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The Recruiting Process

For high school athletes, the recruiting process starts as early as freshman year and sometimes even earlier, during the last two years of junior high.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) established three divisions in 1973, a system that is still in place today. Divisions I and II offer academic scholarships for students, but Division III does not. Schools in Division I are usually large, but most schools (including smaller schools) compete in Divisions II and III.

The Recruiting Process | ABC Athletic Recruiting

Students who enter Division I are considered the cream of the crop. By the time they are high school freshmen, a top-tier student has already received a scholarship offer. As time goes by, they will get an abundance of recommendation letters from eager coaches and they will be approached by numerous schools, inviting them to events, offering official and unofficial visits at games, and requesting verbal commitments. Before they are high school seniors, these lucky students will have earned around 10 scholarship offers. They will enter their senior year as a signed athlete.

Slightly below this group are students who schools view as strong scholarship candidates. These athletes are seriously recruited and will be sent letters, invitations, evaluations and will often have at least one offer by their sophomore year. As juniors and seniors they accumulate more offers, more visits, calls and letters. Graduating seniors at this level have around 10 or more scholarship offers from various schools.

Moderate recruits may not end up at a Division I school but will often enter a Division II or III school. Questionnaires and invitations are sent to these students, their summer tournament games are evaluated and they will usually get no more than 10 official visits and scholarship offers.

Athletes in the lightly recruited category still have a shot at receiving a scholarship but will have to work very hard to stand out among higher ranked applicants. These students will still get evaluations and letters, but often just a handful of offers by their senior year.



It is important to be conscious of the attention you are getting and the information and calls you are receiving starting in your first year of high school.

If as a freshman you notice a lack of invitations and letters, you know you have to start working harder both in and out of the classroom in order to make up for lost time.

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