- Register with the NCAA and NAIA Initial Eligibility Centers: If you want to play NCAA DI and DII as well as any level of NAIA athletics, you must register with their clearinghouses before college coaches will seriously consider you for a scholarship and roster spot.
- Take the SAT or ACT: If you have not already taken one of these key tests, register today to take it ASAP. Doing so accomplishes four objectives: A) Lets you know where you stand academically for eligibility purposes. B) Gives you an idea what you need to work on to raise your score to receive more academic money from colleges. C) Signals to college coaches if you will meet the academic entrance requirements for their school. D) Puts the worry behind you of having to take these often required tests.
- Update all your stats: College coaches first glance to see if you have what it takes performance-wise to play at their level. Accurate, updates stats are a key to this first analysis coaches always do before deciding to seriously pursue a prospect.
- Post updated video: If you meet the basics needs of a college coach in terms of stats and grades, then a coach will want to see video on you. For some sports, like baseball, softball, tennis and golf, skill footage is enough to peak their interest. For others such as football, soccer and lacrosse, game footage is required. Either way, have video available which shows your best abilities.
- Reach out to coaches: It’s essential to let coaches know that you are interested in their school. Check first to see if you meet their academic entrance requirements. If so, then send emails and make phone calls to the coaches to let them know that they are high on your list. And, ask if there is a spot open at your position. If not, move on. If the answer is yes, get on their campus for a visit ASAP to start building a relationship with the coaches.
- Get real: It’s time to drop dream schools that have not shown you any interest or that have told you that their recruiting class if full. Yes, it may be disappointing to hear, but it’s time to move on to realistic opportunities and leave those behind.
- Choose a proven promo vehicle: You want options, right? If doing it yourself is not getting results, or if you are waiting for coaches to find you, it’s time to seek out a pro that knows recruiting and how to get your name into the hands of as many college coaches’ hands as possible. There are options which you will never discover on your own or through your coaches because both methods are severely limited in their ability to reach enough college programs.
It’s the kind of high-profile tournament performance high school prospects dream about having. NSR softball prospect Haley Gonzales from West Boca Raton Community High School (FL) walked into the Wide World of Sports Spring Training Tournament at Disney World last week not knowing that she was entering a rare hitting zone which she herself created. And when the dust settled, the multi-talented infielder had a run through the prestigious tournament with a .650 batting average having gone 13 for 20 at the plate with six doubles, eight runs batted in and scoring 11 runs. In her personal essay to college coaches, the 2014 grad with a 3.5 GPA, says, “Everyday I take the field and give 110% of myself that my team and coaches deserve from me. I am on the field 24/7 and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my time. Softball has taught me so much about respect, being a team player, and learning where hard work can take you. When I am not on the field, I am in my backyard taking batting practice in the cage. During the beginning of the high school year, when the season has not yet started, I help coach softball at Loggers Run Middle. I try and pass on to the younger girls that the hard work and determination you put in will help you achieve your goal. I want nothing more than to be able to play softball at the college level.” Haley’s NSR on-the-ground scout and recruiting advisor is a very proud Daniel Gurtov who scouts South Florida for National Scouting Report.
Don’t fool yourself. Not for a minute longer. College coaches are now waiting for you to come to them. Sure, they hear by word-of-mouth about some prospects, but the recruiting process usually now starts early with an introduction, an early introduction. And the sooner a your name hits a college coach’s desk, the better.
Name recognition is huge in recruiting. And by this we mean the name of the prospect, not the school. The quicker a coach is made aware of you, the more likely he or she is to perk up when they come across your name again at a showcase, tournament, match, meet or game.
So, is it premature for sophomores to get their names out there? Heck, no. With NCAA recruiting rules now allowing more coaches to make first, personal contact with prospects sooner than ever, it would be crazy to wait for a coach to find you if you really want to play college sports. If it’s not all that important, then wait and see what happens. No big deal, right? But if it’s your dream to advance to the next level, you had better make a plan to compete in recruiting just like you plan to take on an opponent in a head-to-head match-up.
What about if you’re a freshman? Should you wait? Absolutely, categorically, no! Jump in the recruiting fray the moment you decide that playing college sports is what you want to do. Youth, club and travel sports numbers, like those in high school, are growing each year. This means that there are more and more athletes competing for the scholarship you will want when you are a senior. Want to be in the front of the line for coaches to consider? Then, you have to get moving and do something about it. Don’t sit on your, er, laurels. Find a vehicle to get your name into the hands of as many college coaches as possible. Don’t onesy or twosy it. That just won’t work. Make a splash. Let a lot of coaches know your name now and your chances will grow exponentially as the months and years go by.
The prospects that are better prepared and use tried and true methods to promote themselves early on to college coaches, to make their name mean something in the long run, are the ones that gain a foothold in the process. Their names stick in coaches’ memories as they pan down rosters. Don’t be overlooked. Get your name out there. Put yourself in the enviable position of being noticed, not overlooked.
College coaches are forever whittling down their recruiting lists to zero in on the prospects that are good fits for their programs. We know that athleticism is paramount – you have to be athletically capable. We know that good grades are essential – you must qualify to be admitted to the coach’s college. And, we know that a prospect’s character carries more weight than ever – with jobs on the line risky recruits are undesirable. But what are the things that coaches absolutely not want to see when evaluating a prospect. Here are the top five:
- Poor work habits: Subpar work ethic in high school signals even bigger problems for a prospect once they enter college. Without the ready influence of parents and the high school support system which prep athletes often enjoy, college freshmen are left to their own devices to consistently perform up to a coaching staff’s expectations and demands. When coaches learn that a high prospect has a habit of being late to practices, doesn’ t pay attention in film sessions, takes a play off during a game and doesn’t listen well or give 100% at practice, a red flag goes up that can end a promising college career before it ever starts.
- Poor grades: Lackluster classroom performance in high school is often more telling and destructive in the college setting. It is a trend which college coaches have found very difficult to reverse, so why try? They would prefer to work with prospects that respect academics and can be depended upon to attend class and strive to excel academically.
- Discipline problems: Most discipline problems can be summed up as bad decision making. In college, with fewer personal restrictions on their time, there is ample opportunities to make bad choices. If prospects have not made good decisions in high school, there is little reason to think that they make better ones in college.
- Disrespect for others: From the way an athlete communicates with officials, their coaches and teammates to how they interact with their families, college coaches want to recruit and offer scholarships to those prospects that have a healthy, mature and positive view and relationship with those around them. Fights, on and off the court, profane language and ignoring others are all signs of disrespect and coaches notice. The freedom that comes along with college life puts athletes in the spotlight. Those prospects that have shown the abilility to properly respect the people they come into contact with and avoid controversy are the ones coaches can trust to repeat that behavior on and around a college campus.
- Me-first Attitude: College coaches understand that top high school athletes are given a lot of attention and that in contests are expected to be the center of attention. But when high school athletes fail to appreciate his or her teammates’ contributions and are primarily focused on their own stats and promotion, college coaches are less likely to want them as part of their program.
Springtime is a time of year for renewal and that goes for high school seniors, too. There is so much emphasis placed on early signing periods that many seniors and their parents panic over not having signed in November. In fact, most high school athletes sign during the April 17 to August 1 regular signing period.
College coaches do try to get their top recruits to sign a National Letter of Intent in November, but they usually only secure the formal and legal commitment of between 20 and 40 percent of their targeted athletes. The hype surrounding the early signing period is mostly media driven, but that doesn’t lessen the anxiety which prospects and parents typically experience as the days count down to April 17.
Seniors at this point, with a five weeks to go before the ESP begins, should be doing their very best to demonstrate their desire to sign with their top choices. Moreover, it would be wise to leave their “dream” schools out of that mix. If a dream college coach is not responding, the deal has been done with other athletes and it’s time for hopeful athletes to move on to other, more promising options. Making phone calls to the coaches is the best alternative. Point blank, ask the coaches if there is still an opportunity to sign an NLI. And if the coach has narrowed his or her list to you and another athlete, make a plea by stating your case and desire to play for the coach and to get an education at that school. Talk about how good the fit is in terms of location, program quality, facilities and education. Go after it will enthusiasm. And, it’s okay to take this tactic with several schools in hopes of getting multiple offers.
From now until April 17, seniors cannot sit back and wait. It’s a competition and the stakes are high.
The day has arrived when the NCAA has actually loosened rather than tightened recruiting rules. The intentions now are to actually deregulate recruiting by allowing earlier and more communications between DI and DII coaches and prospects. The movement is spearheaded by none other than NCAA president Mark Emmert.
It is now permissible for all DII coaches and DI men’s basketball coaches to make personal contact with prep athletes on June 1 following their sophomore year, a full year earlier than previously allowed. This means that sophomores and freshmen alike are now clearly in the crosshairs of NCAA coaches wanting to get a jump start in developing relationships with athletes. This has always been permitted in the NAIA, but for the NCAA to take this bold step is groundbreaking to say the least. Add on that coaches will be less restricted in the methods by which they can reach recruits in terms of texts and emails and recruiting is opening up for tons of young athletes. And, as they say, this is just the tip of the iceberg. More legislation is anticipated which will give further leeway to coaches, including opening up the initial contact dates to all post-sophomore recruits, but a cautionary note: that has not as yet gone into effect.
Freshmen and sophomores should be taking this seriously and along with their parents reconsidering their options. It is no longer smart to wait to get involved in the recruiting process. In fact, the earlier the better. College coaches are human and they love to recruit candidates that they trust will represent them well athletically, academically and socially. The best way to insure this is to track athletes throughout their high school careers.
But, socially? Yes. Coaches are aware today that character plays a major role in how a prospect deals with social issues outside the lines, so to speak. They are scrutinizing the personal histories of prospects closer than ever. Malcontents and problem athletes are no longer getting a free pass. Coaches dread waking up and seeing one of their athlete’s mug shot plastered across a Web site for having done or said something, well, stupid. Social media has also brought with it an inside perspective of an athlete’s activities, attitudes and friends. That makes it essential that not only do prospects take their sport and academics seriously, but that they steer clear of trouble in school and in their communities and that they carefully construct a positive image via Facebook and other social media outlets.
Prospects that can consistently demonstrate that they are trustworthy in all these key areas have the very best shot at getting offers from college coaches. A thrown bat here, an after-school detention punishment there, or something as seemingly innocent as being chronically late to practice and a damaging social media post can alone eliminate a prospect from consideration and cause him or her to be erased from a coach’s white board.
Coaches are now following prospects longer. They want to see a resume filled with good things. And, when a prospect can get on their radar early, say as in as a freshman or sophomore, coaches get what they want which is a view of a prospect’s life over time, not just for a few months as was previously the case.
Former NSR prospect and SUNY Potsdam freshman Jordan Sarat has been named the Bears’ co-female performer of the week. Sarat stepped up in her first collegiate at-bat to hit a big homerun to open up the final game in the series. She then connected on her second homerun with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 3-3. Her clutch bomb into center field helped the Bears seal the 6-3 victory in extra innings. In the circle, Sarat allowed only four hits while recording seven strikeouts in six innings of play. Jordan hails from Caledonia-Mumford High in Caledonia, NY, where she was a first team All-State performer last spring. She is majoring in Criminal Justice. Jordan’s NSR scout is Tom Sydeski.
Tabby Tindell’s magical senior season just got a little sweeter.
Trinity Catholic’s scoring machine was named the Florida Dairy Farmers 2013 Miss Soccer by a statewide panel of high school coaches and media representatives. Tindell, who had already earned the Class 2A Player of the Year award after leading the Celtics to Marion County’s first-ever soccer state championship, beat out Class 5A Player of the Year, Yulie Lopez of Palm Beach Central, for top overall honors in one of the closest votes in the 21-year history of the award.
“I was pretty shocked and surprised,” said Tindell, who heard about the award when school officials announced it over the intercom during Thursday classes. “It feels like a dream to be honest. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up any minute now.”
Tindell scored an amazing 52 goals along with 27 assists — both tops in the county — to lead Trinity to a 20-2 season. The gifted striker saved her best soccer for the postseason where she racked up 15 goals in five playoff games, including hat tricks in four of the five, culminating with three goals in a 4-1 win over Gulliver Prep in the 2A state title match.
If that wasn’t enough, Tindell also set the new mark for career goals in Marion County with 160, breaking former Forest High star Kristin Burton’s previous record of 140 set in 2006.
“Having all this happen my senior year — my last opportunity to get everything done — is really special,” Tindell said. “Going to states, then winning states, and now Miss Soccer … it’s insane. It feels amazing.”
The four-year varsity starter finished with 152 points, edging out Florida State-bound Lopez (142) and University of Florida signee Brooke Sharp (116) of Ponte Vedra. Tindell will take her talents to Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers this fall where she’ll play for head coach Jim Blankenship.
The 2012-13 academic year represents the 21st anniversary of the Florida Dairy Farmers Sports Awards program, which honors the state’s top athletes and coaches in 30 FHSAA-sanctioned sports.
By Byron Saucer, staff writer for Ocala.com
We send out a big congratulations to NSR 2013 soccer prospect Tabby Tindell of Ocala Trinity Catholic High Sschool, who guided her team to the Florida State 2A State Championship this past weekend, the first for Trinity. Tabby scored three goals in the final game as the team won 4-1. Tabby ended up with 52 goals on the year with over 30 assists. She was selected the Championship Game’s MVP. Tabby will be taking her talents on to NCAA Division I Florida Gulf Coast University. She signed with them this past fall. Tabby is the quintessential NSR prospect. Carrying a 4.9 GPA and highly regarded in her school and community, she has emerged as one of the state’s most sought after soccer prospects. Shaun Kitchen is Tabby’s NSR scout in the Ocala area.
NSR 2013 football prospect, OJ Howard, from Autauga Academy in Autauga, Alabama signed a National Letter of Intent with defending BCS National Champion Alabama on National Signing Day. Ranked by Rivals.com as a five-star prospect, OJ is part of the Crimson Tide’s top rated recruiting class which includes five other five-star recruits. The 6’6” 220-pound tight end is expected to compete for playing time right away. As an early enrollee on the Tuscaloosa campus, OJ spoke to ESPN about his decision to attend Alabama.
“A lot of other schools talked to me about starting something new,” Howard said. “To me, that would be making it about me. I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about the team. I want to work hard and earn my spot. If it was easy to play at Alabama, everybody would do it. It’s not easy to live up to the legacy they have built there.”
Carrying a 3.3 GPA, OJ was a three-time All-State selection and was recruited by every major college football program in the nation. He was the first 2013 prospect to verbally commit to Saban when he announced his decision early in his junior year of high school. His NSR scout is Coach Robert Cagle who covers southern Alabama.
“NSR really is different and OJ Howard manifests that difference,” said NSR president Rusty Rigney upon learning of OJ’s signing. “The prospects we search for, personally scout, interview and enroll are true student-athletes. Our on-the-ground scouts identify prospects which are excellent reflections of their families, schools and communities. While we place prospects at every level of college athletics from the highest level of NCAA DI competition to junior colleges, we recognize that OJ is an ideal example of the type of high school athlete we seek to represent and promote to college coaches. He is a young man who possesses athletic talent, solid grades, a supportive family and high character. We couldn’t be prouder to be associated with this quality young man.”
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