Jucos Adjust

Recruiting rules and regulations are changing as often as the recruits themselves. It’s been a year since Major League Baseball eliminated the draft-and-follow process, and within this year the NCAA has also made significant changes regarding transfers, roster sizes, and scholarship limits.

Those changes affected the way junior colleges are going about their recruiting, and most juco coaches have turned the changes into a positive for their programs.

"Sure, you no longer have the benefit of scouts helping players they have under control make their way to your school. But even when you did, you had to do your own work to sell your program and make the player see how playing there was going to help," Walters State (Tenn.) JC coach Dave Shelton said. "You still work with scouts to find players that fit your program, you just have to make sure you develop a relationship with the player so they know the benefit of playing at the junior college level.

"If anything, the roster limits have made the biggest difference. Those players who might have been going to the (Atlantic Coast Conference) or the (Southeastern Conference) might be looking at their only scholarship offers coming from the mid-majors now. We’ve taken the approach of saying, ‘Hey, your dream has always been to play major college baseball, don’t give up on that dream. The mid-major school will still be there in two years (in junior college), but the ACC or SEC offer might be there, too, if you develop the way we think you can."