When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

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Our counselors answered:

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

They should hopefully be noticed when they begin high school. They need to be doing research all throughout high school and join the NCAA Clearinghouse as early as possible. LOR's from coaches they personally know can be invaluable!

Scott Herrmann-Keeling
College Counselor

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

That depends a little on the sport. Newspapers are filled with headlines about football and basketball coaches offering scholarships to high school sophomores and juniors and even evaluating middle-schoolers who seem to have a lot of potential. But those stories are making news precisely because they're not normal. It's possible for many students to find athletic homes without speaking to college coaches until the summer before senior year. The first place to go for help with this process is your coach. Your coach can provide you with an honest assessment of where you are capable of playing and the steps you need to take to make it happen.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

Recruitment begins with talent and it’s never too early to develop skill, strength, and discipline. As an underclassmen prospective athletes should become familiar with the recruiting rules for their sport by downloading a copy of the “NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.” Students and parents should begin discussing the process with their high school and club coaches and looking at colleges that would be a good fit athletically. By junior year, students should be narrowing down options. Some students will have official campus visits or sign letters of intent as early as junior year and others may be forced by NCAA recruiting regulations to wait until senior year.

Avi Stopper
College Sports Recruiting Expert CaptainU - College Sports Recruiting

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

Typically the best time to start is late in your sophomore year or early in your junior year of high school. Starting then lets you be thorough in your search. It also gives you the opportunity to get ahead of the curve, before most college teams have locked down their recruiting classes. That said, many athletes don't start until late in their junior or senior years. While this isn't ideal, many such athletes have still been very successful with recruiting. Either way, the most important thing is to be organized and have a clear strategy on how you're going to make a team.

Benjamin Waldmann

When do student athletes need to begin the recruitment process?

In general, a lot earlier than the average student. Many college athletes will have been recruited although maybe not signed up from as young as 13 years old (especially for basketball, baseball and football). If you are a student athlete that is in a position where you have not been heavily recruited by college coaches for whatever reason, the best way to get seen is to start making yourself known. How do you do that? there are many opportunities .... Start looking for high school showcase opportunities in which you can perform in front of college coaches and show what your made of. If you are contacting coaches from universities which are not local, start building connections with college assistant coaches e.g. e-mail them (this has to be clear, concise and well presented) try to put together some valuable footage of you performing your sport in a competitive setting (not in your backyard or with a mate). With video footage its about quality not quantity so edit to put your best moments on one dvd. Assistant coaches are generally better to contact as the head coach of many sports programs are consistently bombarded with prospective athletes like yourself, and often assistance coaches have a heavy hand in the recruiting process. I have many other key tips for prospective student athletes, however you will have to contact me directly for such information.