Are you in high school and feeling like time is running out? You may be worrying for no reason!
Generally, college coaches stop recruiting into a player’s senior year. The majority get offers sometime between the end of junior and the beginning of senior year.
More specifically, it’s team-by-team basis, college coaches will stop recruiting when their roster is full. The top D1 schools will try to get their top prospects committed in their junior year or as early as possible.
In NCSA’s survey of D1 men’s soccer coaches, 74% reported that they began evaluating talent in the 10th grade. Athletes who are serious about playing for a D1 men’s soccer program need to start the recruiting process early and reach out to coaches sophomore year of high school—or even earlier.
I’ve laid out a general timeline that might be helpful for soccer players looking to play in college.
What is the College Recruiting Timeline?
If you’re a high school soccer player with aspirations of playing at the college level, it’s important to understand the college soccer recruiting process and timeline.
Recruiting timelines vary between divisions and colleges, but in general, college coaches start recruiting athletes as early as their sophomore year of high school.
Here is a general timeline of the college soccer recruiting process:
During your freshman year of high school, you should focus on getting laying the foundation of your tentative plans for the next level.
Do you want to play in college? If so, you should also start researching colleges and universities that might interest you.
You should also start thinking about your social profiles, highlight films, and ways to improve your game.
Don’t stress much about college as a Freshman. Focus on establishing good grades and improving your soccer skills.
The earliest coaches or scouts can start reaching out to a player is June 15th of their sophomore year.
During your sophomore year of high school, you should start reaching out to college coaches and sending them your soccer highlights and game footage. Put feelers out there.
You should have a pulse of what division you want to play in and what schools might be a good fit for you.
You can also start taking unofficial visits to college campuses and attending their soccer games.
During your junior year of high school, you can start taking official visits to college campuses and meeting with college coaches.
You should also ramp up your public profiles. Include more highlights on Instagram or Hudl, post your game film on YouTube, and share it with potential coaches.
You’ll also want to attend as many showcases as possible. Your soccer club will likely attend some but you should do your research for any showcases where your shortlist of schools might be at.
During the summer between your junior and senior year, you should start the application process for colleges you are interested in.
Also, at this time, you can apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which can give you a clear picture of how much you will be paying for college if you don’t get a scholarship.
If you haven’t accepted an offer yet, you should continue to communicate with college coaches and keep them updated.
It’s important to note that college soccer coaches can stop recruiting athletes when their rosters are full. This could be sometime in your senior year.
The best way to gauge when college coaches stop recruiting for your sport is to check the NCAA recruiting calendar.
Factors Influencing Recruitment End Dates
When college soccer coaches stop recruiting varies depending on a variety of factors.
Here are some of the most common factors that influence the end date of recruitment for college soccer teams.
- NCAA Division Differences: Each college division has different recruiting timelines and rules they need to follow.
- Scholarship Availability: If a college soccer team has a limited budget for scholarships, they may stop recruiting once they have filled all of their available scholarship spots.
- Needs & Roster Spots: If a team has a strong returning roster and only a few spots to fill, they may stop recruiting earlier than a team with many roster spots to fill. Or, if they need to fill a position, they’ll continue recruiting.
I hope this article helps you understand when soccer coaches and scouts stop recruiting.
At the end of the day, there is no hard deadline but, obviously, the earlier the better. If you aren’t committed by the spring of your senior year, I think it may be time to start panicking (or consider a gap year).