Senior Athletes Looking For Last Minute Scholarships

For some high school senior athletes, Spring is a time to enjoy the last few days of school before continuing their athletic career in college.

For the majority of athletes that have been hoping to land one of those coveted athletic college scholarships, Spring is a time to panic.

The phone calls from college coaches have stopped. Maybe they never started. And suddenly, the end of an athletic career is staring you in the face.

So, what’s a senior athlete to do? Is all hope lost? The answer is no. However, the time for action on your part is now. And, to win one of the quickly dwindling number of athletic scholarships available for 2000-2001, you may need to re-adjust your focus and your goals as you search for a program that is still searching for incoming college sports prospects.

Start calling college coaches now!

Because you are dealing with a limited amount of time, you need to get very aggressive in searching out possible opportunities at colleges. Develop a “top ten list” of some colleges in your region of the country that offer your sport. You then need to contact the coach at the schools, explain that you feel you are a qualified athlete who could benefit their program, and ask what you need to do to be considered for admission to their school and the sports program in question. Remember, there are lots of coaches around the country that are under the same pressure to find eligible, talented recruits before the school year ends. Plenty of coaches are still looking!

Use other creative methods to get attention!
E-mail, videos and personalized letters are all examples of how you can greatly increase you odds of getting noticed by a college coach. Any method of contact will work, and it needs to be done immediately. Sit down and write your list of schools a letter expressing your interest in getting information as soon as possible on available opportunities in a particular sports program.

Broaden your search!

I deal with lots of athletes who are hoping to win an athletic scholarship to a major Division I school. However, these schools have probably already finished their search for incoming athletes (most Division I schools know one year ahead of time who they will be recruiting for a particular year). If you are interested in finding the most coaches with the biggest needs, try contacting Division II, Division III or NAIA schools. Some offer many of the same benefits that bigger Division I schools offer, many with comparable athletic talent to Division I schools. Give those schools a chance to show you why they might be an excellent choice for a college athletic career.

Get your coach to help!

You could have an important ally in your search for a college scholarship: Your high school or club coach. If you haven’t done so already, talk with them about contacts they might have at the college sports level. Many of these coaches are former college athletes themselves, and would be happy to assist you with finding an opportunity to play collegiate athletics.

Make sure you’ve done your homework!

That is, make sure you have registered for the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse (Division I and Division II only), taken the right classes, and taken the SAT or ACT tests. This is an area that many athletes overlook. They still assume that just because they can sink a three pointer form NBA range, or run the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds that the academic requirements will just take care of themselves. Wrong! You need to meet NCAA and/or university requirements for admission and athletic participation. Doing your homework means taking care of the paperwork behind the scenes.

Be ready to be flexible!
What if a college you have contacted is interested in having you play sports, but doesn’t have a scholarship available this year? Are you willing to be a walk-on athlete and wait for a scholarship? Or, if nothing is offered, would you go to a junior college to play sports and transfer to a four year school in two years as an athlete? Get ready to face these possible questions. They may be viable alternatives compared with giving-up your athletic career altogether.

The bottom line is this: Time is running out quickly. You, and only you, have the motivation and the desire that it will take to clear this final hurdle on your way to a college athletic career.

If you take it seriously, and enlist the help of others, your goal of winning an athletic scholarship is still within your reach.

Mark Wienner is the President of Recruit, Inc., an organization that creatively and aggressively searches for scholarships for high school student-athletes. If you are a high school senior who is an athlete searching for a college sports opportunity, Recruit, Inc. has a discounted senior search package available. For more information, call Recruit, Inc. at 1-888-284-9227 and ask about their senior search package. You can also visit their internet site at http://www.recruitzone.com.

The Pros and Cons of “Walking On” in College Sports

If you’ve seen the motion picture Rudy, keep reading.

If you haven’t, get off the Internet and go rent it. Go ahead, we’ll wait.

Everyone up to speed now? Good. Welcome to “Walk-on College Athletes 101.” We’re here to erase some myths that are out there about walk-on athletes, and walk-on opportunities at the college level. Class is in session.

I know, I know….you’re a star in high school. You’re all-league, all-this, all-that, most-likely-to-be-the-next-Michael-Jordan. You don’t really have time to think about what many high school athletes consider to be right up there with going to the prom with your cousin. That’s right, the dreaded invitation to be a “walk-on college athlete.” No scholarship money, no free books, no interviews with ESPN. They want you to come to practice and prove that you belong on the team.

Should you consider that kind of opportunity? Well, lets go back and use Rudy as our model for walk-on athletes, and I think you’ll find that walk-on opportunities may be a viable option for continuing your athletic career at the college level.

Rudy had no other options.

He wasn’t recruited, he wasn’t a star. He was a good high school athlete who loved sports, and wanted to continue his athletic career. When the options you thought would be there for you dry-up all of a sudden, pursuing a walk-on opportunity with a college program can breathe life back into a dying athletic career.

Rudy wanted to play.

He loved the game. He had determination, drive and the desire to improve his game. Being a walk-on athlete is the harder road to take, no question about it. Do you want it bad enough? Are willing to work hard and prove your worth to a college coach? Don’t be scared, get out there and play the sport you love!

Rudy believed he belonged.

Like I said, being a walk-on athlete isn’t easy. But, Rudy truly believed he belonged on the Notre Dame football team. And, it turns out, he did. If you don’t believe in yourself and your abilities, then don’t waste your time pursuing college athletics. Someone needs to believe in your abilities, and that someone is you!

Rudy put his education first.

Since he wasn’t in line for the Heismann Trophy, Rudy got serious and hit the books. The result? A college education. Remember, no matter how good of an athlete you are, your education should be your top priority in college. Your chances of playing professional athletics after college are miniscule. Don’t waste the chance to be a part of a rewarding experience in college.

Rudy played by the rules.

He accepted what was offered at Notre Dame. Realize that many college programs – tennis, softball, golf, and others – don’t offer incoming freshmen scholarship money. Many coaches want to have incoming freshmen prove their worth, make the team and will then offer a scholarship during their sophomore year and beyond. If you are interested in a particular program at a certain school, find out what their scholarship policy will be.

Rudy wanted the challenge.

Like Rudy, some athletes that our national organization work with turn down a scholarship offer at one school to accept a walk-on opportunity at another school. Why? The challenge! One athlete I can think of turned down a $15,000 per year scholarship at a Division II school to walk-on at a Division I school. He wanted the challenge of a high profile program. Today, he has just finished his junior football season, has a full scholarship and is vying for the starting quarterback position on next year’s team. Don’t back away from the challenge if it’s what you really want to pursue!

A couple of other thoughts, class. First, remember that there are lots of talented athletes out there that are competing for the same scholarships you are hoping to receive. You may need to walk-on at a college to get the opportunity you desire. Secondly, don’t look past some of the same benefits that walk-on athletes enjoy, the same as full scholarship athletes: First choice of classes, preferred housing, and more. Finally, being a walk-on athlete doesn’t mean you can’t be the star! If you commit yourself to your athletic and academic career at the college level, and get the chance to show a coach your talent, anything can happen!

Need some homework? I recommend that you start contacting coaches at the colleges you might be interested in pursuing and find out what opportunities exist at those schools. Find out what their walk-on policy is, and find out how they award scholarships to athletes. Doing this will answer a lot of questions you might have as to what your future holds, and will allow you to approach the final months of your high school career with an eye towards college athletic opportunities.

Class dismissed!

Mark Wienner is President of Recruit, Inc., the nation’s premier source for recruiting information and resources for high school athletes and college coaches. 1-888-284-9227 or visit them on the internet at http://www.recruitzone.com.

Getting Noticed By College Coaches

As you read this, thousands of college coaches are in the midst of their recruiting season, and tens of thousands high school student-athletes are sitting back and hoping that they are one of the chosen few who will receive a college athletic scholarship.

So what’s wrong with this picture? The problem for the majority of student-athletes who are juniors and seniors is that they take a “wait and see” attitude towards being recruited. Maybe they are over-confident once they’ve received a few letters from college coaches, or maybe they just assume that because they are “stars” on the field in their hometown, colleges will be knocking down the door to sign them to a full-ride scholarship. Reality hits in June, when many of these talented athletes are left wondering what happened to all of the anticipated offers.

The solution? I recommend that high school student-athletes take an active and creative role in getting a college coach’s attention. There are several things that can be done that will greatly increase the attention you get from college programs, and could ultimately make the difference between playing athletics in college, or watching from the stands.

Talk to your coach!

Go to your school or club coach and ask them if they have any contacts at colleges. Many high school coaches and athletic directors played college sports, and could be excellent sources for information about getting recruited. Often, your coach is contacted by colleges who are scouting for talented high school athletes. Expressing your interest in playing college athletics could encourage your coach to mention you as a possible college prospect.

Pick up the phone!

It can be intimidating for many high school athletes, but most college coaches are very approachable and interested in hearing from prospective student-athletes. College coaches that I talk to often say that athletes who make the first move in contacting a school are remembered for taking the initiative. Remember, a college coach is looking for someone who wants to be at their school! Most phone numbers to college athletic departments are available in your school’s library or college planning center. Simply ask for a particular department (i.e., basketball, swimming, etc.), and then ask to speak to the coach who handles recruiting for your area. Once you know you’re talking to the right person, simply state your interest in finding out more about scholarship opportunities within their program. By the way, the best time to contact most college coaches is late in the morning or very late in the afternoon.

Send a letter!

If you don’t want to call a coach, you can always write! I suggest typing a short introductory letter stating your interest in pursuing an athletic scholarship, include a list or resume of your high school athletic accomplishments, followed by one or two recommendation letters from coaches. This is a good way to get the recruiting process moving in your favor. I would suggest that you send letters to a variety of schools and programs, even a few that you think you might not be immediately interested in attending but are located in a favorable region of the country. Remember, you can always say no if an offer comes along!

Hire a recruiting service!

There are several types of recruiting services throughout the country, each with a variety of different specialties and marketing methods that can greatly aid in the recruiting process. Basically, these firms perform the tasks of contacting college coaches and leading you through the recruiting process, which can be extremely helpful and save you a lot of time. Most services charge some type of fee, so do your homework and make sure you know exactly what an individual company will provide in the way of services.

E-mail college coaches!

This is getting to be a popular option, provided that you have an e-mail address and the coach you are interested in contacting is computer-savvy as well. E-mail communication worked for Molly Watson, a 5-4 guard who basically e-mailed her way to a Division I basketball scholarship at DePaul University. DePaul’s head women’s basketball coach, Doug Bruno, said that Watson was his most persistent recruit ever, and he was able to correspond and field a lot of questions from Molly about his program and DePaul University. Bruno said that he had a 2-inch thick file of e-mail printouts from Watson and her parents. “It’s not quite ‘War and Peace,” said Bruno, “but it’s not a novella either.” E-mail is getting to be a more accepted form of communication. If you have access to it, you can use it to your advantage by communicating with the college coach of your choice. Currently, you may have trouble finding an individual coach’s e-mail address in any college directory. However, you might want to try and log-on to a college’s website address and look for programs in the athletic department. Often, you can find a list of coaches who are ready to communicate via e-mail!

Produce your own personal highlight video!

This is an extremely effective way of getting a coach’s attention and showing your athletic skills to a coach who has never seen you before. The main drawback is that it can also be very expensive. Video tapes aren’t cheap, and neither are the mailing costs once you are ready to send them out to colleges. However, it is an option to consider, especially if you have lots of video footage that really showcases your talent and abilities. You might also want to remember that a college coach will probably want to see a video at some point in the future in order to evaluate your talent, which means you’ll need to put together some sort of highlight video anyway. It’s a creative way to get a coach’s attention, and it shows that you’re dedicated to finding an opportunity to play college sports.

Get discovered at camp!

Many college athletic programs offer summer or season camps for high school athletes. A great way to get “discovered” by a college coach is to attend a camp at a college you might be interested in pursuing. That way, not only does a coach get a chance to look at your talent in action, but you also get the chance to see the college’s coaching staff working with athletes. It’s a great way to see if they would be coaches that you would want to play for in college. “Many of the kids we recruit are kids that we have seen at a camp at some point during their high school careers,” noted Pepperdine University assistant men’s basketball coach Kenny Ammann. There are also camps that are not affiliated with any particular school, but are regional camps designed to expose athletes to college coaches who can attend and see dozens or hundreds of potential college prospects in one location. Your high school or club coach would be a good source for regional camps available in your sport. Or, contact a college program for their camp enrollment information.

Club sports increase exposure!

There are only a few sports that offer year-around club teams: Softball, volleyball, swimming, soccer and baseball, to name a few. Club sports can be expensive, but if you have the opportunity to participate with a club team, I highly recommend it. Many college coaches, especially men’s and women’s college soccer coaches, rely heavily upon scouting club teams for athletic talent. Why? Because club players are often considered more dedicated to the sport (due to the year-around schedule) and are more talented due to their constant involvement with the sport. If you participate with a club team, not only do you become a better athlete, but you might get increased exposure to college coaches looking for the best athletic talent.
Remember, the name of the game is getting noticed. More and more, today’s high school athlete needs to look at recruiting as a real competition for a college coach’s attention and scholarship money.

My advice to all high school athletes is to take charge of your athletic future by actively pursuing college athletic opportunities. Be persistent, and be creative. The result just might be a college education and the continuation of your athletic career.

 If you have questions about the recruiting process, contact Recruit, Inc. at 1-888-284-9227

Talking With College Coaches

It can be every high school athlete’s dream. A college coach calls. He starts talking about a scholarship. He’s asking a lot of questions. The stakes are high: He holds the key to your academic and athletic future in his hands. This is the time of year when thousands of high school athletes are sitting at home hoping that this scenario plays out on their telephone. The problem, I find, is that most high school athletes are either too intimidated or don’t have enough knowledge about the questions they need to ask about the recruiting process, the school, the program, and the details of the scholarship offer. The result? Often, the coach gets frustrated and doesn’t pursue an athlete. Or, the athlete winds up in a situation that makes them miserable.

When we work with high school athletes at our organization, we give some general outlines as to the questions they are responsible for asking and how to “sell” themselves on a program that is right for them. These ideas are based on input from college coaches, athletes and the NCAA. Follow the plan if you hope to make the recruiting process work for you.

Don’t be shy!

You have to realize that the coach on the other end of the line is just like you, in many respects. He is searching for the best recruit for his team, and needs information from you to determine if you are someone who he’ll want to pursue. What is he or she looking for? Enthusiasm about the opportunity (even if the school he is calling from isn’t your first choice), honesty about your abilities and goals, and your athletic ability. You need to give the coach a chance to tell you why his school would be best for you. I have worked with lots of athletes who end up at a school that wasn’t at the top of their list until the talked with the coach. And, they loved it!

Ask questions!

This is the next four to five years of your life. A college coach is very involved on a day-to-day basis with the athletes. Is this the coach that you want to be around on a daily basis? Ask the coach how you are going to fit into his team. What are the playing opportunities? What is the school like? Are academics stressed on the team? What is the graduation rate of your players? The thing to remember is that you need to be aggressive in your questioning. If you are, a coach will view you as interested enough to pursue you. They want you to feel like the situation is a good fit for both parties.

Pursue the coach!

Once you’ve talked with a coach, make it a mission to contact him or her once a week until they make a decision. In effect, turn the tables on them. You become the recruiter! “I like kids that take the initiative and pursue opportunities on their own,” says Charlie Craig, a college track and field coach and 1996 assistant track coach for the U.S. Olympic team. “It can sometimes tell me about their competitive spirit.” Bottom line: Today’s high school athletes need to be taking control of this part of the recruiting process.

Keep all your options open!

Don’t be rude or uninterested during a call from a coach at a school that is at the bottom of your list. You never know, this may the perfect fit for you….or, it could be the only school that makes an offer. The time to tell coaches “no” is after you have already told another school “yes” to their scholarship offer. When you talk with a coach, always be respectful and appreciative of the interest.

Talking with college coaches can be intimidating, there’s no doubt about it. Just remember that recruiting is one of their least favorite things about college coaching. Make their call to you memorable for them in a positive way. Who knows. The result could be a great athletic and academic future at the school of your dreams!

Recruit Collegiate Sports Scouting Inc., a national organization that assists high school athletes creatively and aggressively pursue college athletic scholarships. For more information about Recruit’s services, contact their office at  1-888-284-9227 , or visit their Internet web site at http://www.recruitzone.com.

Developing Your Recruiting Marketing Plan

If you want to play college sports, the name of the game these days is marketing.

It’s time to throw modesty and humility out the window for a few months, and realize that if you don’t tell college coaches that you exist, they will probably overlook you as a potential recruit. You need to let college coaches know exactly why they need to take a good look at you, and you need to start as early as possible in your high school career.

Most college coaches will want to see some type of packet of information on you, the athlete, as they consider whether or not you would fit into their particular sports program. While the information each athlete may put together will differ, I will suggest the following general items as things you will want to try and show a college coach.
Start with a cover letter, introducing yourself and listing some of your credentials in high school athletics. This letter should simply outline what the coach will see in the packet. Don’t feel the need to go into detailed explanation of why you deserve to be considered for a scholarship. Make the letter short, direct and accurate. Remember, this is the first time a college coach has heard of you. Make the first impression favorable!

Create a one-page resume that will outline your successes, strengths and academic history for a college coach. Think of it in the same manner as creating a resume for a job. Be accurate and concise, but include as many different attributes as possible. You will probably want to include a picture as a part of the resume, preferably and action shot of you playing your sport.

Include any newspaper clippings, magazine articles, or other accounts of your performance as an athlete. Clipping should be photocopied or scanned onto a clean sheet of paper. Don’t include the actual newspaper clipping, if possible.

Get letters of recommendation from your high school coaches, club coaches, personal coaches, athletic director, academic counselor and principal. The more qualified people you have in your corner saying “This kid deserves a shot at college athletics!” means more attention from college coaches. Do not include letters from parents, unless that parent is also the athlete’s coach.

Do not include a video tape in your initial packet! This is a waste of time and money, because many coaches simply throw away unsolicited video tapes that they receive from parents, athletes and coaches. You should only send a video once a college coach has received your packet, reviewed it, and has asked you to provide them with a video tape.

Once that request for a video tape has been made, you will want to send a coach a tape that has a combination of edited highlights, as well as continuous game footage included on the tape. Most DVD’s are capable of making simple edits. You might also be able to find local companies who will assist you in editing video tape with professional equipment. You’ll want about 5 minutes in edited highlights, accompanied by a play-by-play sheet that the coach can use to follow the highlights, as well as about 10 to 15 minutes of un-edited continuous action. Don’t worry about making your tape absolutely perfect. Just try to give the coach a good representation of your talents and abilities. Feel free to start your tape with an on-camera introduction of yourself.
Once your packet is put together, send it to several different colleges that you are interested in pursuing. Some colleges will respond immediately, and will request more information from you. Others may take a long time in responding. The important thing to remember is that you are taking the initiative to make something happen and to get noticed.

Remember, the packet of information is the first impression you will make on a college coach. Make sure that you have created a professional representation of yourself and your abilities. If you don’t, another athlete will!

 For more information on Recruit’s services, call Recruit at 1-888-284-9227.

Official vs. Unofficial Visits

The NCAA addresses official and unofficial visits in bylaws 13.6 and 13.7 of the Division I Manual. Here’s a look at the significant differences between the two types of campus visits.

Official visits
• Five official visits permitted. Each school may only receive one.
• Visit can’t be taken until opening day of classes in senior year of high school.
• Football program permitted maximum of 56 official visits.
• Official visit can’t exceed 48 hours starting when recruit arrives on campus.
• Transportation, lodging, meals, entertainment expenses for recruit and parent or legal guardian paid for by school.
• Test score, high school transcript and NCAA eligibility center verification required before visit.

Unofficial visits
• Recruits are permitted unlimited visits at their own expense.
• Can be taken at any time of the year except during dead periods.
• No limits to length of visit.
• School may not provide or pay for transportation to and from campus.
• No permissible entertainment except three passes to a home game.
• No test scores, transcript or eligibility center verification required.

Jameis Winston To Miss First Half for Making Offensive Comments

Florida State is suspending quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half of its game Saturday vs. No. 24 Clemson in the wake of an obscene phrase he yelled in a public space Tuesday.

“As the university’s most visible ambassadors, student-athletes at Florida State are expected to uphold at all times high standards of integrity and behavior that reflect well upon themselves, their families, coaches, teammates, the Department of Athletics and Florida State University,” interim president Garnett Stokes and athletics director Stan Wilcox said in a statement. “Student-athletes are expected to act in a way that reflects dignity and respect for others.

“As a result of his comments yesterday, which were offensive and vulgar, Jameis Winston will undergo internal discipline and will be withheld from competition for the first half of the Clemson game.”

Read the full story here:


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Recruiting Realities in College Sports

Their college athletic career wasn’t supposed to end up like this.

All three girls were highly recruited after winning back-to-back state high school volleyball titles as juniors and seniors. Their team from Centennial High School in Bakersfield, California was a California volleyball powerhouse, finishing with a “national championship” and #1 ranking by USA Today.

Schools were interested, coaches were calling, offers were made. Every starter on the team won a college scholarship. Sarah Slayton signed with a Division I school in Utah. Alisa Bennett took a full-ride offer from a volleyball power in Texas. Kim Stainer stayed in California to attend school at a big Division I school.

However, that’s just the beginning of the story. Instead of enjoying what would probably be the prime of their college athletic career, these three student-athletes find themselves out of college athletics and unhappy with how they handled the “recruiting game.”

“When I was going through the recruiting process, my coach was completely different compared to how she was when I got to the school,” says Slayton. “She was very controlling. And, I didn’t pick up on that when I was going through the recruiting visits.”

Bennett was having a similar experience with her coach in Texas. “My coach was not good at interacting at all,” says Bennett. “He was a great teacher, but an absolutely horrible person to deal with on a daily basis.” She adds, “My coach called me almost every day while he was recruiting me, but after I signed he didn’t talk to me until I got to the school and started practice.”

“I had always played volleyball because I loved the game,” says Stainer. “But my experience at the college level took the fun out of it.” Stainer’s coach recommended that she red-shirt her freshman year at the west coast Pac-10 school. She did, but was activated late in her freshman season when a player ahead of her on the depth chart was injured. The coach insisted that Stainer play, even though it would mean losing most of her freshman year of eligibility. “I had a coach who was a huge success at the college level. I was kind of intimidated to question his motives.” Stainer was activated towards the end of her freshman season.

All three girls also had complaints about how college athletics turned out to be different than advertised by the coaches they spoke with during the recruiting process. “Our coaches and the athletic department said that they put academics before athletics,” said Bennett. “But when it came down to it, at our program, you ended up putting volleyball before anything else.”

Bennett uses the example of practice during the summer and off-season. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from conducting official practices during certain times of the year. Bennett’s coach technically obeyed the rule, but still put pressure on the team to run practices. “The coach called them ‘Optional Mandatory Practice,'” Bennett says with a smile. “It means that you didn’t have to work out with the team during the summer, but there was this implied pressure to do it anyway. It was crazy.”

Slayton had a similar experience. “During my freshman year, including the summer afterwards, I only got ten days off from playing volleyball. They don’t tell you about that when they are recruiting you,” says Slayton.

Stainer chose her school for the opportunities that it would give her as she planned for her post-volleyball career. Surprisingly, says Stainer, she found that there were no options available to her if she was going to be a part of the volleyball team. “I had always played volleyball because I was good, and it was fun. My experience at the college was taking all of the fun out of the game,” says Stainer. Hoping to pursue modeling and acting, Stainer began to pursue those opportunities in between volleyball and school. Once the coach found out about Stainer’s outside interests, an ultimatum was issued. “He basically said that either I give 100% to volleyball of leave the team,” recalls Stainer. “I finally left. It just wasn’t at all what I expected.” Stainer still attends the school, and is finding success in her other ventures. She landed a leading role in an upcoming MTV weekly series, “The Discomaster,” which is scheduled for release in June.

Older, and a lot wiser, the three standout student-athletes have a lot of advice for high school athletes being recruited. Most importantly, they say, an athlete needs to do their homework on the school and coach that is recruiting them. “You need to look for interaction between coaches and players in practice and at games, if you are visiting the school,” says Slayton. “Ask the players what their opinion is of the coach and the program. Ask lots of questions.”

“Any coach that is recruiting you is going to wine you and dine you and tell you everything that is great about their program,” says Stainer. “You have to look past all of that. You need to ask as many questions as you can.”

According to Bennett, there was one instance where the coach told certain players he viewed as unhappy with the team not to talk with two recruits that were coming to visit practice. Bennett’s advice? “Don’t talk to the athlete that the coach loves and sends with you to show you the campus. Talk to the athlete who is standing off in the corner. Get the whole picture of the program.”

And, looking back, all three girls that they might approach the entire recruiting process a little bit differently if they had the chance. “When I was getting recruited, I ruled out a lot of schools just because I thought they were too small,” says Slayton. “Don’t rule out a school that is recruiting you just because it isn’t a big name.”

“When I went to visit the school that I eventually signed with,” says Bennett, “it was the most fun I had ever had in my life. I thought the players were great, it was a great school, and a fun town. Those really aren’t good reasons to choose a school, looking back. If I could do it over again, I think that I would choose a smaller school….maybe one that was closer to home.”

“One of the schools that recruited me threw myself and another recruit a surprise party,” says Stainer, who ended up rejecting that school’s offer. “It makes you feel special, but athletes really have to take a serious look at the whole package that’s being presented. You have to look at the campus, the coach, the school…everything. You really need to plan for life without your sport, if it comes to that.”

“Research everything and know what you want,” adds Stainer. “You shouldn’t rule out any school that is recruiting you. Keep your options open. If something doesn’t work out with the school you sign with, you want to be on good terms with other school who were interested in you so that you can transfer.”

All three athletes are confident that their futures are bright, even without their volleyball careers. “I’m not bitter about how everything worked out,” says Slayton. “But I realize now how different college athletics are compared with the great experience I had at the high school level. It’s more of a business, and an athlete just has to be prepared for that going in.”

Dan Tudor, President of Recruit, Inc. a national athletic scouting and recruiting service, has four key points that his organization stresses to the student-athlete clients that they work with when searching for college sports scholarship opportunities:


“Don’t rule out an opportunity just because you haven’t heard of the school,” says Tudor. “The perfect college with the perfect coach may exist at a school that you haven’t heard of yet. Keep all of your options open and do the research into each school and program.”


“It’s an athlete’s responsibility to question the coach who is recruiting them. Ask tough questions. You have to remember that the coach’s job is to sell you on his or her school. That is their job. Your job, as an athlete, is to make sure that school is going to meet your needs as a student, as well as an athlete.”


“If you are seriously considering a program, try to visit the school and watch a practice,” says Tudor. “See how the players are reacting to the coach, and if it’s a good atmosphere in the gym or on the field. And, if you can go to a game, watch how the coach acts on the sidelines. How does he interact with players? How do his players respond to him? Remember, you are gong to be one of those players in the near future. Make sure you’re going to enjoy working with that coach.”


“Try not to get overwhelmed by the flattery or hype that a coach is going to give you during the recruiting process. As I said before, his job is to sell the benefits of his school. Ask you questions, and read between the lines when he’s telling you how great everything is going to be. No matter how awed you are by a college coach, you need to be on your toes and asking tough questions. Remember, this is your future. Take it seriously!”


"The Recruit program made an amazing difference, and my son ended up with a great scholarship at a Division II soccer program."

M. Davidson, Parent

"The Recruit program works! My son has only been in the program for about a month and he has already been contacted by several schools, including Maryland, Kansas, New Mexico, Bowling Green, Florida and Kentucky. Not bad! My daughter is also in the Recruit program for basketball, and has been offered several Division II scholarships. The program does work!"

D. Bridge, Parent

"Before I enrolled in the Recruit program I didn't get much exposure. I was basically getting overlooked by colleges. Recruit helped me get about 75 coaches respond to my information that was sent to them in the past nine months!"

E. Rice, Student-Athlete

"I've only been in the program a month, and I've already received responses from several colleges that I'm interested in attending!"

N. Flannery, Student-Athlete

"Recruit is true to their word. They do everything they say they are going to do and more. At least 30 schools have expressed a very serious interest in my daughter, Jill. Right now, she is deciding whether to accept a scholarship offer that Recruit helped bring about. The Recruit program is certainly worth the money. It's one of the best investments I've ever made!"

S. Tucker, Parent

"Does Recruit work? You bet! I signed up my son, a baseball player, at the end of his junior year. The program works just like they say it does. My son has already received a formal offer for a partial scholarship for $5000….was it worth the investment in the Recruit program? You bet!"

F. Saputo, Parent

"Without the Recruit program, we would have never been contacted by the college football coach who offered our son a great scholarship worth thousands of dollars per year. The Recruit program opened a lot of doors, and we are elated with the results! We highly recommend Recruit to any family who qualifies for the program."
T. Weidman, Parent

T. Weidman, Parent

"It is with pleasure that we use this letter as affirmation of the excellent results provided by Recruit! Their attention to the details of developing a college prospect profile is thorough and personal. The results have been positively overwhelming, and it is clear that the opportunities for our daughter's college choices have increased many fold. And, we have saved countless hours of work because of this service."
Mr. & Mrs. Gould, Parents

Mr. & Mrs. Gould, Parents

"Let me take this opportunity to thank the folks at Recruit for their assistance in helping me to realize my dream of playing softball at the collegiate level. I have already received 34 responses from colleges throughout the United States. I am talking weekly with coaches at two colleges, both of which have mentioned the possibility of a visit to their campus. Without Recruit, I may not have been able to showcase my talent."
K. Bleyl, Student-Athlete

K. Bleyl, Student-Athlete

"Signing up with Recruit’s program was a very good thing for our daughter, Christine. She is now enrolled at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, and playing basketball for their team. Christine got many, many letters and phone calls because of Recruit’s program. Once again, thanks for all your help!"
R. Bolt, Parent

R. Bolt, Parent

"We want to thank Recruit for making this program available to our son. He has only been in the program a couple of months, but he has already received responses from several colleges. One is from a Division I school that our son is very interested in! I am really glad we decided to use Recruit’s services."
Mr. & Mrs. Cahoon, Parents

Mr. & Mrs. Cahoon, Parents

"As new clients of Recruit, my wife and I are impressed by our scout’s knowledge and concern for my daughters sports scholarship needs. I feel my daughter will get the best possible exposure with all of her desired college choices."
Gene Stalnaker, Parent

Gene Stalnaker, Parent

"Tuesday, Jeff received his letter accepting him at Cornell. They are offering a scholarship worth $30,000 a year! This is far better than we could have hoped for, and my son is on cloud nine. I have told other Parents about Recruit, because everyone wants to know how we got over 50 schools calling us while other Parents have had only a few or none contacting their kids. With Recruit, we got all the choices we wanted for our son."
Kenny Rasbury, Parent

Kenny Rasbury, Parent

"Our daughter Katie is a swimmer and with the super support and help of Recruit we have received over twenty letters and many phone calls from colleges. We could have never reached these Division I and Division II schools if it had not been for the people at Recruit. We highly recommend them if you are truly trying to help your son or daughter into college sports."
Jim and Diane Fair, Parents

Jim and Diane Fair, Parents

"Our son, Shawn Radibaugh, ran cross country and track at Deer Valley High School in California. The Recruit program was one of the best choices we have made in our adult life! After agreeing on the plan you created for Shawn, we immediately started getting calls from coaches. My son finally accepted a scholarship to a private school in Oregon. He is thrilled with his choice, and can’t wait to start school! We would not have had this opportunity without Recruit. They made it possible for coaches to see our son’s potential. I highly recommend the Recruit program. For the few hundred dollars spent on this program, it may save you $25,000 or more. It did for us!"
Teri Radibaugh, Parent

Teri Radibaugh, Parent

"One of my son's goals was to play college golf on a golf scholarship. I have to say it was not an easy road, but my son did receive a scholarship from San Jose State University. After doing some research, I found that to get my son noticed, I had to market him like any other commodity. I contacted my local Recruit scout, Bob Taylor, at the beginning of my son's junior year in high school, and they began targeting my son’s information to several hundred colleges all over the country through the Recruit program. I honestly feel that the partnership with Recruit kept my son focused on his game. During the first week of April my son signed his letter of intent. I recommend Recruit as they made a significant impact on my son's exposure to the college golf scene."
Ed Reyes, Parent

Ed Reyes, Parent

"Rita signed her letter of intent on 4/13/00 with Patten College in Oakland and will play soccer on a full ride scholarship. Rita is excited that her hard work in preparing for this has paid off, and we’re also very excited and proud of her accomplishments. The coach said that Rita was recommended via an email and then he logged in to Recruit’s internet database for coaches to see her profile and was instantly interested in her playing for Patten. Once we communicated, visited a couple of times, and he saw her play on video, he offered her a full ride scholarship! We think that having Rita in Recruit’s program was helpful and we have appreciated your efforts and good follow-ups. Rita received dozens of interesting mailings and invitations by coaches across the country."
Manoli Mandelenis, Parent

Manoli Mandelenis, Parent

"I am writing to let you know about the process we went through with Recruit. Our daughter, Shatarah, is attending Howard University on a full ride scholarship thanks to Recruit and our regional scouting director, Ron Gelfand. I can not begin to tell you how important Ron and Recruit were to our family. From our first contact, it was very apparent that Recruit was versed and on the ball. Once colleges began contacting us, our Recruit scout followed up with the next step and provided the necessary information to our family. He gave my daughter some great information on how to select a quality program. He also assisted us in sorting out all of the crucial information our family would need to know to help us make a sound decision. Ron, our Recruit scout, was always very helpful and very prompt in returning our phone calls and was readily available to assist our family. We could not be more proud of our daughter, or thankful to Ron and Recruit for their tremendous help. This is a very competitive situation for prospective student-athletes. For us, Recruit and our scout, Ron Gelfand, helped close the deal on a lifetime investment in our daughter's education. I cannot think of a better program to assist parents with the college recruiting process. Thank you all very much, especially our Recruit scout, Ron Gelfand!"

Ruben Ramirez, Parent

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