Right now Austin Box (6-3, 215 pounds) is doing what he normally does at this time of year. He's playing baseball and getting his work done at school. That sounds like any kid his age…expect for the piles of recruiting letters he receives on a daily basis from the top football programs in the country.
"It's going fine," Box replied when asked how his recruitment was proceeding. "I'm starting to pick up mail from some other big schools like USC, LSU, Alabama, and Miami. Within the past week they've started to pick up, I talked to an assistant coach from USC tonight. I also picked up my fourth offer from Nebraska."
Most fans have a difficult time separating themselves from the emotional investment they have in their favorite team and identifying with what a highly recruited player like Box is experiencing. If, just for a moment, a fan could, they would realize that the recruiting experience is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. It is also the realization of a dream come true.
"When I was growing up I always hoped that it would be this way with my football career," Box explained. "That it would skyrocket. But it's very new to me and I didn't think it would be anything like this…that I'd talk to all these coaches.
"It's very flattering. I get pretty excited to hear from all these great schools. I try not to let it affect me. I try to step back and let it all soak in. But it is very flattering to hear from all these top-notch schools.
Notre Dame is a school Box has been getting recruiting attention from. He visited Notre Dame unofficially last fall for the Syracuse game, but Austin hasn't spoken to the Notre Dame coaches in some time.
"Not lately I haven't," Box responded when asked if the Irish coaches had been in touch with him. "I get my letters every week, I probably get three or four every week."
Although Box hasn't heard from the Irish staff recently, expect that to change as the Irish start to refocus their attention on the 2007 recruiting class.
Box played quarterback for the first time in his career as a junior, but expect him to end up on the defensive side of the ball in college. He will likely play strong safety or linebacker.