Getting that first offer to play college football is a milestone for many high school recruits, but some have to wait longer for that offer than others.
This is the case for Elkton, Maryland rising senior Jahmee Ballard. While he has more than enough talent to get many offers, it has taken longer than expected for him to receive one.
It’s a waiting game.
“It is kind of hard. That’s another thing that gets me up everyday. I need to go work out and get better. That’s what I do everyday: I just work to get better, so when I get the offer they will know they made the right decision,” Ballard said in a phone interview on Monday.
The running back is still confident. Even though it has been difficult to deal with no offers as of yet, hope is not even close to lost.
“I believe that this year when they see me play and perform, I’ll be able to choose from whatever school I want. I feel as though I have the talent,” Ballard said.
He has gotten close to an offer a few times. He felt as if he deserved one when he went to the Boise State camp in June, yet the offer never came. He has been expecting a phone call from Coastal Carolina too, but the call has not come in yet.
Rather than get down on himself, Ballard has been using it as motivation. After all, colleges are always watching for talent.
“It just makes me grind harder. It just makes me work out even more than what I did before,” Ballard said. “I would probably work out four times a week. Now I work out every day, and if I’m not able to get a work out in I will go outside for like a three-mile jog.”
A lot is riding on the first few games of his senior season. If he performs well, then offers could flow in.
The stakes are even higher this year because Ballard is starting at a new school. The running back transferred to St. Frances Academy for his senior campaign.
“Pretty much I’m just depending on my team. That’s all that I can do. The team is going to help you more than you can help yourself. You just need to play and hope the team will help you win those games. I’m not really worried about the games,” Ballard said.
He describes himself as an “old fashioned” running back, meaning he doesn’t stop pushing. There isn’t much left to right running in his game. It is all about running right through you.
This type of running back is harder to find these days. It may be one of the reasons Ballard is underrated.
“There are bigger stars on my team. They may not be looking at me as much as they’re looking at them. That has made me work harder,” Ballard explained. “Everything has just made me work harder. I know God will work it out for me.”
The waiting game is tough, but it’s worth it for football. It’s worth it for the game that Ballard has loved his whole life.
“Since I was a little kid all I ever did was play football. That’s all I remember doing. I moved a lot, but everywhere I went I remember playing football. That’s my life,” Ballard said emotionally.
So it’s worth it. Some recruits get the first offer in October of their junior year and some have to wait a little longer.
Ballard just knows that once he gets that offer, it will be worth the wait.