Inside Preps: Figuring Out the Recruiting Process
Wed. October 17, 2012 at 10:28 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
The recruiting process can sometimes be a murky one, and parents and athletes often don't understand it.
So here are some tips, from coaches, a parent who has taught herself about recruiting and a local scout and videographer.
Trust the process. Trust the coach. "A lot of parents don't understand and get frustrated and think that coaches are trying to hold back on their kids. I think everyone has to be patient," said Richard Murvin, the girls basketball coach at Bartow.
Be informed. "The guidance counselor is a great resource as well as the athletic director," said Sandra Mays Joyce, a mother who has a son playing football at Mulberry and a daughter playing basketball at Bartow. "Ask other people what they're doing. If you're not highly recruited, berecruited.com can be your best friend."
Get your highlights on film and online. "Anyone can look at stats, but films really set the athletes apart," said Hasani Harper, a Ledger correspondent and scout for Sunshine Preps, a recruiting service in Florida. "It's an introduction to that player and how they play. You can't expect them to only go off of word of mouth."
If you have the money, pay a recruiting service. "I use them to scout kids all the time," said Grady Morrell, the women's basketball coach at Webber International University and a volunteer assistant football coach at Victory Christian. "They send you emails of kids, and one might catch your eye. Just last week, that happened and that player is coming out for an official visit."
Be honest with yourself. Not every athlete is going to land a major Division I scholarship offer. Sometimes the D-II, D-III or NAIA program is a better fit. "Some people like what they hear, some people don't. But I try to be as honest as possible," Murvin said. "I tell the kids where I think they could play if they're really interested. It's a meeting I have with them before the season starts. Now if a major program comes in and is interested in someone I thought wasn't D-I material, I'm not going to dissuade them from recruiting that athlete."
Keep your grades up. "Coaches always ask what kind of student they are. We have to be honest with them," said LaDreda Akins, the girls basketball coach at Haines City. "Also take your SAT and ACT early if you can."
Don't be picky. "There are so many schools out there that you can go to," Morrell said. "College football and college basketball is the same everywhere. They're college sports. I've seen boys and girls play at the NAIA level who can play anywhere."
Throw a line out. "One kid I had about four years ago who was a senior for me wanted to play in college and we had trouble finding one," said Paul Weaver, the boys golf coach at George Jenkins. "His parents, on a whim, called a Division III school in Georgia, and the coach told him to send a tape up of his swing. Next thing you know, he was invited out to play a round of golf with the coach and he was offered a scholarship."