By Cara Satre, Eton Tuttle, Julia Curtis and Nicole Pugh,
Many high school student-athletes are eager to embrace the next challenge in the world of sports; for some, this next chapter is college athletics.
The challenge student-athletes face is getting recruited by their top choices. According to scholarshipstats.com, only 7 percent of high school athletes go on to play at the collegiate level, and only 2 percent play Division I athletics.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association has many rules for recruiting students from high school, a very lengthy process that comes with its fair share of restrictions.
Although there are restrictions during the recruiting process, colleges find ways to get around them and have players commit as early as freshman year.
As a freshman and sophomore athlete, colleges are able to send camp invites and questionnaires.
“Coaches can express their interest in a prospect through their high school or club coach,” said Dwayne Schaffer, UC Davis men’s soccer coach. “College coaches are not allowed to ask club or high school coaches, ‘Have that player call me,’ [but] it happens!”
Some players would rather get the process over with quickly so they don’t have to worry for the rest of their high school years. For some, this means they verbally commit to a school before they sign the National Letter of Intent.
“I would say that a player that commits early usually likes to take the recruiting college question off the table and they can just go through their final years of high school with all of that behind them,” said Ashley Yudin, the Davis Legacy Soccer Club Executive Director.
The next step of the process happens during junior year when coaches can officially start reaching out directly to prospects.
Starting Sept. 1, coaches are able to reply to emails and personalized letters. Later in the year coaches are allowed to have off-campus meetings and call the prospect once a week, starting on July 1 before senior year.
As of senior year, athletes can visit colleges up to five times on official expenses-paid visits for a maximum of 48 hours per visit.
Davis High Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson is new to the recruitment scene but is familiar with the subject.