Checkpoints Along the Recruiting Journey  

Soon another recruiting class will be replaced by eager to impress underclassmen. Each with their own aspirations. This is why having a good solid recruiting strategy is the foundation to a controllable recruiting experience.  In this week’s post my goal is to provide a helpful outline to use as a guide for overall recruiting process. Of course, there are exceptions just as there are exceptional athletes, as we see with  Jr. High and Freshman verbal commits to Power 5 colleges.


Starting with the Freshman year of high school this guide will provide direction and checkpoints to help provide a fair bit of control as student athletes navigating the recruiting process towards the apex Senior year.


  • NCAA recruiting guidelines stipulate that student-athletes become a college prospect the first day of freshmen year in high school.  Start Planning now!
  • Prepare for the future as a student-athlete by making  schoolwork and grades top priority — College coaches want to recruit “Student-Athletes” — not just athletes! Emphasis on “student”.
  • Talk to the school guidance counselor to plan the 16 core courses that must be completed with a passing grade to become an NCAA Academic qualifier — Know the list of your high school’s approved NCAA courses at by clicking “resources” at the top of the screen.
  • Begin keeping a record of scholastic and athletic achievements.  This information will be vital when starting building an athletic recruiting profile.
  • Don’t make the mistake of attending camps, combines or showcases too early.   Attending these camps too early can hurt more than help.
  • Focus on your offseason training and conditioning over the summer months .


  • Make sure academics are on track, so stay focused and disciplined in the classroom!
  • Begin researching colleges with realistic expectations of  competition  level and academic program.  Keep your options open and make a list of schools from all across the country.
  • Put together a player recruiting profile. Plan on updating that profile every semester throughout your high school career.
  • Start creating a recruiting video with  good video highlights.  Having an expert look at your videos is helpful to putting the right film in front of college coaches.
  • Visit college websites from the created list and fill out their online recruiting questionnaire
  • Now is the time to start thinking about attending a camp, combines or showcases.
  • Make sure to practice and prepare before attending.  Learn and practice the drills tested at the camp and be ready to perform at your very best!


  • Continue to take courses that meet the high school graduation requirement and that meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements.
  • Make sure that to be on track to complete 10 of the required 16 core courses by the end of junior year.
  • Junior season is very important for college recruiting so keep college coaches updated on your athletic progress.
  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT test.  When registering for the SAT/ACT, be sure to select the Eligibility Center as one of the recipients {Code: 9999}.
  • After September 1 prospects can recieve athletic information from college coaches.
  • At the end of your junior year, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center and complete the amateurism certification questionnaire (  A fee waiver is available for students who qualify for a waiver fee.  Your high school guidance counselor must request the fee waiver online through the Eligibility Center.
  • Create a junior season highlight video to send to college coaches along with an up-to-date player profile. Start sending that profile along with video highlights to college coaches that match your competitive level, geographical preferences and academic interests!
  • Attend at least one camp local or regional camp, combine, or showcase.  Make sure to go fully prepared to be tested the necessary sports specific skills.
  • After July 1st most college coaches in most sports can call prospective student athletes.
  • Schedule at least three unofficial visits to college campuses over the summer.  Be sure to choose colleges that have shown an interest in you or schools that fit your competitive level!


  • After September 1st of your senior year Division I college coaches may call prospective student-athletes once per week during contact and evaluation periods.
  • Stay in communication with as many college coaches as possible by email and phone.  If your phone is ringing that is a good sign of being recruited!
  • Plan to retake the SAT/ACT test early first semester of senior year if necessary to obtain a higher score
  • Arrange five official visits.  Prospective student athletes are allowed a total of five visits no matter what division.
  • Many Division II, III and NAIA offers will take place during the senior year so it’s important to stay in touch with as many coaches as possible with timely updates of player profile information and video highlights.
  • The Early Signing Period for sports other than Football is in November and runs for 7 days. Early signing period for Football is in December. Traditional Signing Period begins in February and ends August 1st.  To learn the exact dates please visit:

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. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and, as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  


3 Things to Know Right Now about recruiting

3 things you need to know right now about recruiting

Recruting season is here! Its hard to ignore when its the talk of ESPN, the local news and sports media. Problem is, looking at any of these outlets its easy to assume that recruiting is over. But that’s not true. There is a lot of recruiting left. Actually, for 2018’s, there is over 6 months of recruiting remaining! So, since there is still time left on the recruiting clock here are some important details about recruiting to know right now.
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D1, D2, D3 and NAIA have different signing periods

2018’s still have time – there is much more recruiting left

  • While the early National letter of Intent (NLI) signing days have come and gone  athletes can still sign until April 1. Signing day for all sports other than football starts April 11 and goes through August 1st.
  • If you haven’t gotten much traction yet, don’t give up hope. Keep working hard in the classroom and on the field. Coaches are like lions on the hunt. They often lay in wait watching and looking then move swiftly with decisive action. For example,  one of my athletes Prepstar verified athletes recently got 5 offers is 4 days!
  • Lastly, D2, D3 and NAIA have different signing periods. However, when signing after the NLI dates expires for your sport it is important to know that often scholarships are not guaranteed and become at the discretion of the college coach.

I’m available whenever you need me

  • I’m here to help. But I can’t help with the things I don’t know about. Nor can I help athletes not verified as a member of the PrepStar 360 team.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. I’m here so you don’t get overwhelmed, stressed, or out of sorts by the recruiting process. Every athlete under my care has unrestricted access to my assistance. I’m only a phone call, email, text, or Tweet away. ( @MichaelWoosley)
  • Let me know about interested college coaches or schools you like so I can help you get and stay on their recruiting radar.

2019’s are on deck

  • As coaches find what they need for 2018, they continue to look ahead for holes to fill with 2019 student athletes and beyond.
  • Be intentional about connecting with with coaches that view your profile.
  • Keep your profile up to date with stats, metrics, transcripts and GPA.
  • Start strategically planing camps/combines/showcases for the summer.
  • Coaches like to look ahead so students-athletes in the 2019’s and 2020’s class should also do all of the above.
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. With over 20 years of experience as a coach and, as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Signing NLI after coaching change

What you need to know when signing the National Letter of Intent in the midst of Coaching Changes

Photo Credit:

Any savvy college sports fan has noticed the recent hiring and firing of many college coaches. The coaching carousel that follows perennial collegiate football programs probably gets the most media attention. Yet, firings and hirings are prevalent at every collegiate level and in every collegiate sport.

Every year I have a few athletes that suffer the effects of the coaching carousel so I want to make sure you are informed so you in case the you are faced with a committment to a college team without a coach you’ll know what your options are and most importantly, some questions to help prevent this situation.

To begin, once a student signs the NLI that student is bound to a one year committment to that college. Its important to note that in the eyes of the NCAA that committment is to the college, not to the coach. Unfortunately, this leaves out the human element; relationships. So a problem arises when the coaches that do the recruiting move on.  In many cases that coach is a very influential factor. So when he/she moves on athletes feel duped then want to decommit,  but cannot if the NLI has already been signed.

No doubt about it. NLI’s are water tight. The NCAA uses this language in the NLI document to assure the binding agreement is to the college.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (

It will be an arduous process to get out of a binding NLI for those who sign but then has a coach leave the program. However, in some cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI. It’s a long process that first is reviewed  by the NLI Appeals Committee a on a case by case basis (

So, to help avoid this situation here are a few good questions to ask before committing.  Does he/she have a history of staying with programs long term? Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school? Lastly, if you are skeptical, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI?

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to this coach.

College Coaches Consider Parents When Selecting Recruits

The recruiting tip this week is for the parents. As a parent of an athlete myself, I can relate to the wanting to give my daughter the best opportunity to succeed. This not only means that I have a role in her development but that I also have a the responsibility to develop positive relationships with other parents on the team.

II hope you find it both video on the topic of parents role in the recruiting process both inspiring and helpful.

In this video, Erin explains that she considers a recruit’s parents when determining whom to bring onto her team. She points out that as recruitment now starts at younger ages than before, college coaches are much more in touch with the recruits’ parents throughout the process.

One key element Erin considers is how much the parents let their young athletes self-advocate. That indicates a parent who is less likely to interfere, and a player who is more empowered. Erin also watches parents’ sideline behavior to see whether parents are respectful of all players and coaches.

For video, click the photo or this link:

Erin Chastain (@ChastainErin) has served as DePaul University Women’s Soccer Head Coach since 2007. Earlier, she spent five seasons at national soccer power Santa Clara University as an assistant coach. During her tenure with the Broncos, the program reached the championship game of the 2002 NCAA Championship, the semifinals in 2004 and the quarterfinals in 2005. She also helped the program to West Coast Conference titles in four of her five seasons. Erin also spent time during her first three seasons at Santa Clara working with several youth teams in the Bay Area, including the DeAnza Strykers and the North Valley Tornadoes.

The Holidays – Tis’ the Season for Recruiting

live free
Now that Thanksgiving is over, and in-spite of the early departments store displays in October, we can safely say that the holidays are officially here. In no time at all it will be Christmas and a New Year will be upon us.  For 2018 student-athletes hoping to get recruited a major season of recruiting is also here and soon so will Signing Day.
Since, most students have a little more time available over the holidays  I want to ensure them have a happy and merry recruiting season so I put together a short list for those serious about getting recruited.
Every year student athletes are surprised to find no offers under the tree but so I suggest making sure these things are on your list…and check it twice.
Here are a few items that should be on your list.
  1. Highlight or skills video. Make sure have good, quality, clear footage.
  2. Update stats or metrics to the most recent measurements as possible.
  3. Purge social media of inappropriate posts. When in doubt, just delete it.
  4. Role-play and practice the conversation you hope to have with a college coach.
  5. Plan campus visits to colleges highest on your list.
  6. Schedule and study for the ACT/SAT college entry exams.
Have questions? Need help? Get a FREE recruiting consultation on any of the items on this list by just clicking here or leave a comment below.
Or, if a few hours of  research is something you want to do with your extra holiday time, you’ll be able to find plenty of tips and information online to help you.
My best to you this holiday recruiting season.
Coach Mike

What is an official visit?

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Since many athlete are being offered opportunities to visit campuses I thought it good to share about official visits. First, and foremost, coaches frequently reserve official visits to make offers. However, the official visit often follows one or more unofficial visits.

Recruiting is a process. So, don’t be discouraged if a coach does not offer an official visit right away.  That is part of the process. My advice is that too many student-athletes and parents make negative assumptions so keep a clear mind and a positive attitude.  Relax, just keep in mind that process takes time, and try to enjoy the process.

Next, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents that is paid for by the college. Conversely, campus visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents is an unofficial visit.

Most importantly, only Senior student-athletes are permitted official visits! During the Senior year student-athletes are allowed up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. For D3 and NAIA schools there are no limit to official visits a student-athlete can take. However, similar to D1 and D2 regulations, only 1 official visit per school is allowed.

Leave questions about official visits in the comments section below. Or feel free to message me on Twitter @michaelwoosley or email questions to me at

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Tag me @michaelwoosley with any posts. I will gladly share your good news.




Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited. A former college athlete himself, Mike now coaches families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  



Highlight and skills videos are a huge part of the recruiting process.


Recruiting in the digital age it is understood that highlight and skills video are a huge part of the process. Video has made it convenient for college coaches to recruiting players on a national level from the comfort of their offices. I have watched thousands of recruiting videos. Some are so impressive that I actually take the time to watch it again. Others, well, they have been so mediocre that I am left shaking my head in disbelief.

mean the difference between getting recruited and not getting recruited, scholarship money or paying thousands of dollars for college tuition.

In this short post I put together a few ideas that athletes can use when assembling their highlight video. It could mean the difference between getting recruited and not getting recruited, scholarship money or paying thousands of dollars for college tuition.

Also, to be of help to that student athlete looking for an advantage I will gladly take a look at the highlight video that is emailed to me ( or sent by Twitter (@michaelwoosley).

Basically, the highlight or skills video is so crucial that even for the most talented athletes a solid well made recruiting video will have a positive impact Just as a poorly assembled recruiting video will have a negative impact. So here are 5 tips for assembling a solid recruiting video.

  1. Always make sure the video is appropriately timed. Typically, a good video is between 4 and 5 minutes long. Though you may have 20 minutes of season highlights, pick the best footage. College coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best.
  2. Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 60 seconds. Think about it like how social media is viewed. If a picture or post catches your attention then your more likely to click to find out more. The opposite is also true. If the post doesn’t hold your attention then you move on to the next.
  3. Then make sure to highlight position specific skills. For example, in football,  running backs are designed to get in the end zone and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and speed separation. Defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage and in the opponents backfield so show sacks and quarterback hurries.
  4. Most importantly, highlight videos need to be highlights of you. The footage should feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches finding an recruit while viewing the footage of a teammate. It happens often.
  5. Lastly, know the difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Coaches want aggressive players not dirty players.  Because cheap shots cause penalties, penalties cost yardage, and lost yards can ultimately be the difference in winning or losing a game. Remember this hit?

Now that you have a few helpful tips go make an impressive recruiting video.

In addition to viewing any recruiting videos emailed to me or sent by Twitter (@michaelwoosley) I will also provide a video assessment of the recruiting video for a small fee. Email or tweet me to find out how to get your video assessed and evaluated at( or  by Twitter (@michaelwoosley).