Scout Session #4: The Recruiting Timeline

I hope this email finds you well.  Over the past three weeks, I have outlined three key components to the college soccer recruiting process from a recruit viewpoint.  In the first week, I discussed the importance of being seen.  The second week focused on good communication with the coaching staff.  Last week, I wrote about maximizing your visit to campus.  This week I want to outline the recruiting process timeline.

As I sit down to write this email, I find it is the most difficult to write as every college and university is different in their recruiting timelines.  For example, many Division 1 programs will be finished with their 2016 recruiting class prior to the end of this school year.  On the other hand, there are Division 2 and 3 schools that are still wrapping up their 2015 classes and only beginning to look at 2016 and beyond.  Some schools rely on early action and early decision, while others have rolling admission up until the end of the school year.  Rather than give you specific timelines to go by, I want to give you some questions you can ask the coaching staffs of the programs you are researching.

  1. Are you recruiting players at my position?  Although this question doesn’t quite seem to fit, it’s an important one to ask before you go any further.  Some programs will only recruit a certain amount of players per position.  Some programs may recruit the best available talent.  It’s important to know what they’re looking for before working in their timeline.
  2. Do most of your recruits come through early decision or regular decision?  As I said before, every school is different. Some schools want to finalize their classes by the end of their early decision deadlines.  Other schools do not offer early decision and instead rely solely on regular decision.
  3. When will I know if I am being offered a roster spot?  Before offering roster spots, most schools want to see you play multiple times.  Some schools will make decision very early, while others will wait until later in the process.  Once offered a roster spot, it’s important to ask if they are giving you a deadline to respond to their offer as well.
  4. Are there dates when I can get early financial and academic reads?  Some schools will offer financial and academic reads to potential students well before early and regular decision dates.  It’s important to know what the school will cost as well as your chances of being admitted.

As I am the Director of Recruiting for Franklin & Marshall Men’s Soccer, I will use F&M as an example.  Below are key points in our recruiting timeline.

  • Currently we are looking at players for the 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes.
  • We begin in the winter and spring, attempting to identify players that we feel fit what we are looking for in a student athlete.
  • As spring turns to summer, we will start to narrow down our list of players.
  • Following our summer ID Camp, July 16-18, we will begin offering roster spots to student athletes for the class of 2017.  This camp is our number one recruiting tool as we are able to see interest players over multiple days as well as train them in different environments.
  • In the fall, we continue to narrow down our list through campus visits, tournaments, and ID clinics.
  • Also in the fall, we produce financial and academic pre-reads to players still in our recruiting pool.
  • We rely heavily on early decision, so 95% of our 2017 class will be finalized through our two early decision deadlines in November and January.
  • Once the 2017 class is finished, the 2018 class takes its place and the 2019 class will begin the process.

You can learn more about the ID Camp mentioned above as well as information on our upcoming Recruiting Seminar at our Coach’s Corner.

Once again, I hope you found this helpful as you continue to navigate the college recruiting process.

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