College Recruiting​

This is an informational page on how to begin the process of getting your wrestler exposure for recruiting.

Recruiting Realities

The following is information I received from a Division II school's athletic director. While all of these are very true, it does not mean there aren't exceptions to these thoughts. The idea here is to keep athletes and parents "grounded" about the possibility of wrestling at the next level, and open minded to other wrestling opportunities at the next level (like wrestling division III or NAIA)

  1. Less than 1% of all high school athletes get Division I scholarships.
     

  2. Letters from college coaches mean almost nothing; they are simply keeping a large pool of athletes available. If they want you, they'll call. If they really want you, they'll visit you or fly you out.
     

  3. Nobody outside Sacramento reads the "Sacramento Bee". Name in the paper does not equal college interest.
     

  4. Most division 1 athletes have been identified by their sophomore year. If you are a junior and don't receive phones calls, you're not a priority.
     

  5. College coaches run summer camps to make money, not to find diamonds in the rough. They invite their top recruits personally to these camps.
     

  6. If college coaches happen to be in attendance at an event, they are there to see specific kids they have identified as "A" list recruits. They don't attend events to look around at other athletes unless it's by chance.
     

  7. If any school offers you a partial scholarship, there's a school out there that'll give you a full scholarship, it just may not be the school of your choice.
     

  8. If you want a full scholarship, you will not pick the school, you will simply choose from the schools that picked you (probably DII or DIII). Only prized national recruits choose which school they want to attend for free.
     

  9. College coaches don't read letters of recommendation, no teacher/coach is going to write a bad letter. If they're interested, they'll call.
     

  10. Don't send video's unless specifically asked for. Don't send highlight tapes that show your kid pinning someone every five seconds. Send an uninterupted block of action, 2 or 3 matches against quality opponents.
     

  11. Division I schools are about your kids making them money, graduation rates are around 30% nationally (among all sports). D2 & D3 schools care more about your kid and graduation rates are around 90% nationally (among all sports).
     

  12. If you want to be in the recruiting pool, send a one paragraph letter to the head coach (by name, not "To Whom..."). They send back a generic questionaire, fill all these out & that puts you in the recruiting pool. The real trick is that you need to do that for about 400 schools!
     

  13. Here's what you do want to do: Get on the "NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse List" available at the councelor's office at school; or go to www.ncaaclearinghouse.net, click through to "Prospective Student-Athletes". Ideally you should do this your freshman or sophomore year.
     

  14. www.ncaa.org also has all the information you need about college student-athletes.
     

  15. If you send out 400+ letters to colleges (D1, D2, D3), you'll get real interest from about 30 schools, of which maybe 8 will actually call you & maybe offer you a paid trip to visit. You get 5 visits, then you choose (most likely D2 or D3).
     

  16. It is critical that you respond to every inquiry about your athlete, keeps you in the pool of recruits.
     

  17. Services that will sell you to universities are fine, but dump them if they want to put a highlight tape together instead of real continuous action footage. It's the tell tale sign of a good or bad agency.
     

  18. Remember that D2 & D3 schools don't have the budgets that D1 schools have, so they can't afford various "top recruits" lists that are published, so you can get on a short list by getting your information to them.
     

  19. D3 schools don't offer scholarships, but they can get you grants, which is still a free education for you.
     

  20. Schools want students from all over the U.S. and world, so the farther you're willing to go away to school, the better odds you have of going on scholarship.
     

  21. If you receive a phone call, ask specifically what job they hold with the team. Head coaches call the top 10 recruits, 1st assistance call the next 10, and so on. Who you're talking to will tell you where you fall on their list of potential recruits.
     

  22. If they offer you a paid visit to their campus that's good; but if they'll fly out to see you first, that means you are a priority for them.
     

  23. All divisions of schools can pay for you to come visit their campus. If they say they can't, you're not a priority for them.
     

  24. Remember that it's about getting a free education. Find a school at any level that will pay for your education. Get off the name game! UCLA doesn't want you, but Assumption University does, it's a free $80,000 education! And they want you! And you get to play, instead of being a practice partner for someone else.

 
 
Getting Recruited

The following are places to go the get your athletes name in the pool of athletes, as well as to learn what is OK and not OK when it comes to recruiting.

  1. Get on the "NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse List" by going to www.ncaaclearinghouse.net and click through to "Prospective Student-Athletes". This should be done your freshman or sophomore year.
     

  2. Have your athlete's school counselor be aware that the academic goal here is to be eligible for colleges to offer you a scholarship. Make sure that you are taking the right coursework to be eligible at the next level. Remind the counselor that this is your goal each time you meet so they are always double checking you're on track.
     

  3. Go to www.ncaa.org and learn all the information you need to know about college student-athletes.
     

  4. Go online and start looking for people that can help you connect with college coaches. There are people out there who work for a living finding scholarships for athletes. This isn't the majority, but there are colleges with scholarship money they can't give away because they aren't a "name school" like UCLA or Nebraska; yet it's still a FREE education. I am not advocating for anyone, but here's an example: www.scoutusa.com  Our ex-wrestler Matt Vigna, two time state qualifier, but no medals at state. His family hired a head hunter to find him a scholarship and Matt signed with William Penn University, an NAIA school in Iowa - free college. He did not hire the above people, just an agency like this. There is an organization out there called "College Prospects of America", an agency that helps match athletes to colleges, you could look them up and get help.
     

  5. Here is a website that you can join for free. It's kind of a Facebook for high school athletes. You can put some pictures and information on the site about your athlete. Most likely this is a waste of time, but it doesn't take long and you never know who's eyes come across your athletes page. This site advertises that college coaches use this site, but they may blow it out of proportion. Don't put anything too personal on this page. The site is www.AllStudentAthletes.com - This site no longer exists, but there may be other sites that are similar, just remember this is low level stuff; don't expect much from site like this, but if you have time...
     

  6. If you are not a "hot" national recruit, you'll need to do more leg work on your own. You can spend the money and time on letters and stamps to contact all the university's across the country that offer wrestling; or you can spend more money (and save time) by hiring a head hunter type person. Clearly the better the wrestler, the better the odds of finding something - but you'd be surprised at who gets scholarships. It's not always the state medalists and highly decorated wrestlers. Sometimes it's the wrestler who's family does the leg work to make it happen, rather than waiting for someone to call. In a list of 2010 state wrestling athletes and their college scholarships - There were multiple kids on the list who did not place at state, and there were multiple wrestlers on the list who placed low (6th place). So don't wait for offers, go find an offer.

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