornback was a three-year letter winner from the University of Kansas and has established himself as one of the best in the state of Iowa and previous to that in Missouri at Grandview High School.
He has coached numerous Division I players, including two players that signed with Big 12 Conference schools in the Class of 2002. He is also a veteran of the Rivals.com Junior Days and has been the main speaker at the events the previous three years. He also was recently quoted by CBS Sports as one of the nation's foremost experts in helping kids understand the recruiting process.
He also recently wrote a book about the recruiting process – The Next Level, a Prep's Guide to College Recruiting.
Rivals.com also brings in former college football players, high school coaches and players that have just recently completed the recruiting process to talk about their experiences, share their stories and help educate the recruits in the Class of 2008 about the journey that they're about to embark on.
The performance enhancement speakers for all of the events will be determined on a site by site basis.
We invite you to join us and look forward to seeing you at an event near you.