Recruiting at a Glance

By: Nolan Nickerson

Any high school athlete will tell you they want to get recruited and play at the next level, but unless they are getting recruited, they don’t know about the process of recruitment. Unless you are a top athlete in the country for your sport, this process of recruitment is long, time consuming and stress inducing.

Many people have an idea of how you get offered a scholarship to play at the next level. You have a great season or two, and coaches will find you and then offer you a scholarship. Case closed.

But this is not the reality of recruiting. Those who want to play at the next level have to sell themselves to college coaches, they have to show interest in the school, and have to be proactive in reaching out. Coaches don’t care solely about talent; they want to know what type of student their prospects are, what type of choices they’re making and what they do in their communities.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.18.53 PMSophomore AJ Green has had the luxury of big schools and an easy recruiting process so far. “The colleges that have sent me letters or I have visited are Virginia, Stanford, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, UNI and Western Illinois.” Getting Division I teams knocking at the door isn’t an easy task, and the success Green has had at such a young age is reserved for the elite in the recruiting process.

Another key step to receiving a scholarship to play sports is “the visit.” Senior Tra’Von Fagan explained. “They usually start off with talking to me about the facilities and introducing me to some of the staff. Then we take a tour of the campus and talk about where I would stay, eat and stuff like that. Then I get introduced to a professor (usually a business professor because that’s my intended major) and talk to them about the education side of things. Then I will usually catch a game, and then after the game I would talk to them about everything that happened that day.”

Coaches are also looking for a player who fits into their team, representing the community and school. “Lots of coaches are looking for someone who is going to try their best in school and someone who is really respectful. They want to have great chemistry with you throughout the whole recruiting process,” senior basketball player Emma Gerdes said.

The biggest challenge during the recruiting process is the stress that comes with trying to find the right school. “Every coach kind of says the same thing, and everyone is super nice and pursues you a lot by coming to practices and games. It adds to the stress of finding the right school and also trying to figure out what you want to study, ”Gerdes said.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.18.42 PMSenior Marquiise Jones explains the difference between a  gameday visit and an official visit, “If it is a gameday visit then you go hang out with some of the other recruits and meet some of the players and coaches. On an official visit the school pays for everything, you stay the night with players and you look at more of the school than just the athletic stuff. Football players only get five official visits to division one and two schools.”

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