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When Should You Start The Recruiting Process?

College Athletics is a competitive atmosphere that can provide big opportunities.

When to act on it?

👉 NOW is the best time to start ❗

The truth is doing nothing about your recruiting journey will get 90% of athletes nowhere.

You should start the recruiting process when you:

1. Understand the recruiting landscape

  • Identify each scholarship opportunity
  • Recognize your right fit
  • Know what tools and resources to use

2. Have confidence

  • To write a professional email
  • To confidently talk on the phone with a coach
  • In your ability and effort

Universal timelines:
8th Grade

The majority of college athletes when in 8th grade competed at the highest level available to them including a club team. Finding the right level of competition is important prior to go into the varsity levels.

9th Grade (Freshman Year)

This is an introduction to the highest levels in varsity and a good time to measure your abilities to those above you. The recommended time to start planning.

10th Grade (Sophomore Year)

Athletes are able to register with the NCAA/NAIA Clearinghouse. This allows you to apply as a student-athlete and complete recruiting questionnaires. 10th grade is the first year you can complete an ACT and SAT.

11th Grade (Junior Year)

Official campus visits are allowed. The junior year marks the first time a coach is directly allowed to contact the athlete without being first contacted.

12th Grade (Senior Year)

Graduation is the single most important thing to do to get accepted into any college or university. Apply for academic scholarships to the schools of your choice.

*Each sport has different timelines, time tables, and rules that vary by division, sport, and gender.

Recruiting Steps:
1. Education
The first step should be to educate you and your family on the process.

What scholarships are available? What credits do you need? What are the GPA requirements? How do I get seen? What resources/services are available to help me? How do I commit? - Having the answers to all questions can help you prepare for the right decision.

2. Navigation
Build a strategy by following the rules and regulations. Put your education into action. Planning your way through recruitment, academics, and sport is a necessary process to obtain that scholarship.

3. Success
Take advantage of your scholarship and succeed both in the classroom and on the field. It is important to seek advice that can help you in the classroom and on the field. Teammates, coaches, counselors and former student-athletes can be your best resources.

Check out our high school recruiting checklist to make sure you are prepared!