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Former Athletic director @ Rains & Farmersville High School
Athletic Director @ Carlisle High School
Athletic Director @ Beckville High School
Athletic Director @ Troup High School
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With few exceptions, college coaches go to showcases with a game plan to evaluate current prospects, not find new ones. The coaches have already identified the top tier student-athletes that will be there, and they use the showcases as a means of evaluating those specific players. If you are intent on going to showcase events, it is critical for that athlete to pinpoint schools they are interested in and find out which showcases those schools will be attending. Just showing up to any random showcase and hoping to get discovered is NOT a good idea. Also, realize many of these events main purpose is to generate revenue.
If you are one of the best athletes in the nation, then part of this statement is true. However, grades are such an important factor in the recruiting process. Grades are a huge part of financial aid, scholarship packaging, and athlete retention. Most coaches won’t invest their time and money recruiting an athlete who may not be admitted into their school, or is going to fail out or become academically ineligible. If you don’t have a 3.0 GPA or higher, over 50% of college programs won’t be able to get you past the admissions office. Grades are becoming the single most important factor in recruiting. Admissions and administration offices are putting more pressure on athletic departments to recruit athletes that succeed once they get into school. Sure you may be ‘eligible’ to be recruited with poor grades, but many schools aren't going to recruit you.
Only about 50% of the colleges in each sport actually offer athletic scholarships. NCAA Division I & II colleges can offer athletic scholarships (plus Junior Colleges and some NAIA schools). NCAA Division III Programs can only offer aid based on financial need and academics. Even school that do offer athletic scholarships often times have very limited amounts of scholarship money to be divided up amongst a large number of athletes.
Many NCAA DIII schools offer attractive financial aid programs and you should not overlook any school, even if they do not offer athletic scholarships. Many student-athletes go to DIII schools for free because they are good students with family need and used leverage to get the best deal. If you get a $5,000 athletic scholarship at a $30,000 DI or DII school you still have $25,000 a year to pay! The amount of scholarship is not important. The bottom line price you have to pay is.
In some cases yes, but in many cases no. Many NCAA Division III programs have very talented athletic programs that are better than many DII’s and even DI schools. They are still talented and dedicated athletes who wanted to continue their athletic career in college. If you think you can just stroll onto a DIII program you are in for a surprise. If you haven’t watch a top 25 DIII game and you think this way you are making a huge mistake.
Some of the larger schools with top notch football and basketball programs do have large recruiting budgets, but most do not. There are very few college coaches that have the ability to fly around the country to recruit athletes they don’t already know about.
In order to give yourself as many options as possible when it comes time to pick a college, you need to send your profile to ANY school in which you may have an interest in attending. This way you can slowly narrow your list of potential choices after you gauge which schools have an interest in you. Remember, if you do not send your profile to a school, there is very little chance that they will find you.
Some coaches are very good at helping their players get the opportunity to play sports in college and have a great feel for the recruiting process and how it works. However, there are a some coaches don't have the time or don't know where to start themselves. Whether or not your high school coach excels in this area or not, you must realize there is NO HARM in promoting yourself to college coaches. You must send your profile to every school that you are interested in.
Quite the opposite, coaches hope to hear from good athletes who are interested in their program. Some blue-chip athletes come to their attention naturally, but often there aren’t enough for a coach to fill his or her roster. Many high school athletes don’t want to make contact with college coaches because they are afraid the coach doesn’t want to hear from them. For smaller schools, even some minor Division I schools, they need and want to hear from potential players. These schools don’t have the budgets to fly around the country looking for qualified players. These schools rely on word of mouth recruiting and they also rely on some potential athletes making contact with them.
While some of the more aggressive parts of the process do happen when you are a Senior, those who wait to START the process as Seniors are often disappointed. It’s a common occurrence to have verbal offers out and accepted for a graduating class as early as 18 months before high school graduation. Regardless of the level of play, recruiting starts FRESHMAN YEAR WITH ACADEMICS!
This is an age-old adage that is often heard throughout the recruiting process and is both out-dated and incorrect. The fact is that this statement is true if you are one of the top 250 players in the country, have already received a great deal of accolades by your sophomore year, and most likely already have several scholarship offers in hand. This is simply not true for most student-athletes outside of the top 250. The only way they will know about you for sure is if you or your coach sends them your profile and express your interest in them. Recruiting is now a global process and despite your skills or success in high school, it is extremely easy to be overlooked by college coaches who have thousands of athletes to scout and hundreds of potential venue’s to scout them at. College coaches don’t read your local town paper and they probably don’t attend your games. Only the top 1% of high school athletes are truly discovered. Your performance on the field/court/classroom will go a long way toward determining whether or not you get a scholarship offer. However, coaches are looking for more than just your ability. They are looking to find prospects that are a good fit for their school. This includes grades, character, work ethic, coach-ability, etc. If a coach is not introduced to a prospect, it’s unlikely they will know about them to be able to decide whether or not to recruit them.
Getting a letter from a coach is better than not getting one. However, college coaches send out thousands of letters to high school athletes they may or may not have heard of and there are probably 500 kids tearing open the same exact letter you received. Receiving a letter means a coach knows your name and knows you play the sport they coach. Respond to the letter and follow-up with the coach. Until the coach calls you, invites you to the school and makes you a formal offer to join their program, the letters don’t mean too much.