The Final Countdown
By: Natalie Pedersen
Seniors – this is your year! This is your last shot! This is your year! If you haven’t been recruited to play sports in college, now is the time to get proactive and ramp up your recruiting efforts. College coaches have already been in contact with some of your classmates, some for the past 2-3 years even! If you haven’t been communicating with any college coaches, now is the time to start building relationships. Start reaching out to more college coaches across the country looking for roster spot openings and potential scholarships. Remember, just because you may want to play in your home state, that doesn’t mean there are coaches in that state who need or want you. Keep your options open and look everywhere! Even if you don’t want to go to college in Illinois, just keep in mind that an offer you receive from one college can be used to leverage opportunities at the schools you are interested in. When you are communicating with college coaches, be sure to ask if they are still recruiting your position and your grad year. As hard as it is to believe, some top level colleges have filled most or all of their roster spots and have finished recruited seniors. Ask coaches what they need from you in order to fully evaluate you and be sure to have your transcripts or game footage ready when they ask for it! College coaches at every level have no restrictions on calling you at any time during your senior year. So, why aren’t they calling? Because you have to let them know you are first and that you’re interested! Senior year is the time to start taking official visits to college campuses, but remember they have to be offered to you first! Get those offers for visits by getting in front of college coaches and again, building those relationships. Even if you aren’t offered official visits, be sure you’re taking unofficial visits and talking to the college coaches while you’re on campus. Here are a few recruiting dates to be aware of (but be sure to check for specifics on your sport): • The Early Signing Period starts the second week of November for basketball and a few other sports • For football and a few other sports, the Regular Signing Period starts the first week of February • The Regular Signing Period for most sports starts in April and ends August 1 Since November is right around the corner, now is the time to work your hardest at getting recruited and receiving offers so you can sign your National Letter of Intent alongside your classmates. Don’t get left behind! If you feel you’re behind in contacting coaches and want help finding colleges who have roster spots open in your grad year and position, then contact an NCSA National Scout today and find out how they can help you find the right fit and a scholarship offer. Call 888-333-6846 or go to www.ncsasports.org.