My S has "verbally" committed to run D1 and I thought i would share my experiences as to how it came about as so it might help someone:
First a little about him and his times - leading up to this fall:
5k - 17:19 (XC) (it is now 16:08)
3,200 - 9:29
1,600 - 4:26
800 - 1:56.8
We started the process in the fall of his JUNIOR year. knowing that he was not a top Tier 1 type of recruit but possibly lower Tier 1/Tier 2 recruit.
Research the schools that you are looking at; understand the program and what they are trying to accomplish. Find out if they offer athletic scholorships for running, you would be surprised at how many do not.
Taking OV's is difficult with the timing - XC season can run into late November and then the school's do not want you after thanksgiving due to Finals. by the time the schools return in session you are about to start running the important Indoor Track events. I recommend taking the OV's in early September. This will give you a feel for the school and also keep you menatally fresh for your team. Do not want to be running Counties on Saturday thinking about how you are going to XYZ U on Sunday for an overnight
you have to decide also is running going to help me get into a school that i might normally not have gotten into or am i looking to maximize my potential scholarship $$$?
Email the coaches with updates and when sending in your times to them, provide a link so they can easily verify. Fill out the athletic questionaire onthe web site - it helps get you in the coaches data base.
Visit the school if you can - contact the coach and let them know you are going to be there and if you could stop by and introduce yourself.
Understand the climate that you are looking at - if you are from a warm weather state going U of Vermont might not be a great fit...it gets cold running in 20 degree weather. Think also about altitude, running in the mountains can be beautiful but at 4,000 feet oxygen is at a premium.
Grades / test scores; 93.5 weighted avg with a 1060 SAT (crappy test taker) the usually AP and IB classes and college classes.
The school he ended up verbally committing to was probably the most difficult school that was in his final 6, without being crazy academically.
Remember T&F scholorships are RENEWABLE yearly, so if they are offering you 25% this year and you fall way down the pecking order.... So when picking a school reminder to pick one that you want to go to studay at as well.