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Boys LAX Recruiting Timeline & Questions under new rules

HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
My son is a current sophomore ('21) and is interested in playing in college, if possible. However, academics will be his first consideration and he is likely to apply to several ivies. He is at a boarding school known for their academics but with a pretty weak lacrosse program. This past weekend he did a lax camp at a small D3 LAC. Parents that I met there told me that he was early for d3 recruiting as they won't look at 21's until next fall. But, they also said he is "on time" for D1 as they begin looking at his class now so that they can get commitments from 21's in the fall of their junior year.

I have a few questions:

1. Is the timeline I heard for d1 and d3 correct? If so, it seems he should focus totally on the d1 schools this year.

2. At what point should he fill out the school recruiting questionnaires? It seems premature right now since he only has one year's gpa and no standardized test results. He is planning to take the SAT/ACT this summer, after he completes PreCalc.

3. Are there prospect days / camps that focus primarily on exposure to d1 schools and/or ivies? Or is it better to seek out and attend the onsite prospect days at the schools he's interested in?

4. He gets regular emails advertising prospect days at colleges and by independent organizations. Most are just because he's on an email list due to playing in some club lax tournaments this past summer. However, he did receive one that sounded more personal as it said "I am working on your file and want to get you to complete our questionnaire below. Please include: Video Link, Unofficial Copy of your Transcripts upload. Please send me an email when this is competed." Is this anything more than a "blind" solicitation based on the email lists?

5. Is there anything else he should be doing right now to ensure that he is at least considered by the ivies and d1 schools?

Unfortunately I don't have much confidence in his school coach. The club coach is okay but doesn't know him that well since he only played last summer and can't do the fall/winter activities.

Thanks, in advance, for your help!
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Replies to: Boys LAX Recruiting Timeline & Questions under new rules

  • LMC9902LMC9902 256 replies6 threads Junior Member
    I don't have details around boys lacrosse recruiting but I think it's pretty similar to girls these days and my daughter is a 21' girls player. From what I understand after visiting and connecting with many NESCAC coaches, they don't take a hard look at prospects until many of the D1 commitments settle. At my daughter's school that is happening right now for class of '20 and she had a good friend commit to a top academic and lacrosse program yesterday.

    From what I understand, these girls got MANY calls on September 1 from Ivy and other D1 programs after spending a lot of time last year going to camps and recruiting showcases. For girls, there are a lot of Ivy coaches at Lacrosse Master events and there is a boys track as well. The boys camp still has space in January but girls is sold out:
    https://lacrossemasters.com/8th-annual-boys-winter-camp-jan-12-13-2019

    We did one of these camps last summer and they are a great way to connect with top programs because each coach works with every player. My daughter came away from that with a good understanding of which coaches she liked in terms of coaching style and she has stayed in frequent contact with them (updating them on fall tournaments and going to their prospect days on campus). I'd suggest doing the same for your son.

    Definitely fill out school recruiting questionnaires for any colleges he's interested in attending. If he doesn't have an account with Recruit Spot just set that up and you can connect his profile to ones he will fill out and then if you make an update (new film or similar) to the main page it will be updated in the college records.

    The other really important thing that Ivys are going ask about is testing. We have been told to take the SAT and ACT very soon and get a sense for how they do and what needs work. I plan to have her test in the spring and then again in early summer - that way she has scores going into Junior year.

    I know this is from a girl parent perspective but I wanted to share that in case it helped.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23699 replies17 threads Senior Member
    No school in D1, D2 or D3 can discuss recruiting until Sept 1 of junior year. However, the student can send in the questionnaires, the coaches can send info, the players can take tours of the schools and line up all the academic requirements. The players can go to camps and clinics, can play in showcases (where there are tons of college coaches watching), can send emails and texts to coaches.

    As said above, on Sept 1 the coaches have lists of those they want, and contact takes place immediately. These recruits may have had siblings who played for these coaches, have been promoted by club or hs coaches, have been outstanding at a camp, have sent in questionnaires.

    It isn't that D3 coaches can't recruit until after the D1s are done, but that they've learned that most of the recruits want to explore the D1 possibilities first. This is the first full year of no recruiting until junior year. It used to be that almost all top D1 teams were filled with sophomores, so D3 were recruiting juniors and even a few as late as fall of senior year. It may be that the D3s stay on their same schedule as there just isn't enough time anymore to wait for the D1s to decide. There are also a lot of very talented players who have no interest in D1 and only want D3, and there is no reason for those D3 coaches to wait for the D1s to finish.

    I think for your son to be noticed on Sept 1 next year, he needs to go to all the camps and clinics he can, try to play on tournament teams next summer (lots of travel, lots of expense), and really try to find a coach who thinks he's great. The coaches all know each other and all depend on the club and hs coaches to make recommendations. Five girls from my daughter's club team ended up on her college team - the two coaches trusted each other, one to make the right recommendations, the other to treat the players right (athletically and academically). If he's in New England/Atlantic states, it's good and bad. It's so competitive, but at least he's in the right place to be seen. Often it is impossible to be recruited by the NESCAC or Ivy if you are outside the hot zone.
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  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 549 replies3 threads Member
    @Hmom16, there are definitely things that you should be doing now. The predominant view is that no one regrets starting early, they regret starting late. Here are some things your son can do now:

    1. Think and organize. Have discussions about what your son wants from college, including his academic objectives. Think about how that may play out with a sport. Set up a spreadsheet of all of the colleges you might even consider. Have columns stating the date that each college profile was completed and the log in information for changes to the profile. Better to get that started now -- it's a lot of work. With the log in information, you can change or add information like GPA and board scores later.

    2. Make tapes. They don't have to be masterpieces or professional. However, making a skills tape while a sophomore is great. I had a couple of coaches comment that having more than one tape lets the coach see progress.

    3. Draft up a college CV. This is time well spent even if you decide not to play at the college level. It can be given to teachers and guidance counselors giving recommendations. It can be brought to college interviews, which gives a natural set of talking points for the interviewer. Naturally, you bring it with you for meetings with coaches. Of course you will have to change it with updated GPAs and awards.

    4. Try a low cost, low stress practice camp or showcase. I always thought this was a good idea so that kids get a sense of what is expected from them at camps and showcases.

    5. Watch a college practice. If there is an Ivy near you, go watch a practice. Also go to a D3 practice. Both you and your son should think about expectations and how he would fit in.

    6. Take a couple of unofficial visits at D3 schools. Ask to speak to the coach. This gives your son some experience in talking to a coach.

    7. Tell your high school coach that you are planning to play in college and ask if he will be a reference. I think most schools expect coaches to be references, but it is a courtesy to ask. It might have some side benefits as well. If a coach knows a kid is that serious, he may play him more or line him up for leadership positions on the team. And yes, most of us don't rely on high school coaches. It is just nice to have them in your corner.

    My view is that junior year is so stressful without recruiting that anything you can get a jump on now will be helpful.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23699 replies17 threads Senior Member
    5. Watch a college practice. If there is an Ivy near you, go watch a practice. Also go to a D3 practice. Both you and your son should think about expectations and how he would fit in.

    6. Take a couple of unofficial visits at D3 schools. Ask to speak to the coach. This gives your son some experience in talking to a coach.

    I don't think this is allowed for sophomores. No recruiting is allowed before Sept 1 of junior year. The student can go visit a college, but no athletic recruiting. Don't put the coach into a bad position to have to shut you down.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    I thought that coaches could talk to sophomores if the conversation was initiated by the student?
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  • LMC9902LMC9902 256 replies6 threads Junior Member
    We visited a NESCAC last summer with my D’21 and the coaches there were more than happy to talk to us. They also said the rules governing D1 don’t impact them. That being said, they were focused mostly on finishing up their 2019 recruiting class so the conversation we had was mainly about the process and tips for my D on how to engage them. It was really helpful and she enjoyed the tour and time she spent there.
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  • gointhruaphasegointhruaphase 549 replies3 threads Member
    Division I - I don't think the rule precludes watching a practice. The rule does preclude watching a practice if it is necessary to pre-arrange permission (i.e., by telephone call) to watch. So, if the practice is indoors and access is limited to the facility, then the rule could limit watching the practice. But, I personally watched an outdoor lax practice at a large D1 University without ever speaking to a coach or university employee.

    Division 3 - I don't see any rule that would preclude watching a practice, pre-arranged or otherwise. For example, no restrictions on calls from an institution (Bylaw 13.02.10.1) or text messages (Bylaw13.02.11.1) other than possibly having started ninth grade (By-law 13.02.7, defining "prospective student athlete"). Unofficial visits to D3s continue to be the best way of getting on a coach's radar screen because it is a great way to show interest in a program.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    FWIW - My son sent emails to the D3 LAC coach and assistant after the Prospect Day. The coach seemed happy to hear from him and responded with some general advice about skill improvement in preparation for playing in college.
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  • LMC9902LMC9902 256 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Yes the D3 coaches always respond to my daughter as well. They usually just say things like “great film” and “tell me where you’ll be this fall” but no advice really. Since she’s a ‘21 we are just using this year to get her really comfortable with attending the clinics and communicating with coaches. She’s getting better at the communication with time and I think it can only help in the long run in learning to self advocate. It will likely step up over next summer but for now it’s getting used to the process and if she establishes a few good coach contacts that’s gravy.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    In the process of planning out my son's summer lax schedule. Its a bit frustrating as many of the schools he's interested in have switched to multi-day prospect camps that are quite expensive. He really isn't interested in a liberal arts college, he's likely to be a Math, Chem or Engineering major. Most of the showcases have only a few schools that he would consider. If he goes to tour a school, is there a benefit to contacting the lax coach even though there isn't a prospect day or anything?
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3055 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Yes, contact the coaches directly @Hmom16 What year is your S?

    Also, playing a college sport and being an engineering major are incompatible at some schools---makes sure to do your research, ask coaches, talk to players who are engineering majors. Good luck.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    @Mwfan1921 He will graduate in 2021, so a rising Junior.

    What is the issue regarding engineering and athletics? Is it that the classes are scheduled during practices? Or, the workload is unmanageable? Or ??
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 3055 replies55 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    @hmom16 wrote
    What is the issue regarding engineering and athletics? Is it that the classes are scheduled during practices? Or, the workload is unmanageable? Or ??

    Yes, engineering majors have a difficult work load and nearly fixed sequence of courses (so less flexibility to take a lighter load in-season). Some schools do have classes/labs at practice times, others don't. Athletes may miss a not-insignificant number of classes, again it varies by school. Those are the type of things you need to research.


    edited May 2019
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23699 replies17 threads Senior Member
    My daughter played lax and was in engineering. Only once was there a class only scheduled at one time, and that was spring of her senior year. She got to miss 1 hour of practice twice a week but by then her coach knew she'd do all that was required to be prepared for the games. She was a captain and started every game so she wasn't penalized for missing practice. She didn't get to be on the 'cement canoe' team because that was only offered in the spring and had too many Saturdays required when she had games.

    Take a look at the rosters of teams he's interested in. Many list the majors of the players. On daughter's team, about 5 of them (out of 22) were in engineering. On the men's team, probably 10 of ~40 were in engineering . STEM schools are going to have STEM majors as athletes. I posted the soccer roster for Colorado School of Mines the other day - every player an engineer.

    I think lacrosse recruiting hasn't changed much with the rule changes except that there are no offers and no early commitments to/from sophomores. The coaches still know who they want from the sophomores attending camps and tournaments and just don't 'discuss' recruiting with the players until junior year. They still look at the younger players, still know which kind of players they want to recruit, if they need a goalie, etc. The coaches are still attending camps and tourneys and talking to the coaches, especially club coaches.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    edited June 2019
    Update and Question (sorry this is so long) - My son ('21) has been to the UnderArmour tryouts and got a few contacts from D3 coaches (but none from schools that he's interested in.) He's also emailed all of the coaches on his list of potential schools and filled out all of their recruiting forms. He is looking for a pretty specific major (Material Science) and most schools with that as an undergrad major are either D1 or club. He's signed up for a bunch of prospect days and camps and is also playing at tournaments and showcases with his club team. He's got a short highlight tape and is hoping to get more clips as the summer progresses.

    He is a bit handicapped by the fact that his high school doesn't have a very strong team and his coach isn't really connected to the college lax scene. His club team is better but the coaches don't know him that well because he only plays with the club in the summer. He plays D-pole and, when the D coach is on the field, my son gets equal playing time. However, the D coach wasn't there for the last tournament and the coach barely put him on the field. This is a big problem for two reasons - 1) he has no highlight clips to post and 2)his target coaches may have been there but didn't see him play.

    There is a showcase coming up in July. He's doing both the individual and the tournament days. It's really important that everyone on the team gets equal playing time. How can he (or I) best address this with his coaches?

    I have no doubt that, if the D coach is there, he will be fine. But, if he isn't, this will be a lost opportunity. Thanks for your help!
    edited June 2019
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 23699 replies17 threads Senior Member
    I would ask the club coach (who I assume is running the tournament teams) for help. Tell the coach that he wants to play in college, that he's asked coaches from Schools X, Y, and Z to watch him at the tournament and that he'll let those coaches know as soon as he knows what the schedules will be at the tournament. Ask the coach for any help he can give in helping your son to be 'seen'.

    At the girls tournaments, one could pay to have a highlight video made ($$). All games were filmed and available to all colleges coaches in the country. After the games, my daughter could send an email to any coach and say "I played on field 21 on Saturday the 3rd at 11:20. Some of my best play can be seen at the 11:32, 11:45, and a goal at 11:50."
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6169 replies10 threads Senior Member
    @HMom16 , Not sure if Swat is of interest to him, but I know a couple of BS kids who have played there with your son's profile, both academic and athletic.
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  • HMom16HMom16 707 replies18 threads Member
    @gardenstategal Thanks, we'll take a look at Swat.
    @twoinanddone Unfortunately the head coach is the Defensive coach that wasn't at the last tournament. We have a parent that films all of the games and does a great job but if my son isn't on the field, he has no film.

    I am going to talk to the coaches and will use your suggestion about mentioning that he's specifically asked coaches to watch him at this next tournament. I'm also going to speak to the coach from last weekend and complain. I'm still working out my wording, I don't do well with confrontation.
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  • NancyNCNancyNC 16 replies3 threads Junior Member
    DS is a 2020 recruit and D3 coaches from NESCAC and other highly ranked SLACS are now pursuing him in earnest since he's not committed to any D1 schools. He did have contact with some D1 coaches during jr year and has had some recent contact as a result of summer play. He has friends though who were specifically been pursuing D3 NESCACs the whole time who are now getting the run-around and are still trying to figure it out because D3 coaches who showed interest now have seen kids this summer and are shifting interest to them.

    Our experience has been that summer after junior year is when the D3 coaches are really deciding who they want to go after. This is the first year with the change in timing so it may shake out differently next year. This year it seemed a player really have to be a top 100 player to commit D1 junior year. We seen that a lot of lower ranked D1 programs haven't yet filled their rosters.

    Inside Lacrosse has some sections where you can see how many commits for 2020 have been recruited for each D1, D2 and D3 school and for what position. It's a good place to monitor if your son is interested in specific schools with solid engineering. College club is also an option but can be costly. For example UC Berkeley has a pretty solid club team and obviously great engineering. I believe University of Texas started a club team.

    Competition is tough and being on a great club team next summer could help him. Having seen my nieces and nephews in engineering the past few years makes me think it would be quite difficult to do both! Many schools don't allow it.
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