If you are reading Recruiting-101, there is a great chance that you are still going through the football recruiting process in hopes of finding a home for college. And if you are a scholarship athlete, then there will be an opportunity for you to make official football recruiting visits within the next few months.
But when do schools normally bring athletes onto campus? This really does depend on the school and the coaches but for the most part, the athletes are usually brought to the school around the exact same time. Yes, it does vary on occasion but these are usually the norm for when Division I-A, Division I-AA, and Division II football coaches try to extend their official visits to recruits.
Let me state that even though most college coaches love getting athletes onto campus during the football season, it normally doesn’t happen at all levels. The reason is because the athletes as well as the coaches are extremely busy and finding a date that works rarely happens.
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For most coaches, the only time that the in-season official visits happens is if a recruit is telling the coaches that he wants to make an in-season decision. The coaches will have likely had to already offer this recruit but if he says that, then they will speed up the process and try to bring them onto campus. Yes, it is difficult for the coaches because they have more than enough things going on but these do happen.
The time that most Division I-A (BCS) coaches want to bring scholarship athletes in for official visits is usually right after the regular season ends. These schools obviously hope to be looking ahead to the bowl game so the recruits can come in, see their practices, have a great deal of time to spend with the coaches, and get a good feel for the program overall. Some colleges also try to bring lots of recruits in during their team banquet as well.
I would say the biggest months for undecided Division I-A recruits with scholarship offers in taking official visits is likely January. They do use the early portion of December and the late portion of November but January allows them to use every weekend of the month to bring athletes on campus.
For walk-on recruits, it is usually late January or even early February. This is because the coaches want to know where they stand with other recruits first. If you get word that a Division I-A school wants you to official later on, then it is likely as a walk-on or potentially as a gray-shirt (this is not in every case but the majority of the time this happens).
The coaches overall try to do everything that they can to get the local kids in for unofficial visits during the fall months. This will allow these players a chance to see first hand what a game atmosphere is like at the school and how crazy their crowd is into the games. With an NCAA allowed three games that you can go to, this is why I feel it is important to take up the tickets for the local visits. And again, if there is no scholarship on the table and there is a hefty cost for travel, don’t make the trip. Getting no scholarship is not worth spend $1,000 for a game day visit.