Dear Football Coach,
I have four members of your football team in my first year writing class. If I recall correctly, they've missed a total of four classes. That's pretty darned good.
In addition to being in class every day, each of them has done all the assignments in a timely manner. It would be nice if they didn't sit together at the back of the room, but they willingly move around for group work.
None of the four is exactly a shining example of active class participation, but each will respond when called on. And often enough, they have something smart and interesting to say when they respond; at the least, their responses indicate they've been following the discussion.
Two of the four have worked really hard on their writing and peer editing; the peer editing is especially impressive. They've really improved their writing, and their research papers are quite good.
In conclusion, you're doing something right. I hear about study sessions and fill in the progress reports, and I gather you're encouraging your team members to take their classes seriously and work hard. Each of these men in my class seems to have learned something about mutual respect, teamwork, and effort through their football experiences. So even though I gather the team has a losing record, I want to encourage you to keep up your good work.
ps. I'd be happy to have more of your football players in my classes.