Recruiting Model: Recruit's Perspective

Here is a look at what several top recruits from all classes and all parts of the country feel about the new recruiting rules put in place by the NCAA.

On Thursday, as expected, the NCAA passed a sweeping set of changes to how the recruiting calendar works in basketball as well as how coaches can contact recruits. The question then became are the changes good. Writers have their opinions, college and high school coaches have theirs, and so do parents, but the most unique and probably relevant perspective comes from the 16-18 year olds themselves that are most impacted by the change.

Kids from all backgrounds, all ages, and all regions of the country were taking to twitter to talk about the new NCAA Rules. While there is a bit of confusion within the ranks as to when the rules go into effect, it does seem like the kids have opinions on things, and in general the thoughts are positive.

Recruiting Model Coverage
* NCAA approves rule changes
* Recruiting Model: Recruit's Perspective
* Recruiting Model: Analyst's Perspective
* Recruiting Model: Coaches weigh in

None of the changes will impact the 2012 class, however those kids have been through the process and are in the age group that can give proper perspective as well as indicating how their recruitment might have been different. Class of 2013 prospects will see more text messages and calls coming up in less than a year, and class of 2014 prospects will see all the changes come their way including earlier official visits.

In the class of 2012, Gary Harris is one of the few remaining five-star talents who is still uncommitted. While Harris himself won't be impacted at all by the rule changes, he does offer some interesting perspective on the unlimited text messaging and phone calls.

"Kids these days, almost all of our communication is by text," said Harris. "We hardly talk to people on the phone normally. I think it can help that way in building a relationship."

In fact Harris feels this change could have impacted his recruitment, though he has no way to know for sure how exactly it would have made a difference.

"It would definitely have been a lot different," said Harris. "I feel like there will be a lot more contact between coaches and the recruits now. I think coaches and how they talk to the players now could make relationships better or make them worse. It depends on the type of communication that goes on."

For class of 2013 four-star power forward Devin Williams from Cincinnati, Ohio, he thinks the added texts and phone calls from coaches will be a good thing.

"I think the changes are good, they are real good," said Williams. "I think relationship wise it helps you get closer with a college coach and helps me know them better and them know me better."

He then added, "I just think the text messaging will be an all-around good thing. Sometimes we might not be able to talk or have a brief conversation. We might have to do it over a text. I think a lot of positive things will come out of that."

One of the more thoughtful kids in the 2013 class is Stephen Domingo. The four-star talent from San Francisco, California also says he sees a lot of good coming from the added communication he will undoubtedly have with college coaches.

"I think it is going to make life easier because it is confusing when the school has used their call up for the month, but the coach wants to show how interested he is in you," said Domingo. "If you call him and don't connect right away, he can't call you back. That just makes life difficult."

Domingo went on to say, "Right now we have to try and coordinate the times you can call the coach and with a text or unlimited calls you could coordinate that easier and set things up easier. I think it will make life a lot easier as long as the players and coaches don't abuse it."

Another 2013 prospect Brannen Greene from Forsyth, Georgia also believes in general that the unlimited text messages are a good thing.

"I like it because I could see who really wants me to and to see who shows me the most attention, but I also could see where it will get a little overwhelming," Greene explained. "If I am getting texts when I am in school or texts and calls from coaches when I am about to go to sleep it could be a lot. There is a negative side to it, but I look at it in a positive way. I think this puts us in more control of our recruitment now."

For class of 2014 kids such as four-star prospects Ja'Quan Newton of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Jaquan Lyle of Evansville, Indiana coaches can't yet legally call them. However in just a few months instead of one call per month to them from coaches it will be open season. Both prospects have a huge school list and lots of suitors. Still they feel the changes will be a net positive.

"I think it will go real well," said Lyle. "A lot of the time my high school coach has to text me and tell me to call the college coaches. Once the rules change and the coaches can call and text me whenever they want they can communicate with me and tell me to call them when it is convenient and when they and I have time."

Newton added, "It is going to be alright. I like when coaches call me and I like to hear how coaches run their programs and everything. It is going to help me build a relationship a lot and help me get to know them better. I will see if they want to get to know me off the court or just on the court."

While in general all of the prospects agreed that the unlimited calls and texts are a good thing, there is the obvious drawback of kids getting overrun with communication from coaches. Opinions on exactly how bad it would get and how they would handle the coaches was all over the board.

For a kid such as Harris who is a very relaxed low key personality, he acknowledges that overbearing coaches could be a problem.

"It could get annoying possibly," said Harris. "It depends on the coach honestly and how he tries to communicate with you."

Domingo had a similar sentiment for the possible negatives that come with coaches having an open invitation from the NCAA to communicate with prospects, but overall Domingo doesn't see it as a huge issue.

"I think some coaches maybe will abuse it, but I think if you tell a coach your parameters and he really wants you he will follow those guidelines that you give him," said Domingo. "If he would continue to call you all the time, that is when you would eliminate that school because it would be obvious that he doesn't have your best interest at heart. If you set the guidelines and say only weekends or whatever time is good for you and he follows those everything will run smoothly."

For the most part Williams doesn't think the unlimited communication will be a problem, but if it does, he says he will be up front with the coaches and let them know how he feels.

"I don't think it should bother me because I was told before I was getting recruited that I was going to get bombarded by people and stuff like that," said Williams. "I am prepared for it, but if it does get to be too much I will be straight forward with the coaches. I feel they will understand and I think that is how you build relationships with people, by being straight forward with them."

Lyle says he would take a slightly different approach to dealing with a coach who is wearing him out with phone calls or texts.

"If it gets to the point where it is a little bit too much I will talk to my high school coach and ask him to tell the coaches to call him instead of me or something like that," said Lyle.

Newton had an even different response than any of his other peers who were interviewed, and possibly what is the most prevalent thought to most prospects in the country who are learning of the news today.

"If it gets too crazy to the point where it is annoying, I don't know what I would tell them to tell you the truth," said Newton. "I don't know if I would tell them can only text me once a day or anything like that. I honestly just don't know right now."

Where the changes get really interesting for the kids is with official visits and the timing of them. Once the rules are enacted by the NCAA, which for official visits is slated for August of 2012, prospects will be able to make official visits starting January 1 of their junior academic year.

For Harris, he and his family decided at the very beginning of the process that they wanted to go on numerous official visits. The question then becomes if he could have made visits earlier would he, and how would it have impacted the timing of his decision and the schools involved.

"I think I might have really changed things," said Harris. "I might not have been able to visit some of the schools I visited recently because I might have visited schools that were recruiting me earlier. It would really depend. Things might have been very different than they are today."

Harris will finish up his official visits on November 7, and then likely will have a final decision around November 9, the first day of the signing period. With football and other family commitments Harris has been forced to take his official visits later in the recruiting calendar and now he is making a decision in very short order after his visits.

Whether that is a good or a bad thing is up for debate, but Harris recognizes that if he completed his official visits at an earlier date, he could be thinking differently today than he currently is.

"I think it would give more time for a decision, so I think that is a good thing," said Harris. "I always wanted to make my official visits so it could be very beneficial to have earlier official visits to give more time to make a decision after seeing all of the schools."

Domingo is a kid who has also made it clear that he plans on making official visits. He offered a slightly different perspective than Harris, and saw a very different benefit.

"I think that taking official visits late in the spring could be something good, especially with April having two open weekends," said Domingo. "If you have those two open weekends in April and a coach really likes you who wasn't on your radar before and you think you really want to pursue that school, you could take an official right there. To me that is an added dimension."

Domingo feels for him earlier official visits wouldn't impact his timeline much, but for his friends and teammates that might not necessarily be the case.

"Knowing me I would probably choose to wait and just take all of my official visits at the same time, but for some kids who are set on a school and want to commit early, but want to see the school first I think it allows them to do so," said Domingo.

He also felt that earlier official visits could have another positive impact on the game and the current state of recruiting.

"I also think it will cut down de-commitments because kids won't be committing blind so speak like some kids are now," Domingo explained.

For Greene things are different. He is planning on making his decision before the end of this calendar year. That means official visits are out of the question. Greene addressed how being able to take official visits might impact things in his recruitment.

"I think it would affect my decision a lot," said Greene. "I could spend my whole weekend at the school and spend the whole weekend with the coaches. I could go to their house, I could see everything I need to see, and it would take a lot of stress off of me and make me know for sure where I am going. I am not one of those de-commitment guys. When I say I am committed I am committed, I am not going to de-commit."

While Greene freely admits to wanting to be able to make official visits, he also doesn't think the benefit of them balances out him waiting until his senior year to make a choice.

"I think the reason why I am deciding in December is because I feel like I already have some clear leaders and I have a feeling that I am kind of beginning to know where I want to go to school and what I am looking for," said Greene. "If I was able to take my official visits I would have more comfort, but at the same time I wouldn't be committing if I didn't know 100 percent that I want to go to that school."

Lyle lives in a part of the country where kids tend to make early decisions. Still Lyle has always indicated in public, and behind the scenes, that he wants to take his time. With that he has made several unofficial visits and is beginning to get more comfortable with certain schools. Now the possibility of being able to make earlier official visits seems appealing to him.

"It will help a lot because you will be able to see what a school sees and what it would be like to go there," said Lyle. "I think that is a good rule."

Conversely Newton comes from an area of the country where kids in general tend to wait longer to make decisions. Still he likes the idea of being able to make an earlier official visit.

"I like it," said Newton of the rule. "I can't wait to make my first official visit. I will find out about the school and if I like the school and how the coaches are. I like making my unofficial visits, so I will definitely like making my official visits earlier."

Overall the no one, not even the kids know for sure what will happen in the future when the new rules are enacted, but they all seem to like the changes while acknowledging that things could get a little crazy if they don't take total control of their recruitment.

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