Juniors get recruited to play for college sports

April 3, 2019 — by Jun Lee and Kaylene Morrison

While many juniors scramble for summer internships at coveted programs during the spring semester, a few are looking further into the future: They are immersed in the process of securing a spot as a recruited college athlete.

For many of these athletes, getting recruited provides an opportunity to be accepted into schools that may have been difficult to get into based on academics alone.

“A lot of people work really hard in school to do all these AP classes and get a really high GPA,” said junior golfer Kevin Sze, a top player in the school. “For me, the standards are a little bit lower. I still need to get a good GPA and work hard but nothing like what a lot of these kids are doing these days.”

After committing to a school, student athletes may need to sign a contract that they will be required to play for the college for certain amount of time.

For senior golfer Janelle Jin, recruitment was a complex and lengthy recruitment process. Eventually Jin was offered a spot on the Amherst team last August.

After meeting the coach and visiting the campus, Jin accepted, but she has no requirement for the number of years she must play. While she isn’t sure what her exact schedule will be on the team, she predicts having practices or matches the entire week save for one day of rest. On most weekends, she will be traveling to play in tournaments with her team.

Coaches began contacting Sze this past September, and he has been exchanging emails with several of them since then. Sze also sent out emails to coaches of Division 1 teams, in which he provided information, including his ranking in golf and his GPA and SAT scores. He then visited several schools to introduce himself to coaches he had been in contact with.

However, because the details of recruitment must be kept confidential, Sze said he is unable to disclose the names of the schools he has been looking into.

“It’s a pretty behind closed doors process,” Sze said. “I think part of it is you can’t really reveal the entire process if there’s not a one hundred percent guarantee you’re getting in and usually coaches don’t give you all the players they’re looking at.”

Junior Ananya Krishnan has also begun the recruiting process for soccer. So far, she has been playing in showcases with her club team in hopes of being noticed by college coaches and has created profiles on college recruiting websites.

“I am planning to contact coaches in April or May in preparation for some of the more important summer tournaments like Manchester City Cup or Surf Cup,” she said. “I have made a highlight video that I will send out when I contact those coaches.”

Like Sze, Krishnan is hoping to be recruited by schools she thinks would be challenging to get into academically, such as NYU, Carnegie Mellon and Wellesley. Though she believes she has a better chance of being considered by Division III teams, she will still contact Division I and Division II teams as well.

Krishnan did not decide to play soccer in college until December when she realized her skills in soccer had improved significantly.

“I had one of the best seasons of my life during this past high school season,” she said. “It helped me remember why I started playing in the first place.”

Junior football player George Bian, a star wide receiver and top student, did not make the decision to attempt to get recruited until recently as well. Initially, he played solely because he found football to be enjoyable.

“I created my profile around sophomore year, but I wasn’t seriously involved in the process until after my successful junior season, when I realized how much I loved the game and that playing competitively at the next level was a plausible step for me,” he said.

In addition to creating an NCSA profile, Bian has been emailing coaches to introduce himself and share videos of his games. Bian is aiming for all division levels, but is primarily hoping to play at the 1-AA and Division III levels at MIT and the Ivy League schools.

Sze said he has had his sights set on playing golf in college since he was 7 years old, when he started playing.

“It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do,” he said. “And it’s just kind of a step along the way to go to college, and golf is just something that can help me get in.”


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