This article describes specific situations that happen in the recruiting process where you as a recruit have an advantage. These are situations where the athletes I have worked with have taken the opportunity to get scholarships or roster spots at their dream schools.
When a New Coach Comes In
When a program brings in a new coaching staff there is almost always high turnover on the team. The new coaches are trying to bring in players to fit their style and are typically letting go of a lot of current players. This means there are more scholarships available in the first two years of a coaching change. Additionally, when a coaching change happens it is late in the recruiting process and they are scrambling for players.
As a recruit it is going to be very uncomfortable to have to wait late in the process and watch other athletes signing scholarships but late season coaching changes are great opportunities for the right recruit. The type of athletes these opportunities are best for are an athlete who might have an offer already and is looking to move up a division level.
When a Coach Recruiting You Leaves the School
The other side of coaching changes are the schools the coaches are leaving. These coaches are at a huge disadvantage at their new job because they have spent the whole year recruiting players for a school they are no longer working at. For a recruit, the advantages are the coach already knows who you are, they probably have a short list of recruits they are considering and most likely you are on that list. If you contact that coach and let them know you are interested in their new program, it is a quick way to move up the recruiting board and get good offers.
Look for Weaknesses in the Program
This involves a little more work, but can pay off huge. If you can find programs that have a specific weakness at a position you play or in an event you specialize in, chances are better you’ll find an opportunity there. You should look over rosters for undersized athletes, a poorly ranked defense or offense or maybe there are specific events (think Track & Field, Swimming, and Gymnastics) where a team isn’t getting any points. It’s all about finding the school that needs you and beginning with schools weak at your position is a great place to start.
Wait to See Who Hasn’t Signed Any Athletes
For every program that lands a top recruit, there are 10 schools that didn’t. This means there are 10 schools still looking for players at that position. If a school hasn’t filled their roster within the first couple weeks of signing day that means they are having trouble finding the right recruits and this is an opportunity for you. How do you find these opportunities? Almost every team has a small write up on the athletes they’ve signed on their team website. Research the schools you are interested in the days and weeks after signing day. If the school isn’t reporting any signings, contact the coaches and see if you would be right for their team.
Are you having trouble finding schools? Are you not sure where to begin when looking for a scholarship opportunity? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below or contact me on Google+.