Athletic Quest Announces Top Ten College Recruiting Rules for Students

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Obtaining a college scholarship is of paramount importance to athletes and often they don't know exactly what is involved or what they can do. These rules help to define the direction to go and the results an athlete can expect to achieve.

“Athletic Quest is comprised of current and former college coaches — the only team of its kind in the college recruiting industry,” says Coach John Scott, president and CEO of Athletic Quest. “So when our team came up with the Top Ten College Recruiting Rules, we knew it was solid information for student athletes and their parents to better understand the recruiting process.”

Top Ten College Recruiting Rules:
1. If an athlete want to play, there is a way. Be realistic and open-minded.
2. College recruiting is a process, not a privilege.
3. Don’t play the “fame game.” Pick a college because it fits, not because of its name.
4. If a coach isn’t maintaining weekly contact, odds are the athlete isn't in the top five.
5. A contact is not a contract. Anyone can receive form letters, camp brochures and recruiting questionnaires.
6. Expand, don’t demand. College coaches recruit up to 15 athletes for one roster opening. Be looking at the same number of possibilities.
7. “Walk on” means walk off. Coaches can invite hundreds of student athletes to walk onto their team each year at no cost.
8. Attend the school where of opportunity, rather than desire.
9. If the coaches believe in an athlete, they’ll find athletic scholarships for that athlete.
10. An athlete doesn't have to go D-1, to be one. Less than 1% of high school athletes will play NCAA Division I. But there are plenty of other playing opportunities and options for sport scholarships.

“Let’s talk about Recruiting Rule #1,” states Coach Scott. “Every year Athletic Quest has helped hundreds of student athletes find playing options with college scholarships averaging over $84,000 per student athlete. The hard reality is that most people in search of football recruiting, basketball recruiting and all other sports have NCAA Division I colleges as their goal. That’s the dream. But it’s not the reality for the majority of high school student athletes. The fact is that less than one in 100 seniors will ever play NCAA Division I major sports. But, six out of 100 seniors will go on to play college sports at some level other than Division I.”

People believe that college coaches scout during the season. That’s the biggest myth of all. Most coaches find recruits in the off-season and pre-season. During the season they’re trying to win games, coach their teams, scout their opponents and maintain contact with students already on their recruiting lists.

Don't think that college coaches are out looking at recruits during the senior year. By the senior year, 90% of recruiting has been completed.

So what can an athlete do? “Prepare a quality player profile or resume,” states Coach Scott. “I recently met with a hockey player and his parents had spent tens of thousands of dollars to get him trained and prepared to play college hockey. They presented me with a six-page player resume. I said, ‘The first thing you’re showing me is what he did in junior high!’ As a college coach, I want to know what he’s done in the last 12 to 18 months to make him an upper tier athlete.” That resume would have ended up in a college coaches outbox immediately.

A quality player profile should include a sports action photo. If an action photo is not available, then provide a still photo. Here are the rules for sports photos: Don’t smile. Be dressed in appropriate athletic gear. The photo should be a full body shot. Coaches are looking for basic build, muscular structure, and overall size to correlate with the resume.

The player profile should include position played, physical characteristics (height, weight, left- or right-handed, 40-time, 60-time, vertical jump, wingspan, bench press, squats, one-mile run), times, scores, and any other athletic data. Be sure to include achievements such as all-league, varsity starter, all-county, all-district, all-region, etc.

Ask this: “If I was a college coach, would I recruit me?” Think about the level the coach is looking for. A 6’5” basketball center can possibly play NCAA Division III or maybe even Division II, but not Division I — their centers are 6’8” to 6’11” or even 7’. Why would a college coach recruit lower than what they already have on their roster? Review rosters and what the players’ achievements are. That’s one way to look at the right level of competition.

Include the coach’s email and phone information on the athlete's player profile. Obviously include the athlete's contact information.

It’s critically important to list academic information on a resume which include: GPA, SAT scores, ACT scores and class ranking.

College coaches recruit from these criteria:
(1) Resume or a questionnaire provided. If the resume doesn’t provide information needed, it’s going into a coach’s outbox.

(2) Highlight tape. “If I’m looking at 300 resumes from the 1,000 I received,” comments Coach Scott, “do you really think I’m going to look at 2 hours of game tape for each of these 300 kids? Again, look at this presentation from a college coach’s perspective. Your highlight tape should be no more than 5 minutes long. It should focus on primary strengths, 8-10 clips of your best skills or weapons you have as a player, and 8-10 clips of what your secondary skill or weapon is, then clips of your third skill or weapon. Show your primary strengths first and work your way down the list.”

Highlights should be against good competition, win or lose. Nobody wants to see an athlete dominate others that are two feet shorter than two years younger. Coaches are looking for college level players, so highlights should be against good competition.

Do not put music on a highlight tape! Coaches want to hear the sound of the game.

Don’t pick a college because of it’s popularity. What’s the goal? Is it to get a good education and play college sports? Or is the goal to tell relatives the Notre Dame uniform will be worn? There are not many “Rudys” in the world, like in the movie. Rudy paid his own tuition, which today would be equivalent to $180,000 at Notre Dame. He played 33 seconds in the last quarter of the last home game in his senior year. He probably could have played NCAA Division III, experienced a fun playing career and had part or all of his education paid for at a lower level of competition.

There are two options for college sports:
(1) To attend a good academic school that’s NCAA Division I but not playing college sports.
(2) To attend an equally good academic school that’s NCAA Division II, NAIA or III and participate in college sports.

Which is best? “My experience has been that the majority of student athletes want to play,” reflects Coach Scott. “That’s really what you need to wrap your head around: What are your goals, what do you want to accomplish, and what’s your right level of competition.”

Athletic Quest can be contacted by visiting or by calling 888-803-5157. Call Athletic Quest for a free evaluation ($50.00 value) or to visit with a college coach recruiter.

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