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Football Recruiting - IVY, NESCAC, Patriot League, other DIII

njfbmomnjfbmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Now that my son has completed athletic recuriting, I'm posting the process and some specifics for other parents to read and gain a greater understanding of the recruiting process. We (my husband and I) pieced together information from the blogs of college confidential and from talking to the boys and parents we knew who recently went through the process. That was helpful, but my aim is to make this a one stop shop for those currently going through the process.

Timeline: Junior Year:

1) We had a formal meeting with my son's football coach to help determine which schools would be a good fit - we determined his options would be Ivy, Patriot League, Nescac (& other high academic DIII like Johns Hospkins and U. Chicago).

2) Contacted 20-25 schools in all of the above conferences via recruiting web sites and sending a personal email to the head coach or recruiting coach. Began dialogue with many of these coaches. Reaction: anything from direct communication (phone calls), to silence (no communication at all)

3) Completed ACT testing

4) Participated in several camps: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Penn - In my opinion it's not necessary to go to all as some schools go to all the camps but, Johns Hopkins only goes to Penn Camp, U Chicago only goes to Harvard Camp. The beauty of these camps is you get to meet the coaches your son has been emailing so they can put a name with a face.

Timeline: Senior Year:

He was made several offers after the camps and settled on one school (NESCAC) which he applied ED1 and was accepted.

What we learned in the process:

IVY - academic index is important, but the coaches are most interesed in the following: finding players who are D1 material and from football powerhouse schools in CA, FL, TN, OH, PA. You can be a superior player from a small high school in a state which isn't considered to have the hottest football talent at the top of the academic index and it still doesn't matter. IVY coaches have a profile of the player that they want and it's the best athlete they can get into the school from a top football school. My son had a lot of communication with 2 IVYs (one came to visit him at school in the spring), but it didn't go anywhere after August. Another thing to understand is that the IVYs may restrict which major/school you apply for if you go there and you are obligated to participate in spring football practices so you cannot do a semester abroad.

Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, MIT - the most important thing is the SAT/ACT score. We were told by the coaches at JHU that there was wiggle room on grades , but the ACT had to be at least a 30. JHU is great if your son wants to go to medical school or be an engineer. Most of the boys apply regualr decision. Carnegie Mellon's coach told us 30 is on the low side for the ACT. MIT coaches are at the Harvard camp and told my son they were looking for boys who had the same grades and scores as their typically accepted students.

U. Chicago: they recruit the latest on the timeline. If they are interested in you they will have you apply early action. You will be deferred. They schedule you to do a visit in Dec/Jan and make offers after that. They are a little looser on the scores than JHU, etc.

NESCAC: each has different academic standards and some are test optional. They look for athletes that were pursued by the IVY league and weren't picked up. We ended up thinking this was the best place for our son. He would have been happy and at any one of these schools, but academically one ended up being a really great fit.

Patriot League: lowers the academic standards so they can get better players. You have to go to their individual camps to get in front of them because they don't go to the IVY camps.

Biggest Takeaway: Cast a really wide net. People told us to focus on 4-5 schools. In my opinion that is not enough. We had to go through a lot of schools in the recruting process. Be agnostic to the process - there is a whole lot of rejection that goes on so it's important to look at many different places. If you have that attitude you will get several good offers and you will have choices. In general, in our experience, the coaches who were most honest were the NESCAC coaches. IVY gives a likely letter as does JHU and U Chicago. You need to hear the NESCAC coach say the following: "I will offer my full support." Anything else might not result in an acceptance.

I hope this helps. Good luck to all of you in your academic and athletic endeavors!

Replies to: Football Recruiting - IVY, NESCAC, Patriot League, other DIII

  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Forum Champion Athletic Recruits Posts: 2,445 Forum Champion
    nice write up @njfootballmom. Congrats to you and your son!
  • zenatorzenator Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Thank you for the insightful post. Allow me to offer a supplemental comment or two.

    First, the goal of the student-athlete should be to gain admission to a college that over-all represents a "good fit" for him/her in terms of academics, athletics, student body, culture, size, location etc. This is easier said than done. But, the basic question that your S or D needs to answer with respect to X college is a simple one. Assume that you are injured and cannot play sports, is this a college that you really want to attend for 4 years?

    Second, at the top D1 and D3 schools, there are an over-abundance of well-qualified applicants seeking admission through the use of numerous non-athletic "hooks"-- legacy, positive diversity factor, extraordinary community service, compelling personal history, foreign citizenship etc. etc. As such, the "sports hook" like other hooks only carries as much weight as the admissions department at X college chooses to give it. This not only differs from college to college, but can quickly change at any given college with a turnover over in the admissions or the coach etc. Consequently, as njfbmom did, it is important to do your homework on the differing admissions standards in the IVY, Patriot, NESCAC etc. and realistically assess your admission chances.
  • fbislifefbislife Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    @njfbmom Thank you for sharing your story! It's very a helpful perspective.

    At what stage of the process did your son learn he was receiving "full support?" After a pre-read? After an official/unofficial visit? After he submitted his application?

    Also may I ask how your son picked and if you have any feedback on recruitment at any of the particular NESCACs? It sounds like your son focused mostly on D3: the NESCACs and maybe also Hopkins and Chicago?

    Myself, I'm a high school senior still going through the process. I've been invited for visits by several NESCACs and other D3s of similar academic caliber. Must I do all of the visits by the end of mid-to-late January? Basically the visits they're inviting me to versus a simple personal visit or one coordinated through the admissions office. If I don't do their visits, do I lose possible football support?

    Logistically, I can't visit all of the colleges in just a few weekends over January. Thinking ahead, if it snows that'll cut out possible days. I'm not sure if I should be focusing on the places that already make me feel like I'm receiving support to maintain that support or the visit will help generate support. Other than visiting for my own personal sake, I guess I don't understand the role of these visits, which I've read a lot about here.
  • MidwestmomofboysMidwestmomofboys Registered User Posts: 3,884 Senior Member
    @fbislife while I am not familiar at all with football recruiting, since my student is a soccer player, I can share what I understand is the value, and purpose of the campus visit for a recruit generally. The campus visit, at least in my son's experience, is a two-way interview for a prospective recruit. My son visited class with a current player, interviewed with Admissions, met at length with the head coach and staff, and spent a lot of time with players. While it was a chance for him to see what it would be like to be a member of the program, it was also clear that the program was looking to see how he fit in with their program. We were told by more than a few coaches that the "down" time back in the dorm or lunch with a bunch of the players was perhaps the most important part of the day.

  • njfbmomnjfbmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Coaches will only support your admission if they can get a sense of your sincere interest. That is why they want you to visit. They also want to sell you on the school. Decide which schools you are most interested in and visit. You can't get everywhere so look where they are interested in you and where you want to go also. Come up with 3 or 4. That should give you enough to work with. Full support is given after the pre-read and visit. That was the case for ED1 and ED2. I don't know about regular admission. Don't be afraid to ask those questions when you speak to the coaches.
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