OGFC College Recruiting Newsletter
Parents and Players,
 
Whether you’ve started the recruiting process or are about to, it can be a confusing process with many questions and no promises you’ll find answers to those questions. In my 25+ years of college coaching, I’ve seen just about every methodology employed by parents and players to try and find the right “fit”. 

There are athletes that started the process when they were in junior high (in fact, I just received an email from a 2025 grad interested in our program – WOW). And there are those that make a decision in the spring of their senior year. Some players choose the first school they visit and some have put together a matrix of strengths and weaknesses of all the various schools they have visited. In spite of all of this, there are hundreds and hundreds (literally) of college soccer players looking to transfer from the program they are currently involved in. 

Regardless of what methodology you use, a good starting point is to get answers to the 10 questions listed below. If you do this, it should give you a manageable pool of schools from which you can start, redirect or continue your search.

1.How many students attend the university?

You may like the type of classroom setting where there are only 25 students in class. Or perhaps you don’t mind being in a classroom with 200 other students in your first year or two.

2.How far away am I willing to go or how close do I want to stay?

Are you the type of person that is okay not being able to get home only 2 or 3 times during the academic year? Perhaps a 4 to 5 hour radius is better for you, then you’re “away” at college, but can come home for the weekend. Maybe its just better fit to go to college locally, then your mom can do your laundry.

3.What type of campus life am I interested in?

Realistically you can carve out the social experience you want at any school you choose. However, if your hope is to attend a school with a vibrant, ahem, “night life”, then you probably shouldn’t choose a strong faith based program in the middle of nowhere.
 
4.What will my role be within the soccer program?

This is very important. Be realistic. And as the inscription on the Temple of Delphi states – “know thyself”.  If you have a hard time sitting on the bench, then choose the level that will allow you to play sooner rather than later. Who cares if you’re playing Division 1 soccer if you’re the 31 st player on a 30 player roster.
 
5.What is the retention rate within the soccer program?

You can ask the coaching staff or simply look at the roster over the course of the previous 4 years or so. A revolving door may be a red flag. Keep in mind that the retention rate in men’s soccer programs are traditionally lower than in the women’s game.

6.What is the level of the programs that I’ve received the most interest from?

If you are at the stage where you are receiving genuine interest (not generic invitations to ID Camps) from college programs, make note as to whether there is a general level that seems most interested. In other words, chances are good that if 95% of the interest you’re receiving is coming from Division 3 programs, then chances are you’re a Division 3 level player.

7.If I was injured and unable to continue to play soccer, would I still be happy at this school?

There are players that go to college and happen to play soccer. And there are players who play soccer who happen to be in college. Where ever you fall on that pendulum, ask yourself whether you’d still be happy at the school if soccer was no longer an option.

8.What kind of academic support do you provide to athletes?

Do they have an academic support staff within the athletic department or university that is easily accessible? Are study tables, progress reports and tutors a component the athletic department provides and/or utilizes?

9.Are they able to “stack” scholarship monies?

If you are considering a level that can provide athletic scholarships (essentially all levels with the exception of Division 3), do they allow you to “stack” scholarship? Most schools will allow you to combine athletic, academic and civic awards. This can provide you with a very healthy financial package. However, there are institutions that will only allow one or the other. If you receive an athletic scholarship, you can’t receive any other monies.

10.Have I registered with the NCAA or the NAIA Clearinghouse?

If you intend to pursue playing at an NCAA or NAIA institution, you need to register in order to be eligible.  

Recommended Reading

Game Six by Mark Frost
  " There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you” Maya Angelou
Pat Ferguson is our editor for this series of college recruiting newsletters. Pat is currently our girls director of player development and the women's soccer coach at Wright State University. Please click here to view prior issues of our Ohio Galaxies FC college recruiting newsletter.