Connor Speed recently committed to Bates College, widely regarded as one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation, and he has some advice for future recruits. (If you have never heard of Bates, it’s rated as the #22 college in NCSA’s Overall Power Rankings for 2013 and the #11 college in the Division III list.)
How did NCSA help you during this process?
NCSA helped Connor establish contact with Coach Leonard about a year ago. Connor sent him an email regarding a showcase he was attending and he plays travel ball for the Solana Beach Cardinals. The head coach for the travel team is Jon Luken (who is also the regional supervisor scout for the Rockies). I know Coach Leonard contacted Coach Luken and Coach Leonard recruited Connor based on Coach Luken’s scouting report.
Bates is a long way from home, how did you gain exposure to a program that far away? Also, what advice can you give future recruits about marketing themselves to a college that is really far away geographically?
Connor originally was interested in going to Brown University and he attended a camp at Brown the summer of his junior year. Bates College was also at the camp and Connor had a great camp so the Bates became interested in him. Bates seemed very organized and was really interested in Connor, too (Coach Leonard has Connor listed as their #1 recruit for his class.)
Lastly, Bates College is one of the toughest colleges to gain admission to in the country (and it’s the #22 college in our NCSA Power Rankings), do you have any recommendations to student-athletes trying to get into a high academic college like that?
Regarding getting into Bates, Connor’s high school profile is very good and his GPA is also very good. His test scores were ok, but Bates doesn’t require testing. It just was a good fit! Connor is a border line D1 player, but we chose to take the academic upgrade over scholarship dollars. His plan is to complete 4 years at Bates then grad school at Ivy League school. The best advice I can give if you want to get into Bates or college like that would include: I would put major effort into what high school you attend. Maintain a high GPA and attend academic baseball camps. It does help to have some baseball skills!
Connor definitely had the skills to play at a high level and his performance in the classroom really created a lot of great options. NCSA Athletic Recruiting is looking forward to seeing Connor help Bates capture some NESCAC titles over the next few years and then his professional advancement beyond college, too!