UMass Amherst

Amherst, MA: Lastspring, I was invited to the University of Massachusetts’ footballprospect-recruiting weekend and spring practice. My father and I made thetwo-hour journey to Amherst in western Massachusetts. Our first stop was theUMass football practice facility. It was very intense, and though it was onlytheir first day of full pads, the hitting was vicious. The defense played with aferocity I had never witnessed at a practice, hitting with absolute fearlessness.My father and I observed how the players and coaches ran their drills and theirpractice schedule. I was extremely impressed.

When practice ended, we wentto the fieldhouse where we talked with the players and coaches about football andUMass. The coaches gave us a locker room tour, and brought us into the coaches’room to show us the 1998 Division IAA National Championship trophy that UMasscaptured in a win over Georgia Southern.

We then had a tour of theenormous campus, 20,000 students strong. The dorms where the football playerslive (located near the weight-training facility and the dining commons) wereabsolutely beautiful. There is great campus transportation to classes and dorms.UMass is not far from Worcester and Springfield, and New York City is only threehours away.

When the tour ended we were taken to the student activitybuilding and fed some of the best food I have ever eaten. There was more food inthat room than I had seen in my whole life. We prospects swapped football warstories and talked about how we liked the place. The coaches introduced thecaptains for the coming season, and talked about their goals and objectives -returning UMass football to national prominence and glory.

After themeal, the recruiting directors for each area spoke to the recruits they hadinvited. My recruiter was also the receivers’ coach and he assured me that UMasswould be an excellent school for me. The way he spoke about offense and passinggot me very excited. I have since spoken to the coach and he has remainedextremely positive. Every time I talk to him I can’t help but think of what mightbe.

Reviewed in 2001