It depends how they got their nominations and appointments. Being a "recruited" athlete means a few different things. Each sport has a few "silver bullets" they use and those people get in and it has little affect on you. Others get flagged as a "recruited athlete" and may get a few more points in that area when the scores are developed. You only compete against the individuals on the "slate" from the source of you nominations. I would assume that you have a nomination from your Congressman. You compete against the other people he nominated for his spot. If the other two acquaintances have applied and received a nomination from the same Congressman, then you will compete against them..