College Sports Recruiting Timeline
Different sports, division levels and programs deal with different recruiting timelines, but there are still some similarities across sports. This includes following the NCAA recruiting calendar, which outlines different recruiting dates that college coaches must adhere to. The expectation to know and follow these rules falls on college programs, but it still benefits prospects to know important dates so that they can be prepared for recruiting opportunities.
With that said, many athletes across a variety of sports do follow a standard recruiting timeline that breaks down certain activities for each academic year. This includes:
- Freshman year: Research different division levels and learn differences in competition, understanding NCAA recruiting rules, knowing measurables for your sport , etc.
- Sophomore year: Building your athletic resume and NCSA Recruiting Profile, compiling highlight video, contacting college coaches at levels that can already recruit , etc.
- Focus on contacting college coaches, write letters, make calls, compile a target list of colleges, etc.
- Senior year: Most offers are made by D1 college coaches junior year. For those that havent received an offer, continue to contact college coaches and be ready to target lower division levels.
This is by no means an exhaustive guide to the recruiting timeline. For more resources and guidance, reference these NCSA guides for staying ahead of the pack in recruiting:
You’re Being Recruited If
- A College Coach Calls you at Home Once is not enough. If a coach calls and talks to you twice, he or she is truly interested.
- A College Coach Comes to Your Home Field, Court or Course to Specifically See You PlayWhen coaches spend time and money to see you play in person, they are interested in really evaluating learning more about you.
- A College Coach Invites You on an Official VisitWhen a coach invites you to spend time with the coaching staff and the team, you have made it to the final recruiting stage. Make the most of it by asking important questions.
Get Recruited To A Division I Or Division Ii School
If you are a standout, all-conference player at a powerhouse high school, coaches and scouts will, in all likelihood, find you. Those at smaller high schools, especially ones whose competition is primarily a network of other tiny schools, will have to work a bit harder to gain notice. Regardless of your situation you need to understand some basic rules. Of course, the NCAAs recruiting rules are about as simple as the U.S. tax code.
Some of the basics rules of Division I/II recruiting include:
- In most sports, coaches cannot contact you until after your sophomore year of high school. In other sports, the contact window does not begin until the fall of junior year. To make things extra confusing, just about every DI sport operates on a different recruiting calendar. Find the precise calendar for your particular sport of interest here.
- Within that calendar there are contact periods when a coach can make an in-person, off-campus visit to a recruit, evaluation periods when off-campus evaluations are allowed but no direct contact can be made, quiet periods when only in-person/on-campus contact can be made, and a dead period when no recruiting contacts or evaluations of any kind can take place.
- A contact is defined as any time a coach does more than just say hello during a face-to-face meeting.
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What happens on an NCAA recruiting official visit?
How do I commit to a Division I or II school as a college athlete?
Build Profiles On Recruiting Websites
Gone are the days of writing and mailing letters to athletic departments, hoping a scout will see you at a tournament. Technology has made it so easy to connect with coaches near and far, and recruiting websites like BeRecruited, RecruitTalk, NCSA, and SportsRecruits make student-athlete/coach connections their mission. Most profiles do come with a fee, but this small investment can go a long way if it helps land you a scholarship.
Make A Volleyball Recruit Highlight Video
The video should highlight the skills you bring to the court. Show your best moves on the court, and where you best fit in the team. The positions you choose will impact the coaches decisions based on what theyre looking for, so you must do your best.
They will be looking for skill and versatility to keep their college teams on top of the rankings, so youll need to show them why you are worth recruiting. Think of this as an introduction. You only make one first impression, and you want them to see what a great player you are.
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How Do College Basketball Recruiting Process Works
College basketball recruiting happens when coaches identify potential players that can play for them, do evaluations, and then decide about the offers they are going to make. Recruiting may occur in many ways, including face-to-face visits, phone calls, or electronic means. Here is what a prospective recruit needs to understand: There is no clear-cut way of recruiting, and the steps of the recruitment process do not to be completed for you to move on to the next.
Sometimes, basketball college coaches might incorporate two steps at once. For instance, they may watch the game or a showcase of a possible recruit and make an evaluation on that very same day. And they may even skip everything and offer a scholarship if thats what they want!
Of course, those are rare cases. More often than not, the coaches of basketball programs prefer refining their steps and going through the process. These processes would often prove to be long and drawn-out, often taking years. To give you an idea of how college basketball recruiting works, be familiar with these stages:
1. Colleges and universities generate interest by building a database of possible recruits.
This is often the first thing that schools do, and they achieve this by passing out camp invites, letters, and questionnaires to potential recruits. At this stage, coaches often look at raw numbers such as players vital statistics For some giant programs, this database could number into the thousands.
5. Signing on the dotted line
The Impact Of Redshirting And How It Works
College football redshirts more student-athletes every year than any other sport. A redshirt year is important to help put on strength, learn the playbook, and get use to the college grind.
In 2019, the NCAA made a rule change allowing Division 1 FBS and FCS football players to compete in up to four games without losing a year of eligibility. This new rule means players can get experience without forfeiting a year of eligibility.
About half of all D1 football players redshirt their freshman year. The new redshirt rule means college coaches will also change up their recruiting tactics. They can now meaningful playing time and development during your first year of college.
Be sure when communicating with college coaches to ask about playing opportunities for redshirt freshmen.
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Understanding Star Ratings In College Basketball
Every year the main media websites release a list of their top college basketball prospects. Star ratings are attached along with any offers those kids might have.
The best players are given a 5-star rating. It then goes all the way down to lower-end prospects who typically receive a 2-star rating.
ESPN, 247Sports.com, Rivals.com, and Scout.com are the main rating companies.
To assign a rating these media platforms typically analyze film footage, attend live games, camps and combines, and judge overall athleticism to make their decisions.
Just because you are given a 5-star does not mean you will excel in college. The same goes for kids that dont receive any stars as they are often the prospects who play with a chip on their shoulder and end up proving a lot of people wrong.
What Star Ratings Do
The star ratings help these media companies make money, but they also serve a few other purposes. They provide people with an easy way to see who the top recruits are and the ability to track their journey.
The ratings also help college coaches find athletes who are the right caliber for their program. Keep in mind though, that star ratings arent an exact science and certainly dont guarantee success.
Why You Might Need to Attend Some Camps, Showcases, and Combines
Important Note About Events Like These:
Kids that can dunk are always the first one coaches look at in a camp setting.
How To Get Recruited For Mens Track And Field
Mens track and field recruitinglike any college sportis very competitive, leaving many student-athletes and their families wondering when and where to start.
- 600,000+ mens track and field athletes compete at the high school level annually
- Less than 29,0004.8 percentgo on to compete at the NCAA D1, D2 or D3 level
- D1: 1.9 percent
- D2: 1.2 percent
- D3: 1.7 percent
What makes track and field unique in the world of collegiate sports is that there is no typical track recruiting process. Student-athletes have to be aware of the track and field recruiting rules based on where they live, as well as where they hope to compete. Additionally, every track event is recruited and scouted differentlya distance runner will have to fit different criteria than a shot putter or hurdler. Find out whats happening in college track and field news.
Regardless of when or where you start, or what events you compete in, all potential recruits should be proactive and take charge of their own recruiting. College coaches cant find all of their recruits on their own, so its a must for student-athletes to identify and narrow down their target schools, work hard to improve their athletic stats and stay on track in the classroom, too.
Find out more about NCAA track and field.
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Reason : You Can Fix Or Improve Your Academics At A Junior College
Its not just about baseball as a college student-athlete, academics are extremely important.
For some players with poor grades or test scores in high school, the question of should you go JUCO? is an easy one: YES.
Lots of young athletes arent big fans of school. And if you dont put forth enough effort in high school, a lot of doors can end up closed because of the academic standards 4-year schools require for eligibility.
So if perhaps you didnt put forth a great effort in high school but are now ready to turn it aroundor you just dont have any other optionsplaying college baseball at a two-year school can be a great choice.
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Work With Your Current Football Coach
The fourth step on how you can join the college football team is to work with your current football coach. High school coaches are very important in this recruiting process. With the aid of your high school coach, he can stand as a link between you and your college coach. He should have made some contacts during his college football era.
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Here’s What You Get In The How To Get Recruited Guide
- Get advice directly from college coaches. Don’t wonder if you found the right answers on the internet.
- Figure out what to do if you started the recruiting process late. The truth is it’s never too late to find a roster spot.
- Learn to evaluate offers. You don’t want to act too fast or wait too long.
- Save hundreds or even thousands of dollars you would spend on a recruiting service, and get peace of mind that you’re not making a major mistake.
- Learn the recruiting timeline so you won’t miss any important dates.
- Discover how your teen can self-evaluate so they can find an athletic program that won’t damage their self-image. You want your child to thrive.
- Coaches will respond when you use the template in the guide. In both emails and phone calls, you’ll have confidence when communicating with college coaches.
- Use the action steps at the end of each chapter to make your way through the recruiting process. No more wondering what’s next.
Attend Summer Camps And Showcases
Summer camps and showcases provide a variety of benefits to high school athletestheyre great for developing skills, assessing how you stack up against your peers, networking, and increasing your exposure.
The fact is, most college athletes arent discovered at camps or showcases rather, coaches attend to watch student-athletes that theyre already interested in or targeting. This is why its so important to contact coaches in advance and develop a rapport with them.
While attending showcases and camps, remember to act professionally, meet as many people as possible, and follow up with them after. Just because youre not the right fit for a coach you met at camp, doesnt mean you wouldnt be great on the team for a coach that they know. As the saying goes, its not what you know, but who you know.
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Preparing For Coach Communication
Start your outreach by gathering all the information youll need to include in your communications to college coaches. Your NCSA Recruiting Profile is a great place to keep all your important recruiting information. When communicating with college coaches, dont forget to include a link to your profile so they can easily view everything they need to see to conduct their initial evaluation of you. Key information includes:
- Your highlight or skills video
- Your best athletic statsverified, third-party stats from a combine or other event are preferred
- Academic information, such as GPA and ACT/SAT scores if applicable
- Contact information for you, your parents and your club/high school coach, plus the contact information for any personal trainers that you have
- Schedule of where and when youll be competing throughout the upcoming season
Letters To College Coaches
It used to be that in order to let a coach know you were interested, you sent them letters in the mail with your highlight video. With the ease of email and online video, this has become less popular with coaches. Most coaches ignore letters from recruits unless they already know the athlete. That said it can be a way stand out from all of the other recruits as long as you are using email and phone calls in addition to letters. We dont recommend sending letters initially to coaches, but instead use email and phone calls.
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Prospective Student Athletes Need To Stand Out Among The Other Athletes Being Recruited
You need to show coaches who you are your academic abilities, youre athletic abilities and your involvement in your school and community through extra-curricular activities. You have to actively, directly and personally show interest in the coach, his/her team and the college. Just posting your profile or videos and hoping a coach finds you wont happen. If a coach hasnt found you, shown interest or even started scouting you by your sophomore year and notified your high school or club coach that he/she is interested in you, then you arent being recruited. You need to be pro-actively marketing and promoting yourself to every coach, at every college within your sport. You need to make sure you have applied to the NCAA clearinghouse, started preparing for or already have taken your ACT/SAT exams so that coaches can see whether you are qualified to be accepted to their school. It is a waste of time for a potential coach to pursue you if you havent already done these steps in the recruiting process. All of this must get done as soon as possible and then you must frequently update your profile and keep coaches informed of any new academic, athletic or community achievements.
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How To Contact College Coaches
If you want to play college sports and find an athletic scholarship you will have to reach out and contact coaches proactively. Coaches cannot call or email you until July 1st after your junior year of high school and the likelihood of getting discovered at a camp or combine before that is not very high. Most coaches find out about potential college recruits when athletes contact them directly or through online profiles and recruiting services. In addition, before they can contact the athlete or family directly, they establish contact with a recruit through their coaches.
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When To Contact A Coach
It is best to contact a coach as soon as you have identified their school and program as a place you would like to go to college. Athletes and families are reaching out, emailing, calling or visiting programs as soon as their 8th grade or freshman years of high school. This is a good time to begin contacting coaches.
Do not expect to be getting scholarship offers when you first contact a coach think of this as an opportunity to introduce yourself and the first step in a long recruiting process.
It is a common misconception that athletes cant contact a college coach first or that it is a violation of NCAA rules to do so. As an athlete you can contact a coach anytime you want, but coaches are restricted in when they can contact you . Below we explain how coaches commonly get around the contact rules so they can begin talking to a recruit early.
Ask The Right Questions
Once you start communicating with coaches, youll need to keep up the relationship. Continue following up with coaches as the season continues. Send video of your technique, recent erg times, and academic updates. By establishing this foundation with coaches, youre more likely to have them express interest in you during the summer before your senior year.
As you do so, make sure you ask the right questions. Think of every conversation with a coach as a miniature interview. Not only do you need to present yourself well, but you should also take the opportunity to learn more about the school and show your sincere interest by asking questions that clearly show your knowledge of the school and the crew team.
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