The College Recruiting Process

  • 24 Nov, 2015

The college recruiting process doesn’t have to be complicated or frustrating. When student-athletes and parents do a bit of research to get educated and familiarize themselves with the NCAA rules, the process becomes more enjoyable. As the competition level is very high there are lots of factors to consider when looking to get recruited. Each player’s case is different and not everyone has the same expectations, needs or wants. The key is to constantly promote yourself as the main goal of the college recruiting process is to get exposed and identify the right school fit. Colleges also want to identify top prospect recruits. So it can be a win-win situation when it’s done one right.

1. How Can I Better Prepare Myself For The College Recruiting Process?

Please keep in mind that going to college is not a 4 year choice, it’s a lifetime decision. So I would highly encourage all student-athletes to give it a good thought and ask themselves the following question:

Do I really want to play my sport in college?

If you answered no, you can stop reading and start focusing on other things that matter more to you. If you answered yes, then keep on reading. Be proactive and prepare yourself to do the following:

  • Educate yourself early in the process with the NCAA rules and regulations.
  • Evaluate your athletic and academic abilities.
  • Be realistic about your schools and level of play.
  • Search and identify potential schools at all divisions.
  • Constantly promote yourself with a powerful sports resume.
  • Introduce yourself to college coaches with a personalized letter of introduction.
  • Have a highlights video, your stats and schedule available in your resume.
  • Hustle, be persistent and always work harder than everyone else regardless of what people think of you.
  • As student-athletes we need to put in the effort regardless of the outcome.
  • Always do your best to keep your grades and GPA in good standards.
  • Take the ACT or SAT multiple times to get higher scores.
  • International student-athletes need to take the TOEFL test. (Test Of English as a Foreign Language).
  • Follow your strategy and be persistent with the recruiting process.
  • Be honest, respect everyone and don’t forget to have FUN.

Remember to always believe in yourself. Your chance will come but just make sure you are prepared to make the best of it.

Nicolae Popescu

2. When Does The College Recruiting Process Starts?

The college recruiting process has started already. The recruiting process is different for student-athletes and college coaches as the NCAA rules vary from sport to sport. In some sports college coaches are recruiting players from 9th and 10th grade. There are many athletes who don’t realize the timing and importance of the recruiting process and as a result they are waiting to be contacted by the college coaches. The brutal truth is that college coaches won’t find you unless you are in the top 1% or 2% of your sport. That’s why you should start preparing for the college recruiting process as soon as you enter high school.  Remember to develop a strategy and be proactive, get educated and constantly promote yourself.

3. What Happens During The College Recruiting Process?

This is the best opportunity for college coaches to get to know the athletes and vice-versa. Coaches are always on the lookout for hard working student-athletes so they will need to see a video highlights of you playing in your specific sport. If you want to get on the coaches’ radar you need to introduce yourself, be organized and have your online resume ready to share. Add your personal, academic and athletic information to the coaches’ as they will want to communicate and get to know you better. You will want to learn more about each college coach, the school’s athletic program, and the University.

Don’t choose a school based on their athletic program. If you weren’t to play your sport at that particular school, would you still want to go? If you answered yes, then that’s the school for you. 

– Nicolae Popescu

4. What Is A Verbal Agreement?

Verbal agreements are non-committal and when an athlete enters into one it does not end the recruiting process. In a verbal agreement, the college coach and the athlete both have the option to back out of the agreement because it is not considered binding or official.

5. When Does The Recruiting Process End For Players?

The college recruiting process officially ends when student athletes sign the NLI (National Letter of Intent). Once an athlete signs the NLI, they have committed themselves to that school for at least a full academic year. This means that no college coaches can recruit the athlete anymore.

The college recruiting process can be frustrating but with a little research, early preparation and a powerful resume it can help you get ahead of your competition. The key is to find your ideal college fit and have a great college experience on and off the field. Educate yourself, know the NCAA rules, study and play hard so you are closer in finding your dream college. Good luck and don’t forget to have fun.


NOTE: Please check out our exclusive and educational eBook guide on “The College Recruiting Process”. This eBook by Nicolae Popescu was designed to help educate student-athletes, parents and coaches on how to save time and and money while navigating thru the complex college recruiting process.

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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