If you have been visiting this site over the last few weeks, then you would have read how to get database profiles on Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN. And while getting a football recruiting or basketball recruiting database profile will not guarantee you a scholarship, it certainly will not hurt you throughout the athletic recruiting process.
I can attest that when trying to contact these sites and get added, one of the first things they are going to ask you is which Division I programs are recruiting you? If it is still not September 1st of your junior season, then it is not easy to figure out what schools are recruiting you. So I am going to take a look at what constitutes recruiting interest from a college program because the last thing you want to do is get caught in a white lie.
If it is BEFORE September 1st of your Junior Year and you are a football player
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- E-Book: How Seniors Can Finish the Football Recruiting Process Strong
Since you are still young, it is going to be tough to get a good feel of what schools are actually interested in you and your abilities. The NCAA rules for football recruiting make it much tougher for athletes to get a good feel early on. Outside of offering a scholarship through your high school coach, there is no definite way to figure out how interested the colleges are.
What that unfortunately means is that you will be basing your recruiting attention on questionnaires and camp invites. Do I really feel deep down that these are serious recruiting interest? Not a chance. However, for Rivals, Scout, and ESPN, they are going to love to put up that Ohio State, Tennessee, and Georgia has sent you questionnaires and camp invites. If they have sent these early on, it doesn’t matter if you never hear from them again in your entire life. They at least sent a piece of recruiting mail and can be considered to be showing you some recruiting interest.
A good question I got asked was from an athlete who started marketing himself to college coaches early. If they respond to your profile/email, does that mean they are recruiting you? Again, deep down I am going to say no. However, if telling the people at Scout that Notre Dame sent emails gets you a profile, then that is fine. You are not lying. They may not be all after you and days away from offering a scholarship but if they responded to the email and said that they will keep in touch in the future, then it counts.
I have to say that if a school doesn’t send a questionnaire, does not invite you to their camp, and doesn’t respond to your emails, it doesn’t matter if they are your dream school. It is unethical to include them among the schools that are recruiting you in your profile. Make sure to keep that in mind when sending them the schools after you because for the second time, you don’t want to get caught in a lie. These services have a lot of connections with college coaches and discrepancies will pop up and be made public.
If it is AFTER September 1st of your Junior Year and you are a football player
If you took the time to read the previous four paragraphs, find a way to clear your head because I want to tell you that none of this should apply to anyone who is a junior and above. I personally believe there are two different periods of the recruiting process and that September 1st starts the second one.
So what should qualify as recruiting interest now? Camp invites and questionnaires certainly do not. After September 1st, college coaches are able to send much more mail to prospective athletes. If it is past that date and all you are getting is questionnaires and camp invites, then the school is not recruiting you. Again, they are not recruiting you.
If a school does send other mail, I think it officially counts. I could careless if it is form mail that is generic as it comes. If they take the time to send that to you and pay the pricey postage, then you can consider them recruiting you for the sake of the recruiting databases. I however believe this recruiting interest is worthless but that is another story.
As far as emails go, a response is no longer good enough to count as recruiting attention. What you need is to get personalized emails after you marketed yourself to them. If they send you something asking about a schedule or telling you about their program, then that works. But outside of that, nothing else matters.
Anyways, that is what I believe makes up the recruiting attention that can go on your profiles. Again, none of these really matter much at all in the long term scheme of things. But I know that Rivals, ESPN, and Scout will all want to hear which Division I schools are recruiting you. By following these above examples, you can ethically feel confident about what you tell them.