Three student athletes talk about the process of building recruitment profiles

Three student athletes talk about the process of building recruitment profiles

Seniors Ella Hansen and Colin McAlister are both committed to Division I colleges while junior Jayden Woods holds 24 Division I offers
Senior Ella Hansen continues her swimming career by signing on to the University of Missouri
Starting off her race at a competition, senior Ella Hansen continues to improve her times even after committing to Mizzou. (By Submitted by Sweet Chai Photography)

Swimmer and senior Ella Hansen committed to the University of Missouri in June.

“I wanted to continue my swimming career and just see how long I can belong to it and I fell in love with [Missouri] and it just felt like home,” Hansen said. “ I plan on going into media studies in their journalism school.”

Collegiate swimming follows a very different recruitment process compared to most other sports. According to Hansen, the process can be more direct rather than passive.

“You go on a visit and [the school] will come and watch you swim and then you about offers,” Hansen said. “I only had Mizzou come and watch me because that’s the one official visit I went to.”

Hansen began searching for her school early in the year as she racked up the stats to back up her profile.

“Recruitment started at the beginning of August,” Hansen said. “That’s when colleges can reach out to you. There’s a thing called Swim Cloud where colleges can look at all your times and meets you’ve completed, then they reach out to you in August and you start taking visits then.”

Though the overall recruitment process may look different, schools are still looking for specific traits in their recruited swimmers, according to Hansen.

“[Schools] want to see how well you can place in your conference meet,” Hansen said. “I’m going to an SEC school, so they’re gonna see how many points I can score for their team. I think it was definitely my 100 fly and two fly that got me to Mizzou.”

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With his profile ready, senior Colin McAlister is recruited to the University of Nebraska
Practicing his single leg takedowns, senior Colin McAlister works on his form at practice Monday, Oct. 16. (By Luke Wood)

Wrestler and senior Colin McAlister committed to the University of Nebraska in September.

For McAlister, his recruiting profile is on TrackWrestling which is designed for wrestling. On his TrackWrestling profile, it lists his wrestling record, competition results and match videos.

McAlister began creating his profile by asking other experienced individuals for wisdom.

“I started out by talking to people who had created profiles before to figure out what information I needed to include,” McAlister said. “I made sure to include my academic and athletic achievements as well as some highlights.”

For many student athletes, they have a difficult time deciding when to begin creating their recruiting profile. McAlister believes that creating one earlier is beneficial.

“I started building my profile at the beginning of summer which felt a little late for me,” McAlister said. “I would suggest to start building it as early as possible and adding to it as you progress in your academic and athletic career.”

Even after being recruited, student athletes cannot slack and must continue to work hard.

McAlister continues to focus on wrestling and school to keep his commitment.

“In school I have to make sure I’m still holding myself to a high standard on and off the mat,” McAlister said. “That includes getting good grades and working hard in the practice room. I also need to stay out of trouble outside of school. Having good character and being the person I sold myself as while getting recruited is very important.”

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Junior Jayden Woods actively prepares his recruitment profile for future recruitments
Junior Jayden Woods uses a stiff arm to block the opponent Friday, Oct. 13. Woods is consistently working on getting more offers. (By Elizabeth Summa)

All-state football player junior Jayden Woods, who holds 24 offers, is one of many student athletes who are in the midst of their recruiting process.

Woods mainly uses X, formerly known as Twitter, as his recruiting platform. There, Woods includes his physical attributes, GPA and video highlights. Through X, he is able to communicate and speak with college coaches and scouts.

Woods believes that a primary part of recruitment profiles is maintaining contact with scouts and coaches.

“It’s just contact really and once your name gets out there, it’s just kind of out there,” Woods said. “It’s just like a snowball effect. So once it gets started, it really doesn’t stop.”

Woods regularly updates his recruiting profile by posting new offers he receives and by adding new video highlights to his Hudl account.

Since Woods was first invited to the University of Kansas to watch a football game, he has received a flurry of offers.

“It kind of just came out of nowhere,” Woods said. “It was like the fourth week of the season last year, and KU invited me to a game and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

With many colleges looking for well-rounded potential recruits, student athletes must be able to find a balance between school and their sports. Woods explains how he has handled his recruitment process.

“I’m just trying to balance everything and just not getting consumed by it,” Woods said. “Just trying to be a student when it’s time to be a student and be active when it’s time to be active.”

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