Extended Dead Period (Again!), Delayed Season, What’s Next?

Clearly, recruiting for the class of 2021 has taken on a much different timeline than years past.  As most student athletes are aware, the NCAA has extended the Dead Period to September 31st.  So what’s next? Lately, I’ve been getting questions about this so here are a few helpful pieces of information. 

While it is true that summer evaluations have been hamstrung, comparatively, this isn’t much different than in years past because as of August 1, the Dead Period/ Quiet Period starts. At this time, college coaches may not have face to face contact with athletes or their parents. It also means that college coaches cannot watch players compete UNLESS that student athlete is actually on the college campus for a camp or college visit.

Now, following the Dead Period is the Evaluation period from September 1- November 30. By definition the evaluation period permits college coaches to watch college-bound student-athletes compete. Ideally, this will allow for student-athletes to be evaluated during Fall season sports.  

Next comes early singing period staring in November 13 for sports other than football and December 18-20 for football. Keep in mind that around 5% of athletes from the 2021 recruiting class sign early. Typically, the majority of the recruiting class sign in the Spring. Further, recruits can sign until the August 1 cut off date. 

What does the extensions and delays mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. Photo by Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash

Give the delays as a result of covid-19 for ACT and SAT tests coupled with cancellations of evaluation related camps it is likely for a significant number of the 2021 recruiting class to sign late.  

What does this mean for student-athlete seeking to get recruited? Student-athletes should focus on the things that they can control. First, the primary focus at this time is to keep preparing for the season. Stay in shape, keep up the workouts and stay hungry. Second, when school begins concentrate on getting the best grades possible. Don’t slack off or miss assignments. Take care of your academics and when the time comes your academics will take care of you. Third, it is important to be patient with the process. These contact periods are designed to slow down the process so that coaches have adequate time to scout prospects. Now that covid-19 has impacted the process it is even more important to be patine. Last, and perhaps most important during the delay, players can, and should, continue reaching out to coaches during all contact periods so that they stay on the radar. 

Tips to choose the right Camps, Showcases, and Combines

College camps, showcases, combines and now the ever present “Junior Days” are a necessary part of the recruiting process. Many offer the opportunity to compete against some of the top high school talent. Additionally, the experience at these events can be very valuable in the development of a young athlete. However, choosing the right event to attend can be a challenge.

For starters, relying solely on college showcases, camps and combines as the primary avenue to get recruited not a very sound strategy. Often the enormous number of camp attendees is not favorable for your exposure. In this case, too many athletes equals too few reps. Too few reps means not enough opportunity to showcase your talent. Also, typically college coaches already have developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch at the camp so be cautions of camps expecting several hundred athletes. Additionally, before registering, athletes need to certain that the head coach or position coach will actually be at the event. Simple put, if the college coach wont’ be at the event, then it is impossible for him/her to see you compete, which means, there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed. It also means you wasted a lot of money for zero exposure.

If the college coach wont’ be at the event, then it is impossible for him/her to see you compete, which means, there is a pretty good chance you will go unnoticed. Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Instead, heres a winning recruiting strategy for using camps, combines and showcases. First, do some research to make sure college coaches form the schools you feel are realistically a good fit. Once you decide on a event, make sure you are prepared for the event. Next, utilize good interactive communication before the event. This is a good opportunity to provide coaches with your recruiting profile along with any video highlights you may have. (PrepStar athletes can do this in a few clicks- message me if you need to know how). Finally, before the event, prepare a few questions to ask about the college or the athletic program.

Getting lots of camp invites? Have questions about which are legit? Need help?  Contact me to set up a time to talk (get free advise!) or use the comment section below.

3 Tips To Get Noticed at Camps, Combines and Showcases

Are you exhausted from all the camps, combines, showcases and other “recruiting events”? Have you become frustrated by the promise of exposure only for to get minimal reps and very little exposure?

Collegiate recruiting events can be a great way to showcase skill in competition against some of the nation’s top high school talent. But they can also become burdensome and ill-effective.

Trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

However, I have learned from past experience that trying to rely solely on college showcases, camps and combines to get recruited and receive an athletic scholarship is not a very sound strategy by itself. Most college coaches that attend these type of events developed recruiting lists of athletes they plan to watch well before they arrive.

So, if college coaches at the showcase are there to watch some other athlete how do you get their attention? What do you need to do to get noticed while hundreds of other athletes are at the same event trying to do the same thing at the same time as you?

The goal is to get on their recruiting list before the event. So, how do you do this?

So, here are 3 tips you can use to help assure you get some attention at the next camp, combine or showcase.

  1. Email college coaches scheduled to attend the event.
  2. Create a student athlete profile including academic information as well as athletic metrics that you can send to colleges coaches. (A free one is available at bit.ly/2vqZjH9)
  3. Connect with college coaches through social media outlets like Twitter or Instagram.

Again, the goal is to be seen by coaches who want to see you. Following this 3 tips before attending the next camp, combine or showcase are you are sure to get some attention.

Communicating with Coaches during the Fall Season

Often I compare the recruiting process to a roller-coaster. The speed of the cart is determined by the track. How the track is designed involves many twists and turns as well as places where the pace becomes so slow that it seems to stop. Like a roller-coaster, and depending on the sport, recruiting in the Fall can simultaneously cause both excitement and anxiety so here a few tips to as you buckle-in for the ride.
During the Fall, and after the window of the contact period closes, it is very important to know what contact period of your sport and the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to locate within the NCAA and NAIA regulations on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed  in your Prepstar profile.
Now, be aware that all divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, but different, communication rules. For example, D2 coaches have much more leniency  with communications in comparison to D1 coaches.  Additionally, in football, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods but different number of evaluation opportunities.

The key to communicating in the Fall is to be proactive! Throughout the year, and at any time, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods, student-athletes have to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). Again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them.

So, I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails.  Don’t ever wait for them to call you, instead you call them.

To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is a year round process. There is no downtime because college coaches are always recruiting. So use the latter part of year to your advantage. For Fall sports this is a great time of year to get aquatinted with coaches, take visits and build that ever important recruiting relationship. Likewise, student-athletes that play winter or spring sports can use the Fall to as a great opportunity to get on the radar and generate interest from coaches for the upcoming seasons.

Good luck!

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   Office: 805-622-STAR