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Mustang Hoofprints - Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 17, 2008
Chris Hmielewski

The early signing period began for all of our Mustang teams Wednesday except football and soccer. The early signing period runs from Nov. 12-19.

The Mustang football team's signing period will begin Feb. 4 and run through April 1, while Mustang Soccer can also begin on Feb. 4, but runs to Aug. 1.

The next time the Mustang men and women's basketball teams can sign recruits is April 15 through May 20. Baseball, softball, women's golf, women's tennis, wrestling and volleyball all can sign student-athletes in the spring from April 8 to Aug. 1. This wraps up the signing periods for the 2008-09 academic year.

It was exciting to listen to the coaches give a preview to the talented student-athletes they signed during the "early signing period" at yesterday's Mustang Booster Club luncheon. Our teams are having good success recruiting gifted athletes who also have a strong academic background. The Mustang coaching staff puts a lot of time evaluating the athletic abilities of a potential recruits as well as looking into the student-athlete's character, commitment, and leadership abilities in all other aspects of their academic, social, and personal lives.

In Division II athletics, a recruit's athletic ability (or potential) is a given in the equation. Many times, it is the evaluation of a student-athletes character that can be a great predictor of an athlete's success. It may also be the very thing that lowers a recruit on a team's priority list or can drop the student-athlete off the recruitment list completely.

Signing Day can be a very nerve-racking day as a coaching staff waits for a student-athlete to make their decision on where they would like to continue their college education and athletic career.

Coaches spend months, and in many cases years, developing a relationship with the student-athlete, family and coaches in hopes they will choose Southwest Minnesota State University.

The one common response given by our current student-athletes when asked "Why did you choose SMSU?" Their answer a great percentage of the time is "the people." This is a credit to the SMSU administrators, faculty, and staff as well as the Marshall community for their support of Mustang Athletics.

Thank you to all who have participated in the recruitment process!

Good luck to all of our Mustang teams this week!

Go Mustangs!

Congratulations, Mary Erickson, for providing the correct answer to last week's Mustang Hoofprint's Trivia Question: What two Mustang Wheelchair Basketball players have a chance to reach the 1,000 point mark in their career at SMSU during the 2008-09 season? Mary pointed out that Evan Thorn reached 1,000 points in his career last season and Nate "Vegas" Carruth has a good chance of becoming the second player on this year's team to reach that milestone. Thank you to all who submitted answers to last week's trivia question.



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