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College Sports Recruiting at an Early Age: When Does the Recruiting Process Start?

Is it ever too early to start being recruited? 

David Sills, 14 year old Eigth Grader from Delaware, is one of the hottest young quarterback prospects in the country.  USC Coach Lane Kiffin promised Stills a scholarship when the QB was in 7th grade, only 13 years old, and the youngster verbally committed to the Trojans. 

Sills trains with renowned quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, who has worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Leinart, Tyrod Taylor, and Jimmy Clausen. Having been named starting quarterback of Red Lion Christian Academy as an Eigth Grader, putting on impressive performances at camps, and sporting a very impressive highlight video, Stills truly seems to be the real deal.  All of this leads to the big question:

How young are they willing to recruit student-athletes?

Coach Randy Taylor, national recruiting expert and former college athlete and coach, knows better than most that college sports recruiting is a first come-first serve business.  “College coaches always want to be first, if they can get the jump on a top prospect no matter what age, they will,” says Coach Taylor.  Sills is one of a laundry list of young athletes who have committed to colleges early:

.2008- Michael Avery, a 6’4 Shooting Guard from California, committed to Kentucky before actually knowing what high school he wanted to attend

.2006- Dwayne Polee Jr. committed to USC before ever playing a high school game

.In 2007 Arizona basketball coach Lute Olsen offered two players that were not yet in eigth grade

The list goes on and on.  It’s a fact, college recruiters are going after athletes at younger ages every year.  What does this mean?

Athletes should be going after coaches too.

If a student athlete has interest in playing college sports, he or she needs to get started immediately.  Put together a recruiting video, and compile a comprehensive recruiting profile.  Then send all this information out with an introductory letter to hundreds of possible schools.  Being proactive in the recruiting process is not an action reserved for juniors in high school.  Being proactive and reaching out is a MUST for any athlete with college aspirations, no matter the age.  The college sports recruiting process started yesterday, and any student athlete hoping to play college sports must get on top of it.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson