How The Recruiting Process Changed My Life

  • 13 Jan, 2016

Are You A Parent Or Coach Looking To Help Your Student-Athletes Play At The College Level But You Don’t Know Where To Start Or What To Do?

I would highly encourage you to read this article from start to finish to learn more about my journey and how you can succeed in yours. If you don’t know anything about the college recruiting process, when, where and how to start, please DON’T PANIC. I am here to help educate and provide all the necessary knowledge, so you can confidently navigate through the recruiting process. I’ve been there myself and played from various levels. From high school to premier club soccer and junior college to a D1 university on a full athletic scholarship. I’ve done it all and got no regrets.

Nicolae Popescu in action for Quinnipiac University

Nicolae Popescu (#11) in action for D1 Quinnipiac University Men’s Soccer Team.

There is no secret formula in getting recruited. If you are in the top 2% of the elite players in your sport, then you don’t have to work too much on getting exposure. For the elite athletes their results and stats speck for themselves. Now, if you are not an elite athlete you need to become proactive and get yourself involved in the process. Obtaining a clearer understanding at an early stage in the recruiting process, will help you make wiser future decisions. Student-athletes can start by:

  • Promoting themselves with a powerful online sports resume profile
  • Create a video highlights
  • Upload a complete game schedule
  • Contact over 20 to 30 schools from different divisions
  • Play and compete at college showcases events
  • Get educated and be proactive with the recruiting process

If the execution is done properly this could get the players on the college coaches “recruiting watch list”. But behind the scenes there is way more work to be done. Remember, going to college is not a four years choice, it is a lifetime decision that can impact your path in life.

To be honest, I wasn’t educated when I first entered into the recruiting process myself. I had to work hard and teach myself everything. 

Andrei Popescu Head Shot

Nicolae Popescu

Regardless of how hard you train or compete, there is a lot of extra work that has to be done off the field and it starts in the classroom as academics play a crucial role in helping you get recruited. There are no coaches who would be willing to offer a scholarship to a student-athlete who can’t do well in the classroom. That would be a waste of time and money which college coaches can’t afford to waste. The main reason for getting recruited to play in college is to help players get an education in the first place. Being able to play and compete for your school will just make the experience more memorable.

A Short Story With A Valuable Lesson

Back in my playing days at the IMG Academy, I had the privilege to meet and often play against the U-17 US National Team on a few occasions. We play and made friends with many of them like Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson, Santino Quaranta, Justin Mapp, Mike Magee and many others. I’ve came across of a U-17 National team player who declined to get draft and turn PRO in exchange for a full athletic scholarship when he was 18 years old. At the time I said to myself: This player must be crazy. But little did I know that the MLS annual pay was about $25,000 per year, compared to the cost of a 4 year college education, that’s a no brainer. Looking back at my friend’s decision I realized why he made that choice. I am not saying what decision you should make.  But I just want you to be aware that one day you’ll be faced with tough decisions through your sports journey. So, get educated, understand your purpose in life and make smart decisions to get where you want to be. Someone once said: The two most important days in your life, are the one you were born and the one you find out why. Search and find your WHY and you’ll be in good shape.

I am very passionate and committed to helping athletes of all levels succeed in their sports journey and life through the power of education and technology.  That’s my WHY if someone asks me about my mission. I always strive to share powerful advise and tips on our blog for all student-athletes and parents who truly want to learn and prepare themselves to play sports in college.

How The College Recruiting Process Changed My Life

On my path to playing sports at the college level, I’ve visited many different places and made many friends while playing the sport I loved most, soccer. Long story short, I’ve meet my wife in college where we later on got married. Today, I am a proud husband and father of two boys who I hope one day they will play college sports. Just like any other parent, I want to provide the best opportunities and learning experiences for my children so they can be better prepared for life’s unexpected situations.

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It’a a well known fact that playing sports has a major influence on that. So if your kids play a sport and you want to see them get a scholarship, please don’t be disappointed if they don’t. The lessons our children learn from playing sports are far more important than any scholarship. The chances of a scholarship are very slim. According to NFHS, as of 2013-14 there were 7.8 million high school athletes participating in sports. According to NCAA, there are less than 2% of student-athletes who get scholarships. There is also a small number of international student-athletes who are part of the 2%. Out of this 2% less than 1% get full scholarships. So now you have a better understanding of how difficult it is to get an athletic scholarship. It’s possible but not easy. But don’t get discouraged as there are many financial aid packages, academic scholarships and other grants available to help you save money for your college tuition. Don’t ignore what division 2 and 3 schools have to offer. That’s where many student-athletes end up playing. Choose a school based on academics first so if you end up not playing for whatever reason, you’ll still enjoy attending that school and graduate.

There are many opportunities for student-athletes to get recruited and make a college team but that takes some research, hard work, proper evaluation and a strategy that will help execute your action plan.

Your Guide To Get Educated On The College Recruiting Process…

Over the past few years I’ve dedicated endless hours researching and writing an educational eBook guide on “The College Recruiting Process”. The goal was to better help student-athletes and parents navigate through the college recruiting process and find the right school fit based on their academic and athletic abilities. I always strive to make the process easy to understand and follow.

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The eBook has lots of educational information, tips and resources to help you guide and put you on the coaches’ radar. Student-athletes need to set realistic goals based on their on and off the field capabilities and they will be closer to finding their dream school. Please feel free to check our eBook guide here for more details and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Get Our eBook To Educate Yourself


NOTE: If you are a club or organization who’s truly looking to help educate your student-athletes and parents about the complex college recruiting process, please contact us so we can offer your club or team a SPECIAL DISCOUNT SAVINGS code.

Author @Nicolae Popescu

Nicolae Popescu is a former NCAA D1 full-scholarship student-athlete and the Founder of WeGotPlayers. He has experienced first-hand the complex college recruiting process himself. Nicolae' s knowledge, skills and sports expertise make him a valuable contributor in helping guide players and parents to find the right school fit. He is passionate about coaching, mentoring and positively influencing players succeed in their sports journey and life thru the power of education and technology.
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