Questions about lacrosse recruiting for rising junior

My son is a rising junior who is a good lacrosse midfielder - on a strong club in Western US that plays competitively with East Coast teams, starter on varsity as a freshman for a top team in the state, made regional Under Armour All American Call Back game - likely not top D1 level as a player and likely not Ivy or top academic NESCAC level as a student. Either way, he is not considering D2 (wants better schools academically).

This forum category has been helpful and I was hoping to get some help with some questions (apologies if some of these have been covered, as I’m a newbie to this forum and to athletic recruiting - went to selective college but was not an athlete):

  • We are travelling East for tournaments this summer and planning on doing some college tours along the way. My son doesn’t yet have an SAT score or highlight reel - is it worth reaching out to coaches for informal visits? Is it even allowed before 9/1? Will coaches even respond without an SAT score or highlight reel?

  • Any advice on the balance between time/resources spent on team tournaments (usually top ones), showcases, or school-specific prospect days/clinics and ideal timing of those moving forward as a rising junior?

  • Are profiles on sites like ConnectLAX, SportsRecruits, etc a necessity?

  • How helpful is promotion via social media (posting highlights, tagging or re-tweeting coaches/schools, etc)?

  • And how much do private trainers help (strength/conditioning vs lacrosse skills)? How do I find one?

  • For athletic recruits, how important are other non-sports extracurricular activities for admissions?

  • Are there athletic recruitment focused college counselors out there? If so, are they helpful? Do they tend to be sport-specific? Are there any focused on lacrosse that people can recommend?

  • On SATs, how’s Khan prep compared to the paid services? Does it make sense to time prep to be targeted to a specific test date or is general prep / reps helpful?

  • Anything else we should be thinking about at this point?

There is a lot to unpack there and perhaps there are others here who can better respond but can you clarify your first paragraph? You mentioned that you didn’t think that he was a D1 level recruit and that he wasn’t academically an Ivy level student. However, you also said he isn’t interested in D2 (academically). So are you looking at D3? Or maybe preferred walk on at D1?

Good luck to your son.

Why no highlights? I would get highlights from his first summer tourney, then send a short clip of those (and also put on a youtube site), along with his 4 semester transcript to coaches. Also fill out the online recruiting questionnaires now. Cast a wide net.

Some coaches use Twitter, including DMs, some don’t. Your S should have a twitter account, and should follow the college teams and coaches he is interested in. Link to his highlight video in his bio, and include other relevant info (size, position, etc.).

Probably not. How involved is his club team in helping their athletes thru the recruiting process?

Not so much, assuming a full support athletic recruit.

Depends on how motivated the student is. Self study isn’t for everyone. If you can afford a private tutor, that is often better in terms of efficiency of prep and maximizing possible scores. Are you sure that SAT is the test for him?

Yes there are recruiting specific college counselors…some may be focused by sport, some not (fundamentally there are more similarities in the process than not). BUT if he is on a good club team, you should not need an external person…the club team should be helping with recruiting.

What is the college budget? Will you be applying for financial aid? Looking for athletic or merit $?


On D1, I meant that he may not be good enough as a player to be recruited by a UNC but maybe a Dartmouth? On NESCAC, he may not be a good enough student for a Williams or Wesleyan but maybe a Tufts or Hamilton? So that leaves us with less competitive (from a lacrosse standpoint) D1 and less competitive (academically) D3 NESCAC/LAC.

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I assumed SAT given wider acceptance, especially among the bulk of East Coast lacrosse schools, but can you say more? And would you say private tutor over entities like Princeton Review?

Club is relatively newer, strong on the field but less of a track record so far on recruiting.

SAT has no greater acceptance than ACT in any geography (although more schools might superscore SAT than ACT), so choose the test that best suits your student.

Group test prep classes can be ok, depends on the student, ask around your area for references whether for group test prep, or private tutors.

Has the club coach, or admin, suggested they will be a recruiting resource?

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Ah, ok, I had maybe a dated notion that ACT was more of a Midwestern thing. What does ‘superscore’ mean?

Superscoring is possible when a student takes either the ACT or SAT more than once, and they combine their best section scores for a composite that might be higher than either sitting.

Example: SAT #1 EBRW 700, Math 650, composite 1350
SAT #2 EBRW 710 Math 630, composite 1340
Superscored SAT composite = 1360 (EBRW 710 from test #2, Math 650 from test #1).

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@laxdad, I am not sure that I understand your assessment on academic achievement and the NESCAC schools you mention. If he is good enough for Tufts, I suspect he is good enough for Williams or Wesleyan. My strong suggestion would be to reach out to all the coaches of all the schools in which you might have an interest. You will be surprised at the schools that will respond. You do need the tapes, though.

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As a point of reference, U.S. News ranks colleges by selectivity (by considering standardized scoring and high school class standing profiles). With the NESCAC LACs isolated, this is how they appear in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category (which consists of 223 schools):

Selectivity Ranks

:black_small_square:︎4. Amherst
:black_small_square:︎5. Hamilton/Williams
:black_small_square:︎8. Bowdoin
:black_small_square:︎16. Colby
:black_small_square:︎19. Middlebury/Wesleyan
:black_small_square:︎23. Bates
:black_small_square:︎68. Trinity

N/A: Connecticut College

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Got it, thanks! And would certainly welcome/appreciate any additional input on my questions, building on @Mwfan1921’s helpful responses

Now would be a good time for your son to submit a sport-specific recruiting form at colleges of interest. Through this point of contact you would create the opportunity for general guidance from college lacrosse coaches concerning both athletics and academics.

He should be leaning heavily on his coaches, from both club and hs. Many have connections to east coast college coaches that go way back. They know people, they know people who know people. They have cousins and friends and cousins of friends. Everyone knows everyone. The showcases and tournaments are good for exposure, but better if the coaches are watching for him. My daughter played in a few and always sent info to the coaches (“I’ll be playing at 2 pm on field 24; I wear #2, have black hair in a pony tail, and my stick has yellow and red tape on it.”) I saw coaches/reps taking notes at games (they have a special viewing area) and, at least for girls, all games are videoed and available for coaches to watch later (so then the players can send an email and say “I scored at 12:22 and had two assists at 14:20 and 16:12”)

I’m not sure what kind of school he’s looking for. Syracuse? Marquette? If he wants to stay in the west, look at Utah. There are smaller D1 schools in the east that have really good lax teams - Lehigh, Loyola (Baltimore), Albany.

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Good advice here from @Mwfan1921 and @twoinanddone. There has been some flux in the coaching ranks in NESCAC that may benefit your son if he comes from a school not traditionally recruited by NESCAC members. Bowdoin just hired a new head coach this week, Amherst will hire their second new head coach in two years shortly, the head coach at Conn Coll has one abbreviated season under his belt, and the coaches at Tufts, Trinity and Colby each have five or fewer years experience at their position. Many coaches return to the same recruiting well year after year (they LOVE the NE boarding schools) which can cause them to miss players like your son. The newer coaches may be more open to new recruiting ideas. Many of the NESCACs will attend the same recruiting camp or fall tournament. Try to get into one of those. For those coaches that show interest, follow persistently. A NESCAC opportunity can happen. Good luck!

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I have a son over at Berkeley and I spent entire junior and half of his senior year on this website, and superscoring schools can be tricky, yes some will but they see all scores and so not sure if they will really completely disregard your bad scores. So my son at Cal, took the SAT as Fresh and did not score high at all, then in his Junior in HS, he took ACT and got 34 composite, which was awesome, but wondering if him not getting into Duke or Georgetown had anything to do with SAT score from Freshman year.

Georgetown does require all scores to be sent, so perhaps a low frosh score could impact admissions. But the vast majority of schools don’t require an applicant to report all scores, so they wouldn’t see that low score.