So many Ivy 2025 verbal commits what is going on?

My DS is a junior at a private school in the NE. She keeps mentioning class mates (also 2025’s) who are posting on IG that they have verbal commits to Ivies and other top colleges. So far this has been for hockey, lacrosse, football and tennis to name a few. None for T&F that we know of which is her sport.
Now this befuddles me. I thought Ivies NEVER did this and you could not be sure you were in until you got a LL. Now I know verbal commits are non-binding in any way but still this seems to go against all I have learned about the recruiting process. Is this something new?

Not new at all. That said, my D’s high school told students not to share information until NLI signing dates.


Undoubtedly they are posting that they are “committing to the process”.

Doesn’t Track and Field recruiting run later than other sports?


They are suppose to say they re committed to the application process at the school, not committed to the school itself.

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D1 schools contact during junior year, though there are differences in timing depending on the sport. The verbal commitment allows the coach to advocate for the candidate in the admissions process and provide assurance that a.) there is a spot on the team, and b.) the school is the student’s top choice. The coach should have an good understanding of the student’s academic performance and potential, though an admissions officer won’t typically give an admissions pre-read until the summer after junior year.

As others have said, at this point athletes should be saying they are “committed to the (application) process.” Ivy-bound athletes at our high school usually wait until summer/fall of senior year to share recruiting news. AOs not coaches make final decisions about admissions, but I’ve rarely heard of it not working out.

I’ve only known one kid in the past eight years who was denied admission. Another kid was told he needed a certain SAT for a Harvard LL and just retested until he hit the mark (I think he took the exam six times).


Time based sports, like T&F and swimming recruit a little later because the is so much development during these year, but not significantly so. Coaches will wait until the T&F season to see where athletes are but you can expect top teams to be done with recruiting by end of Jr year.

While students are still only committing to the admissions process, coaches have a good pulse on what it takes to be accepted and there is significant academic leeway, especially now that TO is a thing.

Announcing early has become more common each year. There are still students that hold off until LL or even acceptance, and there is still the occasional surprise rejection. I think that is rare and almost always “surprise” is debatable since the cause is almost always a significant decline in academic performance/rigor.

Another thing is that the sports you mentioned were always early recruiting sports - even earlier than Jr year before rule changes. I don’t know about T&F but swimming used to not allow recruiting until end of Jr year. The coaches don’t want to miss out on any swimmers but generally hate the new NCAA timeline.

Yes. Ivy League schools are currently hosting XC/TF recruits for official visits for 2024s. Most commitments for high academic schools take place late summer until right before the ED deadline. Lots of musical chairs going on right now. Of course, most don’t post until they have the LL in hand or even wait for the Dec 15 official acceptance.


Our experience: This time last year was when Ivy coaches started their conversations with S24 and they already had several commits. If you wait until the end of Jr year, Ivies are done recruiting in the sport S24 plays(which is a spring sport). They need to really make sure the student is a fit. S24 was not offered a spot until his transcript and test scores were “green-lit” by admissions. The only kids they made verbal offers to are kids they know have the admissions OK. We dealt with 3 different ivies, and they all had full confidence that the players they made offers to always got in, based on a pre-read of transcripts & test scores. They all 3 said they don’t do LLs for athletes in S24’s sport, which only recruits about 7-8 players per year.

All of the kids at S24’s college prep high school post that they are “committed” even if it is verbal. The club teams in S24’s sport all ask & expect a verbally committed athlete in his sport to say where they are committed to, they post it on rosters and it is listed in various places online. It can change of course, but that is generally not the intent of the student or the school.

Is this a source of anxiety for your D? It can be a really hard thing, but it’s really important to help our kids focus on their own recruiting journey. (Or academic/college search journey - it can be stressful for academic high achieving kids who constantly hear “that’s not enough” to watch all the recruiting announcements from the sidelines)


No I don’t think so since these are other sports and she knows that T&F doesn’t usually work like that. She also knows her marks relative to what Ivies recruit which probably causes more than enough anxiety :slight_smile:

I am only familiar with lacrosse, as that is my son’s sport. Sept 1st of junior year is when Div 1 coaches can contact potential recruits. A kid that plays for the same club as him committed to Cornell a half hour past midnight on the 1st. There have been dozens more since. (To Ivies in general, not just Cornell). Very common.

Does that mean she is on the bubble? That was super hard for my athlete and I think the pressure had a big negative impact on his season. Does that mean she’s a strong recruit for many top D3 programs?

Lax and T&F are have very different timelines for Ivy League schools. Since OP has a T&F recruit, my advice would be to not sweat it.

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yes exactly. She would score points at just about any D3 conference meet based on last few years of research. She has been contacted by several D3’s and some D1/D2/NAIA too but nowhere she is interested in. I don’t think the top academic D3’s bother reaching out to athletes until you contact them so we will have to wait and see once she does. Some Ivies publish recruiting standards but I am not sure how rock solid these are considering they need to balance their academic index? Maybe being a stellar student with good test scores allows for slightly lower marks?
How did it work out for your son?

Honestly, we got the impression that AI is a bit of a joke now that schools are TO. There was no “if you can get your SAT to x Ill recruit you” brought up. I know several bubble kids who got in that way in the past.

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Anecdotally, I know that this does happen at a few schools. Johns Hopkins has told recruits of a 1500 SAT minimum cutoff for XCTF and swimming and maybe some other sports. Would they relax it for a top tier kid? Probably. I also know a WashU athlete who was told what SAT scores he need to hit to be recruited(he did and loves it there).

You are absolutely correct. But I believe all recruits need to meet that mark. Wash U simply said we should summit, so I assume there is no cutoff per se, they just tell the kids not to submit.

AI is different because the coaches are trying to hit an average, and they can lower the academic bar for one recruit if the get another to make up for it. Test scores used to be a big part of that calculation so an ok (for that team) athlete could get recruited if they had excellent scores to allow the coach to get the athlete they really wanted. With test optional, AI calculation is fuzzy and heavily reliant on GPA alone - and it’s not that hard to have a high enough GPA when you are looking at that number in a vacuum.


Not a joke at the HYP Ivy S24 is verbally committed to. Very real, at least this year. Sounds like it wasn’t as much of a thing in the past few years.

Interesting. Non of the coaches we met were able (chose not) to explain how AI was being considered.