Recruiting happening too early?

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According to the Student Athlete World website, over 65% of college coaches choose to start scouting student athletes during their sophomore year of high school, however, some sports begin recruiting as early as seventh or eighth grade.

Because recruitment is so competitive among coaches of different schools, Student Athlete World claims the earlier the better since scholarship money is limited.

Some Granite Bay High School students have made the decision to end their own recruiting processes early by verbally committing earlier than most. GBHS junior, Carlin Isaacson committed to Villanova University in Pennsylvania for lacrosse in November 2014.

Isaacson said she was originally interested in west coast schools but after participating in tournaments on the east coast in the summer of 2014, she changed her mind.

“I ended up going to Villanova’s camp after a tournament in Philadelphia,” Isaacson said. Despite the fact that she didn’t know any of the coaches going into the camp, she eventually bonded with the girls who were already committed and ended up loving both the coaches and the campus.

The question for Isaacson wasn’t if she was going to commit or not, but rather when and where was she going to commit.

“It was a tough decision because I was also looking at UC Davis,” Isaacson said.  Being only about 30 minutes away, UC Davis seemed to be a convenient choice but after weighing out the pros and cons, Isaacson knew that Villanova was for her.

“I mostly chose it because of the coaching staff and the majors at the school … and I got along with the team really well,” Isaacson said.

During a recent visit to the school, Isaacson said she got to stay in the dorms and spend time with the other girls which got her even more excited about her decision to attend Villanova in the fall of 2016.

Another GBHS junior, Savanna Thompson, received the same privilege of drawing interest early on her high school career. Having played soccer since age four or five Thompson drew the attention of colleges as early as her freshman year which is when she began playing on the GBHS varsity soccer team. She committed to University of San Diego for soccer the summer before her junior year.

“I started to get looked at by colleges freshman year but that was very premature and not as serious as sophomore year,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, USD had been her dream school for two years prior to her recruitment. Although she didn’t have too hard a time deciding whether or not to commit, there were definitely some things to consider.

“I thought about the academic quality of a school first because I wanted to go somewhere that would challenge myself,” Thompson said.

Additional considerations that Thompson acknowledged included location, size and weather. Thompson said that it’s important to love where you are going to ensure the best experience if your sport doesn’t work out.

“The school is so beautiful, challenges me academically and has the best weather I could picture living in,” Thompson said.

Varsity girls soccer coach Mark Broers has had many student athletes involved in the early recruitment process. Broers said that he does not have a problem with early recruitment and has had several students verbally commit prior to junior year.

“That is a personal decision that should be left up to the player and their family,” Broers said.

According to Broers, a verbal commitment can be broken for any reason at any time by the college or the player. However, once the letters of intent are signed, it’s difficult to take back an agreement.

“ If an injury occurs, there is always a risk that the college may search for a new player,” Broers said.

Unfortunately, there is always the possibility of getting injured during practice, games, or even something unrelated to sports.

“If you get hurt snowboarding, fall down the stairs at home, or become injured playing your favorite sport, your partial or full scholarship can be at risk,” Broers said.

Because some student athletes verbally commit to colleges so early nowadays, Broers said, waiting until 11th or 12th grade might seem late  however, ten years ago that was a common time to commit.

“Of course, the rules of contact between the school and player must be followed,” Broers said.

 

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