September 1st is here and that means different things in the recruiting calendar for both seniors and juniors. For the first time since May, college coaches may initiate telephone calls to seniors. September 1 also signals the earliest that the current junior class (2018) can start receiving recruiting related materials. Social Media is another source of communication, but recruits need to make sure they police their own sites.
Lets take a look at the realities for both classes.
All that recruiting mail that you have been receiving to date may not mean anything anymore. If you are a 2017, you fit in one of several categories:
1. Some of you may have already been offered a scholarship and made a verbal commitment. Congratulations!
2. Some of you have offers on the table, but haven’t made a decision yet. The clock is ticking!
3. Some of you are on mail lists, but haven’t been offered. Time for a reality check!
4. Many of you aren’t receiving any mail. Time to adjust your goals!
If you have already made a commitment, realize that college coaches are counting on you. They don’t take kindly to prospects making verbal commitments and then continuing to shop their services. If you are doing that, realize that your offer can be withdrawn at any time. There is nothing binding on either party until that National Letter of Intent is signed in February. Coaches will be calling you to make sure you aren’t wavering on your decision.
If you have offers on the table and you haven’t made a decision yet, please understand that you may not be the only player at your position that has an offer from that school. Colleges can’t sign everybody and they usually have a quota to sign at each position. When recruits commit, a position can fill up and if you are still undecided, you could be left out. Always know what the decision-making timetable is! Coaches will be calling you and likely pressing you for a decision.
If you haven’t been offered and you do get a call from a college coach, then you need to realize that you are still very much in the mix and those college coaches will be waiting on you to send them your best two games from September.
If you are receiving mail but haven’t received a call from a college coach yet, you need to understand you aren’t very high on their list. They are calling players and if they aren’t calling you, which should tell you something. If you are somewhere in the middle, i.e., received calls from some, not others, you should definitely be focusing on those schools that are calling you, because they are interested in you. The ones that aren’t calling, probably aren’t interested.
If you are NOT receiving any mail, it is because Division I schools either don’t think you are a prospect at their level, or they haven’t evaluated you yet. In either case, you are going to need to become proactive, because you certainly won’t receive a scholarship offer from a school that doesn’t have you on their radar screen. It may be time to begin focusing on Division II and Division III schools.
If you are starting to receive recruiting mail, please realize that it doesn’t mean you have been offered a scholarship. It also doesn’t mean you are “getting recruited”. It only means that you are on the mail list and schools are beginning to evaluate you as a prospect.
It does mean that you should play well every game this fall, because your junior game tapes are the primary early means of evaluating you as a player. Coaches will want to see your best tapes, probably a highlight tape, at the end of the season, but realize that they are also evaluating opposing team players and you never know when any particular game will be evaluated. You don’t always have the luxury of selecting what you feel is your best game.
It also means that schools will want to evaluate you as a student, so you need to be signing up to take an ACT or SAT test this winter. Coaches will want to evaluate your transcripts and test scores next spring, so if you don’t take a test by one of the March date, you won’t have a score to report by the time the spring (April/May) evaluation period begins.