The Recruiting Process

Posted by Andy Durham on April 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm under Amateur, College, High School | 16 Comments to Read

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Many young prospective student athletes are now participating in Spring and Summer
AAU sports in order to sharpen their skills and hopefully land a coaches attention
from a prospective college. Many rising seniors whether it be girls or boys who
wants to play at the next level will be getting their final audition or in some
cases, in the month of April for unsigned seniors for girls in basketball, it will
be their final look. We will used the basketball scenario for now. Open period for
coaches to come to events to watch prospective student athletes for girls are in
April, July and early October for underclassmen. Coaches were allowed to call a
prospective student athlete that is a rising senior on Thursday in April following
the NCAA Tournament. They are allowed to make one call durning that time of the
month and allowed to make two calls in July for their final preperations to set up
Official visits for the student athlete of their choice.

The coaches are allowed to come out in July.

A student athlete can make unofficial visits on their own expense at any time. In
July coaches from all across the nation will be attending AAU Events to either
secure the recruit that they want or evaluate the one they are looking at in their
pecking order. Things to look for to see if a student athlete is really being
recruited are:

1. Did you receive a phone call or more during the initial calling period from coaches?
2. Did any coaches attend any of your most recent events that you have been in
contact with via, email, letter, phone, DVD ect..?
3. Did any coaches attend any of your highschool games this year that are recruiting
4. Have you been offered a scholarship?
5. Are you one of their top priorities?
6. Are your grades in tact in core courses and have you passed the SAT?
7. Have you registered and cleared Clearing house?
8. Have the same colleges been corresponding with you through out the year and have
been consistent in their correspondence?
9. Have any coaches spoken to your parents are highschool coaches?
10. Were you ever invited to attend any of their games this season or other
seasons more than once?
11. Are you corresponding back with the coaches are do you think you are better than
a prospective level of play?

These are just a few of the tidbits to see if you are really being recruited
especially if you are a rising senior. Most seniors at this juncture already know
where they stand. In some instances a few student athletes are offered as early as
their ninth and tenth grade year of highschool because of their skill and talent
level. They will have more than one choice to choose from. One thing in recent
conversation with coaches who get to come out to evaluate talent and skill that
stuck to mind is this: They said that they do not just get out in their cars or fly
on planes to events and just show up at a gym to watch a prospective student
athlete. They only come to watch that student athlete that they are recruiting whom
they have been in contact with over a period of time for a specific class for a
particular year. The biggest mistake they said is that too many kids try to do
things that they are not good at thinking that they are impressing the coaches,
when they already have their mind set on the player that they are recruiting. They
specified that once they have identified a prospective student athlete as one of
their choices, they look for other things such as, demeanor on the court, attitude,
hustle, decision making ability, desire, how well one see’s the court, how one
responds to coaching etc… They stated they never go by which teams win the game
during the AAU circuit.

Finally, they mentioned that kids with already strong resumes that have shown a
model of being consistent over the years either in Highschool or on the AAU scene
more times than not are the kids that they will offer a college scholarship and are
usually the ones that will get offered early on.

  • Question for Andy said,

    There is this rising Jr. QB and he has started to receive invites to camps such as NC state, Duke, Stanford, Vandy, and a couple more. Does this mean anything at all or is it just a money maker for the schools? He can’t talk to anyone until September of this year so I am wondering why all the camps? I guess we will know more in September. Also, how do schools get around talking to sophomore football players since NCAA rules express September of Jr year before calls can be made? Hopefully some parents with some experience can comment. Thanks.

  • Andy said,

    Many times, like you are alluding to, the camps simply become money-makers for the coaches/schools….Find out for sure how much the head coach will be at the camps and what his involvement will be….Is the camp merely run by the assistants or does the head coach have direct involvement?????? There should be a complete schedule within the paperwork that they sent you or it should be listed at their camp web site….

    Many times your name/names get on a mailing list and it becomes like a publishers clearing house mailing list and you just start getting tons and tons of mail….

    You find out a lot about the coaches/schools during the Junior Day visits and they will also be contacting players in the fall about the Fall Day when the colleges invite players on-campus to watch the fall football games…

    As far as contacting sophomore standouts, many college coaches have their area recruiters that are working a certain area and they will find out info from the high school coaches about sophomores and younger players by talking to the high schools’ head coaches……

    Kids will also be seen and talked about as they attend the underclassmen combines, where if they are on a list or subscribe to a certain site, such as or, their name and even video that they have sent in, can be seen by anyone, including coaches that might subscribe to that site and that is another way that the underclassmen can be discovered/seen….

    Just a few ideas and I’m sure others have more, including maybe some parents that have been or are currently involved in this process…..

    It can be a smooth process or it can turn into a big mess……..There have been love stories and horror stories alike when it comes to the recruiting…..

    Good luck to all and do your homework, whether you go to web sites, call or contact coaches, or get in contact with kids/parents that have been through the process…..

  • been through it said,

    Who is doing the inviting? Are handwritten notes attached from the coach that recruits this area or the recruiting coach? Is it a form letter?

    yes, they are money makers but there is a chance it could be a invitation with interest.

    You can talk to coaches before September but you have to contact them. You can call them all you want.

    Suggest you go to the NCAA website for rules on contact

  • Justin said,

    Can a highschool coach or AAU coach get you in college?

  • been through it said,

    No way. You get yourself in. In regards to athletics, you either meet the school and NCAA requirements or you don’t. After D1, you better make the grades. Grades are critical at most D1aa, D2, D3 schools.

  • CoachKnow said,

    2009 – 2010 NCAA Division 1 Recruiting Chart

    Telephone Calls
    All electronically transmitted human voice exchange (including videoconferencing and videophones) shall be considered telephone calls. All electronically transmitted correspondence (e.g., electronic mail,
    facsimiles) shall not be considered telephone calls.

    This means that it is okay for Coaches to email and text and not be considered a phone call(Contact).

    Recruiting Materials –
     June 15 following sophomore year
    Telephone Calls –
     Once per month beginning June 15 following sophomore year

    Telephone Calls –
     One per month through July 31

    Telephone Calls –
     Twice per week
    Off-Campus Contact –
     September 9
    Official Visit –
     Opening day of classes

    130 recruiting-person days during academic year
    ~Not more than seven recruiting opportunities (contacts and evaluations combined) during the academic year per prospect
    ~Not more than three off-campus contacts during prospect’s senior year
    ~No off-campus contacts during junior year
    ~Practice/competition site restrictions

  • Who they know said,

    The highschool or AAU may not can “get” you in college. However……many have great contacts and can get schools at least looking at you.

  • Riley said,

    This is really nice informative information and has help me to understand the process much better!

  • Michael's Mom said,

    Been there on the recruiting trail with our son Michael Via (OL at Virginia Tech) and knowing Bob’s experience as a high school coach:

    High school coaches or AAU coaches aren’t the ones “getting you in college”. All they can do is be a TRUSTWORTHY source to recommend an athlete to a college coach recruiting your area. Good high school coaches know just as much as college coaches when it comes to evaluating talent for Div. I…a kid either has “it” or they don’t. That means a good HS coach will NOT recommend their team’s top players to every Div. I coach that calls or visits if they honestly know they just don’t have the talent to play at that level. But for football especially, sometimes a kid’s mere size and/or athleticism is enough to get him noticed and some college programs will take a closer look. In recruiting visits to HS coaches, the college coaches will ask about potential recruits from other schools in the area… It doesn’t take long for that kid’s name to get out there among the college recruiters. And the first things they ask about beyond athletic talent is grades and character.

    It boils down to trust between the college recruiters and the HS coaches to give an HONEST evaluation of the talent level of their players.

  • James said,

    Well put Ms. Via. Parents need to watch out for coaches who tell them their son is a college player when he is not. They also need to watch out for coaches who overpromote their players by saying all their players are college prospects because colleges figure it out after a while and quit recruiting their players. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf. There is a local military school where that is happening right now in basketball.

  • coach said,

    Any coach that would lie against a kid or lie to try and make a kid sound better is an idiot. Most coaches won’t do that b/c it hurts not only their relationship with the college coaches but hampers any future kids being recruited as well.

  • Michael's Mom said,

    You are exactly right, James and coach. It would be a shame if a coach had a legitimate prospect but had damaged that relationship with the college recruiters who can’t trust their judgment anymore.

    FYI, the recruiting websites (rivals, scout etc.) are NOT where college coaches go to find their prospects….they told me so. The only way they might use them is to see what other schools are recruiting them, and that information isn’t always accurate. Like I said before, they already know where the athletes they want to recruit are, even if they come from a small high school with a losing record. A player is a player!
    Then after signing day, the colleges use the position rankings from these sites in their players’ profiles in order to satisfy the media and fan bases who love to see that stuff and get excited about their new signing class.

    And once your student-athlete is being seriously recruited (visits, phone calls and hand-written notes), attending those combines are not necessary for “exposure”. Michael only went to a Shrine Bowl combine and one SPARQ combine to have some objective measurables which some of the college coaches noted.

    Hope this information can help some families going through this process.

  • dale fulton said,

    Isn’t it always so nice to get these 1st person comments from Mrs. Via! Any parents of highly recruited athletes want to share with us—-or any coaches? The process is different for everyone for sure.

  • Johnny D said,

    Thanks Mrs. Via for your good imput. Too often kids are mislead by Big AAU organizations or certain highschools thinking that alone would get them in. It does not work that way. If you can play and have the right character and grades, they will find you.

  • CoachKnow said,

    New change coming into effect for Division 1 Sports

    Eliminated the number of phone calls that can be made during contact periods in all sports that have an established recruiting calendar, with the exception of football.

  • CoachKnow said,

    Text Messaging
    As of August, 2008, the NCAA has banned all text messages from
    coaches to prospective student-athletes. This ban is currently being
    contested by the coaches and is up for review. Check with the NCAA’s
    website for up-to-date information regarding text messaging.

    Contact/Evaluation/Quiet/Dead Periods
    â–ª There are contact, evaluation, quiet, and dead periods for most

    â–ª During contact periods, a coach may make face-to-face contact
    with your child.
    â–ª Evaluation periods are times for coaches to watch your child play
    but there can be no contact.
    â–ª Quiet periods are times when it is permissible to make in-person
    recruiting contacts on campus only.
    â–ª No contact or evaluation may be made during the dead period.
    â–ª Each sport has its own timetable for the different recruiting
    periods. Familiarize yourself with the regulations for your child’s

    (d) April 1 through July 5, 2010, [except for (1), (2), and (3) below]:
    (1) April 1- 8, 2010, (noon): Quiet (in-person recruiting contacts on campus only)
    (2) April 8 (noon) – 21, 2010, [except for (i) below]: Contact( face to face allowed)
    (i) April 12-15, 2010: Dead Period
    (3) May 20-28, 2010, [except for (i) below]: Dead Period
    (i) To be determined (NBA pre-draft camp only): Evaluation Period
    (e) July 6-15, 2010: Evaluation Period
    (f) July 16-21, 2010: Dead Period
    (h)July 22 -31, 2010: Evaluation Period
    (i) Aug 1 – Sept 8, 2010: Quiet Period
    (j) Setpt 9 – Oct 5, 2010: Contact Period
    (k) Oct 6 – Mar 30, 2010: Evaluation Period