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Making college dreams a reality

Jessica Tanner

Leader Assistant Editor

                  Every dedicated athlete dreams of being accepted to college to play the sport they love. But what steps do these athletes have to take to get there? With a game plan and a lot of hard work, those dreams can become a reality.

            Senior national speaker and recruiting expert Paul Putnam addressed athletes at Bear River High School last week to stress the importance of academics in playing sports at the college level, and offered suggestions on what athletes and their parents need to know and do to reach that goal.

            According to the NCAA clearinghouse, in order for a student to be considered a qualifier, they must reach a certain standard in academics. Putnam said, “We are sending kids to college to graduate. Kids need to be academically prepared to make it at that level.”

To get recruited, athletes can either do it themselves or hire a professional organization. The NCAA has a program of limited search apps and tools to help. Setting up an appointment with a high school counselor to map out a plan is important.  “If you do nothing for recruiting, you are selling yourself short,” Putnam said. “You have to do something every day.”

            The three most important things a college coach looks for is: academics, character and if an athlete will always give 100 percent. If a coach’s athletes are below a specific academic progress rate, the coach will miss out on future scholarship opportunities from the school, so they first look at academics. Putnam said character is equally as important and coaches are finding almost everything they need to know from social media sites. Finally, an athlete should play hard on every play, no matter what.

For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.


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