Recruiting Column

Recruiting Tip: Ask the experts

The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.

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Over the last several years we’ve had the opportunity to interview and talk to some of the best college coaches in the country. Their advice on the recruiting process is invaluable. Here are 3 of the best answers to our recent recruiting questions.

Q: What is your advice to a recruit, interested in Emporia State, who you have not yet identified?

A: Our coaching staff gets out and recruits as much as possible. We do our very best to find those kids that are going to make a positive impact on our program. But, I think kids looking to play at the next level, especially NCAA Division II, need to understand that every program has a recruiting budget. That means opportunities to travel and see players can be limiting, at times. That said, if we haven’t found you yet and you believe Emporia State is the place for you, send us an email. And understand, we have to get an impression of how you play and get a feel for if you are someone that we might have reciprocated interest in. Get us your information, include some video and help us come to a decision on what the next step needs to be. Give us something that is going to get us interested, and we will take it from there. Whether we are interested or not, our staff is going to let you know. I think the key to recruiting is knowing where you fit in and arriving at a conclusion by asking for the answers.

—Emporia State women’s basketball coach Jory Collins

Q: What is your advice to parents of student-athletes going through the recruiting process?

A: Most importantly, I want an athlete’s parents to feel extremely comfortable with me and my coaching staff throughout their daughter’s recruiting experience. Be involved and ask the questions of us that are going to help you to help your daughter make the right decision. That said, parents really need to focus on playing a support role through this process. It’s not the parents that will be going to practice or going to classes or dealing with everyday life here on campus, it’s the athlete. Definitely, give your input on what you think would make your daughter the happiest, but don’t try to sway your daughter’s decision, either way. Encourage them to make a choice because it makes them feel comfortable and confident, not because mom and dad told them to do so.

—North Alabama softball coach Ashley Cozart

Q: Physical talent aside, what does the ideal recruit look like for Cal Lutheran?

A: I don’t care how corny this may sound but being a student has to come before being an athlete. That’s all there is to it! Especially, being a Division III program, the student part will always come first for us. Our kids need to know why, from an academic standpoint, they are coming to Cal Lutheran. We are also looking for kids that are selfless and all about the team. We can’t accomplish our team goals with anyone that thinks their individual goals are more important. Finally, the fact that we compete at the Division III level means we are fairly restricted as to how much time we can spend coaching. That means we have to bring kids into our program that are self-motivated. They have got to be willing to put the work in outside of the organized setting and continue to develop their game. Competitive, selfless kids that put academics first and work regularly to improve is what that ideal recruit looks like to us.

—Cal Lutheran volleyball coach Kellee Roesel

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