What I Learned: Recruiting Tips, Jan. 5

January, 5, 2012
1/05/12
12:05
AM ET
Nathan RoseGrand Rapids Crew JuniorsNathan Rose of Grand Haven, Mich., suggests being proactive when it comes to recruiting.
According to the NCAA, fewer than six percent of high school senior soccer players will play NCAA Division I, II or III soccer. The recruiting process can be daunting, frustrating and downright confusing for a majority of the athletes seeking one of the highly coveted, yet limited, soccer scholarships.

ESPNHS is turning to the athletes for helpful advice in dealing with the recruiting process. Each week, learn from high school seniors who have verbally committed to NCAA Division I programs.

QUESTION: “What did you learn or what surprised you about the recruiting process?”

JEFF ADKINS, Shelby Township, Mich.
High School:
Utica (Utica, Mich.)
Club: Vardar
College Commitment: Butler
"Keep an open mind. Don't close any doors."

NATE OPPERMAN, Olathe, Kan.
High School:
Olathe South (Olathe, Kan.)
Club: Sporting Kansas City
College Commitment: Evansville
"The biggest thing that surprised me about recruiting was how it just kind of snuck up on me. It all happened so fast and I wasn't ready for all the attention. What I learned was to take your time and don't let any coaches pressure you into a decision if you are not ready. Also look to your club coach, former coaches you've had and, of course, your parents for help and advice."

KYLE UNDERWOOD, Aledo, Texas
High School:
Aledo (Texas)
Club: Andromeda
College Commitment: West Virginia
"The camps are important, but if a program wants you, there's very little confusion. They let you know. Coach LeBlanc was straightforward and sincere and I knew WVU was where I wanted to be."

JUSTIN BILYEU, St. Louis, Mo.
High School:
Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, Mo.)
Club: Scott Gallagher-Missouri
College Commitment: SIU-Edwardsville
"The thing that surprised me most about the recruiting process was how intense and stressful the process can be. I learned to be patient and follow where your heart is telling you to go."

NATHAN ROSE, Grand Haven, Mich.
High School:
Grand Haven (Mich.)
Club: Grand Rapids Crew Juniors
College Commitment: Oakland University
"I learned to not always wait for coaches to contact you first, but let them see that you are interested by contacting them through an e-mail."

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