I recently had a chance to speak with an athlete who is a very good basketball at a small school. He played some for an AAU team during the summer but didn’t get all that much exposure. When talking to him about recruiting, I heard a statement that I really hope people do not believe: “I am getting some letters from a lot of colleges but I am going to wait until my senior season to help get myself out there a little bit.”
If you have logged varsity time in the sport that you hope to play in college, there is no better time than now to start marketing yourself in the athletic recruiting. It doesn’t matter if it is football, basketball, baseball, or any other sport for that matter. The longer that you wait, the harder it is going to be for you in the athletic recruiting process.
While I cannot say for sure, my guess is this athlete is going it alone in the recruiting process. He is uniformed and not received much help from those around him. I was in his situation many years back as well but this athlete has the stats that will help open doors for him to college coaches. He needs to take advantage of his skills and start contacting college coaches.
By contacting college coaches, I do not mean that he needs to be randomly sending tapes to any Division I school in the country. That is not something that will be wasting your time, money, and probably getting your hopes up as well. I knew a player from the Midwest that sent his tape to colleges in Virginia. If he was sending them there, how many others do you really think he sent out? The good news is that hudl and youtube links can be sent easily via email.
Instead of doing that, athletes should be looking into which schools fit them best. They need to figure out what they want most in a school in terms of education, location, the level of the program, and things along those lines. Once they find those schools, that is the time they go to the athletics website of that college and contact the coaches. Send them your recruiting profile and go from there.
First off, if a player is waiting until his senior season, chances are the only schools that will “help him get out there” are going to be Division III, NAIA, or Junior College programs. The scholarship schools at the Division I and II levels already have their recruiting board full of names. The sooner that you can contact them about your ability, the more it will help you.
If a scholarship school has five prospects for a shooting guard spot (Or even offensive tackle spot for football), they may end up getting a commitment from one of those prospects in the fall and be done with recruiting. If this player hopes to wait until his senior season to shine, it could be too late for so many schools that could be a good fit.
By doing the work now, you are at least taking control of the recruiting process and having some say as to which schools recruit you. This is not a sure fire way to a scholarship but it will help put you in the best situation possible to get attention from colleges that you are interested.