D1 coach inquiry

To my surprise a D1 coach wants to speak with my son. We assumed the recruiting period was over. What are some good questions to ask? How do we know if they will get recruited? Do they send an official email saying we are offering you a spot on the team as a recruit? I head so many stories of being strung along… How do we know there is sincere interest or desire of them offering a spot…besides chit chat going no where.

Is your S a rising senior? Definitely not too late for recruiting in many sports/at many schools. It would help to know the sport we are talking about. Football recruiting is a really different animal, so if we are talking that, my answers below would be different in some ways.

Your S should start off listening to what the coach has to say and let the coach drive the conversation. Some types of questions he could ask at an initial call/meeting include:

-How do you see my skills fitting into the team/how do you see me contributing?
-What are your needs at my position?
-What position do you see me playing?
-How does your recruiting process work?
-What is the timing of this process?
-What are the next steps?
-What info do you need from me?

Most coaches are straightforward and honest with no desire to string any student-athlete along. The coach might ask for recent highlight film and academic/athletic stats. Some schools, especially the more selective, will do academic pre-reads. The coach would get your S’s unofficial 6 semester transcript, ACT/SAT/AP test scores, maybe a resume, and present to admissions to get a green light to recruit the student-athlete. Most coaches are facile at knowing what it takes to get a positive pre-read from admissions.

Ultimately the coach probably has X number of slots to fill, and your S wants one of those. Then, your S and coach would enter into a verbal commitment if the coach makes that offer. There is nothing in writing.

If we are talking an Ivy, he would probably receive a likely letter from admissions after applying (after a positive pre-read and verbal commitment). Other D1 schools have different processes, and your S would likely sign a letter of intent sometime in late Fall/Winter.

If you are not full pay, make sure to run the net price calculator at any school that is on his list. That will help you gauge affordability of the school. The NPC will not include any athletic scholarship money, which greatly varies by sport. Note the Ivys and D3s do not provide athletic scholarships. I would not have your S talk about money or athletic scholarships in the first talk (unless the coach brings it up).

If a D1 coach is interested in your S, it seems your S should at the very least be reaching out to similar schools (same conference, same level of play, etc) about being recruited. He should start by sending emails to coaches with his academic stats and highlight film ASAP.

There are also many good recruiting threads in the athletic recruiting section of CC which would be helpful for you to read. Good luck.

ETA: There is a good book about the process called the Athletic Scholarship Playbook (not just focused on getting scholarship $), but many CC posters know the ropes very well too.


Good reply above. I agree the sport is relevant. There are sports where recruiting for rising seniors is just getting started.

All I’d add is that I would treat this as an opportunity to learn about the coach, program, school, and recruiting process. Yes, you want to know if this will lead anywhere, but keep in mind “chit chat going nowhere” is a big part of the process for both sides. Let things play out without forcing anything, as it usually takes a few conversations for things to get serious. Questions about life as a student athlete in the program, about team/coaching philosophy, about recruiting process and timeline are always fair game. I just wouldn’t jump in expecting clarity on recruiting status right off the bat.

Also, “D1” is pretty broad, so coach calls could mean a million different things. I’d keep an open mind.


What year is your son graduating from high school?

Also if a d1 coach is interested enough to reach out, I would think your son would be recruitable at the d3 level, and investigating that might be worthwhile.


Yes, for D3 my S would be at the top of the team, however, we are learning that D3 admissions are not offered…basically once he gets accepted then he would be on the team…at least the D3 schools he’s looking at…JH and UChicago…

Pretty sure Chicago has slots for some sports. I’d ask the coach whether she can support recruits in the admission process. Generally at schools where coaches have slots they can use, they are very limited.

1 Like

You are misunderstanding d3 athletic recruiting.


That may be true for many players at those 2 schools. But really not many others. NESCAC’s and many other very prestigious D3’s offer slots. Those 2, Cal Tech, and Haverford are a bit dicey. I don’t think many others are.

1 Like

I think I was saying the same thing🤣

1 Like