Playing at the college level is a dream for many aspiring high school baseball players; unfortunately, it is an especially difficult dream to accomplish as baseball scholarships are not as plentiful as other sports. Although nearly 500,000 students play high school baseball, less than two percent will be picked to play Division 1 college baseball. While there is no easy way to be recruited for your dream college team, the more knowledge student-athletes have during their high school career, the more likely they are to stand out in the recruitment process. As a former player for NC State, Domonique Rodgers understands firsthand the recruitment process and the difficulties therein. Within this blog, Domonique Rodgers of NC State hopes to pass on his expertise and hopefully help student-athletes achieve their dream of playing at the college level.
Student-athletes should spend their freshman year researching college baseball teams, networking, and creating their initial skills video. Dominique Rodgers encourages first-year students to view their first year in high school as a way to form a strong foundation for recruitment. One of the most important steps for recruitment is forming solid relationships with different schools, which can be done by sending letters/ emails of introduction to different college coaches, attending camps and showcases after the school season, and simply going on unofficial visits to the colleges.
If student-athletes have not formed strong relationships with college teams and coaches, it is important to prioritize this throughout the sophomore years by continuing to write letters/emails to coaches and visit dream schools. However, students should also continue to research prospective schools, narrow down their target teams list, and begin filling out questionnaires. Finally, before the school year ends, students should update their skills tape and have it evaluated by someone with a college baseball background.
Junior year is perhaps the most crucial year to solidify relationships with coaches. Student-athletes are encouraged to respond to every coach they are in contact with and ask coaches where they currently stand on their recruitment list. This may seem unorthodox to some students; however, this practice is very common in recruitment and important for students to know where they stand in rosters.
Students will often learn whether or not they have been recruited for college baseball teams during their senior fall or spring semester. Up until a student has been notified of their recruitment, they should continue to network, apply for schools, and reach out to coaches. Once they know their recruitment status, however, be sure to check the team’s summer workout schedule and begin preparing!