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Five Signs of Recruiting Interest and How to Interpret Them

Before the camp, reach out to the coach with your highlight video and key stats to make sure you’re on their list. And follow up after the camp with a thank you email.

Are you being recruited?

For student-athletes and their families, the recruiting journey can be full of confusion and uncertainty. As you build your target list of schools and reach out to college coaches, it can be tricky to gauge the recruiting interest you may get.

Do recruiting questionnaires mean anything? How about a phone call? Does an official visit invite guarantee a scholarship offer?

Every coach has a different approach when it comes to the recruiting process. Some are candid and straightforward about their interest, while others prefer to keep their cards close to the chest. To help you decipher a coach’s interest, here are five signs you’re being recruited — ranked from lowest to highest.

YOU RECEIVE A QUESTIONNAIRE IN THE MAIL

In general, questionnaires are a basic form of outreach for early recruits. This means they don’t reveal much about a coach’s true interest. Coaches typically send questionnaires en masse to freshmen and sophomores to gauge their interest in the program. If you are interested, respond as promptly as possible.

Be sure to send the coach a follow-up email with your key information and highlight video to help them make their initial evaluation.

Still only receiving questionnaires as a junior or senior? You need to increase your exposure and expand your target list of schools. Be persistent and reach out to coaches on your list to get on their radar.

Level of recruiting interest: 1

YOU RECEIVE A CAMP INVITE

At camps, coaches typically spend most of their time scouting athletes who are already on their recruiting list. In the email invitation, if the coach adds a personal note or mentions your highlight video, you’re likely on their list of must-watch recruits.

If your email invitation is generic, you may be in the larger pool of athletes who really aren’t on the radar yet. Before the camp, reach out to the coach with your highlight video and key stats to make sure you’re on their list. And, follow up after the camp with a thank you email.

 

Level of recruiting interest: 2

YOU RECEIVE CALLS, TEXTS, DMS OR LETTERS FROM THE COACH
College coaches are notoriously busy. If coaches take time out of their schedule to shoot you a Twitter message or even pen you a letter, you’re most likely a top recruit. If coaches give you their cellphone number or email address, don’t let it go to waste. Keep them updated on your SAT/ACT scores and athletic achievements and ask questions to learn more about the program and the school.

Level of recruiting interest: 3.5

YOU RECEIVE AN UNOFFICIAL VISIT INVITE
Getting invited to explore a college campus on an unofficial visit indicates clear interest from the coach. While unofficial visits are up to the student-athlete’s family to finance, they can be taken as early and as often as you like.

To truly gauge the coaches' level of interest, pay attention to their behavior during and after the visit. Did they make time for a meaningful conversation during your visit and promptly follow up after you left? They are definitely interested.

Keep in mind — DI and DII coaches for most all sports aren’t allowed to meet with you until September 1 of your junior year.

Level of recruiting interest: 4

YOU RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL VISIT INVITE
Getting invited on an official visit indicates very strong interest from a college coach. Coaches don’t dole out official visit invitations to just anyone — they have a limited number to offer and the program foots the bill for your visit.

Make the most of this trip by being polite and attentive. Answer the coach’s questions appropriately and ask a few of your own.

Campus visits are a popular time for coaches to extend an offer to athletes. Make sure you’re ready for that conversation if it comes up.

Level of recruiting interest: 5

Remember — the more personalized the contact from the coach, the higher up you are on their list. If you aren’t receiving the kind of interest you want from a program, reach out and show why you would be a great addition to the team and also try expanding your target list of schools.

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