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What I Learned: Recruiting Tips, Jan. 26

1/25/2012
Dilan Casanovas-Mack said picking the right camp led him to an NCAA Division I soccer opportunity. Naial Casanovas/ESPNHS

According to the NCAA, less than six percent of all high school senior soccer players will move on to the NCAA Division I, II or III ranks. 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.

Therefore, ESPNHS is turning to the athletes for helpful advice in dealing with the recruiting process.

Each week, ESPNHS will feature tips for 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?”

AARON THOMPSON, Lakewood, Calif.

High School:
Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.)

Club: San Gabriel Valley SC

College Commitment: San Diego State

“What surprised me most about the process was just knowing that someone is always watching, even when you least expect it. So my advice to younger players is to always bring your “A” game! It doesn’t matter if you get 90 minutes, 60 minutes or 30 minutes on the pitch, always give it your best – because you never know when someone important is watching you.”

KEVIN ROBERTS, Stafford, Va.

High School:
Colonial Forge (Stafford, Va.)

Club: Richmond Strikers

College Commitment: George Mason

“I think something I can pass on to younger players is that they should do their homework. Pick a few schools you want to go to and then look at their soccer programs and narrow down schools that way. Then you can e-mail the coaches.”

DANIEL HARE, Overland Park, Kan.

High School:
Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)

Club: Sporting Kansas City

College Commitment: Loyola (Ill.)

“I was surprised at how much work was involved. There were numerous college visits and a lot of time was put into editing video and getting copies of my games sent out to schools. Not only that but also the countless hours spent at the computer looking into schools, e-mailing coaches, and evaluating soccer programs. I would tell younger players that they have to put a lot of hard work and dedication into the process if they want to go to the right school for them. It takes a lot of effort to make a well informed decision and the recruiting process is definitely something that shouldn't be rushed. If they do all their work on and off the field, then everything will work out in the end.”

DILAN CASANOVAS-MACK, Barcelona, Spain

High School:
Loomis-Chaffee (Windsor, Conn.)

Club: CD Banyoles

College Commitment: Lehigh

“As an international soccer player and boarder at a prep school, I wasn't able to belong to an Academy club team and therefore could not get visibility from college coaches. I learned that you have to choose the right soccer camps and stay focused on the colleges that you are interested in.”

ANDREW GARCIA, Land O’Lakes, Fla.

High School:
Land O’Lakes (Fla.)

Club: Brandon Flames

College Commitment: Florida Gulf Coast

“How fast it comes and you need to be prepared for everything, physically fit and most of all your grades. Without good grades and hard work none of this would be possible.”