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THINGS TO UNDERSTAND

  RECRUITING 101 HOME      TO DO LIST         VISITS         SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCES        

 

* PARENTS ARE EVALUATED AS WELL! A parent's demeanor, actions, and LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT are factored in when it comes to recruiting a player.  

 

* Transferring high schools (especially public to private) and reclassifying has become increasingly common and encouraged, but the grass is not always greener and the results are not always better!

 

* AAU basketball is what it is. It's a good idea to play AAU, but it's not the be all and end all. Coaches place a heavy emphasis on a select few AAU programs and the tournaments those teams play in. Someone that does not play AAU can still earn a DI scholarship.

 

* The recruiting process is fun, exciting, nerve racking, dishonest, and exhausting all at the same time. Recruited athletes represent a very small population of the world. There are many people that would love to be in this situation and to be recruited. DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THAT!

 

* Filling out a questionnaire, receiving generic letters/emails (where the same letter/email is sent to every recruit except that the name is changed) or invitations to "Elite" or "Prospect" camps should not be considered or thought of as REAL RECRUITMENT!

 

* HAVE PATIENCE! A lot of attention is paid to early recruitment and the early signing period, but recruiting does not die down until mid to late May. 

 

* DO NOT SHOW DISINTEREST! You never know how things will end up. A coach that is recruiting you could get a job at another school, you could get injured, or you may need to transfer from one program to another. DON'T BURN BRIDGES!

 

* Don't feel pressured to make every visit and fill out every application (especially if there is not an application fee waiver). If they really want you, they will pursue you!

 

* Recruiting is a game that is played by those involved in the big-time business that is college athletics. This game is very cutthroat and has very few rules. Coaches will say what you want to hear. DON'T BELIEVE 100% OF WHAT IS SAID OR RELAYED TO YOU!

 

* It feels good to get recruited early on, but many schools contact players in their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. This does not guarantee that a school will maintain their recruitment, especially as other players appear on their radar and their targeted list of recruits expand. Recruiting is based on size, strength, athleticism, skill, talent, productivity, and potential. Schools that have an interest in a younger player will look a lot more closely at them as they get older. They will look at the player's productivity and whether or not they fulfilled or didn't fulfill their potential.

 

* A great junior year is just that. It does not automatically translate into an unbelievable senior year. A great junior year creates pressure and expectations that can be hard to repeat or live up to. As a result, recruitment may suffer with a less productive senior year.

 

* It is critical to have a good "game tape" to send to colleges. Programs will request a tape or two so that the entire coaching staff can fully evaluate a player. Highlight videos cut out plays and other things that coaches want to see. Game film allows coaches to see a player's mistakes, how hard they play, how they respond to adversity, their footwork, their movements, and their overall demeanor.

 

* Size, strength, athleticism, skill, talent, and productivity are important, but COACHES PAY A LOT OF ATTENTION TO THE INTANGIBLES! Character, coachability, leadership, athletic IQ, intensity, defense, footwork, fundamentals, execution, hustle, finishing plays, and handling pressure can make the difference between a coach recruiting you or someone else.

 

* POST-GRADUATE YEAR is when a player attends a prep school for a year. This is done directly after high school and right before college. Players who do a post-graduate year may: need an academic boost, be looking to receive bigger offers, need exposure due to an injury or playing in a very small city/conference, be recruited by and planning to attend a program that is out of scholarships, be looking to play against top level competition in order to be fully prepared for college athletics. 

 

* OVERSIGNING mostly occurs in football and is when a program signs more recruits than they have scholarships to give. A program will oversign because not all recruits will qualify academically, to build depth, and to use up their scholarship allotment from the previous year. A program has two ways to deal with this problem. The first requires a program to have scholarships available from the previous years' allotment and calls for recruits to enroll early (in December, before the National Signing Day), and be on campus for the spring semester. The other option is for recruits to greyshirt. 

 

* EARLY ENROLLMENT is when a recruit starts college in the spring of what would be their senior year. This gives the recruit the opportunity to learn the system, gain an advantage over other recruits, train and workout with the coaches and players, and get a jump on academics and college life. A recruit that enrolls early is included in the previous years' recruiting class. This allows programs to maximize the number of recruits they can sign over the next year. 

 

* REDSHIRTING is when an athlete gains a fifth year of eligibility by being enrolled in school, but not competing in games. After initial enrollment, the NCAA allows DI athletes five years to complete four years of eligibility. DII and DIII athletes have to complete their four years of eligibility within the first 10 semesters or 15 quarters that they are enrolled as a full-time student. The 10 semester/15 quarter rule can be stopped by withdrawing from school or becoming a part-time student. A player that is injured before the completion of the first half of the season and has not participated in more than two contests or dates of competition or 20% of the teams completed contests or dates of competition can apply for a medical redshirt. Players that redshirt can train and practice with the team.

 

* GREYSHIRTING is when an incoming recruit takes part-time classes, usually at a local community or junior college to save money, during the 1st semester and becomes a full-time scholarship athlete starting in the 2nd semester. This allows a recruit to extend their eligibility time frame by a semester. This is mainly used in football, as it allows a player to not only get in a full year's worth of offseason work in before their freshman season, but it also allows the player to play the full season one year after his classes' graduation date.

 

* After receiving a scholarship offer, a player can give a VERBAL COMMITMENT to that program. This commitment allows the recruit to no longer worry about earning a scholarship and the luxury of knowing where they will be attending school. However, a verbal commitment is a non-binding agreement that EITHER PARTY CAN BACK OUT OF! Also, a verbal commitment DOES NOT END THE RECRUITING PROCESS. 

 

* Just like a program can pull a scholarship offer and back out of a verbal commitment, a player can DE-COMMIT and reopen their recruitment! A coach may have left or been fired, a player may have committed too early in their career, a program may have been placed under NCAA sanctions or have an embarrassing scandal tarnish their image, another program may have shown more interest, or the player may simply change their mind.

 

* SIGNING THE NLI ENDS THE RECRUITING PROCESS! The NLI is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. By signing the NLI, a prospective student-athlete agrees to attend the designated college or university for one academic year, the designated college or university agrees to provide athletic financial aid for one academic year and other colleges and universities can no longer recruit the prospective student-athlete. 

 

* SIGNING THE NLI DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THAT A PLAYER HAS A SCHOLARSHIP AND WILL ATTEND THE PROGRAM THAT THE NLI WAS SIGNED WITH! A player still has to remain or get eligible for that to happen. A lack of the required core courses, a below standard GPA and/or poor standardized test scores can result in a player not qualifying academically to get enrolled in school or meeting NCAA clearinghouse standards!