The Best Way to Get Recruited for College Sports



The college sports recruiting process is a long one. And while incredible stories do exist, it’s rare that someone just gets recruited out of the blue. In most cases, students have to actively seek out and plan for recruiting - especially if they want to land a spot at the college of their dreams.

Don’t worry, though - you can take proactive steps to improve your chances of competing at the college level. 

Here’s what you need to know:

When Does College Recruiting Start?

Today, colleges start recruiting batches of new athletes as early as freshman year. In some cases, top athletic programs may even start recruiting as early as 8th grade. Generally, recruiters are looking for first-year college students who received prestigious all-state awards and were ranked as top-tier recruits at a showcase or tournament, or have varsity or elite club experience.

If you don’t get recruited as a freshman, though, there’s still plenty of hope. Many colleges recruit athletes throughout their sophomore and junior years. Nevertheless, if your goal is to compete at the NCAA level, it’s wise to start the recruiting process as soon as possible. 

4 Smart Steps to Get Recruited for College Sports

You know precisely which college you want to play sports for. Now, it’s time to follow these tips to get recruited:

1. Get educated about the recruiting funnel

Before you can get busy trying to get recruited, you have to understand how college coaches regard the recruiting process. We recommend thinking of the process like a whirlpool: at the top of the whirlpool are thousands of potential recruits from colleges all around the country. 

When you move down the whirlpool just a bit more, you get to the evaluation phase, when coaches start evaluating recruits based on requirements like height, weight, year, and position. From there, coaches reach out directly to the recruits they see as the most promising. Finally, all the way at the bottom of the whirlpool is the actual offer and invitation process, when coaches identify and extend offers to their top recruits. 

2. Take the initiative to stand out

Remember how there are thousands of recruits at the top of the funnel? If you want to stand out, you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the rest of the recruits. Here are a few ways to do it:

  • Reach out to coaches you’re interested in with an introductory email. Use it as a chance to introduce yourself, cover your academic and athletic achievements, and underline why you’re interested in the program. 
  • Understand your position against other athletes. Next, it’s time to get an objective view of how you stand against the other student-athletes. The best ways to do this are to research college rosters and consider evaluation by a third party like Level Up Sports. Knowing how you stack up is an invaluable part of the recruitment process.  
  • Understand the division levels. Once you’ve understood your level of interest and talent, it’s time to consider the various division levels available to you. Some of the possibilities include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and smaller communities like NAIA and NJCAA, which are good options for junior athletes. 


While a big part of recruitment is athletic ability, a good deal of it is also preparedness.  Taking these steps is a critical part of getting the position you want.

3. Know the academic eligibility requirements

Finally, you have to consider the academic eligibility requirements of getting recruited to your favorite school. Academic eligibility requirements change depending on whether you want to get recruited for an NCAA, NAIA, or JUCO school. Keep in mind that each school level also has its own eligibility requirements, so it’s critical to keep your academic record strong. The stronger your academic record is, the more opportunities you’ll have when it comes to scholarships.

4. Use a recruiting tool

As the world becomes increasingly digital, recruiting tools are a great way to stand out and be noticed in a competitive recruitment environment. Here at Level Up Sports, we help athletes gain maximum exposure to college coaches. Sign up today to supercharge your recruiting journey. 

Recruitment Made Easy

College recruitment should be an exciting time, and following these tips is a great way to increase your chances and enjoy thinking about your future place at your dream school! Here at Level Up Sports, our team will do everything in our power to help you get recruited to the college of your dreams. Learn more today. 

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