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Thread: Understanding the College Recruiting Timeline

  1. #1
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    Understanding the College Recruiting Timeline

    I thought this feature, and the graphic below (which it provided) was very informative.

    Recruiting-Timeline.png

    But, maybe it's not correct? What's your experience and thoughts on it?

    If I am understanding it correctly, if you're a HS player who is good enough to be drafted early by a major league team, you really don't need to worry about finding a college because the great school programs will find you by the time you're getting into your sophomore year of HS. And, if you're not that rare player but still an exceptional player, the D-I or D-II program will grab you by your sophomore or junior year in HS. Lastly, the D-III player probably will not commit until his last year of HS.

    I suspect you know if you're in that first, elite, group. The real question is knowing where you fall in the other two - meaning are you D-I/II level or a D-III player. And, I suspect that a lot of factors come into play there - including your academic results.

    However, I know nothing about it and I am just assuming based on the feature. What's the real deal?

  2. #2
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    There's no such thing as a standard timeline other than what one comes up with. There are any number of D1's right now with open schollies for seniors (someone gets hurt, initiates transfer). These timelines are written from people who have players who grew early/had more than one tool early. Most sophomores do not get offers. They can't be directly talked to. There are plenty of D3's who are out looking at unsigned seniors in late May (the last few weeks of HS season) after the college season has finished. Everyone's experience is different. I know of more than a few schools who keep schollies available for players who were under the radar/blew up their senior season.

    And Freshman and Sophomores cannot commit. They can make a verbal that doesn't mean much. Until an NLI is signed, none of this means much in general.

  3. #3
    For the "elite" players who will either be drafted or go to the top tier DI programs I'd say the "identification and interest" would be 8th grade at the latest.

  4. #4
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    As stated, there really isn't just one standard. I have created a checklist for my softball team but even it is subject to change. I was asked by a parent this past weekend when I was sending it home as I did last year. He lost the last copy. Baseball is somewhat different in that in softball, they get them early. By the time BB was a sophomore, she was taking unofficial visits. Heck, at her "dream school" then, she was on one of those unofficial visits when that team's new uniforms came in. So, the coach asked her to try one one and we took a photo.

    Here is what I have deduced. You can get mid D-I interest junior year and they have some scholarship money available. KEEP IN MIND THAT NO ONE IS GETTING A FULL RIDE unless you are a stud pitcher. Maybe, once in a while, a stud catcher. So, everyone gets partial money but it isn't much. I believe in D-I that they have to offer 25% to anyone on scholarship but might have changed. D-II don't have the academic requirements of D-Is. D-IIIs are a mix but you do need to have the grades. NAIA and JUCOs, in my experience, will take players pretty late in the process.
    Granny said Sonny stick to your guns if you believe in something no matter what. Because it's better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you're not.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball View Post
    D-IIIs are a mix but you do need to have the grades. NAIA and JUCOs, in my experience, will take players pretty late in the process.
    Case in point, my daughter (16 year old 2017 graduate) just decided she wasn't ready to hang it up. She reached out to an NAIA school in the state and was surprised they offered her a volleyball scholarship this late in the game (couple weeks ago). So it certainly can happen at any stage. Player just has to be willing to look around.
    Josh Greer
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  6. #6
    Baseball and softball are different for D1 recruits since girls physically mature much sooner. For top male prospects recruiting starts as soon as there is something to show. For other D1 prospects (power conferences and other top programs) recruiting is typically post soph and possibly into post junior summer. For mid majors it's typically post junior summer. There's a filtering process. The mid majors, D2's and D3's have to wait for prospects to filter down from the level above.

    Since D3's don't have NLI's what the player is looking for is to be asked to apply Early Decision with the coach offering to walk the application through admissions. A D3's prospec's "offer" doesn't happen until this situation. If a D3's prospect is told if he fets accepted he's on the team it really means he gets an opportunity to walk on in fall ball. There are kids in D3's who could play D1. They are typically at top academic, very competitive D3's baseball programs. They are the kids who understand the degree from the certain D3's is more important than baseball at a mid major.

    Every level has exceptions to the norm.

    My daughter received offers the summer after freshman year. She verballed before her soph summer season started. My son had great interest from power fives and Ivies post soph summer. We figured he would get an early post junior summer offer. He got injured and missed the summer. Post senior summer he got back in college ball playing condition. His former travel coach (former D1 coach and pro scout) made a call on his behalf. One week before college started he was invited to walk on (no money left, one roster spot, they took a late bloomer pitcher) with a guaranteed 25% the following year. He had already applied and got in just on academics with a 50% academic offer.
    Last edited by JettSixty; 03-20-2017 at 12:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SomeBaseballDad View Post
    For the "elite" players who will either be drafted or go to the top tier DI programs I'd say the "identification and interest" would be 8th grade at the latest.
    There are plenty of top prospects who don't step it up until post soph summer. You don't hear about all these guys. You hear about the players identified in 8th and 9th grade since so many people think it's crazy. One of my son's travel teammates received a offer from UNC post junior summer. He started freshman year. He screwed it all up in college majoring in partying, alcohol and women. He was kicked off the team after soph year.

    One of my son's teammates was called the top recruit in the history of the coach's recruiting by a top ranked team. He received his offer post soph summer. Except for one Ivy every player went power five. A majority of them received their offers post junior summer. Some of them are in the minors now. What was cool was four of them played against each other in the CWS.
    Last edited by JettSixty; 03-20-2017 at 12:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by The Uncoach View Post
    There's no such thing as a standard timeline other than what one comes up with. There are any number of D1's right now with open schollies for seniors (someone gets hurt, initiates transfer). These timelines are written from people who have players who grew early/had more than one tool early. Most sophomores do not get offers. They can't be directly talked to. There are plenty of D3's who are out looking at unsigned seniors in late May (the last few weeks of HS season) after the college season has finished. Everyone's experience is different. I know of more than a few schools who keep schollies available for players who were under the radar/blew up their senior season.

    And Freshman and Sophomores cannot commit. They can make a verbal that doesn't mean much. Until an NLI is signed, none of this means much in general.
    The baseball world has been reasonable on both sides about keeping verbal commitments. But the more teams recruit younger players the more I expect this to change. Recruiting really early is a lot of projection. There's more to the game than just having size. I've seen potential can't miss, baseball dreams do down the drain with curves in the dirt at sixteen and seventeen.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Francis7 View Post
    I thought this feature, and the graphic below (which it provided) was very informative.

    Recruiting-Timeline.png

    But, maybe it's not correct? What's your experience and thoughts on it?

    If I am understanding it correctly, if you're a HS player who is good enough to be drafted early by a major league team, you really don't need to worry about finding a college because the great school programs will find you by the time you're getting into your sophomore year of HS. And, if you're not that rare player but still an exceptional player, the D-I or D-II program will grab you by your sophomore or junior year in HS. Lastly, the D-III player probably will not commit until his last year of HS.

    I suspect you know if you're in that first, elite, group. The real question is knowing where you fall in the other two - meaning are you D-I/II level or a D-III player. And, I suspect that a lot of factors come into play there - including your academic results.

    However, I know nothing about it and I am just assuming based on the feature. What's the real deal?
    When you see these charts look to see if they're selling something. If they are they want you on board early spending more money. My warning is these services tend to be sold to dreamers. A friend signed his son up for one. They sent mailers to Stanford and Vanderbilt. The kid played for a D3 like I told the parents he would back when he was a soph in high school. You are better off creating your own focused step by step approach. I'm willing to help anyone. What these services do is spam the hell out of baseball coaches with players who use these services. What do you do with spam mail and email?

  10. #10
    This will screw up any perception of a norm ...

    Bolt's kid received an offer from a D2 post freshman summer. This D2 historically would beat a lot of mid major D1's. D2's don't typically chase after freshmen. They assume the kid will be a better prospect for higher up the following year. He received an offer (and took it) from one of the top programs in the country post junior summer.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by stkjock View Post
    This is one of the premiere programs in the country in an arms race for talent with other premiere programs nearby. This is not the norm.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JettSixty View Post
    This will screw up any perception of a norm ...

    Bolt's kid received an offer from a D2 post freshman summer. This D2 historically would beat a lot of mid major D1's. D2's don't typically chase after freshmen. They assume the kid will be a better prospect for higher up the following year. He received an offer (and took it) from one of the top programs in the country post junior summer.
    One could undoubtedly list many different examples to put forward whatever argument they see fit.

    It really comes down to the kid and the level of talent. Little talent=take what you can get. Lots of talent=dictate.

    In our case the kid had a certain level of talent. We capitalized on that and entertained numerous offers. Kind of a bidding war if you will. Ended up with a 60% offer from a DI in a power five conference.

    Again comes down to the kid. If they have talent you can't start to early. We found it pays to be proactive.
    Last edited by SomeBaseballDad; 03-20-2017 at 06:56 PM.

  14. #14
    It pays to be proactive once there's something to show. Kids grow and fill out at different rates. I didn't see the need for my son to travel up and down the east coast as a 5'11" 135 post freshman. However, showcase organizations saw enough potential and expected growth to recruit him for their programs for the folowimg year before playing varsity.

    The following year he was a 6' 160, all conference shortstop. With this, a 6'1" dad, 5'8" mother (both former D1 athletes and a 5'10" sister playing D1 softball there was room for projection. With the interest he received post soph summer we expected offers early post junior summer from ACC, Big Ten and Ivy* programs. Then he got injured and had surgery. But it all worked out.

    * Ivies are unique for D1. They don't have athletic scholarships. Like D3's the athletic aid is the coach pushing the application through admissions.

  15. #15
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    It also depends on the elite D1 school. Some are really egregious at chasing kids (Florida D1s.... looking at you) and some soft pedal it and refuse to recruit grade school kids. Just depends.
    Owner of Driveline Baseball - Seattle, WA

  16. #16
    There are tons of variables....

    When does a kid start showcasing? Two of Lil Lodes teammates are legit D1 prospects....

    One is a senior this year. He was always "that kid" from the time he was 7 who just oozed athleticism. He played Varsity baseball, basketball and football as a sophomore. His parents always took a laid back approach towards the recruiting process. He didnt attend his first showcase until the summer before his junior year. So his commitment to an ACC school didnt happen until around Christmas of his junior year

    Another is a freshman this year. Again, "that kid". Two older brothers who were prominent athletes at our HS. He is probably in line to be the starting QB next year for a team that just won the state championship this year. Went to his first baseball camp this past December. Tossed a 88 MPH bolt there. Lil Lode said he just got offered this week by that same ACC school.

    Two kids, both supremely talented, both offered by the same college, but on vastly different timelines.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SomeBaseballDad View Post
    For the "elite" players who will either be drafted or go to the top tier DI programs I'd say the "identification and interest" would be 8th grade at the latest.
    "8th grade at the latest" is simply not true. True 8th grade interest is uncommon. Freshman and Sophomore years for top tier D1 is more accurate, with some Juniors thrown in. Not even impossible as a senior (in the case of extreme improvement), but much more difficult, since classes fill up. My son played on a 16u team with 18 D1 commits so far from the team (including 12 pitchers/90mph or more), I don't know of more than 1 or 2 who could have been identified in 8th grade. 8th grade success is far from a guarantee of a college being interested due to lack of competition, size/maturity/puberty differentials, etc.

  18. #18
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    To put things in proper perspective, I have a young friend who was point blank told he was not a D1 player. He got picked up late Senior season by a D1 in a very good baseball conference and eventually got drafted.How about those apples?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by mcloven View Post
    "8th grade at the latest" is simply not true. True 8th grade interest is uncommon. Freshman and Sophomore years for top tier D1 is more accurate, with some Juniors thrown in. Not even impossible as a senior (in the case of extreme improvement), but much more difficult, since classes fill up. My son played on a 16u team with 18 D1 commits so far from the team (including 12 pitchers/90mph or more), I don't know of more than 1 or 2 who could have been identified in 8th grade. 8th grade success is far from a guarantee of a college being interested due to lack of competition, size/maturity/puberty differentials, etc.
    I don't know what you consider Elite but I consider it may be what, one or two kids off of a top-tier travel team. You do realize there are more top-tier travel teams out there than just the one your son played on.

    My son started getting attention from colleges the summer between his 8th grade and freshman year with the recruiting coach from Louisville even making the comment "I wish I had known about you earlier". When my son committed in November of his junior year he had offers from seven D1 schools. I attribute that to the fact we didn't wait around for an offer to fall into our lap, but hey what do I know.
    Last edited by SomeBaseballDad; 03-21-2017 at 08:20 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeBaseballDad View Post
    I don't know what you consider Elite but I consider it may be what, one or two kids off of a top-tier travel team. You do realize there are more top-tier travel teams out there than just the one your son played on.

    My son started getting attention from colleges the summer between his 8th grade and freshman year with the recruiting coach from Louisville even making the comment "I wish I had known about you earlier". When my son committed in November of his junior year he had offers from seven D1 schools. I attribute that to the fact we didn't wait around for an offer to fall into our lap, but hey what do I know.
    Doesn't it depend on growth, though? Some kids reach maturity by 8th grade. However, some keep maturing well into high school. I see a vast range at this age with a few freaks who jumped way ahead of everybody, but come back to the pack later. Kids can still add speed to fastballs, for instance, I know a guy who was drafted who was not on anybody's radar until his senior year, because his fastball jumped around 10 mph into the 90s.

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