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Texas Tech Recruiting Roundup: Unofficial vs Official Visits

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Texas Tech hosted a ton of recruits this past weekend when TCU came to town. So what exactly is the difference between an official and unofficial visit?

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Texas Tech lost a tough one to TCU, the Red Raiders won in the recruiting game. A ton of recruits made their way to Lubbock to check out the game and campus. From what I saw on Twitter it looks like they all had a great time.

After seeing all the recruits in town for visits it got me wondering. What is the difference between an unofficial and official visit?

Unofficial

  • The athlete has to pay their way to get to campus.
  • The university is allowed to give the athlete up to 3 tickets via a pass list for regular season games within a 30 mile radius of campus per NCAA rules.
  • The coaching staff sends out invites to their games, the athletes give the coaches a heads up if they're coming. This way the athletes and up to two others will be added to the pass list. The players and others get into the stadium via a pass gate. No physical tickets are issued so the athletes can't turn around and sell them.
  • There is no limit to unofficial visits.

Official

  • Only up to 5 official visits throughout the recruiting process.
  • Regulated by the NCAA and can only take official visits during certain time frames which varies by sport.
  • Travel is paid for or reimbursed by the university. The university can fly the athlete to town if they choose to do so.
  • The university is a little more selective on their official invites because they are restricted the total number of official visits they can have.

As you can see, there is a noticeable difference in an official and unofficial. Pretty much anyone can go on an unofficial visit. If an athlete gets an invite from the coaching staff for the fall football season then all they have to do is give them a heads up so they can get their name on the list to get into the game. Players have to pay their way to get to campus as well. The official visits are a little bit more serious. These are for the recruits that the coaching staff really wants to land. A lot of the time these invites go out to already committed recruits or guys at the top of the coaching staff's target lists.

2016 Football Commits

Da'Leon Ward: Running Back, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)

Emoree Giddens: Offensive Line, Coronado High School (Lubbock, TX)

Gio Pancotti: Offensive Line, Episcopal High School (Bellaire, TX)

Neiman Armstrong: Cornerback, DeSoto High School (DeSoto, TX)

Antoine Cox-Wesley: Wide Receiver, Steele High School (Cibolo, TX)

Jett Duffey: Dual-Threat Quarterback, Lake Ridge High School (Mansfield, TX)

Bryson Denley: Athlete (RB, WR), Steele High School (Cibolo, TX)

DeQuan Bowman: Wide Receiver, Hutchinson CC (Hutchinson, KS)

Derrick Willies: Wide Receiver, Trinity Valley CC (Athens, TX)

Mychealon Thomas: Defensive Tackle, Butler CC (El Dorado, KS)

Brayden Stringer: Linebacker, Cypress Ranch High School (Cypress, TX)

Ivory Jackson: Defensive Tackle, Amarillo High School (Amarillo, TX)

T.J. Vasher: Wide Receiver, Rider High School (Wichita Falls, TX)

DaMarcus Fields: Cornerback, Taylor High School (Taylor, TX)

Johnathan Picone: Linebacker, Mandeville High School (Mandeville, LA)

Houston Miller: Defensive End, Keller High School (Keller, TX)

Noah Jones: Defensive End, Southmoore High School (Moore, OK)

Jordyn Brooks: Linebacker, Stratford High School (Houston, TX)

Nick McCann: Defensive Tackle, Arkansas High School (Texarkana, AR)

Austin Deshay: Defensive End, Hendrickson High School (Pflugerville, TX)

Travis Bruffy: Offensive Tackle, Ridge Point High School (Missouri City, TX)

Zach Adams: Offensive Tackle, Riverbend High School (Fredericksburg, VA)

Clarence Henderson: Defensive End, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)

Joe Wallace: Defensive Tackle, Skyline High School (Dallas, TX)