While the NCAA still prevents coaches from talking to most athletes on the phone until September 1st of their senior year that doesn’t mean the recruiting process should start then. The recruiting process starts early, and it has only continued to accelerate in the past few years. Dylan Moses of Baton Rouge, LA is the most recent proof of how early the process starts. Dylan an 8th grade running back/linebacker received his second full scholarship offer, from a college football powerhouse recently; the University of Alabama offered Dylan on an unofficial visit at a Junior day, his first offer coming from Louisiana State University last summer. Dylan Moses certainly isn’t the first middle school student to be offered a scholarship and he definitely will not be the last.
Dylan Moses is not the norm he is 6’1, 215lbs and runs a 4.5 forty as a 14 year old, however he is living proof that coaches are looking at recruits as early as middle school. Coaches are constantly updating their prospect lists, making sure they have the top athletes on their lists. The NCAA declares that athletes become prospects when they enter the 8th grade, and even earlier for basketball players who are declared prospects when they enter the 7th grade. The NCAA allows coaches to start making contact with student athlete’s freshman year, not personal contact but generic recruiting letters. Not to mention the many loops holes to this rule, athletes can attend unofficial visits where they can talk to coaches, coaches can’t call athletes but athletes can call coaches at any time etc.
Dylan Moses is proactively reached out to by college coaches without much effort on his part, but that isn’t the norm for the other 99% of athletes. Only the top 100 athletes are found by coaches, the rest have to proactive in recruiting. So, even though you may not be as athletically gifted as Dylan Moses my advice to you is this; start learning everything you can about the recruiting process as soon as you can. The key to a successful recruiting process is knowing what to do and understanding when and how to do it. Approach the recruiting process the same way you would your sport. You have to practice and prepare to succeed right? Recruiting is the same way:
- Develop a game plan
- Get evaluated
- Succeed academically
- Get an athletic and academic profile online with verified information
- Learn what you need to do for the NCAA to be eligible
- Practice your confidence and communication with the adults in your life- it will make it easier to talk to coaches
- Learn how to make the best possible recruiting video and then execute in making a great video to post online
- Learn how to reach out to coaches and target the right schools for you both athletically and academically
Although the pressure of the recruiting game can be tough if you are prepared it can be a lot easier to manage. The earlier you start, the less overwhelmed you will feel in the “fourth quarter” when recruiting really starts to heat up. and remember that by starting early you are putting yourself in a position to be evaluated before other athletes who maybe haven’t started reaching out to college coaches putting you ahead in the recruiting game!