NCSA constantly stresses the fact that the recruiting process begins well before junior and senior year. It’s never too soon to start planning for playing at the next level because college coaches are already looking for potential recruits who are as young as 13 years old.
Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel recently wrote an in-depth and informative column about the trend of recruiting young athletes . It’s a good article and one that raises a lot of questions. Questions about what the NCAA may need to do in the near future regarding this subject, and questions about the problems that can arise when players that aren’t fully developed physically or mentally are offered scholarships.
Hays notes that football is late to the early recruiting game (a fact that may have a lot to do with the fact that football requires physical development that’s hard to gauge in junior high school players), and soccer, baseball and basketball programs have been recruiting young student-athletes for a while.
College coaches are under a lot of pressure to succeed. And that pressure means they want to find players that fit their programs early and get an edge over other schools. This means that student-athletes have to be ready to start the recruiting process earlier than they think.