When it comes to getting a Division I football scholarship offer, most high school student-athletes consider it an honor.
How much of an honor probably depends on a lot on the situation. The player’s first offer is going to be meaningful. So is a high-level offer to a player that’s only gotten low-level interest to that point.
An offer from one of the sport’s true blue bloods it something that a lot of players crave, with the likes of an Alabama or Notre Dame holding a special place for many.
But even Alabama can only take so many players in each class, and so for many, an offer from a high-level school will never turn into more. That doesn’t even get into so-called uncommitable offers, where a player holds an offer, but was either never given the opportunity to commit to the school or had their spot taken when another player committed.
There’s another way to look at the process, however. Some schools paper the town with scholarship offers and then decide to get more selective when a player tries to commit. Others take a different approach, handing out fewer offers, sometimes as few as three or four per spot to be filled.
Stanford leads the way in that regard. For the 2019 recruiting class, they’ve sent out just 69 scholarship offers. On the other end of the spectrum, Nebraska has offered 401 different players a scholarship for the 2019 season. Pitt falls toward the latter end of the scale, offering 274 athletes a 2019 scholarship.
David Shaw speaks about this all the time. A Stanford offer is a real offer, and it means something. pic.twitter.com/tgsAEvMMlJ
— Go Mighty Card (@GoMightyCard) August 2, 2018
There doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut answer as to which way is the right way. Thrifty Stanford had the No. 39 class in the country last year. Nebraska has a new head coach at the helm this season, but Syracuse, the second-most-prolific school, had the 50th-ranked 2018 class.
Georgia, who took the nation’s best 2018 recruiting class according to 247 Sports has 272 offers out for 2019, two fewer than Pitt. Second-ranked Ohio State is in the middle of the pack with 179 offers, while third-rated Texas is on the skimpy side at 123.
So at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem to make a big difference how many scholarship offers a team sends out, but it’s interesting that different coaches have taken such vastly different approaches to how selective they want to be when handing out an offer.