Football Recruiting in NESCAC for 2022 High School Graduate

Curious if anyone has had experience in the Football recruiting process for NESCAC schools.

Son is not taking AP classes but has 4.0 GPA in a touch Academic school. Football All star as Sophmore , Captain of team as Junior getting a great of interest from these schools.With COVID and Test optional do football athletes have greater chance of these schools relaxing there academic guidelines. Wanted to gain insight

Is that 4.0 gpa unweighted? Any honors classes?

Your S should try to take an ACT or SAT, you can’t count on schools being test optional for class of 2022. And some TO schools aren’t TO for athletic recruits.

Why NESCAC schools? Is your S contacting and speaking with coaches in other divisions/conferences?

What is your college budget?

This is unweighted since he is not taking AP or Honors courses. He works hard and is on an IEP in school. He likes NESCAC because he wants to stay in New England Region. He is planning on taking ACT but do not forsee that being a high score.

The coaches at the few NESCAC schools are explaining that he would get academic support when at their schools for example tutors. Also being sought after by a few Division 2 schools

I’m not an expert in comparing support services across schools, it is something you will have to research. You do need to apply for accommodations in college, HS IEPs/504s don’t carry over.

It’s common that schools offer tutors to all students, and some athletic teams have dedicated tutors.

Why do you think your S will score low on the ACT? Does he have testing accommodations? If not, you might consider pursuing those.

Regarding recruiting, continue speaking with coaches, and contacting new coaches. You should cast a wide net. There are many more D3 colleges in NE than just the NESCACs.

Some schools may require a test score for athletic recruits, even if the school is test optional. Does your son have highlight video? A Hudl account? Send video and/or a link to it in coach emails. Send email to the entire coaching staff, unless you know who the recruiting coordinator is. Will your S be attending any showcases/camps this summer?

What is your budget for college? D3 schools offer no athletic scholarships. Of the NESCACs, only Trinity and Conn give merit aid, all the other schools offer need based aid only. Run each school’s net price calculator to get estimated COA. Note the NPCs may not be accurate if parents are divorced, own a business/are self-employed, or own real estate in addition to a primary home.

Additional input @Ohiodad51 @gointhruaphase @cinnamon1212 @stpauldad @politeperson @one1ofeach ?

1 Like

Middlebury, based on articles available through a search, appears oriented toward supporting students with learning differences.

We are casting a wide NET. Expense is not an issue we are paying his tab. I am hoping that the ability to pay 100 % tuition , his athletic abilities will offset the fact that he has not taken AP or Honors classes but is an extremely dedicated hard worker in the classroom and on the field. I also understand that all that said I don’t want him overwhelmed either. This is why also looking at D2 schools in the area as well.

There is a fairly wide range of academic strength in the NESCAC schools. Does your S’s HS have a history of sending students with similar academic rigor to these schools? What is his class rank (if they don’t publish it, the HS GC still likely knows the decile)?

Being full pay will absolutely help, as will his athletic abilities. I also understand not wanting him to feel overwhelmed, and doubt that any AO will give your S the green light if they didn’t think he would be able to succeed at their school…they are highly experienced in assessing transcripts. Getting a solid test score would also help.

Good luck.

The Bates soccer coach has said he takes full pay/financial need into account. In a parents meeting at an ID clinic he said something like “if I take a full pay recruit, that might let me take 2 that need financial aid”.

Well that’s good to know.

He is also looking into D2 schools like Bentley where he wants to go in business and the rigor may not be as difficult as the NESCAC schools acceptance rate is also higher.

I have heard that the D2 schools while test optional are trying to get players and lowering their standards somewhat do not know truth to this.

I’d ask the coach these questions. He should be able to answer the admission part very clearly so you know your chances there. As far as academic support once on campus, It’ll likely vary by school. I wouldn’t expect the kind of focused support a P5 football program provides to players, but some of these schools provide good resources for all students, not just athletes.

I don’t have specific experience with NESCAC football, but I can give you general background into NESCAC athletic admissions. Fair or unfair, there is a view that football falls into the “helmet sport” category for which the greatest leniency is given for less than stellar academics. There is one measurable criterion that supports such a view. While in general NESCAC sports are given 2 slots (with additional tips), football - with its larger roster needs – is given like 12 slots. This point by itself speaks to dipping down lower into the academic bands than for other NESCAC sports. This, however, is merely a broad truism – it speaks nothing to the individual experience of supported athletes or the needs of any given team.

Remember, slots are given by admissions to the team, not to any given athlete. Thus, the coach HAS to want the athlete and MUST provide support to the athlete’s application. It is not a punt to ask the coach, as the others have suggested . Coach support comes from the coach. He or she is the only one who know how badly he wants or need your kid. If the coach has “committed” his 12 slots, well the coach is the one that would know that as well.

Your son should communicate with the coach, give him video and then ask direct questions. I probably would keep the IEP close to the vest, as coaches want recruits that both will be admissible and stay with them for four years. An academic weakness could suggest the contrary.

Remember, your son will have to do the same academics as every other student at the college or university. The additional academic support offered is the same that is offered to every other student. He is going to need to seek out that support.

I would recommend a good look at test optional
Trinity, Bates and I would probably give Wesleyan a shot. Some years ago, Wesleyan was - how to say it - a perennial disappointment. In the last 5 to 10 years, its football program has become very strong. While technically not in New England, also consider Union, Dickinson, Muhlenberg, and Gettysburg.


To clarify for future readers, men’s soccer gets more than 2 coach supported spots in the NESCAC. It varies by school and year, but they get approx. 6 spots. (Some 4, some 8, Bates notably had 17 recruits in the coach’s first year, and 10 the next).

@cinnamon1212, generally mens soccer gets 2 slots. Remember, a “slot” means that the coach will dip down to the B or C Band (lesser academic credentials than the usual applicant population) to support the applicant. If the team doesn’t use 2 in one year, they may be able to save one until the next year. There are many pieces that support this proposition, but one is the infamous Bowdoin three part article in the Bowdoin Orient. Please note that in this article “slots” are referred to as “AFs” - athletic factors.

However, slots are not the only way that a coach supports recruits through admissions. “Tips,” in contrast to slots, have the same basic academic credentials as non-athletes. The total number of athletes that a soccer coach can support in theory is unlimited, but in practice usually ends up being an additional 4-6 recruits. I think that your post was combining slots and tips, and I certainly agree with your number if you are referring to all recruits. My prior post was referring only to slots, not tips, because the OP suggested that the athlete might might not fall into A band academics.


Gotcha. All I know is all the NESCACS my son was in close touch with all had 5+ recruits, and none of the coaches broke the spots down into slots or tips, even at schools like Williams. Another small data point is that the Middlebury coach said he had 6 spots he could support, and again, no mention of differences in the level of support.

I am not disagreeing with you as your family’s experience was your experience, but what I’ve described was my son’s experience.


Yeah, usually when I’m trying to explain Ivy/NESCAC recruitment policies (as I did to my chagrin on a recent Admissions thread), I say it’s “intricate” and leave it at that. :laughing:


@cinnamon1212, I would not expect NESCAC coaches to tell a recruit whether they were a slot or a tip, and in fact in our experience, they did not. The point here is to understand the odds if your kid falls into the B or C band. BTW, what constitutes the B and C bands varies quite a bit between NESCAC schools. I don’t think Williams will be too interested in even an impact player with a 3.0 GPA.

Going full circle, this is why the OP’s son should be communicating with the coaches of interest. The coaches will not spend a lot of time on a recruit that has no chance of admission and can give the OP the best information about recruiting chances.

1 Like

I agree I do not want to argue over tips and slots I think the football coaches will best be able to tell us. I am hoping in everyones experience that the football coaches are extremely transparent. I also think that being able to pay full price helps but certainly is not the deciding factor. I just wanted to get a feel to see if anyone has knowledge of players in my sons boat that have good grades albeit not in the AP , Honors division getting into these types of schools or D2 schools.

You will encounter examples of various types of students and the colleges to which they were accepted when reading profiles in U.S. News’ college guide. With respect to relevance to your son’s search, a football player with a 3.3 (UW) GPA and 1120 SAT was accepted into Bowdoin, for example. Note that this was several years ago, however.

My son is HS '23 class and an athlete for football. He’s had some discussions with NESCAC coaches, attended camps, some social media follows. Not expecting anything in season, but wondering what people’s experience with football recruiting at NESCAC schools following Jr. Year football season. My expectation is that while he’s not an all-star in his Junior season, that he/we should continue to develop relationships, send film, visit schools throughout the winter and spring, but may not get significant attention until after fall '22 season. What has been the journey for your kids?