I e-mailed back and forth with a parent in Texas a few years ago, and I believe the son is at Trinity or UMHB ... I'd had one update since. His story was great too, just a big player on a small-town team and couldn't get a sniff from the bigger schools ... which likely turns out to be a blessing.K-Mack;
I just ran across this topic during a few spare minutes. That was me.
Without revealing too much personal info, my son did in fact decide (on his own) to go to Trinity and played for the Tigers as a freshman this past season. We did visit UMHB, but Trinity was a better choice for his selected major. He also had "walk-on" invitations from two well-known D1 schools in Texas. He passed on them for several reasons, including the fact that he hoped to play sooner and not have to devote most of his time to athletics at the expense of his classroom duties. The smaller school size was more his style, too. Skip to the present ... he believes that he did make the right decision. He made the travelling squad and got to play in every game, at least on special teams. He also played behind some excellent upperclassmen who took a genuine interest in his progress and success. Yes, we do consider it a blessing.
The reason I wrote you in the first place was because we knew almost nothing about D3 football athletics (or schools, for that matter). Your thoughtful reply was very helpful to us in the recruiting and decision process ... thanks for taking the time to compose a personal reply that addressed our concerns and also gave us some idea what to look for.
I do have that e-mail conversation from the Spring of 2005 (seems longer ago to me too). I would like to post it with your permission. Send me an e-mail and let me know fi that's OK with you ... I can send you a preview first if you prefer.WLU78;
(and others in the same situation)
Congratulations for taking the time to carefully consider your son's options. Glad to see that you found this website and particularly this topic. It's an important one.
My son's story is much the same as your son's. Small high school 4-year varsity starter both ways. Recruited but not. D1 schools hemmed and hawed, then backed away slowly, despite state-wide honors too numerous to mention. D3 schools were happy to discuss his prospects there and without any pretense of "possibilities" that "might" come true (or not). Do not think that D3 is somehow a "step down" ... just a different road. For some, it's better. I suggest you talk to some current players and their parents at the schools your son is considering. The good news is that you have more time and you don't have to commit to anything until the school's admission deadlines ... usually in April or May. Remember D1 signing day is in early February.
Here's a pretty comprehensive review of Division III athletics by the NCAA:http://www2.ncaa.org/legislation_and_governance/committees/division3.html
(see especially "What does Division III have to offer?")
Make sure you register your son with the NCAA Clearinghouse for athletic eligibility ... definitely needed for Division I and Division II prospective student-athletes:http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net/ncaa/NCAA/common/index.html
Maybe some other posters have other references or experiences they'd like to share.Bottom line:
All parents of good high school athletes should consider a quality D3 school as a very good alternative to "lower numbered" levels. Especially when an athletic scholarship is hinted but not offered. A great athlete can prosper and accomplish great things at any level ... the only things missing are not necessarity beneficial (TV & press coverage, financial pressure, missed classroom time, distant roadtrips, a lot of negative influences, etc.) And, if you check into the financial picture carefully, you may find that smaller school tuition and expenses actually add up to LESS than the larger and state-affiliated schools.
My son's teammates are some of the finest young men I have met, period. Most are serious & committed students who enjoy "pure" football at its finest. Doesn't hurt to play for a winner, either.D3Football is fantastic.