NCAA Eligibility High School Timeline:

Freshman Year: Do your research

  • Create a list of 100 prospective schools (research two or three schools each week).
  • Send introductory letters to coaches of programs you're interested in.
  • Fill out questionnaires you receive in the mail and send them back right away.
  • Follow up with phone calls and letters to coaches.
  • Find camps or combines in your area.
  • Attend those events and keep track of your accomplishments.
  • Film every game that you participate in.
  • Try to go on at least three unofficial visits.

Sophomore Year: Build relationships

  • Continue to send letters and make calls to the coaches of programs that interest you.
  • Schedule unofficial visits.
  • Hone in on the schools you like best from your list of 100.
  • Know that Division I and II coaches cannot personally contact you, but you can contact them by sending letters.
  • D-III and NAIA coaches can contact you. Stay in touch and build relationships.
  • Many high-level D-I schools begin making offers during the summer after your sophomore year.
  • Continue filming games, and consider filming a workout.

Junior Year: Focus on your targets and spread the word

  • Develop a 5-5-5 List: five programs that may be slightly above your reach, five that are a good fit and five back-up schools.
  • Follow up with coaches through phone calls, emails and letters to determine where you stand on their lists of recruits.
  • Attend combines, camps and one-day college-sponsored camps.
  • Make highlight videos.
  • If you haven't heard from Division I coaches, reach out to D-II, D-III or NAIA programs.

Senior Year: Commit to athletic and academic excellence; seal the deal

  • Follow up with coaches and schedule official visits. (Note: You are limited to five official visits to D-I and D-II schools.)
  • Start your financial aid planning; register for FAFSA ( as soon as January 1.
  • Officially commit to a program. Signing Day is the first Wednesday in February, and signings continue through April 1.
  • Find out when you need to report to camp.
  • On September 1, D-I coaches can start calling on a weekly basis. In most cases, they will have already made offers.
  • D-II, D-III, NAIA schools do most of their recruiting and make offers in the spring of your senior year.
  • Junior college is a good option for student-athletes who want to develop academically.

Courtesy of

Contact: Dan Barutha