Covid impact on recruiting pushed down to 21's, 22's, 23's?

I am wondering if we can keep this thread as a compilation for stories from coaches about how the lost 2020 spring and fall seasons, combined with kids deferring, has impacted recruiting. So if someone is told by a coach that they are recruiting fewer players for 2021 because they have 2020’s who deferred and will be freshman in 21 this is the place to talk about it. I am seriously wondering if this is going to be pushed down and have an impact even on the 23’s??

Yes- one ivy school in discussion for 1 year with my child just called this week and said only bringing in 50% for Class of 2025 and still figuring out with no offers out yet. Decision promised by October 15th. Also was told unknown if opening up for walk-ons and won’t make that decision until Fall 2021.

Many DI baseball teams have brought in fewer recruits so far this cycle, partially due to the extra 5th year for spring athletes. NCAA also gave fall athletes a 5th year too. No one knows to what extent this will have, but it will impact the next 4 years of recruiting.

For example, we know how many of last year’s spring sport seniors are back this year for their fifth year (which not all schools/conferences are allowing), but we have no idea how many current seniors, juniors, or sophs will choose a fifth year. Coaches don’t know, the athletes themselves might not know. That decision will depend on so many factors, such as injuries, job market at graduation, and more.

This is an issue not only for numbers of recruited athletes, but for walk-ons as well. Hard to predict what schools might have room for walk-ons.

Another further complication is schools eliminating entire sports teams/programs. Again, tough to predict which schools and which sports, but students are going to commit to some programs that are ultimately eliminated.

For football, I believe the Ivies still have 30 roster spots per class because, except for rare circumstances, Ivy players cannot defer a year. In the NESCAC, expect recruits per class to be down this year about 40% from the previous year as some current players are deferring academic terms to keep their eligibility. I suspect these figures will edge up over time.

Ivy players can’t have a 5th year per league rules, but athletes can defer/take leaves, same as any other student…and on some teams a number of students did that this year. Prospective recruits need to understand how many teammates are in this bucket.

What is the source for your statement on NESCACs?


I had read in the press that for one minor sport at an Ivy that 90% of the returning roster had taken a gap year, basically eliminating the need for an entire recruiting year.

I know that my daughter’s former team has 3 ‘super seniors’. This really had no affect on recruiting because for a strange reason, they had NO juniors at all. There was a coaching change 3 years ago and that class just transferred or quit the team.

There are a lot of kids who can’t afford to return for the 5th year. My daughter had an athletic scholarship but 2/3 of her money came from a merit scholarship that was for 8 consecutive semesters (used up) and from the state merit money which paid by credit and she’d already used it up by her senior spring semester. I don’t think the coach would have more than doubled her athletic scholarship.

It obviously depends on the sport, but we’ve been told that quite a few D1 schools in cjkid22’s sport are already full for 2022 and coaches are moving onto 2023s (which is atypical). For recruiting purposes, those in the class of 2021 who play a spring sport, and the entire recruiting class of 2022 are hurt the most by this. An Ivy coach told me she’s telling the next three years of seniors to plan on taking a gap year. Pure chaos.

D1 baseball has not only been impacted by the return of Corona Seniors this year but also by the fact that the MLB draft shrunk from 40 rounds to 5 rounds this year. A lot of juniors who would have been drafted and signed after the fifth round are back unexpectedly. At the same time, some high school seniors who had planned to turn pro, and who were not projected to make it to campus in spite of their commitment, are now on campus and will be part of the roster challenge.

@cj9623 Would you mind sharing the sport?

@cj9623 - this mirrors our experience for our 21…Rosters and slots reduced on top of the issue of existing athletes deferring or taking leaves…basically no places left. Last years top PGs essentially filled any slots for this year (because they have data vs 21s who didn’t really get a season last year); 21s all having to take one (or more likely 2) PG years. This definitely will take more than 2 years to iron out. College counsellor now recommending forgetting about the sport if you want to get to college in next few years.

This is so sad to hear!


This is so disheartening. What sport does your child compete in?

Re: Men 's soccer. Some schools have had seniors defer, or incoming recruited athletes (freshmen) defer, which does leave fewer roster spots for the '21s. That said, 21’s that had been seen and were in conversation with coaches have found spots.

I just know bits and pieces about the schools my son was in touch with; would be happy to share them but it is very scattershot!

I know one program now says on their website to send your highlight video, and then two games against strong opponents, so some schools are being more explicit about what they want to see.

A very niche winter one…so I’m guessing our experience is worse than sports with more slots and bigger teams. I’m guessing this year will see less than 5 current Seniors get college places. The college counsellor has a point…

To piggyback cinnamon1212, I know of D3 soccer schools that have “finished recruiting 2021”, schools that have “1-2 spots remaining for 2021 players”, and other schools that are “looking for 7-8 players in class 2021”. It’s really school specific and can’t generalized.

S22 has been communicating, by phone and Zoom, with several coaches. At some schools things seem fairly normal, though two have mentioned that the lack of in-person viewing/recruiting opportunities has pushed off decisions on 2022’s until early summer 2021.

A few 2020’s on his club team took a gap year. Several 2021’s have already decided to do so as well. Navigating the bottleneck in recruiting is going to “interesting.”

@Mwfan1921 : to belatedly answer your question: my son received offers from both Ivies & NESCACs

@cinnamon1212 I’d be interested to hear any scattershot info you might have about men’s soccer. Of course, it is hard to extrapolate from a few examples but it could help lay out the range of possible circumstances…

Happy to share what I know, not that it is very much.

Some specific programs: Vassar had several players defer, so although they did get a roster size increase (I guess they have a hard cap at Vassar, which isn’t true for every school), the number of spots is not increased. I do not know how many spots they have for 21’s.

Amherst had every single senior soccer player decide to come back next year; I have not heard much about anyone committing, which is unusual for this time of year. Does that mean fewer kids committed b/c there were fewer spots? Possibly, but that is just a guess.

Williams - my son’s college counselor said that Williams had many freshman athletes opt for a gap year, and so those deferring would be counted as athletic recruits for next year, i.e. counted as if they were 21’s. He said that the NESCAC had a rule about the total number of athletic recruits a school could have, so he was worried about true 21’s getting crowded out. His specific example was what happens if a soccer player committed, but then a superstar lacrosse player fell into the Lacrosse coach’s lap at the last minute. Who would get bumped (b/c Williams is only allowed a certain number of recruits) the soccer player, say, or the lacrosse player? The college advisor was worried it might be the soccer player, at the last minute, and due to events outside the player and soccer coach’s control.

I don’t really have much info on how many spots are/were at other programs, even the ones my son was in close touch with and got offers from.

All in all my son had 5 offers, but the school he committed to only saw him at a tiny clinic in early August of this year for the first and only time, and he hadn’t been in contact with the school before that. Both the school and my son moved fast, and from that I extrapolate that any opportunity to play live should be seized. At a minimum it would give a player some current video.