Play for your school.
Have a discussion with your FSA coach about your desire to play in college. Listen to your coach about what you can do to improve as a player and get his honest opinion regarding an appropriate level (D1, D2, etc) for you to investigate.
Stay focused academically. NCAA eligibility standards keep getting tougher. The grades you earn now will determine admission to college and your initial NCAA eligibility.
Stay engaged in athletics and/or physical activities outside of your primary sport season. Coaches and admissions counselors look for well-rounded student-athletes.
Start researching colleges. Consider what each level of college athletics entails (Division I, II, and III, NAIA, NJCAA). Begin thinking about academics — what are your career goals and what course of study might you pursue to achieve them? Talk to your parents, guidance counselors, teachers, coaches, siblings, and older teammates to get information
Request academic and admissions information from college admissions offices. NCAA programs cannot provide athletic recruiting information other than a questionnaire and camp information until September 1 of your junior year in high school.
At the middle to the end of your sophomore year, and the summer following your sophomore year, take as many UNOFFICIAL VISITS as possible to get a feeling for campuses, programs, coaches, players, locations, size of the school, etc.
When going on unofficial visits, call the coach ahead of time to set up an opportunity to introduce yourself and express your interest in their school. DO NOT just show up at a college coach’s office unannounced.
Send a letter of introduction to the coaches at the colleges you are interested in by the end of the summer. You can send a profile or stats or video now, but the general purpose at this point is to get on their radar.
Begin to compile a list of possible colleges to consider after consulting with your varsity coach and with the counseling office. Complete the NCAA Clearinghouse registration.
Fill out the online questionnaire for prospective athletes that nearly every college has on its website. Ask your coaches to follow up with the college coaches after you’ve sent in your questionnaire. Send your personal profile and game tape to the coaches. Consult with the Fulton Science Athletic Department and Counselors for advice on what to send.
Ask your FSA Athletics coach to follow up with the college coaches you are reaching out to so they can share information about you with them. Take advantage of any Junior Days you are invited to (where college coaches bring their junior recruits on campus to learn about the school and program). You must be invited by the college coach to attend their Junior Day – it is not something you invite yourself to.
Late in the school year, contact the coaches of schools you’re interested in with updates on grades and sports accomplishments, summer schedules, etc.
Participate in your sport and maximize your exposure. Attend camps where you have the best possibility to increase your skills and to be seen by those coaches from colleges in which you are interested.
Have copies of your transcript, SAT/ACT scores, and senior class schedule available to send to coaches, particularly those you intend to visit.
Tentatively plan “unofficial visits” to your top schools during the late spring and summer. Be proactive — if you are very interested in a particular school, make sure they know it. You should also begin to plan official visits for your senior year: you are allowed 5 official visits (paid for by the college).
Check in with your FSA Athletic coaches to be sure they have followed up with the coaches at schools you are interested in.
Schedule college visits including an interview with the coach
Review your college list. Focus on those schools that seriously interest you.
Send another letter that includes updated information, your team’s schedule, and possible plans for campus visits.
Work with the Athletic Department and the counseling office to understand Early Decision and Early Action options.
When you have made a choice, write all coaches you have been working with, thank them, and inform them of your decision.
Mustangs Playing Sports in College:
Ethan Gardner of Graduating Class of 2018: Track for Brown University