With all the bells and whistles that come along with national signing day, there is always one constant every February: Wednesday is just the beginning.
Many of Central Texas’ finest athletes saw national signing day breeze by without so much as a care, saving their ink for the perfect set of circumstances that will determine where they will call home for the next few years.
Numerous factors come into play. Some just haven’t found the right college, some haven’t received the offers they are seeking and some are simply taking their time. In the case of Kristian Brown, who is part of the Tribune-Herald Centex 25 and amassed more than 3,000 total yards and nearly 40 touchdowns as a quarterback last year for Connally, waiting doesn’t seem to be a burden.
“Many of the schools I have been in contact with — Abilene Christian, UTSA and Texas State — I haven’t been on an official visit with yet,” Brown said. “We will get back in contact after signing day so I can see their campuses and facilities and make the right choice for me.”
For many of the multi-sport athletes, such as Brown and Whitney star wideout Cole Burnett, finding the time to meet and get a sense of what each program is really about is sometimes troublesome. Head football coaches often take on a greater role in cases such as these, trying to maintain contact with each and every collegiate coach interested in their players. As of now, UMHB has offered Burnett a spot on its 2015 roster, with SFA extending a preferred walk-on invitation.
“We know that it’s even harder when they are playing basketball, but we will work as long as it takes and as long as these kids need us to,” Whitney head coach Kenneth Gilchrist said. “If kids like Cole want to play football in college, we will try to do whatever they need us to help them succeed.”
Gilchrist, though, also sees the size of schools playing a factor. Whitney, having just found success the past few seasons, is one of dozens of smaller Central Texas schools that seem to sometimes be overlooked by recruiters.
“I think there are so many talented athletes that aren’t noticed until well after national signing day that can play,” Gilchrist said. “These kids go to camp, doing everything they can to get their names out there. Sometimes they don’t even sign until baseball season.”
Josh Terrell, lining up next to Kristian Brown in the Cadet backfield last season and fellow Centex 25-er, doesn’t want to pick a school too early in the process and regret it down the line. With so many athletes transferring early in their careers, Terrell wants to take his time and find the right fit. Thus far, Terrell has several offers to walk-on at several Division I schools, but has received scholarship offers to play safety from Missouri Valley College and Oklahoma Baptist University.
“I need to wait for the best opportunity for me, not just jump to one thing and then all of a sudden something better comes along,” Terrell said. “I really want to take my time.”