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Thomas Razo - Middle Distance - Bradley University / LOCKPORT HS, IL
My personal experience with the recruiting process was that it can be very overwhelming in its early stages. I remember receiving letters from coaches from smaller schools early in my high school career. At that point, I still had no idea what I wanted to specialize in for an academic major and I was unsure how fast I could run to determine which route I wanted to go (i.e. NCAA, NAIA, Junior College, etc.).
I was a very mediocre runner my first three years of high school and did not start to become an elite runner in the state until my senior season. Going into my last year I had no resources available to me to get in touch with college coaches at the schools where I wanted to run. Luckily, my dad is a high school coach (and was my high school coach) and was very instrumental in getting me connected with college coaches around the nation. Without his help, I do not know how I would have connected with the coaches I had a chance to talk with throughout the recruiting process. I began to narrow my choices down based on several factors.
My parents emphasized from the beginning that the three most important factors to look at when choosing a school are: cost, academic reputation for the program you want to go into, and the ability to run for the team. Running was very important to me, but I realized it should not be the lone deciding factor in a school. I went on several official visits and evaluated each scholarship package that was offered to me. Once the visit portion of the process concluded, I sat down with my family and evaluated each option that was available to me. Using a simple formula comprised of the three factors I mentioned above (cost, reputation, and running) my choice quickly became apparent. Bradley University offered me far more opportunities than the other schools I considered could and became my obvious choice.
After graduating with my Master’s Degree, I sometimes reflect on my 4.5 years at Bradley. It was filled with many good athletic memories and accomplishments and provided me with a top-notch education. If I had to do the recruiting process all over again I would not change my decision. I can honestly say I had the best experience in terms of student-athlete life and academics. One thing I wish I had available to me in high school, is a recruiting tool I could have used to get on coaches’ radars more quickly than I was able to five years ago. I think you will find Fast Track Recruiting to be a very useful resource at your disposal. They have actual connections to large and small programs across the country. My father has sent many athletes to the next level and spent 30 years developing relationships with some coaches. However, there are few high school coaches with these connections, therefore having Fast Track Recruiting at your disposal will improve your chances of landing at the right destination and having no regrets. Everyone should be able to look back at their experience after graduating college and be 100 percent certain they made the right decision for them.