myths about the college recruiting process

5 Surprising Myths About the College Recruiting Process


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Many high school athletes dream of being recruited by college coaches and receiving scholarship offers. For that dream to turn into reality, we need to address some common myths about the college recruiting process.

College athletics is multiplying thanks to organizations like the NCAA and the NAIA working to expand their programs. But why are millions of high school athletes still going under-recruited or not recruited at all? There’s a lot of different reasons, but believing these 5 myths about the college recruiting process are some of the big ones.

If I’m Good Enough, College Coaches Will Find Me.

The idea that an athlete’s athletic ability will get them noticed by a college coach is one of the biggest myths we come across. Coaches finding athletes based on their athletic ability typically only happens for blue chip athletes.

All other athletes must be proactive in making sure colleges know about them. Usually, they need someone the coaches respect advocating for them. 

Even some blue-chip athletes go unnoticed by college coaches. Some also need additional exposure such as National Scouting Report alums, Bradley Bozeman, Matt Womack, and O.J. Howard.

I Don’t Have to Worry About Getting Recruited Until I’m a Senior.

This myth couldn’t be farther from the truth for most sports.

These days, depending on the sport, college coaches start recruiting athletes as early as the seventh grade. If athletes wait until they’re a senior, many opportunities to play in college will be gone. 

Not all sports are like this, but the majority start evaluating and looking for talent well before an athlete’s senior year.

My Athletic Talent is Much More Important Than My Grades.

Both athletic ability and academic performance are important. If an athlete is what a school is looking for athletically, but isn’t up to snuff academically, that coach will stop recruiting him or her.

Additionally, if an athlete’s GPA doesn’t meet the NCAA’s or NAIA’s minimum requirements, they will have a hard time in the recruiting process. 

College coaches have a list of athletes with similar athletic ability, and the deciding factor is almost always their academics.

Insider tip: Read this article about the importance of grades in the recruiting process.

College Coaches Have Contacted My Coach, So They Are Recruiting Me.

Contacting a high school or travel coach means the college coach is aware of you. It’s often a first step in researching athletes for their upcoming recruiting class. But it doesn’t mean they are recruiting you.

Typically, if a college coach is recruiting an athlete, they will contact the athlete, not just the high school or travel coach. In most cases, it’s a good sign that a college coach is approaching someone about the athlete. However, that one conversation or contact doesn’t mean they will end up recruiting them in the end. 

I’m Playing in Showcase Events, and College Coaches Will Discover Me. 

Sure, college coaches can discover talent at showcases, but that’s not the primary reason they attend them. Coaches attend showcases to evaluate the talent they already have their eyes on.

College coaches have a list of athletes they are going to watch before the showcase even starts. If an athlete isn’t on that list, it’s pure luck if the college coach sees him or her play. Honestly, it’s a huge risk to put an athlete’s entire recruiting process on attending showcase events. 

Attending showcases and tournaments is a tool in an athlete’s overall recruiting plan, not their primary recruiting strategy.

These myths about the college recruiting process are why millions of high school athletes aren’t playing their sport at the next level. Don’t fall victim to these myths. Find a trusted source like National Scouting Report, to help guide you through the process.

Chelsea Eytel is a former Division I student-athlete and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. At National Scouting Report she is a content creator and serves as the organization’s Social Media Manager. 

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National Scouting Report is dedicated to finding scholarship opportunities for athletes who possess the talent, desire, and motivation to compete at the collegiate level. We’ve helped connect thousands of athletes with their perfect college.

If you are ready to take your recruiting to the next level, click the Get Scouted button below to be evaluated by an NSR College Scout.

Get Scouted  Scouting Careers

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