This year at PHS, 17 athletes of the class of 2017 have committed to play their sports in college next year at the Division II and Division III levels, 13 of which have been recruited and signed with a school, while the remaining four are still deciding where they will play. Soccer produced five recruits — more than any other sport. On February 27, 12 of the athletes participated in a signing day to commemorate their commitment and to celebrate their achievements and hard work.
The recent signings of PHS athletes to play their sports in the National Collegiate Athletic Association brings up this question: How does an athlete get recruited to a university?
Each athlete has a different process. Before entering high school, some students have the goal to one day play their sport in college already in their sights and are already members of club programs that . For others, being a college athlete does not seem realistic until later on in their high school sports career. Leo Godefroy ’17, a goalie for the PHS lacrosse team who has committed to Cabrini College, did not enter the recruiting process until he became an upperclassmen.
“I didn’t ever think about being recruited when I was in middle school and I wasn’t looked at during my freshman and sophomore year,” said Godefroy. “The summer of my junior year was when I was first heavily recruited.”
If a player shows potential as an underclassmen, scouts put a watchful eye on them as they get older. From the first high school game these athletes play to their senior days four years later, statistics are kept to monitor player performance and improvement. If the athlete seems to be on the path towards being able to play at the college level, scouts alert the schools they are working for. Once a student athlete generates interest from colleges, the recruiting process shifts into full gear. Not only does the student need to continue to work harder and improve at their sport while maintaining mint physical condition, they must also branch out in order to put themselves on the radars of the interested institutions.
“I started going to showcases and coaches began personally emailing me, inviting me to their school,” said Godefroy. “I talked to coaches on the phone about grades and how my lacrosse game was doing.”
A high school athlete who first enters the radars of colleges must do all they can to prove themselves. Athletic performance must be maintained and pushed even further. Additionally, the athlete needs to create a portfolio for themselves. This includes attending showcases, events that allow high school athletes to show their skill in front of college coaches, as well as creating highlight videos that can be circulated online to coaches. Hopeful recruits also get their current high school coach in contact with the person they hope to play for in college. O
When a player receives multiple offers from different schools, the choice is theirs. Students weigh the various academic opportunities a school provides in addition to if they can see themselves competing there athletically. Once the aspiring college athlete makes their final decision, the pressure of constantly training and trying to impress coaches is lifted off their shoulders. Godefroy offered advice to young competitors who hope to ultimately go to college and play their sport.
“Continue to work on the fundamentals of your sport, and try to get some exposure by going to events. Do whatever you can to get noticed by reaching out to schools. And definitely talk to your coaches. They can give you tips and always help you along the way.”