One player who's learned the hard truth about college football recruiting is Eric Monroe of Lakota West High School (West Chester, Ohio). The 6'6.5 - 230 lb. tight end has found colleges interested in him, but always coming up short when it's time to receive an offer.
While discouraged about the process, he understands the goal is to trade football for an education and he's got several programs showing interest.
"Right now I've got a few schools (I-A) who are still looking at me. It seems I'm on their board but just coming up short of getting an offer. One program that I may get to take an official visit with is Akron. I've been told I might visit sometime in the next two weekends. But I'll wait until it's for sure before I get too excited about it."
While D-I program may be slow in pulling the trigger, I-AA programs are licking their chops in hopes the bigger program stay away. With offers from Indiana State and Austin Peay, Monroe has seen programs like Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky also show interest. But while many would have made the call with the I-AA programs, Eric is holding out hope of a scholarship offer from one of the division one programs he favors.
"I've seen Akron, Cincinnati, Louisville and Kent State show interest. It seems I'm on the board at UC but may not get an offer from them. Louisville has been in contact but it seems they will wait until the last minute before they will make an offer if they ever do. Kent State has talked about an offer but with each day I know it's going to be hard to receive one as February 1st will soon be here."
When asked what he felt was holding programs back, Monroe stated his lack of weight and the possible need to change positions. "I've been told by the I-AA programs they love me as a tight end. But when talking with I-A programs, they look at me as a defensive end or an offensive lineman if I can gain the weight needed for the position. I understand what the college programs are saying and I'm ready if need be to make a position change."
When asked if he favored a program that hasn't offered Eric stated he really like Cincinnati because of his dealings with Coach Staten who's recruited him. "I really like Coach Staten and would love to have a chance at UC. But I also understand they may not offer me and I'll need to look elsewhere."
When asked if he would think about being a walk-on for the Bearcats, Eric explained the hardship it would provide and how he's seen former teammate and current Bearcat Steve Huff struggle with the expense of being a walk-on at a division one program. "I've talked with Steve about walking on, he loves being at UC but also has expressed how hard it is to keep his tuition paid instead of being a scholarship player. I don't think I could put my family in a position like this when I've got full paid scholarships from other programs."
As for what Eric is looking for in a school the response came quick and easy. "I really feel I would like to return to Lakota West and be a teacher and a tight end coach someday."
Bearcat Insider will stay in contact with Eric until he makes his choice of what program will earn his commitment.