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Feature on top-ranked recruit and his recruitment

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by RecentAZgrad, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. RecentAZgrad

    RecentAZgrad Active Member

    The following are the first couple of graphs to a story I'm working on for our football tab, but I wanted to get some feedback specifically when it comes to me not using the subject's name until the fifth paragraph.

    The story is about this HS senior and how, despite holding more than 30 offers and being very, very sought-after, you'd never know he was a top recruit by the way he acts.

    I've taken a few specifics of the story out for obvious reaons..

    Any feedback at all would be more than welcomed:

    It’s tough for one two-hundred-fiftieth of an inch to capture the story of a 6-foot-4, 255-pound, nationally-ranked (position). And while this particular one two-hundred-fiftieth of an inch -- a heavy, gold, personalized piece of paper of that thickness -- came close, it in itself couldn’t tell the story.

    Rather, it was what that 6-foot-4, 255-pound (position) did with this piece of paper, handed to him by a representative of the University of Notre Dame, that tells his tale.

    As his school's athletic director remembers it, this piece of paper, a scholarship offer -- the ninth among the more than 30 the (position) would accumulate before the start of his senior season -- was the best he’d ever seen.

    "I've never been in awe of a piece of paper in my life, other than probably when I graduated, and I'm going, 'Ohhh!' I mean I'm more excited than he is," says (HS) athletic director (Name). "And he looks at it, and he goes, 'Thank you very much,' and he puts it in his backpack and he goes to class. He was just so nonchalant about it. And I don't think he was trying to show them up, he was just so even keeled about it. He was like, 'Thank you, I appreciate it, we'll get back to you.'"

    Maybe it's the redundancy. Maybe he is just that good at hiding his excitement. More likely, it's that (school)'s (prospect's name), the No. (#) overall prospect in the nation according to the recruiting service Rivals.com, and the No. (#) overall (position), knows how to handle his recruitment, the most high-profile (our area) has seen in years, if not it its history.

    For the record, (prospect's name) says, the paper was, “amazing, by far the best offer letter I got.” But, he adds, "You can't get too into something."

    "You have to realize that it's a business, and they're trying to go after good players," (prospect's name) says. "They think you're a good player, and that's an honor, but they think somebody else is a good player, too. If you get all caught up, your head is going to get huge. I consider the whole process a business. It's a business on my end and on theirs. They've got to try to get the best players and I've got to try to go to the best program for me."
  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    My first thoughts are: That's hard to read with all the (player's name) crap in there. I don't know why you bother doing that -- you're going to publish this, aren't you? So why hide it? If you don't want to out yourself that's fine, but leaving your byline off ought to be good enough, and besides, if someone was so curious as to who you are they could put pieces of your story into google and probably find out.

    As for the story -- the first quote from the AD strikes me as a bit ambiguous in that I can't tell if the AD is 1) excited that the kid got a scholarship offer from a school as prestigious as Notre Dame (the likely explanation) or 2) that the scholarship offer was on some kind of thick, cotton-infused piece of paper that was just of incredibly high quality that he wished he had a stack of for his own use. Seriously, that's what I thought when I read that the first time -- that there was something special about the quality of the piece of paper, and that's why the thickness of it was mentioned earlier.

    Then in the third graf, you say "As his school's AD remembers it, the piece of paper... blah blah blah... was the best he'd ever seen." So at this point, I'm thinking this must be the most incredible sheet of paper ever created, like it came from an endangered 1,000-year-old redwood or something, and somehow this college got ahold of it and printed a scholarship offer on it, and it ended up in (player's) hands.

    Also, you mention the kid's size/weight twice. The second mention, I'd just go with (position) and leave out the size.

    Overall, though, I'd try to find a way to make it more clear that it's not the actual piece of paper that's so special, it's the scholarship offer it represents that is important. As for not using the kid's name until later -- I think that works fine.

    But I'm a hack, so who the hell knows.
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