Signing Day Is About More Than Signatures

February is a month of important dates. Most dates on the calendar people know; Super Bowl (Feb 1), Valentines’ Day (Feb 14), Presidents Day (Feb 16). But, for most senior student athletes there is one very important day in February … Signing Day!

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Signing Day is also known in the athletic world as the day athletes sign their National Letter of Intent. It is the day when verbal commitments between college coaches and student-athletes become solidified thanks to a well executed recruiting strategy.  (Tip- verbal are not binding until you sign on the dotted lines. College coaches and student-athletes are notorious for verbally committing to more than one college or student-athlete..thus the hats:)

Here’s a quick review of the NLI Signing Day

What is a National Letter of Intent?
A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year.  Division 3 and Junior Colleges (JUCO) do not have formal signing days (yet). The NLI is a binding agreement between Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is enrolled in classes and academically eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules.

Off Limits
When a student athlete signs his or her National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process and competing schools are prohibited from recruiting that student-athlete.

Change Your Mind

Once a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent she or he may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but enrolls in a different college or university, she or he will lose one full year of eligibility. To be athletically eligible the student-athlete must complete a full academic year at their new school before being allowed to compete.

Different Signing Days for Different Sports

Signing day varies by sport. The reason for this is because some spring sports like baseball, softball and track do not conclude until after February 4. Signing day for different sports is April 15. I posted the chart to reference.

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Chart provided by the National Letter of Intent homepage

Good luck to all the senior student-athletes signing to play college ball next year at the college or university of their choice.

 

 

Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar.  As a professional collegiatecropped-main_logo-12.jpg sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit.

Avoid the Sophmore Slump with a Focused Recruiting Strategy

sophomoreslumpEver heard of the “Sophomore slump”? In the sporting world the Sophomore year is often the year when performance in the classroom or on the field doesn’t quite meet expectations. How do you avoid the Sophomore slump in recruiting? Simple. All it takes is to be prepared and focused!

For most college sports nearly 85 percent of collegiate athletes are identified by college coaches by the end of their sophomore year. This is true because college coaches can only begin making contact after sophomore year. This means coaches are paying attention to what athletes do Freshman and Sophomore year.  Therefore, the goal with preparation and focus is to get noticed. And to get noticed you have to prepare.

“It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that.  It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.”  ~Paul “Bear” Bryant

Prepare

The Sophomore year recruiting strategy is to prepare.

  • Prepare in classroom.
  • Prepare in the weight room.
  • Prepare on the practice field.

Why should you prepare? Because, otherwise, if the Sophomore slump gets to you, the only kind of notice you’ll get from coaches will be disappointment. Conversely, if you want coaches to take note of you, you’ll have to defeat the Sophomore slump with hard work.

Focus

This is the year where the recruiting plan that you put in motion way back in back in Junior high really begins to come into focus. Athletes, the focus should be on putting yourself in position to get noticed by college coaches for your performance in the classroom and in the lineup.  Once again, for most sports, coaches begin to take note of and reach out to contact contact prospective athletes following their sophomore year.

Sophomore Year Recruiting Tips
As a potential collegiate level student athlete you’re sure to be prepared and focused your sophomore year if you keep these recruiting tips in mind.

  • Play up to your potential, avoid the slump.
  • Maintain grades, keeping on track with NCAA core requirements.
  • Research list of potential schools
  • Create a player profile – update it quarterly
  • Start collecting video of game-film and athletic skills footage
  • Record accurate athletic metrics
  • Work towards goal of starting on the varsity team
  • Attend sports camps to continue to improve

Being prepared will help you so say so-long to the sophomore slump. Being prepared will help you get that call or letter of interest after your Sophomore year. So focus on these final recruiting tips is to help you prepare and focus.  Parents and athletes need to know the recruiting timeline. By the time  sophomore year, athletes can receive questionnaire of athletics interest, institutional educational information and camp invites. Personal contact with DI and DII college coaches is not permitted until after your sophomore year.

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Readers are welcome to leave comments to this week’s post or ask questions to be answered in next week’s post.  As always, I can be reached around the clock on twitter @michaelwoosley.

~Coach Mike

Time Left on the Clock

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Image provide by http://www.pacificlegal.org/page.aspx?pid=4621

Social media has been lit up announcing hundreds of high school senior student athletes signing their letter of intent. What you need to know is that there are many more athletic scholarship yet to be filled.  Despite the early signing period arriving today, if you haven’t signed a national letter of intent (NIL) there is still time for you to get a college athletic scholarship.

Don’t be offended, but to be honest, most of the students signing today are the top 5%. These are the athletes that have been heavily recruited since their sophomore year (or earlier). Colleges have spent a lot of time and resources on these athletes. And these athletes and their family have spent a lot of time and resources on getting college exposure.

The good news, however, is that these athletes take up only fill a small percentage of the available scholarships. College coaches now have to focus on filing in the gaps with players they need. So your goal is to be one of these players!

There is still time left to be recruited. The next NIL signing day is in February. So, don’t give up. Don’t sulk because you didn’t sign. Stand up straight and go do something about it!

If want to be signing your NIL in 2016 here’s 4 things you need to do if you want to enjoy that glorious moment next Spring.

1. Increase your exposure to college coaches. Exposure is all about connections.  Use the NCAA regulations to help you know what you can and can’t do.
2. Update your video footage. Use the most recent footage. This highlight video should showcase your athleticism!
3. Start a recruiting campaign. Show coaches why you are the athlete you are looking for. Build a profile with all your stats, metrics, grades, pictures and video footage.
4. Get help. Ask your coach to make some calls. Find a recruiting organization like PrepStar to you get connected with college coaches.
5. Keep working hard! Do not slack off. Work out, get faster, get ripped, stay in shape. Be ready to show the coach who are interested in you why he/she should recruit you.

If you don’t know how to do any of these things, take to your phone and contact me. I’m glad to help you. It’s what I do!

Here’s how you can contact me. Email me at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com, call or text me at 805-622-7827, Tweet me @michaelwoosley on Twitter.