The graphic below is exactly how recruiting works in college football today. The “offers” we see listed early on in a player’s JR year are often either based on phone calls by a recruiting staff or the 1st canned recruiting letter that goes out to a player.
But here is that first ‘canned’ letter which a lot of recruits consider an offer to play football at that school… when in reality a school sends out hundreds of these type letters every year to HS juniors. They mean almost nothing.
See the difference here – the letter above is the very bottom rung of the recruiting process and is at least eight steps away from actually getting a formal offer. But HS juniors who receive that see it as a school asking them (offering them) to play ball in their program.