The USA TODAY High School Sports Recruiting Tips are provided by our recruiting partner, Playced.com.
The most confusing aspect of the college recruiting process is understanding where you stand. Are you being recruited? Have you been noticed? Or, are you just one of thousands of athletes trying to make it to the next level? No matter who you are, you definitely fit into one of these three categories and to be honest most of the time it’s hard to tell which one. Mixed signals from college coaches and well-meaning high school and club coaches make it difficult. Everyone is telling you that you’re good enough, but you’re still waiting for a coach to call, or you’ve received some correspondence, but just don’t know what it means.
If you’re a high school athlete looking to play in college you’re either not being recruited, you’ve been noticed (but aren’t being recruited yet), or you really are being recruited. Knowing where you stand in the process will help you decide what to do next. Here’s how you tell which category you fit into.
You’re not being recruited
You’re not being recruited if you receive information from college admission offices. These letters have nothing to do with being recruited to be an athlete in college. These letters are a part of a direct-mail campaign to determine if you have any interest in that school.
You’re not being recruited if you get invited to a camp. There may be legitimate recruits at the camps, but 99 percent of the attendees are not on the school’s “short list” of scholarship candidates. If you attend a camp, just go with the attitude to learn and to gain experience performing in front of college coaches.
You’re not being recruited if a college coach “views” your profile on a recruiting website. While a quality profile with verified statistics and video can be helpful, a “coach view” does not mean you’re being recruited.
You’re not being recruited if a college coach happens to see you play at a game or tournament. College coaches show up at tournaments and games to watch specific athletes.
You’ve been noticed, but you’re not being recruited
You’ve been noticed if you receive a letter or email from a college coach asking you to fill out a recruiting questionnaire. Be sure you complete the questionnaire right away and fill it out as accurately as possible.
You’ve been noticed if your current coach gets an inquiry about you from a college coach. This is a clear indication that the school at least has interest in you as a player.
You’ve been noticed if you receive a letter or email that a coach plans to “keep up with you”. If this happens, you are getting closer to being a legitimate recruit, but you’re not there yet.
You’ve been noticed if you receive a personal response to an email or message you sent to a coach. Apparently, something in your email piqued their interest and now they are interested.
You are being recruited
You are being recruited if college coaches are communicating with you on a regular basis. A telephone call from a college coach is a great indication that there is real interest in you as an athlete.
You are being recruited if a college coach comes to one of your games to specifically see you play. College coaches only come to see athletes they are truly interested in.
You are being recruited if you are asked to go on an official visit. Official visits are not given to every recruit. If you are invited on an official visit, you are a serious candidate for a scholarship from that college.
Here’s the deal
Every high school athlete looking to play in college needs to understand where they are in the recruiting process and then develop a game plan. Knowing where you stand in the process will help you determine your game plan.