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My College Recruiting Experience PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Ely Khoury   
Ely Khoury

There are many words to describe the whole recruiting process. Any junior tennis player who graduated in 2009 or before will tell you this. It is an experience that encompasses diverse emotions. Excitement, anxiety, stress, and pressure are all words that will describe your mental state of mind starting on July 1st before your senior year. As a recruit, there were several instances where I was confused on where I would actually end up for college. Sure, there are always those big time schools that you have wanted to go to since before you could walk, but there are several factors to consider before making such a huge commitment.

All my life I have been a Duke fan. If the doctor told me I bled blue blood I would probably believe him. After seeing my father go to graduate school there and growing up around the campus, I fell in love with the school and every aspect about it.

Naturally, I worked towards playing tennis and going to school there one day. About two years ago, I made a broad list of colleges (about 20 schools) that I thought would be suitable for my education and tennis. Due to the fact that I want to major in business, I cross-referenced all of the top tennis and business schools and matched them up. This was a good start for me because it got me going on the right path for the recruiting process and I had a feel for where I might want to go. To be completely honest, I do not even remember the schools on that list. Most of them were big name schools in top conferences that I hadn’t had any previous personal connection to. Over the next several months, I began to e-mail all of the schools that I had on my list. Fortunately, my coach had some connections to colleges and he helped me out as well. At this point, things were looking go for me as I awaited the reply of the schools.

After sending out about ten e-mails to different colleges, I started getting responses. I followed up with all of the schools and ended up narrowing the list down to about six. Another major factor in deciding where you want to play tennis is how much the coach and team wants you. This can get somewhat tricky. Like previously mentioned, Duke has always been my passion and dream. Alas, I could not help but get the feeling that I wanted them a little more that they wanted me. Being a four star recruit on a list of blue chips, I did not exactly match up with the competition. Now there are many players I know that do not mind going to a school and walking on to the team just because that is really where they want to go. There is nothing at all wrong with that. I just wanted to be able to play in the top six as a freshman and be apart of a big school as well. It is a personal preference that you have to conclude for yourself.

The luxury of having several schools on your list going into the signing date comes in handy majorly. I was actually planning on going to Tulane University before I signed with East Carolina. Unfortunately, there was some mix up with the amount of scholarship money available at the time. To make a long story short, I did not have the opportunity to attend Tulane because the tuition was extremely high and the amount of scholarship did not cover what was necessary. Thankfully, I had other schools on my mind as well and I gratefully accepted the scholarship offer for East Carolina. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I am going to have a great time at ECU as I develop on the court as well as in the classroom. Originally being from Greenville, it is ironic that I have chosen to go to East Carolina. Instead of going away for college like most kids do, I am actually going home.

Here are a few reminders for you future recruits:

  • Send out A LOT of emails. It cannot hurt to send many, this just means that you will get more looks from schools.
  • For all of you younger kids, understand that if a college does not answer you within a month or so, it does not at all mean they are not interested. College coaches are usually very busy with the current team they have assembled.
  • Be proactive and responsive with the coaches. One key way to set yourself apart from the other junior players out there is to put emphasis on replying quickly and relaying your tournament schedule to the coaches as well. This way, they can track your progress and decide if they want you on their team.
  • Find out what you really want out of your college (ex. Top notch education, good sports, population size, city, etc.)
  • Everything will not always go as planned. Do not burn any bridges before you really know where you want to go!
  • Go out there and have fun. Overall, this is a very exciting process and it is something that only a student-athlete will get to experience. Good luck!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2009 18:55
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