Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Track & Field Recruiting

Talk about an interesting recruiting strategy. The hoops and football coaches have one primary option - you are either offered a free ride or not. With the track folks, it's a little different. They typically give "partial" scholarships, and the baseball team is somewhat similar..........Take the case of David Ford, who just committed to the Jackets last week after a "bidding war" for his talent:

Lawrence North High School's David Ford was the subject of an intercollegiate bidding war.

A senior track athlete, Ford signed last week with Georgia Tech. He got a 90 percent scholarship, a high amount in his sport, but only after he agreed not to visit South Carolina, where his sister, Lauren, plays volleyball.

When Ford visited the Atlanta campus, he was offered an 80 percent package. After Tech coaches learned he planned to visit South Carolina, they increased their offer.

"As soon as Georgia Tech said 80 percent, I almost jumped through the roof," said Ford, a standout hurdler who has season bests of 14.12 seconds in the 110 highs and 38.35 in the 300 hurdles.

Lawrence North coach Bob Potter noted why there was such interest: Ford also has a 3.3 GPA and a 1,280 score on the SAT. "When you combine a good athlete and a good student, schools want to put money into those kind of people," Potter said.