FEATURED ATHLETE

PrepStar has identified Tyler Chaffee as one of the top baseball prospects in Southern California for the class of 2019. Chaffee is an athletic versatile player with a big arm and big stick. Chaffee has been a key pitcher to the Empire League co-Championship and Nationally ranked Cypress HS varsity baseball team since his Sophomore season. In the 2018 fall season Chaffee’s fastball velo has been consistently recorded in the 85-87 range. For the season Chaffee went 4-2 with 1 save and a 2.06 ERA. At the plate Chaffee hits for power and produces RBI’s for his team. Batting .323 with 1 homers, 18 runs batted in and .411 OBP. Chaffee has lots of upside potential to be an impact player. A fine student-athlete with a 4.0 GPA and SAT score of 1260 is the type of player who can dominate on the mound or play a big role as a run producing position player in-between his starts.

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DTRR – define the recruiting relationship.

Over the past few months, I have spoken with several athletes to coach them in preparing for college visits.  Surely, invitations to visit a college is a positive signal that you are being recruited. It is also a indication that the coach wants to have you on campus to get to know you more.  Even though the signs look promising, there is an awkward feeling looming. Kind of like teenagers entering the often confusing dance of a dating relationship. So, on this St. Valentine’s Day, the hope of this article is to help the confused students-athletes asking questions like. Do they really like me? What kind of visit is it? What should I wear? What do I expect. Why does it even matter?

Often, I describe the recruiting process like a dating relationship.  Think about all the things that happen before the first date. Back in my day, a lot of time was spent getting to know one another often talking on the phone or exchanging notes at school. Now  Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and text has replaced that kind of bonding. Eventually, the time would come when the couple actually actually went on a first date.

First dates are alway interesting because of the clean slate opportunity to make a first impression. Then, if things went well, there is a pretty good chance to have a second date. Recruiting is a lot like a that. 

Recruits and coaches get to know one another through initial communication, then if both like one another the time arrives to take the relationship to the next level. Usually, college coaches reserve official visits to make offers, typically during senior year. Furthermore, the official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Like a unbroken Snapchat streak, Clearly, consistent communication and visits are sure signs of a budding relationship.

As the relationship is defined, the sure way to tell the difference between an official or unofficial is determined by who pays the bill. Like a serious suitor bent on making a good impression, the college pays the bill. Surely, this is a sign of some strong feelings. However, going dutch isn’t a bad sign either. So, on the occasion of an unofficial visit when the bill is split between the athlete’s family and the college, rest assured that interest is apparent, but how much is difficult to define.

Most importantly, on official visit is like a well planned date. During the official visit the college takes care of it all by paying for lodging, transportation and meals of the prospect and parents. But, like Cinderella at the ball, the moment can’t last forever. The overseeing fairy godmother called the NCAA mandates that an official visit once the athlete arrives on campus, cannot exceed 48 hours. Violating this rule will lead to some pretty severe sanctions.

In comparison, like prom expenses, transportation and amenities for unofficial visits are paid for by the prospect or prospects parents. But colleges aren’t that stingy. They’re not all take and no give. In many situations while on campus colleges can give out swag, as many as three free game tickets, and provide meals. But again, on unofficial visits most of the check is paid for by the recruit.

Now that the relationship has been defined, in either situation. suitable prospects should put effort to make  a good impression.  Like every first date, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Lastly, no matter if its an unofficial or official visit  when the visit is over it is an act of appreciation to courtesy send a quick text or email the day after to let the coach know that you appreciate the overall experience.  Doing so, just might lead to a second date!

What’s the intent in the NLI?

Student-athletes of the Class of 2019, February 6th is almost here. Soon, verbal commitments will be solidified once that student-athlete signs their National Letter of Intent. Here are a few tips to break down the ins- and-outs of the coveted National Letter of Intent.

Did you know that over 45,000 prospective student-athletes will sign NLIs to attend NCAA Division I or II institutions? Additionally, thousands of Division III and NAIA student-athletes will make good on commitments in signing ceremonies, even if not formally recognized. Did you also know that it is not mandatory to sign a NLI

Over 45,000 prospective student-athletes will sign NLIs to attend NCAA Division I or II institutions. Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

When presented, an NLI must be accompanied by an athletics aid agreement which details scholarship award money promised by NCAA or NAIA member college. Once the NLI is assigned, those terms are binding.  In contrast, a prospective student-athlete not receiving athletic aid does not have to sign an NLI but may still have a signing ceremony. Regardless, all athletic aid agreements must comply with NCAA, NAIA or NJCAA regulations.

Lastly, keep in mind what I shared in a previous blog about requirements of the student-athlete to fulfill the obligations for at least one year, even if the NLI even if a coach leaves or gets fired.  According to the NCAA, when a prospective student-athlete signs with an institution or the coach leaves, the NLI signee is still bound by the provisions of the NLI in. However, completing a single playing season does not fulfill the NLI obligation. No, instead, the student-athlete is required to complete the entire academic year at the signing institution. It is worth noting that NLI rules for NAIA colleges differ vastly.

Finally, seniors, as you prepare for signing day please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. I added some links for your research convenience. Also, I would love to have a picture of your signing ceremony. Please send me a copy by text, tweet or email (805-622-7827 / Twitter @michaelwoosley / mwoosley@csaprepstar.com).

National Letter of Intent Website
National Letter of Intent WebsiteNational Letter of Intent Guide

Voicemail: 5 minutes of your time can change your recruiting

Can you imagine what it might feel like to miss an opportunity to speak with a high profile college coach from the college you’ve been dreaming about for years? What kind of disappointment would you feel knowing you missed the call, because you didn’t take the time to set up your voicemail. So instead, after 4 rings the only voice the coach heard is the auto-response “the voicemail feature has not been set up yet.” Click.

When compared to text messages and other forms of communication, voicemail may seem irrelevant. Be that as it may, it remains a useful tool for recruiting. Voicemails are consequential during the contact period especially when coaches are allowed to call prospective student athletes. 
It begs the question. As an athlete, when calling a college coach it is likely that the coach will be busy so a voice-message will need to be left. When the situation is reversed, why then would you not want to give the coach the same opportunity to leave a message for you when he/she returns your call? 

The goal is to take advantage of the opportunity in the lifetime of the opportunity. Recruiting is about opportuniites! Many times you only get one.  Few coaches will wait around for athletes. Time is too precious. Most coaches will simply move on to another recruit. 
It would be a shame to lose an opportunity to talk with a college coach just because the coach was not able to leave a message. So please take 5 minutes to set up your voicemail. 


How to set up voicemail on Android wiki
How to set up voicemail on iPhone wiki

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Phone: 805-622-STAR

A few reasons what JUCO is worth considering

The first, and probably most influential, reason to consider is that junior colleges are cost effective. In comparison, the average cost of JUCO is considerably less than the tuition at state or private colleges. According to research most Junior college tuition is less than $5,000 per year. Though there is often a stigma connected with colleges the financial and athletic awards made possible have started to do away with this notion because many quality student-athletes are choosing JUCO as an reasonable college route. 

Many quality student-athletes are choosing JUCO as an reasonable college route. 

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash


The second reason to maul over, especially for student athletes is the opportunity to participate in game competition. Without question, experience is a valuable. Actual in-game experience is way more more valuable than practice experience. In many examples, athletes with JUCO experience can offer high level colleges the experience and maturity necessary to step in and compete at a high level. Many student-athlete found success coming-out of junior colleges Some athletes who’ve used JUCO as a springboard to launch prestigious careers include Aaron Rogers, Cam Newton and Warren Moon.


Another plausible reason is that some athletes need time to mature emotionally and physically. In some cases, the transition to college can be a difficult adjustment. In these situations JUCOs provide the space for an athlete to acclimate to the academic, athletic and personal demands of the college experience. In some cases, junior colleges provide the  opportunity to improve grades required for entry into a 4 year institutions. Furthermore, many athletes are late bloomers and a little more time to develop physically is required. It is common for some incoming JUCO athletes to grow serval inches or bulk up after high school graduation. JUCOs then can offer time for physical development that some 4 year schools will permit. 


Finally, The number of junior colleges in the US with athletic programs totals 525 schools in 24 different regions of the country. Junior college athletics is governed by theNational Junior College Athletic Association and compete in DI, DII and DIII levels. Junior colleges competing at the DI and DII level can choose to offer athletic scholarships. 

Five ways student-athletes can pay college tuition

Parents and student athletes will be surprised to know that college tuition can be paid in very creative ways. In fact, with the national average of college tuition hovering around $34,000 per year for private colleges and $25,000 for state schools,  there are a number of ways for families to relieve the burden of tuition expenses. So before signing a stack of loans take a look at five ways student-athletes can pay for college tuition.

The average college student graduates nearly $40,000 in student loan debt.
Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash
  1. Scholarships – financial awards that do not need to be repaid.  Scholarships are awarded for academics and athletics to aid in offsetting the cost of total tuition.  Most collegiate sports, except for D1 football, commonly offer only partial scholarships. However, outstanding academics, including high gpa and college entry exam scores, coupled with exceptional athletic ability significantly impact the overall cost of college tuition. 
  2. Grants – needs based form of financial assistance that students do not repay. Grants are often awarded by information provided in the FASFA application. The Pell Grant is a good example. Investing a little time researching online students can uncover a number of grants available ranging from a few hundred dollars to a several thousand. 
  3. Loans – Federal student loans allow students to borrow money towards tuition. However, strings are attached, in that borrowed money must be repaid with interest. Federal student loans are determined as “needs-based” and fulfilled at subsidized or in some special circumstances interest free. In contrast, other loans are unsubsidized meaning they accrue interest. Parents of a dependent student can also apply for federal loan called the Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS). According to the US Student Loan Debt Statistics graduating college students leave with just under $40,000 in student loan debt. 
  4. Campus work study– student employment is a way to earn income and gain work experience. Federal work study is determined by student information and needs determined from the FAFSA application. Campus work study is great way for the college student to earn spending cash or to use to offset a student loan. 
  5. Military education benefit- commonly referred to as the GI Bill, Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit of up to $45,000 eligible to active members after service members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100% for the tuition expenses for members. 

The purpose of a college education is to help prepare students for successful careers. Hopefully, these five tips will help students afford a great education and save them a ton of money along the way. 

Be Committed,Coach Mike

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Didn’t sign early? Tips for what’s next for those athletes?

Early signing day is often a bittersweet day for many hopeful recruits. Some athletes get the satisfaction of signing their national letter of intent, securing their future for the next four years, while many other athletes grimace as the taste of uncertainty sours the time until the encroaching Spring signing day. While there are many speculative discussions the answer is most often related to the personal committment to the process. In most instances, the athletes that is the most proactive is often the athletes who gets the most offers. 


Simply put, too many athletes think that the best strategy to play is the waiting game. This is really not a strategy at all. Just wait around for coaches? That’s not much of a strategy at all. For one reason or another, many athletes (and parents) believe in the myth, “if you’re good enough they’ll find you.” Sure this is true for some athletes…for the top 1% athletes. But what about the other 99%? Those are the guys who are often very good athletes but get overlooked. These athletes often attend small high schools, play on average or below average teams, get little or no help from high school coaches, and have little additional resources to invest in recruiting opportunities. So what about those athletes? What do they need to know and actions do they need to take. This blog is for those athletes.

Photo by Riley McCullough on Unsplash


The recruiting process is a process in which it is vitally important for athlete to be proactive, not reactive.


The recruiting process is a process in which it is vitally important for athlete to be proactive, not reactive. For example, he/she needs to be bold enough to connect with college coaches at schools they have both an academic and athletic interest. In this circumstance, NCAA communication regulations favor athletes open communication with college coaches. Additionally, athletes can take advantage of exposure opportunities including camps and campus visits starting Freshman year. 


Consequently, athletes need to think to ‘be wise when you decide’. What’s meant by this is that the colleges you choose to top your list that are realistically matched to suit you from both a academic and athletic standpoint. Here’s a good tip when processing this list. It’s is wise to develop a tier system the pursuit of choice college. For example, tier 1 can be dream schools, tier 2 can be schools that are appropriately matched to fit academic and athletic goals, and tier 3 would consist of contingency colleges that may not be optimal but as a contingency would offer both academic and athlete challenges.    


Finally, the proactive suggestion is to constantly remember that if you wait and you’re late. Certainly, those that wait for someone to discover them will surely get behind and feel the pressure of uncertainty about where they will end up the next four years. 


Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Email: Mwoosley@csaprepstar.com Office 805-622-7827