National Signing Day is one of the biggest moments in a teenage athletes life, a signature on a binding scholarship contract that marks the first step in his or her college journey.
Today also will bring pride for parents of these athletes and relief for recruiters who exhaust themselves to land prospects in sports ranging from football to soccer and track.
And these scholarships truly are special. Studies show about 1 percent of high school athletes receive a scholarship either full ride, partial or academic making it a real triumph against long odds. Its a dream fulfilled, with family bank accounts largely intact.
But some myths about how students land scholarships or even get on the recruiting radar need to be squashed.
From talking to recruiters and college coaches over the years, weve learned that statistics, wins and losses, the name of the high school and the strength of schedule has little or no bearing on who receives a scholarship. What matters more are grades, body size, potential and competitive drive. Recruiters also prefer prospects who play multiple sports to avoid burnout, and they like to witness first-hand athletes attitudes and leadership skills.
Red flags for recruiters are athletes who bounce from school to school, those who complain on social media about playing time or their stats or insult rivals, and even meddling parents.
And, remember, scholarships do not come with a four-year guarantee. They offer opportunity that needs to be fulfilled.
What to watch
NBA, Kings vs. Toronto, 7 p.m., CSNCA : Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Greivis Vasquez return to Sleep Train with the Raptors.
Should scholarship signings be celebrated?
• Yes, its a major achievement.
• No, its become too much of a circus.
• It doesnt matter.
Vote above, or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
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Signing day coverage
• Get the latest news throughout the day.
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• Share photos of your schools signing events. Please include athletes name, sport, high school and college.
• In-depth coverage of the biggest signings, plus players signed by Sacramento State and UC Davis.