Difference between "there is time" and what coaches are saying

I fully understand that if you are an athlete who is AMAZING and a coach really wants you there is “still time.” But I am constantly seeing “there is still time” advice here for 2022 and 2023 vs what coaches are saying to kids we know. Basically coaches are saying “we have our list for 2023” if you are on it great, if not they are not really adding kids to that list without exceptional standout performance. There does not actually seem to be much time…yes D3 schools are still committing 2022 kids but Ivy/D1 (well known) seem to be mostly wrapped up through 2023.

I am curious to hear from people who have come before how to balance this conflicting information.

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I expect it is sport, and gender, dependent.


It will be sport/gender-dependent. But, I think people are saying there is still time if you expand your options for D1/D2/D3 schools. There is likely a place for most if you are willing to look at schools beyond the top choice ones. THere are literally 1000s of schools with athletic programs, but most only talk about a small subset of those.

I don’t think people are saying that there is really much time for Ivy or top-D1 (athletic or academic or both). You have to put this all in perspective numbers-wise. For a team sport, they are taking a handful of kids each year. So when you talk about Ivy or other specific conferences, you are looking at only a small # of kids in the end. That narrows further when you factor in specific positions played. Plus Covid has impacted the #s even more with smaller recruiting classes.

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My daughter is one of the athletes on her team “chaperoning” official campus and team visits - they are not done based on how many more she has over the next few weeks for the college Class of 2026. She is at an Ivy and it truly varies by sport - many take it down to the wire as the athletes abilities continue to surface through their jr/sr year both for male and female athletes.

You can not lump all sports together - as recruiting timelines vary greatly.


I agree there are big differences based on sport and gender, and an athlete focused only on Ivies and top D1s is going to find options narrowing sooner than an athlete with more flexibility. There are sports where top programs will be adding incoming recruits through spring and others where things are done. But ultimately whatever the coaches are saying is what matters. Athletes can cast a wider net or explore the non-recruiting path.

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Ok, let’s play a game. Name 10+ high academic D1 woman’s soccer schools. Name 10+ high academic D3 woman’s soccer schools. This is our CC Squid Game world. I can name about 40 total, so that is about 280 (7x40) recruits per year.

Yes, there is time for our local D2, D3 schools. Couple local D1s, but any P5 D1 or mid-majors D1 are almost done and will probably move on to the 2024 by spring. I have to put the our CC Squid Game group of schools on a similar time schedule.

My D23 is in the middle of the hunt, so we have a different perspective on things. She plays high-level club soccer and has been doing ID camps since U12, so she has a good grasp of skill level and talent. For D1, you got 5 months max. For D3, you got maybe 8 months. There is no time, folks. Get your D in ID camp shape ready, while keeping good grades. Good luck.


Exactly, and when you take that 280 and split it up positionally by forward/mid/defender/gk, you realize that they are only looking for 1-3 of each position. So that 280 really becomes 40-120 for your specific position.

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In contrast, men’s Track/XC has about 100 Ivy slots a year and is still finalizing next year’s incoming recruiting class. The majority of those slots will go ED/EA but a few recruits will be added RD. P5 will try to get targets to commit this fall, but the majority will commit over the winter and spring. Some will still be deciding after their state meets senior year.

Some of these schools are talking to juniors now, but for most recruits the real action will be in the summer after junior year. It wouldn’t be out of the question for a junior soccer player to exhaust soccer recruiting options in the fall, focus on track in the winter and spring and land an Ivy spot fall of senior year. (Possible in terms of timeline but would require a pretty exceptional athlete who could transition quickly, or who had already been doing both sports).

So the sport really does matter, and there’s quite a range. Good idea to take advice from those with sport-specific knowledge.

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Same at my school and (smallish) sport! I believe our top recruits for next year have received their likely letters already, but afaik there are none committed for 2027 and still a whole bunch applying ED and RD for 2026. Also, at least for me, I was able to slip into a spot at a T20 for the sport a while after the RD deadline–just a verbal commitment, didn’t end up working out due to financial aid but I still got accepted. Things get weird with standards.

I don’t think this is usual, but I know a kid who got coach support after the RD deadline at an Ivy.

Occasionally a coach is going to find themself in trouble in January or February and still be recruiting. For a non high academic, that deadline goes up until the first day of classes. I know another kid who was given scholarship money at a non academically selective school just a couple days before classes started.

Having said that, those are both exceptions not the rule. As everyone else has said it varies a lot by sport, but for a lot of sports if you haven’t been picked up yet you are already in some trouble. If you are really flexible there are still opportunities out there. But it might not be at the competition level, academic level, or geographic location that you are looking for.

For a lot of potential college athletes, that’s still OK. They may be wanting a high academic school in the Northeast, but they will also accept an open admission college in Arizona too, as long as they can play. I don’t think those trade-offs probably apply to most people on this board.

Sport? Gender? Grad year?

What made me comment was mostly girls/boys soccer and basketball for the 2023 year. I know that 2022’s are still committing now but that is partly because of covid delays. Coaches seem to have been watching 2022 and 2023 at the same time so they are now almost condensed in their time frame.

(for us it is a concern because of covid followed by injury which eliminated two seasons :woman_shrugging:)

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Just to ease your mind a bit, here are the commitments for both boy’s and girl’s soccer in New England for the three most recent classes:

Class of 2021: Boys(290) & Girls(194)

Class of 2022: Boys(55) & Girls(86)

Class of 2023: Boys(2) & Girls(8)

I have to believe there are many more 2022 and 2023 commitments still to come in New England, and all over the country.


Oh yes, for sure the classes are not fully committed but the feedback that coaches have their list of kids pretty set has been universal. If you aren’t on that list you need to either look much further afield or have the season of your life. Coaches aren’t going to leapfrog you over the kids they’ve been looking at if you’re as good. Especially since so many of the current 2022/3s are re classed kids who have an extra season of experience.

It doesn’t sound too different from non-Covid years, then. In men’s soccer, published commitments seem to be lagging from previous years, but it would be totally normal for the seniors to pretty much be wrapped up by now (including D3) (though not 100% wrapped up.)

In men’s soccer (the only sport I’m familiar with), for the juniors, I really think at this point everything is in flux and most men’s D1 (let alone D3) programs have movement in their pool of players they are looking at. It has always been the case that you need to be better than the kids they have on their recruiting list to get a place on the list. What would the advantage be for the coach to take a kid that was the same, or worse, than a player currently on their list? The funnel narrows over time, and better players are displacing kids currently on lists throughout the process – now, and going forward. It may be that coaches have decided that there isn’t a spot for your player in their recruiting pool – in which case it is time to move on to other programs.

There isn’t always a rhyme or reason to it. My son got a lot of love from the then #1 ranked men’s soccer program his junior and senior year, but couldn’t even get a return email from programs that weren’t remotely on the same level. That’s why I always say to cast a wide net and also to make sure you have “safety” schools for the sport, as well as for academics, in the mix.


Not to mention that the top player on one school’s list is the top player on 10 other schools’ lists. There’s going to be movement out there as the sands shift. If you’ve been banking on athletic dollars, or the elusive slot/tip/likely letter, you may be out of luck. If you’re looking to make a college soccer team then there’s still time. My son it a goalkeeper so his experience is likely different than most. That being said, when he committed and called the other schools there was a domino effect he could actually watch in real time over the last few months.


Well interesting developments. My D is getting email replies from almost a month ago since the regular season is almost over. She thought that they were ghosting her. Maybe someone
went off their list or maybe they finally have some time to reply or maybe they realize what they need to recruit.

Next 6 months will be very interesting. Good luck, 23s!


Yes same here. Will be interesting to see what the next couple of months bring.

Outside of a handful of D1 mostly football programs, everyone is understaffed. Sometimes lack of contact is lack of focus on recruiting not that you have fallen off the list. Not always, but sometimes. That happened to my son, the assistant who was recruiting him cut way back in contact for a while. Then the head coach called him, apologized and talked to S a long time. He asked for me to call him the next day, when he ended up offering a spot.

Overall it’s a pretty opaque process from the recruit side.

My D is the class of '22 and her sport is not generally recruited until summer after junior year. She contacted the schools she was interested in, was serious about 3 programs (2 D3’s and a D1) and received offers (a slot from one and a likely letter from one) from the two D3’s in late September/early October. She thought she was being ghosted by the D1, which was fine because she liked the two D3 programs better. Now, FIVE WEEKS after receiving her last communication from the D1, they have contacted her again, still interested. She has moved on and committed to one of the D3’s, but that period of silence was unexpected to us - we took it as disinterest but apparently it was the school figuring out who would be in which tier (scholarship recruit vs recruit with no money vs walk-on), getting her pre-read approved, etc. Lesson to us though we are pretty much done with the process: patience.

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