May 8, 2017

College Volleyball Recruiting and the Deferred Recruitment

I'm a freshmen in high school, and I'm very young for my age. Since my birthday falls at the end of November, I'm much younger than all the kids my grade. So much younger that playing club with my grade is actually me playing "up". 

I've played volleyball since 6th grade, and have dedicated myself to it. I've played on great teams so far (all years have gone to nationals-twice in american & one in national), and I've participated on the USA A3 team. 

I recently really started thinking about college, discussing it with my parents, going to recruiting combines etc. As I've been talking to my parents, they suggested deferring a year after high school to play another year with my grade (I would be playing 18s with seniors as I was in my deferring year), and I really like the idea. I planned to next year play with my age NOT my grade, so I would be repeating 15s for hopefully more playing time (I'm a DS and play consistently, however I know colleges mainly focus on liberos).

Now for my actual question, if I know (at least I think) that I want to defer a year after high school, would it be okay for me to change my grad year on recruiting profiles from 2020 to 2021? Is that lying? 

I wouldn't really care to change it, but I know that when coaches see someone in 10th grade on a team full of 9th graders (even though I would actually be the same age as them), it might change their opinion. I would go to community college, take classes their, travel a little, get involved in my local humane society etc. And I also have gotten invited to camps of some NCAA D2 colleges for the class of 2020, so will changing my grad year help me or hurt me? 

Thank you so much! 


Thank you for your question and more recruits are delaying matriculation to college volleyball because of their age.

The biggest component of managing a successful recruiting process in communication and as long as you effectively communicate your plan with college coaches, I don't see waiting one year to enroll as anything but positive.

As a D1 head coach, I had 'young' players for their grad year and they were physically behind their same year classmates and noticeably behind the current players on the roster.  Many college coaches will now look to redshirt young players (mostly attackers), so they can catch up physically without wasting a year of eligibility.

Your graduation year is not going to change, as you will still be graduating in 2020 but your recruiting year will be 2021 if you decide to defer.  So, in all of your outreach emails to college coaches, you need to make sure that you clearly communicate this fact - Graduating in 2021 but a 2021 recruit.  In your outreach emails, maybe make the heading 2021 recruit (graduating in 2020).

Please note, that to not use a year of eligibility, any college classes must be part time (not full time enrolled) and need to confirm with the NCAA that playing volleyball with your club team will not use a year of collegiate eligibility (absolutely do not play with another team; adult league, college club, etc).

As a libero, I would not make this change in recruiting year until you are a Senior.  Think about it this way; you have 2 years to find your collegiate roster spot.  If you are getting good recruiting interest and have found a school which fits your academic and scholarship desires for the 2020 class, late in your Junior year or early in your Senior year, then great!

If not, then switch the recruiting year to 2021, and reset your communication outreach.  As a Libero (and always market yourself as a Libero, not DS - The fact you may not be currently playing the position in club does matter), you will have more time on the recruiting clock as Liberos are generally the last position to be recruited.  This allows you the time window to have one foot in each recruiting year!

Lastly, focus the most on skill development - no matter your graduation/recruit year or your position, talent will determine your opportunities.  As you are still young, now is the time to lay the foundation for great ability!

Good luck!


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