Challenges to college recruitment


Photo Courtesy of Joey Klunder '22

Joey Klunder ’22 shakes the hand of his future head coach and current head coach at the University of Michigan, Jim Harbaug.

Mike Hamilton and Michael Tengler

The college recruitment process for athletes of all sports has gotten increasingly competitive with the use of tools like social media. Due to everyone looking to gain an edge, companies like Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) have created an industry for kids trying to play at the next level.

According to Gabe Hutteman ’22, he was treated well in the prospective process of joining NCSA.

“(One of the) recruiting representatives set up a call with me to have an interview, and it was actually really cool,” Hutteman said. “He explained the whole recruiting process to us, and he simplified it, which was really nice.”

Hutteman said his family was told they would have to pay after the initial interview if he continued with the service.

“I was very put off because at the end, he (the representative) was like, ‘This is all free, but then if you want to continue it’s going to cost extra money,’” Hutteman said. “There were different plans, and he was preaching for the super plan, which was over two grand. That just seems like an immense amount. Sure getting recruited to colleges might give you scholarships, but, especially for soccer, the scholarships aren’t as crazy as they may be for football.”

According to Hutteman, he felt like he was being scammed before his family paid any money.

“(The representative) wanted to get into the payment process of it, and he tried to get us to pay right away after the meeting,” Hutteman said. “My parents immediately had my back and they told him, ‘No, no, no, we’re not doing this right now. He questioned why we would need a week, and it seemed very sketchy, even though you knew it was a legitimate business. It’s just very awkward.”

Daniel Lane ’22 said he has been on NCSA for two years and that if you don’t use it right, it won’t work out.

“It didn’t do it all for me,” Lane said, “It still takes a lot of emails and sending out messages all the time to get coaches to find you, but it’s much easier to find you if they are looking.”

Joey Klunder ’22 believes Twitter is the best way to get recruited and receive offers.

“They completely take advantage of athletes who don’t have knowledge of the recruiting process,” Klunder said. They use this faux knowledge, and they use these big words and ideas to convince families to pay money for their services, when in reality the stuff that they’re providing is not that complicated. NCSA will not put you in touch with any coaches above the NAIA level, and they will not help get your name out there or grow you.”

According to Klunder, the advice NCSA and other services offer is very mainstream and not worth spending money on. He believes athletes can do better on their own.

“By far the best way to get in front of (coaches) is to physically get in front of them, whether it’s going to camps or promoting yourself on Twitter, which is the number one way to get recruited online and get in contact with coaches,” Klunder said. “In May of this year, I sent out around 300 emails with all my film and my stats to coaches all over the country, and it ended up giving me five scholarships.”