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Christabelle
09-23-2013, 09:31 PM
How do college recruiters select high school athletes? Would a junior know certain colleges are interested in him/her?

What do athletes do to stand out - besides being good at their sports?

I don't need terribly detailed information, just specifics. The websites I've checked out aren't terribly helpful.

suki
09-23-2013, 09:45 PM
How do college recruiters select high school athletes? Would a junior know certain colleges are interested in him/her?

What do athletes do to stand out - besides being good at their sports?

I don't need terribly detailed information, just specifics. The websites I've checked out aren't terribly helpful.

It depends a lot on the sport and how in demand a student-athlete is. BUT, recruitment is highly regulated by the NCAA and they have a lot of resources to help explain the process.

I googled NCAA recruiting and found tons of hits -- at the NCAA site there were definitions of all the terms and the calendars that control the recruitment preriods for each sport. (Those were the first three links after searching NCAA recruiting ;) ).

Link 4 or 5 was this -- a guide for students and their families on recruitment - http://www.ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/CB11.pdf

If you google NCAA and recruitment you will likely find more.

NOW, this is the official stuff. I'm sure there are lots of unofficial stuff that goes on, and, obviously, things that violate these rules. But whether that is an issue for your story depends on your story, and how heavily recruited your character is, and by what kinds of schools, for what sport.

if you want to know more about things that violate the rececruitment rules, I'd google word combinations like NCAA sanctions violations recruitment. ;)

Finding what you need through online searches is all about the words you type into the search engine -- when you aren't finding what you want, try different word combinations. In this case, starting with the governing body gives you the basics and what recruitment should look like. Then, if you want to know about the non-sanctioned stuff, you google on. ;)

~suki

cornflake
09-23-2013, 10:33 PM
How do college recruiters select high school athletes? Would a junior know certain colleges are interested in him/her?

What do athletes do to stand out - besides being good at their sports?

I don't need terribly detailed information, just specifics. The websites I've checked out aren't terribly helpful.

Depends on the sport - I'm not sure precisely what you're asking in the first question. Like where do they go, where do they get info, what?

As to the second, if a jr. doesn't know, no one is interested. Juniors are nearly always going to submit SAT/ACT scores to the coaches before they'd submit them anyplace else, so that the coaches know how to allocate recruiting. Athletes need those scores, or at least best estimation of what their final scores may be, earlier than most, for this specific purpose. Aside from that, their coaches will tell them who's been talking, who's been around, etc.

Christabelle
09-23-2013, 11:42 PM
The sport in question is football. I didn't know it made a difference or I would have specified. I wasn't athletic in school, so I have no real world experience to even figure out how to ask my questions.



As to the second, if a jr. doesn't know, no one is interested. Juniors are nearly always going to submit SAT/ACT scores to the coaches before they'd submit them anyplace else, so that the coaches know how to allocate recruiting.
Does this mean that the athlete submits his ACT/SAT scores to the colleges he wants to go to first and then recruiters decide if they want to follow up?

I kind of had it in my head that as a first semester junior, some recruiters looking at other players might be interested in my character. He wouldn't have likely taken his ACT/SAT yet or at least have just taken them for practice, so no one would have his scores. He's set on getting a scholarship, and he's a good player, not a prodigy or top player in the U.S., but a strong player on a strong team.

I don't need any shady business or really in depth workings of the system - the NCAA website totally confused me! (Sorry.) I just want to know if it's possible that his coach or friends might have heard any inklings of rumors from schools that might be interested in him.

If that wouldn't happen, break it down simply to me what he would need to do to get noticed:
A) Send in test scores
B) ???
C) ???

Also, do any of these things HAVE to be done junior year or can they be done as a senior?

I hope I made this clearer! :) Thanks!!

suki
09-23-2013, 11:46 PM
Christabelle, the links I pointed you to would answer many of these questions. ;)

Read the pamphlet directed at parents and students -- it's meant to be easy to read, to understand the process. The pamphlet would tell you what a student has to do (ie, when he has to take certain tests, how and why he would report those scores, etc). It really is best to get your information from reliable, known sources, even if it means taking some time to carefully read the material. ;)

Is it possible he impresses a scout out of no where his senior year? I suppose possible, but not as merely a "strong" player. He'd have to exceptional, unless it's a really small school. And then, a coach might say, "Hey, kid, Scout here to see so-and-so asked about you, too." But if the school were really interested, he'd know fast because they would need his test scores.

BUT, he's really a fool if he is counting on a football scholarship, and as of senior year, hasn't heard from any scouts or done any of the things he needed to do to draw their attention. If he really is counting on a football scholarship, he'd have talked to his coaches, and taken and reported the appropriate tests, etc.

ETA: If you want him to be just starting the process, and scouts just starting to notice him, maybe consider looking at the timeline for the testing in the pamphlet, and then consider bolstering that this is new attention because he has suddenly grown or started or gotten better or something, something to explain why now he might be a recruit when last year no one had talked to him about that possibility. Because if he had that kind of talent, I'd have expected the coaches at least to have made sure he knew what classes, grades, and tests he needed and when.

~suki

cornflake
09-24-2013, 05:55 AM
The sport in question is football. I didn't know it made a difference or I would have specified. I wasn't athletic in school, so I have no real world experience to even figure out how to ask my questions.

Does this mean that the athlete submits his ACT/SAT scores to the colleges he wants to go to first and then recruiters decide if they want to follow up?

I kind of had it in my head that as a first semester junior, some recruiters looking at other players might be interested in my character. He wouldn't have likely taken his ACT/SAT yet or at least have just taken them for practice, so no one would have his scores. He's set on getting a scholarship, and he's a good player, not a prodigy or top player in the U.S., but a strong player on a strong team.

I don't need any shady business or really in depth workings of the system - the NCAA website totally confused me! (Sorry.) I just want to know if it's possible that his coach or friends might have heard any inklings of rumors from schools that might be interested in him.

If that wouldn't happen, break it down simply to me what he would need to do to get noticed:
A) Send in test scores
B) ???
C) ???

Also, do any of these things HAVE to be done junior year or can they be done as a senior?

I hope I made this clearer! :) Thanks!!

If it's someone good enough to be getting a real scholarship (I was reading this as something approaching at least half to full ride at a good school. Not that there's anything wrong with other things, but I mean I didn't think you meant someone up for a couple grand offset or who a non-ranked cc might be interested in recruiting and subsidizing), they're known to coaches WAY before senior year.

For regular students, nothing is really done senior year - applications are usually done and submitted by November, except for like, safeties with rolling admission. Some kids do last-gasp SAT/ACTs, or throw in an extra SATII or two, to try for a better score in the fall but that should be done. I'm talking about kids who have been on a college track, as I'm sure there are kids who do stuff later/in a more relaxed manner, but most kids I know and have known are done with apps by Halloween, latest Thanksgiving.

For athletes, no, they don't send those first scores in to schools, they give them to coaches, because coaches have to work out their recruiting budgets.

If you're talented enough that people are recruiting you with $$ in hand, they're well aware you exist and have been for some time. The students give early scores (and kids in this situation often prep to take their first SAT/ACT in the fall of jr. year, not the spring like most kids, for this reason [some do in the summer before]). They tell the coaches their scores, or send them to the coaches. The scores let the coaches know what their schools can likely do with the kids.

For instance, if a hockey player has strong interest from, say, Boston College, Maine and RPI and can only pull a 1500 full SAT, the coaching staff from RPI may not be able to offer the same level of scholarship they could if he'd gotten a 2200. Conversely, if he did get a 2200, the offers and interest can ramp up - other schools may even get in the game. The coaches want to know a baseline-type score so they can shuffle their recruiting budgets and decide what to do/who to go after, because it's not like a long time ago for most schools. They don't just recruit athletes and throw $$ at them regardless of academics. The incredible, team-making superstar, maybe, but there are a lot of players on a team and a serious school will still have standards.

Christabelle
09-24-2013, 06:16 AM
Thanks, Cornflake! This is what I needed more than straight up NCAA rules.

I wanted to confirm that coaches would be aware of my character by his junior year, which sounds right according to your reply. :)

This makes a lot of sense and helps me figure out my character's plan of action a little better. Thanks!

wendymarlowe
09-24-2013, 06:35 AM
That said, it's entirely possible for a college coach to offer a good word (but maybe not a scholarship) for a good-but-not-star player who wants to attend that school. The admissions office gives it a variable amount of weight depending on the sport and what other factors they use in their admissions process - each school keeps the exact formula secret, but the specifics probably don't matter too much for your story.

(My brother was on the varsity track team in college - he picked the school for the academics first and foremost. Then his track coach contacted the college coach to say "You should check out this guy," the college coach looked up my brother's times, and gave him a call. It was too far away for the coach to come meet him in person, but the coach wanted to offer some personal encouragement and to ask whether my brother needed his help (i.e. "Are your grades good enough to get in even without my interference?") There were one or two track scholarships at that school, but nowhere near enough to go around for the team - which was okay, because my brother ended up getting other sources of funding instead.)

raburrell
09-24-2013, 06:48 AM
fwiw, even for less scholarship heavy sports than football, interested scouts start sniffing around much earlier than junior year. I was a competitive swimmer and I can remember one of our team moms being shocked when a scout came up to talk to her... about her 6 yr old daughter.

jclarkdawe
09-24-2013, 07:19 AM
fwiw, even for less scholarship heavy sports than football, interested scouts start sniffing around much earlier than junior year. I was a competitive swimmer and I can remember one of our team moms being shocked when a scout came up to talk to her... about her 6 yr old daughter.

Ditto. Any child that is competitive is known very early on, as coaches for the younger children relate the information. Many of the people attending Olympic-level sports clinics are in their mid-teens, or younger.

Depending upon how talented the youth is, you might be thinking about the right high school, never mind the college. Coaching for these kids starts young, because some sports are extremely youth oriented, and all sports need new and young blood. Constantly.

You'll see coaches talking about outstanding kids in elementary school. Any child likely to receive a full scholarship from any school will be known by ninth or tenth grade. And the kids likely to receive a scholarship want that attention. It opens them up to attendance at training camps and other advantages.

For a child to "suddenly" appear in his junior year would be unusual. It can happen, as a kid grows into his body, but it would be unusual. To succeed in sports enough for someone to pay you to do it takes a lot of planning on the athlete's part. It's not only talent, but coaching and training.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Christabelle
09-24-2013, 08:01 AM
For a child to "suddenly" appear in his junior year would be unusual. It can happen, as a kid grows into his body, but it would be unusual. To succeed in sports enough for someone to pay you to do it takes a lot of planning on the athlete's part. It's not only talent, but coaching and training.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe
If I gave the impression that he's "suddenly appearing" in his junior year, I misspoke badly. My character is very good, and has been since he started playing football as an elementary school student. He's a standout at his school. Whether he plays past college or not isn't a concern of his - NFL would be awesome, but he's not anticipating that. He knows he's good, and he wants a scholarship so he can go to a good school, which he wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.

My story starts in his junior year, so I wanted my question to reflect what's going on with the process at that moment. He and his coach will have taken the right steps to put him on college coaches' radars, but I didn't want to write something that wouldn't be as it really is.

Everyone's comments and personal experiences and insights are very eye-opening! :) The process makes more sense now.

Bing Z
09-24-2013, 08:10 AM
NCAA Recruiting Guidelines and Rules Explanations (more like a coach's timeline)

http://www.collegesportsscholarships.com/ncaa-recruiting-rules-contact-visits.htm

jclarkdawe
09-24-2013, 05:11 PM
Assuming he's viable for a college football program, by ninth grade he'll be looking at the football programs for various schools. He'll look at places like Ohio State to see what their requirements are. He'll look at the local colleges to know what they're looking for. He'll start making decisions that show how much he's really interested in a football program like Ohio State. (Understand that the college program directly effects your chances in the NFL draft.)

If he's serious about this, he'll be spending an hour or more a day in the weight room. Depending upon the position he plays, he'll spend another hour or more practicing movements, such as throwing, tackling, whatever. And this is during the off season. He'll be spending the summer at camps, and also go some weekends.

He'll be on the varsity squad in ninth grade with significant playing time. Even if he's light on the weight scale, his ability should enable him to survive.

Injuries will be the big concern. A lot of high school and college athletes suffer career ending injuries even before their career even begins.

College coaches will start noticing him in ninth grade. They'll be looking at his work ethic, his grades, and his ability.

The difference in ability between a Ohio State versus Boston College versus University of New Hampshire versus Keene State needs to be understood. Ohio State football players will be noticed in ninth grade, some of Keene State's players are barely noticed in eleventh grade.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Christabelle
09-24-2013, 06:21 PM
Great response! :) I think I'm on the right track with the way I am writing it, but I wanted to be sure. This isn't a huge point in my WIP, but it's in the background.

Thanks for the break-down of what a player would do in preparation. That's very helpful!

Jim Riley
09-24-2013, 10:54 PM
LSU just yesterday received a commitment from a Freshman. They offered him a scholarship when he was in the eighth grade. It's unusual to offer that early, but most Division 1 athletes are noticed by their junior year or earlier.

Christabelle
09-26-2013, 05:51 AM
LSU just yesterday received a commitment from a Freshman. They offered him a scholarship when he was in the eighth grade. It's unusual to offer that early, but most Division 1 athletes are noticed by their junior year or earlier.
I think I'll keep my character on a more traditional acceptance schedule, but that's really interesting that a school would put that much faith in a freshman! So much can happen in four years. Thanks for the info!

jclarkdawe
09-26-2013, 07:18 AM
I've seen a couple of kids at 12 - 14 who made it to the Olympics when they were grown. You could tell they were that good even at that young an age. If the kid is that good, it's worth the gamble, and the only real gamble is injuries. Personally if I was a school, I'd eat the injury risk, but it's easy enough to do a commitment letter that has some opt-out provisions.

Kids that are that impressive as athletes are usually just impressive. A good scholarship choice for a school no matter what. Sure, they can go off track, but that's life.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

cornflake
09-26-2013, 07:42 AM
If someone is professional-level, yeah, you can usually tell really early. There are absolutely, no question, a lot of exceptions - kids who mature later and blossom, who didn't start as early as others, who were middling players someone took like 400th in the draft by the time GMs are letting their dogs paw a choice who actually make a team and a career in the majors, etc.

However, though there are scrubs in every major-league sport, and everyone thinks they're meh players, putting players of that calibre on a field, pitch, rink, whatever, with non-professionals, will instantly make clear the giant chasm in pure, raw talent that exists.

I know someone who has spent a long time coaching kids (not in football) - is a very good coach with a lot of certifications but prefers the smaller kids. Coaches usually 9-10-yr-olds. There have been two or three of his kids who made the pros; he knew they would, and hasn't made a wrong call about anyone else. None is or was a star player, but even at that age, it was simply clear to him that they were at a different level than the other kids. It's not even that they were the amazing stars of their teams; it's just that there's a innate ability there that's different. Again, there are obviously others who didn't seem like they would as kids who did, for various reasons, and not every kid with the innate whatever has the drive to work on it and actually do something with it. For most, ability isn't enough.

The serious superstars are generally at another level up from that too. Mario Lemieux sold out rinks at like 6 - people knew what he was then and it held true.