Five factors in building your college recruiting list

Laying the groundwork for a successful college recruiting effort is essential and developing operatives that will help you pinpoint important targets along the way is crucial to the momentum you build.

This article offers 5 factors to help integrate your initial college list and provide you with an organized approach as you begin navigating the college recruiting process.

Gather information

Building a college recruiting information base can begin as early as the ninth grade as a family hobby and increasingly grow into a highly organized, disciplined project moving through the senior year. Develop an awareness of college recruiting procedures by accessing the Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete ( This is a great resource that will give you a clear snapshot of recruiting rules and eligibility.

Self-awareness is a powerful tool and growing an appreciation for what potentially appeals to you in a college experience is a great place to start. Meet as a family and begin to identify “college descriptors” that include level of athleticism, geographic location, population (urban, rural, college town) and size of undergraduate population.  

Academic ranking
Look carefully at the quality of education different colleges and universities offer. US News and World Report is a great resource that annually ranks college institutions. You want to strive to make “impact” with the college athletic experience, but always remember that the academic piece will last a lifetime.

Maintain individual e-files on your favorite college programs and remain attentive to your academic areas of interest. You may not identify with an exact college major now, but begin to cultivate an academic direction you lean toward.

Athletic ,atch
Take time to investigate team statistics and rankings, along with coach profiles and mission statements in an effort to “match” with college sports programs. Encourage your high school and/or club coach to offer a fair and realistic athletic skill evaluation. Establish your current point of reference as a prospect and identify clear targets to reach your ultimate goal.

If you are a blue chip prospect you will probably not have many hurdles to cross in the recruiting process. Conversely, if you are a second-tier prospect, you will likely be grouped into a larger and more competitive file of prospects. You will simply need to work harder, prepare better and execute your recruiting effort with more passion if...

[Read the full column]

Tom Kovic

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit

© 2011,