Get me recruited. That’s what many high school student-athletes request of coaches, parents, college recruiting websites and others want to know how to do. And that’s what’s necessary for a high school student-athlete to transition into a college student-athlete and possibly receive an athletic scholarship.
What are college sport scholarships? They provide you with funding for some or all of your tuition, fees, books, room and board in return to your contributions to one or more sports teams.
What does it take to get one of those athletic scholarships? There’s no exact formula. Of course, you need to be one of the top athletes at your position at the high school level. You should also fit into the style of play and into the culture of the team that you’re looking to join. Academics are important as well. Not only do you need to meet NCAA eligibility standards to complete the D1 or D2 recruiting processes, but you must meet institution academic standards. The latter also applies to those engaging in the D3 recruiting process. Similar requirements need to be followed for NAIA and junior college athletes.
As you do your part to get yourself recruited, which can include taking advantage of college recruiting websites, it’s important to learn some of the terminology that’s being used. Three important ones are prospect, recruit and recruiter. A prospect is a high school student who’s eligible to participate in college athletics. A recruit has been contacted by at least one coach for a college team in regard to possibly playing for that school. A recruiter is that coach.
It should be pointed out that 2% of high school student-athletes receive college sport scholarships. However, several more secure non-scholarship spots on teams with the help of financial aid that’s available to the general student body. At many institutions, this is the only aid that’s allowed for athletes. For example, this is the case for the NCAA DI Ivy League schools as well as all 450 NCAA DIII institutions.
How can I get myself recruited? Many who are in search of athletic scholarships should understand where recruiting happens. Of course, your play at high school and other events is of the utmost importance as it comes to how to get recruited. But so is how you interact with others when on the bench, during practices, at camps, with teachers and in other situations. It’s not as simple as saying to a coach, “I want you to recruit me.” You need to have a well-rounded package to sell to them.
Also, consider that communication can occur in several different ways. You can talk to a coach in person, via a telephone call or online. Although you don’t want to be that literal about what you want – saying, “Recruit me,” will likely not impress anybody – you do want to be proactive. Send that first email. Make that first phone call. That’s how to start to get recruited along with your skills.
It’s also important to keep in mind the recruiting timeline. College recruiting websites can help with this. For example, you shouldn’t expect to hear from coaches prior to the end of your sophomore year of high school. That’s because they’re not allowed to contact you yet, according to NCAA regulations. However, you may contact them prior to that point.
Requesting this of your parents, may result in positive steps being taken in that direction but your need to ensure that you’re being proactive more than they are. However, what they can do during the college recruiting process can be significant. Talk to them about your desires and where you think you would best fit in. If applicable, learn what the college experience was like for them and what they would keep the same and what they would change if they could. If they were college athletes, even better. Also discuss the financial aspect of college recruiting and the impact of college sport scholarships.
One of the most important things that you can do if you want to “get me recruited” is to fill out recruiting questionnaires. These provide coaching staffs with basic information on you and, in nearly all cases, is necessary before they will consider you. The information that will be provided when you fill out a recruiting questionnaire will generally include your height and weight if one or the other is applicable to your sport, sports played, positions played, statistics posted, GPA and social media handles.
You’ve likely heard of five-star recruits as well as four-, three- and two-star ones. It’s an especially popular rating system for those that report on college football recruiting and college basketball recruiting. As it relates to NCAA football recruiting, five-star players generally number a few dozen in any given year and consist of players expected to earn All-American honors and be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. Simply put, they should make an impact for a top team as a freshman.
A blue chip player is generally included amongst five- and four-star recruits. This is also a term that’s most often used for players involved in college football recruiting and college basketball recruiting.
If you have completed the D1 recruiting process or the D2 recruiting process with the offering and accepting of a scholarship, you’ll sign a National Letter of Intent. This document is a binding agreement that guarantees that you will receive one year of an athletic scholarship. It also guarantees to the school that you will not play for a different one for at least one year. For that reason, all recruiting efforts of you need to stop at this time. Do note that those involved with D3 recruiting will not sign a National Letter of Intent.
If you’re a multi-sport athlete, it’s important to talk to the right coaches. You’re going to want to consider several factors. Perhaps you’re a better tennis player than a basketball player. Or, maybe you’d rather ride the bench at the arena than be the school’s No. 1 player on the courts. Perhaps, you’ve starred on your high school football and basketball teams but aren’t sure which one to specialize in at college. Talk with those you trust. In some cases, you’ll want to reach out to college coaches in multiple sports.
It’s important to research how schools that you’re considering rank in their league, regionally and nationally. Don’t put too much emphasis on this, however, as potential is much more important. Plus, few experiences compare to building a team up from your freshman to senior years. Regardless, take current rankings into account, and also consider where schools rank academically. Note that academic rankings don’t tend to change much from year to year.
One resource is the NCSA Football Power Rankings. These take into account not only the quality of the football teams at these schools but also their academic rankings, graduation rates and college search activity. The top 10 are:
Those looking to do some NCSA scouting of schools can also do so for a variety of other sports. For example, here’s the list of the top 10 schools in the NCSA Softball Power Rankings:
As you go through the NCAA recruiting process of creating your recruiting profile, browsing college recruiting websites and narrowing your personal list of schools, do keep in mind several things. One is that you want to also value the quality of your academic profile. This is particularly important for some schools that are involved in D1 recruiting. For example, all eight Ivy League institutions compete in D1 sports.
With that said, absolutely do include schools that you may view as academic stretches. One of the benefits of engaging in NCAA recruiting from your perspective is that schools place significant value in an applicant having a strong athletic profile and being able to play for a varsity team. This is especially true for D1 student-athletes but is a benefit for all schools with athletic departments as well.
It’s essential to know how to contact college coaches. Those involved with NCAA recruiting consider every aspect of what you bring to the table. That includes how you interact with others, including coaches. As far as timing goes, it’s generally recommended to make that initial contact prior to your junior year, but you may want to wait until after then. Waiting is recommended if college scouting of you in top competition has not occurred. You want to ensure that your athletic profile is impressive or at least shows tremendous promise.
In most cases, the best first step is to reach out to someone on the staff of a school that you’re considering. If it’s a large staff such is the case during the NCAA football recruiting process, initially contact the recruiting coordinator or the position coach for your position. In some sports, you’ll want to go to the head coach first, who may either talk to you right away or have somebody else speak with you in the early stages of your interactions with the program.
Also make sure that you have a highlight video ready prior to contacting anybody involved with college scouting or recruiting. College recruiting websites report that profiles with a highlight video receive many times the traffic of those without one. Ensure that it includes highlights from several games and provides a variety of moves and plays.
College recruiting websites such as Next College Student Athlete help high school athletes get the most out of their recruiting experiences. In fact, NCSA has done that since it was founded in 2000 by Chris Krause. He was involved with NCAA football recruiting himself in the 1980s before securing a spot on the roster at Vanderbilt. However, it was not an easy experience, and he wanted to ensure that others who followed would receive the guidance that he hadn’t.
One of the ways that this is done is through NCSA scouting. It’s important to receive an accurate assessment of your skills, what you can offer a college team and which types of college squads would best fit you. You want to find the best fit for yourself, and this includes the academic and social aspects of the college experience. NCSA has helped tens of thousands of student-athletes complete a recruiting profile and find their fits over the years, and it has received numerous positive reviews, including averaging a score of 4.9 on Google Reviews.
In addition to all of the student-athletes in the NCSA network, 35,000 coaches are as well. They’re also looking for the best fits possible as they create teams that are comprised of players who not only bring the skills but also fit in as far as their personalities go. If you’d like to take advantage of the exposure and guidance that NCSA can provide you, fill out your free profile today. Should you have any questions about what NCSA offers or with the form itself, give 866 495-5172 a call.