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College coaches consider thousands of athletes for their rosters every year. They attend showcase camps, review video, read emails and talk with their trusted sources about which athletes might make sense for their team. Believe it or not, they also review the academic records of the recruits they are most interested in. For many reasons college coaches believe that athletes who are good students are typically great candidates for a roster spot.
Over the past few years we’ve interviewed many college coaches. We’ve asked everything from how does a recruit get noticed, to what “red flags” do you look out for in a high school athlete. We’ve also asked about how important an athlete’s academic profile might be. Here are the comments about the importance of academics from three of those coaches.
Clemson Football Coach Jeff Scott
“Academics are a huge piece to the recruiting puzzle. There are a lot of different levels to compete at collegiately and if you’re a good student in high school, you will have a great chance of finding somewhere to play in college.
“I will also say that we don’t go very far with any recruit before we get a transcript to see where they stand academically. The academic transcript tells us a lot about them as a person. We believe that grades are indicative of character and a commitment to be great. We are not just trying to find the best players we can find. We want the kids that are elite, high achievers on and off the field.”
Cal Lutheran Volleyball Coach Kellee Roesel
“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.”
Abilene Christian Football Coach Adam Dorrel
“We want good human beings. We are looking for guys that have a full resume. Boy Scouts, academic organizations and volunteer work are the types of things that stand out right away to us. Respectful young men that love to learn and get better. You have to be a good student. For us, you would be shocked out how little of time we spend on discipline and academics.
“Through our experiences, if a kid is a good student, they are typically going to be the kind of kid that stays out of trouble. We certainly aren’t looking to recruit young men that are going to have eligibility issues, as well as discipline problems. Those two usually go hand-in-hand and that doesn’t get you on the field at this level.”
Here’s the deal
Don’t fool yourself. Your academic record and accomplishments are incredibly important to college coaches. It is one of the many things college coaches pay attention to when evaluating any athlete.