Today, Michael Norman shares his own recruiting experience.
Q: Tell us about the first time you realized you had the potential to run at the collegiate level.
MN: It was my junior year after the state meet. It was the first time I won state. I had run some decent times, set some PRs and some coaches became interested in me. I first started getting recruiting letters after state my sophomore year but junior year was when the interest really picked up.
Q: When did you first start communicating with college coaches?
MN: Summer in between my junior and senior year was when coaches first started calling my phone introducing themselves and wanting to schedule home visits. I had received letters from coaches before that but this was the first time I was able to actually talk to them.
Q: How did your training change to enable you to compete at the next level? Did it change at all?
MN: My high school training didn’t change. My high school coach trained me like every other high schooler. I respected that a lot because he left room for improvement for me. My training changed a lot when I got to college.
Q: How did your high school coach help during your recruiting process?
MN: My coach was the liaison between me and college coaches before I could talk to them personally. He would give me letters from coaches at track practice. He also gave my information out to college coaches. Once college coaches could contact me, I did the communicating. I talked to the coaches and set-up home visits.
Q: How many schools did you consider?
MN: I honestly had an open mind and let everyone speak and gave everyone a chance. I did deny a few schools home visits once I had started to narrow down my list, but I tried to give every coach a chance to talk about their program.
Q: How did you choose where to take your 5 official visits?
MN: The five schools I took official visits to were USC, Baylor, Houston, LSU and Texas A&M. I had a different reason to visit each one. I based my choices on the history of the program and the coaches I felt I had a good connection with from my home visits.
Q: How did you narrow down your list after visits? How did the visits help inform your decision?
MN: I had five criteria: weather, coaching, team, school and facilities. I ranked each school for each of my five criteria. It mostly came down to the coaches and how they pictured my future in their program. The team atmosphere was also important to me. I wanted to be with people I could relate with and felt comfortable around. I wanted to be around like-minded people.
Q: What qualities did you look for in a coaching staff and program?
MN: There were a few coaches that ultimately saw me as more than a 400m runner. They saw me as a multifaceted athlete. We had conversations about what their plan was for me in their program and potentially after college.
Q: Why did you ultimately choose USC?
MN: It wasn’t an easy decision to be honest. But ultimately I trusted my gut and once I decided I didn’t look back. USC had the best coaching and team atmosphere for me. I originally saw myself leaving California to get away from home, but I felt I had a great relationship with the USC coaches and saw myself fitting in with the team and that was what ultimately helped me make the decision.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Find happiness by enjoying the journey, not by awaiting the destination.”
–Peter Sheppard Skaerved