What High School Athletes Should Know

  • 7 Sep, 2016

It seems like the NCAA is constantly changing the rules and regulations in order to best benefit the schools and its student-athletes. Sometimes those changes are clear and easy to understand but at times it can be more complex. So the best thing for student-athletes and their parents is to educate themselves early on the process so their strategy, timing and execution can help them make a difference.

What High School Athletes Should Know 1

No matter your graduation class or sport, September 1 is a date you don’t want to ignore. It helps to know if college coaches are allowed to connect with you or not. So what should we expect starting September 1, 2016? Well, this is a big month for recruiting so the more facts we know, the better.

Senior Year In Recruiting

  • Football Players can make one call per week – Get active and make those calls to build more connections with the coaches.
  • Official visits will be taken by over thousands of seniors throughout the country. If you haven’t yet and you are a senior, this would be the time to do so.
  • September 1st is the beginning of the evaluation period for football players.
  • Always be sincere with the college coaches when you communicate with them.
  • Be aware that most D2, D3 and NAIA coaches often wait till senior year before fully expressing their interest in potential recruits.

Junior Year In Recruiting

  • One of the most important years for recruiting.
  • D1 and D2 college coaches are allowed to send out written recruiting information. The two exceptions are men’s basketball and men’s ice hockey because they have a different specific date.
  • Student-athletes need to recognize by now which college coaches are truly interested in them.
  • Finally, D1 and D2 coaches are now allowed to answer your emails. Great time to ask questions and open up the communication process.
  • Some student-athletes will soon start receiving written scholarship offers from schools.
  • Always respond to all the information you receive regardless of your initial interest.
  • Keep all your options open because anything can easily change.

Freshmen & Sophomore In Recruiting

  • Time to start your recruiting strategy and get ahead of the competition.
  • You got time in your hands, but no for long so use it wisely.
  • Don’t wait till your junior or senior year to start the recruiting process.
  • Get evaluated and work on improving your weaknesses.
  • Build an online athletic resume.
  • Reach out to coaches yourself by contacting them via phone, letters and unofficial visits.

What Swimmers Should Know

  • Written contact opens up – So email, hand written letters can come from college coaches. At the D1 level, still no phone calls for swimmers till the summer. That means that the student-athletes need to work very hard on initiating and making contact with the college coaches themselves.

Everyone Else

  • Should be expecting hand written letter, phone calls, emails because the process opens up.

What About If I Haven’t Heard Anything Yet From The Coaches?

  • You need to be proactive and get more exposure.
  • Build your athletic resumes and connect with the coaches.
  • Consider D2 and D3 schools. 
  • Work harder on and off the field. 
  • Improve your grades, skills and fitness.

So regardless of where you are in the process, we truly hope this article helps you stay grounded, realistic and builds some urgency in your recruiting game plan. Some college coaches are working on identifying their Sophomore class as we speak. So don’t let yourself down and think that now is too early to connect with the coaches. Just stay proactive and don’t wait for anyone to do your work. It’s never to early to get ahead of your competition.

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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