The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
Over the last several years we’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the best college coaches in the country. Their advice on the recruiting process is invaluable. Here are three of the best answers to our recruiting questions.
Question: Aside from you and your coaching staff, whose opinion did you consider important when recruiting an athlete?
Really we didn’t trust anyone other than our coaching staff and the player’s high school coach. Our coaching staff handled all aspects of recruiting. We didn’t rely on anyone else, but if a high school coach had any hesitation about a player, we were out!
Occasionally, I would call an opposing coach in another part of the country to ask about a player we might be interested in that they weren’t recruiting. The obvious first question would be: why aren’t you interested? Many times we didn’t like the answer and our interest in that athlete was over.
Mack Brown, Former University of Texas Head Football Coach
Question: What advice would you have for a high school athlete interested in your program that you have not yet identified?
Take care of your grades, regardless of what school you would like to attend. Getting good grades in high school greatly increases your opportunities and options at the collegiate level. High school athletes should really view the recruiting process as a two-way street. They should be recruiting colleges as much as colleges are recruiting them. Do your research and know what you want out of college. Show initiative and reach out to us, send us film and express your interest. As much as we would like to think we see every recruit, it is possible that we can miss one.
Jerry Olszewski, Augustana University Head Football Coach
Question: What can a student-athlete control during their recruiting process?
Everything. The student-athlete should control everything that happens. From figuring out what kind of a degree they want to what type of a program they want to play for, they should control it all. The quicker a recruit can “zero in” on the colleges that he/she genuinely has interest in, the better off they will be. The college recruiting process shouldn’t be about how many schools have interest in you or how many offers you get, it should be about you finding the right school. The priority is to get a degree and have a successful career, not to just get a scholarship. Control the things that matter, not the things that are all hype.
Billy Kennedy, Texas A & M Head Basketball Coach