Any high school athlete and their family has so much to remember to keep all the recruiting dates straight, to know when they can expect to hear from coaches or when they might be in a quiet period for their sport.
But of any part of the year, the month of September is one of the most significant. In addition to technical changes college coaches have based on NCAA rules, September 1 — the beginning of the school year — is an important date for your recruiting, no matter your graduation class or sport.
Below are a few of the most important guidelines you should keep in mind to get the most out of your recruiting this fall.
September 1 Recruiting for Seniors:
September 1st should serve as a significant benchmark recruiting date for seniors. The reality is that for many sports, a majority of Division I scholarship offers have been given out and final evaluations will be completed. Division II and Division III recruiting will start to pick up. Although the actual timelines will vary slightly based on sport, every recruit should evaluate where you stand. Are you happy with your recruiting situation?
For more on the recruiting realities Division I athletes face, check out 3 signs whether you have what it takes.
Official visits will be taken by thousands of senior recruits around the country over the next few months and those are allowed on the first day of classes. Also, September 1st marks the beginning of an Evaluation Period for football players. Other sports will soon follow. If you’re not sure what an Evaluation Period is, resources like the NCAA’s Guide for the College-Bound Athlete or NCSA’s free library of recruiting tools and expertise for your sport can help you get back on track.
If there was a lull in your communication with coaches, try to pick back up with them this fall. If you are not in close communication with several colleges by the end of September, you should reevaluate your recruiting strategy. Remember just how many schools are out there, especially outside of NCAA Division I schools; cast your net wide, and use resources like NCSA Athletic Recruiting’s platform to find the right academic, athletic and social matches with schools. out to more and more schools.
Remember just how many schools are out there, and cast your net wide. Tweet this!
Be more direct with coaches about where you stand. If a school is going to be an option for you, great! However, if you sense that the school is not interested in you or it is not a good fit, take that school off your list and move on.
It’s important to note that DII, DIII and NAIA coaches often wait until senior year before showing significant interest in recruits.
September 1 Recruiting for Juniors:
This is such an exciting time to be a junior. Seriously.
On this date, DI and DII college coaches are allowed to send written recruiting information. (The specific date is different for men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey.)
For many athletes this is the first point where a college coach can show serious interest. If you’ve taken the proper steps to research schools during your freshman and sophomore years you should have a target list of programs put together that you can reach out to.
DI and DII coaches are now allowed to respond to your emails, so be sure to include questions.
If you’re really lucky? For some athletes this will mark the first point where they start receiving written scholarship offers from schools.
No matter what, this is really important: Remember to be on your toes and respond to any information you receive, regardless of your initial interest in the school. The more options you have on the table the better. Always reply promptly and with courtesy (full sentences, a “hello coach” at the beginning of your email, and a thank you at the end).
September 1 Recruiting for Freshmen and Sophomores:
While juniors and seniors are really feeling the pressure this September, you’re not getting off free either, underclassmen. Many experts have pointed out that the majority of recruits separate themselves from their recruiting competition during the freshmen and sophomore years. The recruits who actively put together a serious recruiting game plan ultimately will have more success than those who wait until junior or senior year.
Put together a plan now, instead of waiting until junior or senior year. Tweet this!
While recruits cannot technically receive official recruiting letters or phone calls for the most part, they can take several important steps:
- Receive an initial third party evaluation to determine what you need to improve to reach your ideal level of play and get educated about the recruiting process.
- Begin building an online athletic and academic resume as you research what colleges and universities interest you.
- Proactively reach out to college coaches through letters, phone calls and unofficial visits.
You’ve seen the same headlines I have. In some sports, college coaches have already begun putting their recruiting lists together as early as 7th or 8th grade.
Even more coaches will compile those lists when prospects are freshmen and sophomores. The work that freshmen and sophomore put into the recruiting process will dictate their position junior and senior year. Don’t wait to get started.
Scouts at NCSA Athletic Recruiting can help you determine where you stand in the recruiting process, and how you can get ahead. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.