Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Great Piece out of Bowdoin on NESCAC recruiting


Replies to: Great Piece out of Bowdoin on NESCAC recruiting

  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Forum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,433 Forum Champion
    I do think the NESCAC process is about as clear as mud. My son did not go very far down that particular rabbit hole, but at the end of the day he was offered support with admissions at Williams, Amherst, Tufts, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Middlebury and Colby I think. In addition, I personally had very detailed conversations with coaches from three different NESCAC schools, including Bowdoin. At no point in the process did I ever hear the words slot or tip. I think some times that we try and define specificity into a situation that is, in reality, opaque. Rather than parsing the language used by a coach and trying to fit it into a preconceived pattern, the important thing to find out is will a particular coach support a particular athlete to the admissions committee. If so, then what is the success rate in getting similar athletes with similar stats through admissions? I would want to get specific answers to those specific questions before beginning to feel comfortable. Personally, if Coach Mills at Amherst said that he would support my kid with a purple star on his application instead of giving him a slot, I wouldn't care less as long as Mills also told me the percentage of kids who get in with a purple star. But without that information, i would be very uncomfortable advising my kid to submit an ED application.

    Specific to mcr979's daughter, it may be that the Bowdoin coach doesn't have any support to give for cross country this year because she supported a couple kids last year, or because the overall track program chose to put their assets this year into field events, or sprinters, jumpers, etc. Or maybe they don't support cross country as a stand alone, and figure that some of the distance runners they recruit for track will turn into cross country runners. Quite honestly though it doesn't really matter. What matters is that for whatever reason and how ever it is expressed, there will be no support forthcoming from that coach for that athlete.
  • TmvwhvTmvwhv Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    "if Coach Mills at Amherst said that he would support my kid with a purple star on his application instead of giving him a slot, I wouldn't care less as long as Mills also told me the percentage of kids who get in with a purple star."

    S got a letter in the mail after Christmas break stating that he was being offered full support. That's the exact language that we used to gauge son's chances at the top 20 LAC (non-nescac) that he was just accepted to in the ED2 round. We asked coach how many of last year's guys that he supported actually got in. We also asked how many from this year's ED1 round he got. That number was 75%. We then asked what were the factors involved in not getting to other 25%. We also asked what were the academic numbers of kids in the 25% and mitigating factors.

    We made the mistake of not being this specific in the ED1 round with another school. Ended up in a deferral to the regular round.
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Forum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,433 Forum Champion
    Congratulations to your son @Tmvwhv. I really do not understand why people seem so hesitant to ask for specific information. This stuff is mother's milk to the coaches, and most of us only do it once. If a coach gets offended or acts dismissive of a polite request for specific information, well, that is its own kind of answer as well. Recruiting is about fit on both sides of the equation. It is not personal.
  • TmvwhvTmvwhv Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Thanks Ohiodad51. We bummed a lot of insight off of you, Chicagomama, fenwaysouth, and numerous others over the last year and a half to arrive upon a great outcome for S. The ED1 deferral was a blessing in disguise as we all felt that his ED2 acceptance was a better fit. And like you said, a coach who is guarded on the direct questions might be all the answer you need. We'd like to pay it forward. Some tips for families currently in the process (specifically football). Below is the Course of action that we took. Some of this has been stated by our CC veteran parents already, so in hat case we're reinforcing:

    Spring 10th grade
    -Take the SAT or ACT for practice in the spring of your sophomore year. This allows you to have a talking point with coaches at an early point in the process, especially if the score is decent.

    -Fill out questionnaires, if only just to be in a school's football database. Follow up with an intro email to the recruiting/regional coordinator at each school. A precise college list isn't important this early, as you want to cast a wide net. 4 semesters into high school isn't going to show what type up student you'll end up as. Some kids have no varsity experience at this stage either. That's ok.

    -Don't get discouraged by lack of response, or "your scores/GPA are not high enough for our program". You have plenty time to improve on them. Some won't be interested until you get varsity game film in the fall of junior year.

    Fall 11th grade
    -Send film at the end of junior season (hudl is best, didn't use gobigrecruiting at all) to all schools that you've ever communicated with. You can insert the film link directly into your email. Set up an account with NCSA (you can manage the process without signing up for their pricey consulting packages if money's an issue) to get your contact info, stats, film, grades, etc all in one place.

    Winter/Spring 11th grade
    -The best combines are free. S did US Army and Nike. A good showing will get your name out there. We saved our money for showcases and camps.

    -Take ACT/SAT again. This will add you to a few more prospect lists if scores are even better, which they should be after almost a year. Update questionnaires with new test scores and last season's film if you haven't.

    -Find out where schools on your list will be recruiting this summer. Let coaches know if you're going to cross paths with them.

    Summer prior to 12th grade
    -If you can find a camp with several schools in your list, go for it. S attended the New England Elite where it was one stop shopping. More schools than you can imagine. A lot of kids (approx. 1200) but you WILL be evaluated thoroughly in 3 days. S only did the Yale camp a few days before the Elite because a few D3s on his list were there. Try to hit the road to visit campuses, this shows coaches that you're interested in their schools. Have grades/scores/resumes on hand for meet and greets at camp/campus.

    Fall 12th grade
    -Take tests again, especially if coaches suggest you do (they are politely urging you to). S didn't want to but it raised his ACT by 2 points by way of superscoring.

    -Send film after about 3 games, more if you're waiting for better highlights. S sent after 5 games due to playing in a cast for first few games. Sent film along with new test scores.

    -Take visits to campus from coaches that have shown genuine interest only. Sporadic communicators, the dreaded "we'd love to have you hear" coaches are probably not worth the expense and missed classroom time.

    -Dont freak out if you haven't gotten an offer of support by October, but ramp up your efforts. Don't sit and wait on one coach, who's busy waiting for guys rated higher than you. Other schools have you ranked higher on their lists than the coach you're waiting for. Tables can turn on any given day. One coach we visited in the summer said that he doesn't contact recruits until mid December because he wants guys who want to come there instead of chasing them. True to his word, phone rang during Christmas break. Wasn't S first choice, but great option/school/coach.

    S notified the remaining coaches on his list that he was deferred, and made it clear that money was the prevailing factor as to why he went ED1 with them. A few days later he got an email from a coach that he previously told him that the preread came back lukewarm. He asked for current grades and then told S he would be in the area to talk to coaches of a few kids and that he'll stop by the HS. Said he'd take current grades back to campus for another indication. Two days into the new semester a letter came in the mail offering full support, listing admissions numbers in the ed1 round that just took place. It also urged S to visit campus soon, hoping he would switch his app from regular to ed2. I asked for a phone conference with the head coach on a Sunday night to seek clarification, especially after the charades that took place in the NESCAC for S. Sounded good, mother's intuition gave it a thumbs up. Fast forward mid February, coach calls to let S know that decisions are being mailed that day, but football raided the office so we find out a few days early that he's in. This was from a school that S liked, but didn't consider seriously based on their first preread result. The small tiger parent in me wonders, "how does he get deferred from a Forbes list 40something school to get into one in the teens?"

    The recruiting game is not an exact science.
  • ChembiodadChembiodad Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    edited July 2016
    @mcr976, please apologize as I know it's a year later, but I have a D17 going through a similar process in both the NESCAC and Centennial Conferences and was curious as to how it wrapped up for her.
  • mcr976mcr976 Registered User Posts: 139 Junior Member
    @Chembiodad As you can imagine it was nerve-racking experience. Throughout the Spring, my D made several visits and took a couple of OVs. A NESCAC school in CT was VERY interested in her and emailed/called several times. However, during her OV she felt some bad vibes and wasn't sure that school was for her. During the fall, she settled on applying early action to two state universities in MA (one of which recruited her as well D1) and ED to one NESCAC school who also recruited her (not in CT). We were on edge until mid-Dec when the acceptance came in. She will be a Jumbo in the fall.

    Although my D was recruited by several DI and II schools, I urged her to focus on D3 especially NESCAC as We felt that D1 would put too much pressure on her when she needs to be focusing on academics as well. I have one piece of advice that has been shared by many posters. Be it track or another sport or activity, choose one that you are very good at to help differentiate you from another applicant with the same academic credentials. Unless you become a professional, in twenty years no one is going to know how you got into a specific college but where you got your degree can be important. Use your extracurricular activities to their full advantage to get you into the best college you can at a price you can afford.

    The recruiting process was long and arduous, but believe me it can be rewarding at the end. Make sure you reach out with emails and phone calls this summer to stay on the coaches radar. We thought Tufts was a long shot until the coach contacted my D last summer.
This discussion has been closed.