As a high school athlete aspiring to become a collegiate athlete, there are tons of resources available that can advance the process of earning an athletic scholarship; some reliable and some not so reliable for college coaches. As a potential recruit, they need to make sure that they do every little thing that will separate themselves from other recruits and have their information readily available and accurate for college coaches to look at. In addition to further developing their game and showcasing their on field abilities, it is just as important to let college coaches know what they are doing off the field.
Since our inception, we have had hundreds of college programs involved with our events and have developed personal relationships with them. Year in and year out we always ask them what exactly do they look for in their recruits and how do they go about searching for their top recruits. Having heard hundreds of answers, one thing is always consistent, college coaches want to see…
- Athleticism and Athletic Projectability
- Coachability and Competitiveness
- Academics and Community Involvement
- And lastly, coaches would like these athletes to be EASY TO FIND
Unfortunately, with MILLIONS of potential student athletes, limited recruiting hours and compliance (which we reviewed in our previous blog HERE), recruiting can be rather challenging for college programs. That’s why together with Top Recruit and Future Prospects, college coaches and players can rest their head on their pillow worry free knowing that they will have the proper well-rounded exposure that everyone can rely on. From NCAA verified combines, objective player assessment reports, player development programs, skills videos, reliable and user friendly searchable player profile database, equipment that players will feel confident with and well organized exposure showcases, tournaments and camps, Top Recruit and Future Prospects are every college coaches and athletes one stop shop.
So, in order to improve your athletes game and increase their exposure opportunities, here are some ways to utilize what our organizations have to offer…
1. Be Able To Provide FACTUAL Numbers!
College coaches are inundated with information from potential recruits that are not always necessarily accurate. Before going out and recruiting a player, coaches rely heavily on evaluations from third parties that they know they can trust. Parents can most certainly hire an expensive “neutral talent evaluator” or scout that can provide athletic measurables and subjective evaluations to coaches, but we have heard that the information that they provide can be fudged a little as well. It is imperative to be able to provide coaches with the most accurate information possible and can easily be done by a player just by sending an email or player profile. HOWEVER, you might be asking, “how can I make sure that a coach knows what I’m sending them is actually true?”.
At Top Recruit, we have invested heavily on obtaining the most state of the art, NCAA certified and up to date athletic measurement equipment. Our combine equipment is used at majority of our showcases and tournaments so that players, parents and coaches can be provided with objective athletic numbers and metrics. The numbers we obtain can provide honest answers about a players skill level, which enables players to set realistic goals about where they rank athletically, specific areas that they know they need to develop and a general basis of where they should realistically look for a potential athletic scholarship.
2. Have An Online Presence
Providing easy and organized access to your highlight videos, statistics, and academic information makes college recruiting much easier. However, when creating an online profile players and parents need to make sure that they are posting the most accurate information possible. THIS is the challenge for college programs when searching online for their next top recruits. There are several online profile systems out there, but NONE have VERIFIED athletic measurables or use the most ACCURATE equipment available on the market. This in itself has allowed us to grow as fast as we have. Our Top Recruit Player Profile Platform not only allows players to easily post and share stats, game and skills videos, pictures, academic performance, and social media, but also feature their VERIFIED athletic measurables that they obtained during our events. By doing this, college coaches know that they can rely on the information that’s being provided to them much more so than other profile systems that allow players, parents and scouts to post measurables.
Therefore, by painting an accurate picture for college coaches, they’ll be more likely to spend the time to scout that player in person and watch them play. However, sometimes this isn’t enough to get a coach to be persuaded to go scout a player; it’ll simply spark their interest. If that is the case, coaches would like to see what this player is capable of and by creating a professional skills video will do exactly that.
3. Provide Video
College coaches watch hours of video from recruits, so potential recruits need to make sure that their video(s) highlights everything that a college coach would look for. Some coaches may want detailed skills videos and limited in-game footage, it is important to have both easily available for coaches to watch and review.
Don’t send coaches unsolicited DVDs or YouTube/Facebook videos with poor quality. When a highlight video comes from a trusted expert such as Top Recruit, that video needs to be of the highest quality and filmed from angles that feature mechanics and action.
from Top Recruit Media on Vimeo.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Contact Coaches
There are more than 1,800 colleges with athletic programs, so as a college recruit, there are plenty to choose from. Starting with a large pool of schools can help ensure that the perfect fit rises to the top when the recruiting process is over. It’s important to know that the majority of college athletic programs aren’t in Division I, so set realistic expectations accordingly. There are plenty of opportunities for scholarships for college at the Division II, NAIA or junior college level.
Players should also be sure to contact college coaches prior to exposure events. As a parent and/or coach, you should be aware of the colleges that are attending tournaments, camps, etc. and should be telling your player(s) to be proactive and send over their information prior to the event(s). Additionally, our Top Recruit player profiles feature everything that college coaches care about, therefore eliminating the stress of making sure that players are sending over the correct things that college coaches care about.
5. Be Sure To Pick The Right School For Your Future
Realize that when deciding a college that it’s not just a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision. Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions of a college athletes life. Players need to be realistic with themselves on where they stand athletically and academically. In doing so, they need to make an educational driven decision when deciding a college program simply because all athletes don’t stay athletes their whole lives. By participating in Top Recruit combines, players are able to objectively see where they rank athletically so that they can further develop their skill sets and choose the right college for them both athletically and academically.
The recruiting rules for when and how college coaches and student athletes can interact can be very confusing and frustrating. In order to be successful with the recruiting process, the guidelines and standards established by NCAA must be understood year in and year out. In order to first understand and interpret these guidelines, we must understand the definitions that revolve around recruiting.
A contact occurs any time a college coach says more than “hello” during a face-to-face interaction with a college-bound potential student-athlete and/or his or her parents off the college’s campus. However, during instructional/exposure camps, they are allowed to say more than just “hello”.
2. Evaluation Period
During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.
3. Contact Period
During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.
4. Quiet Period
During a quiet period, a college coach may only have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus. A coach may not watch student-athletes compete (unless a competition occurs on the college’s campus) or visit their high schools. Coaches may write or telephone college-bound student-athletes or their parents during this time.
5. Dead Period
During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.
6. Official Visit And An Unofficial Visit
Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.
During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event. The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.
Student athletes can visit a coach on that coaches campus at anytime, as long as they pay their own way. These types of visits are called unofficial visits and have become a big part of the recruiting process.
During your senior year the NCAA allows any academic institution to pay for you to attend campus on a 48-hour Official Visit. Included in the visit is transportation (airfare or mileage reimbursement) to and from campus, lodging (either on campusor in a hotel), meals, and tickets to sporting events on campus.
7. National Letter of Intent
A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid. The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.
Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.
A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.
8. Recruiting Calendars
Recruiting calendars help promote the well-being prospective student-athletes and coaches and ensure competitive equity by defining certain time periods in which recruiting may or may not occur in a particular sport.
2016-17 | NCAA Division I Softball Recruiting Calendar
August 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017
Important dates to remember:
- August 1 through November 23, 2016: Contact Period
- November 7-10, 2016: Dead Period
- November 24, 2016, through January 1, 2017: Quiet Period
- December 7-10, 2016: Dead Period
- January 2 through July 31, 2017: Contact Period
- April 10-13, 2017: Dead Period
- May 30 through June 8 (noon), 2017:** Dead Period
* Each institution is limited to 50 evaluation days (August 1 through July 31) per NCAA Bylaw 13.02.7.2, which do not include employment of coaches in instructional camps/clinics or the observation of prospective student-athletes participating in high school softball competition.
Although we are not a recruiting service and only provide various on and off field platforms that promote exposure opportunities for players to be recruited, we’ve heard several questions lately about NCAA eligibility requirements for high school athletes and would like to provide a little insight and information to help answer these questions.
Athletes that plan on continuing their athletics aspirations beyond high school and competing at the NCAA Division I or Division II level are required to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center; also commonly known as the former NCAA Clearinghouse. The Eligibility Center evaluates the high school athletes amateur status, GPA, core courses taken in high school, and standardized test scores (such as the ACT and/or SAT) in order to determine if they’re eligible at the Division I or Division II level as a freshman. Aspiring high school athletes cannot participate in Division I or Division II athletics if they have not been cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
STEP 1: Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center
Online registration takes less than one hour at the NCAA Eligibility Center website. Detailed information about registration is available online and by downloading the NCAA’s 2016-17 Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete. Ideally, registration should be done during the summer after the sophomore year of high school; however, most all information that is needed should be available after completion of the junior year of high school.
Additional Requirements for Eligibility
Again, detailed requirements for eligibility can be found in the most recent 2016-17 Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete. In order to help understand, we have provided the basic guidelines that outline what a high school athlete will need to be aware of in order to ensure NCAA eligibility.
STEP 2: Meeting High School Core Course Requirements
Core courses are academic courses taught at a college preparatory level that will assist high school students with Associate Degree course requirements. If a student is unsure if classes meet this criteria, high school guidance counselors should typically be able to assist and answer these questions.
- Typical Core Course Requirements for Division I
- 4 years of English
- 3-4 years of Extra Curricular Course (any category above or foreign language, comparative religion/philosophy)
- 3 years of Math (usually Algebra 1 or higher)
- 2 years of Natural or Physical Science
- 2 years of Social Science
- 1 extra year of English, Math, or Natural or Physical Science
- Typical Core Course Requirements for Division II
- 3-4 years of Extra Curricular Course (any category above or foreign language, comparative religion/philosophy)
- 3-4 years of English
- 3 extra years of English, Math, or Natural or Physical science
- 2 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher)
- 2 years of Natural or Physical science
- 2 years of Social Science
STEP 3: Meeting GPA/Standardized Test Scores Requirements
As of August 1, 2016, requirements for Division I a minimum 2.300 GPA is now required in core courses along with the completion of graduating from High School. A sliding scale can also be used to match SAT and ACT scores with a core grade-point average. If a player is unable to meet the 2.3 GPA requirements, a 2.000-2.299 GPA is required to obtain “Redshirt Eligibility”. For more information, see the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Academic Requirements
Division II typically requires a ACT sum score of 68 minimum SAT score of 820. A minimum GPA of 2.000 is required in your core courses.
- AFTER August 1, 2018HS athletes must graduate high school and meet ALL the following requirements:
- Complete 16 core courses:
- 3 years of English.
- 2 years of Math (Algebra 1 or higher).
- 2 years of Natural or Physical Science (including one year of lab science if your high school offers it).
- 3 additional years of English, Math or Natural or Physical Science
- 2 years of Social Science
- 4 additional years of English, Math, Natural or Physical Science, Social Science, Foreign Language, Comparative Religion or Philosophy
- Earn at least a 2.2 GPA in your core courses.
- Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score matching the core-course GPA on the Division II sliding scale, which balances test score and core-course GPA. For low test score(s), athletes will need a higher core-course GPA to be eligible. For a low core-course GPA, athletes will need a higher test score to be eligible.
- Complete 16 core courses:
Note: When registering for the SAT or ACT be sure to use the NCAA Eligibility Center code of 9999 to ensure that scores are sent directly to NCAA. Some private institutions may have different requirements that differ from NCAA.
STEP 4: Understanding Amateurism
NCAA eligibility rules also require amateurism certification. The NCAA Eligibility Center will ask several questions about the participation of high school athletes in athletics in order to verify their status as an amateur. Items that may raise a red flag concerning an amateur status consists of:
- A contract with professional team
- Prize money or salary earned through athletics
- Tryouts, practice or competition with a professional team
- Benefits from an agent or agreement to be represented by an agent
- Delayed full-time college enrollment in order to participate in organized sports
- Any financial assistance stemming from athletics participation
Ready. Set. Go! The NCAA “To Do” List
- Ask counselor for a list of high school’s NCAA core courses to make sure of correct/transferrable classes.
- Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center at eligibilitycenter.org.
- Check with counselor to make sure of on time graduation with the required number of NCAA core courses.
- Take the ACT or SAT and submit scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center using code 9999.
- At the end of the year, ask counselor to upload your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
- Finish last set of required NCAA core courses.
- Take the ACT or SAT again, if necessary, and submit scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center using code 9999.
- Complete all academic and amateurism questions within NCAA Eligibility Center account ateligibilitycenter.org.
- Upon graduation, ask counselor to submit final official transcript with proof of graduation to the NCAA Eligibility Center.
In summary, high school student-athletes have been set with a high set of academic standards by the NCAA in order to continue their athletics at the collegiate level. Although it can be a lot of keep up with, the NCAA has done a great job at making all information in regards to NCAA recruiting, eligibility and additional requirements readily available through the NCAA Eligibility Center and other online resources.