Secondary schools around the country are currently in recruiting season, looking for the new faces of college athletics.
On May 1, current high school seniors will officially decide what college or university they plan on attending in the fall. Recruitment for collegiate sports is a large part of the decision making process.
Sophomore Matt Kubly was recruited to play center for California Lutheran University football beginning his junior year of high school.
“I relied heavily on my head coach from my high school, and he pointed me in the direction of Cal Lutheran and asked me if I was interested. After saying I was, he then made a phone call, and because really it’s a lot to do with your high school coaches. They’re the ones getting your name out there,” Kubly said.
Debbie Day, assistant athletic director for Cal Lutheran athletics and head softball coach said there are a number of ways athletic departments get information on a potential student athlete, or prospect.
“We can get information on a prospect via email, via recommendation. There are so many recruiting businesses out there now that try and refer kids so we get things in the mail. Depending on the time of the year, I would say we get between five to 30 emails a day from prospects,” Day said.
Day has worked for both Division I and Division III schools. She said Division I recruiting is different primarily because of scholarships available.
“D1 recruiting for me, is more of a business because money’s involved. You are trying to get kids to come to your school but offering the least amount of money to entice them to sign,” Day said.
Division I athletics are more visible to the public than Division III schools. Division I games are sometimes televised and usually cost money to attend in person, while at Cal Lutheran admission to all athletic events is free. Even at Division I schools, few student athletes are on full scholarships through the sport in which they compete, according to Day.
As a Division III school, Cal Lutheran does not offer scholarships based on athletic talents, but many of the student athletes receive academic scholarships.
“Here, we obviously can’t…offer any money which is really difficult as a coach because you have kids who could walk right in and turn your program around and they love the school and they want to come here, but sometimes you’re going to lose those kids just because you can’t offer them any money based on their sport,” Day said.
Kubly said when he committed to Cal Lutheran he had a gut feeling that it was going to be a good fit for him.
“Every other place I went to mentioned my size,” Kubly said. “For the position I play, which is center on the offensive line, I am extremely small. This was the only school that during the recruiting process made no mention about my weight being an issue. That kind of gave me hope that I’d actually see the field and not just be on the sideline.”
Janelle Porter, sophomore basketball player was recruited to play here after her sister came to Cal Lutheran. Her interest began after she visited.
“I liked the coach, coach Dow. He was very nice, very sweet to my family. I liked the way he played, his style, it was just perfect,” Porter said.
Both Kubly and Porter said they felt they were the perfect fit for the school, not just the athletic department.
“If you’re not passionate or enthusiastic about your sport, you’re not going to play because you’re not getting paid for it,” Day said. “We really purposely look for somebody who looks like they love their sport. That’s somebody who I know would potentially be able to be a part of our program for four years.”
Published April 29th, 2015