College Recruiting During Corona

The coronavirus has affected all of us in different ways, but for some Lakeside athletes, COVID-19 has changed their college recruiting process. In a normal year, recruiting is still complex: student-athletes must attend numerous ID camps, where scouts come watch them play, or create highlight reels and send them to colleges. Now, with the coronavirus, one can only imagine the ways in which the process has been affected. 

I spoke to Mia V ’21, a member of Lakeside Girls Soccer for the past 3 years, about her experience.

How long have you been playing soccer?

I started playing soccer when I was 7 and decided to try out for a premier team when I was 9. Since then, I’ve played on Regional Club League, Elite Clubs National League, and U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. I think one of my most impactful experiences personally, though, has been playing soccer at Lakeside (go LGS!).

When did the college recruiting process first start for you?

I started reaching out and talking with colleges at the start of my sophomore year. Since I was looking at a mix of DI and DIII programs, there was a lot of variation in how much contact I had with schools. I didn’t really start to have longer conversations with coaches about commitment until around December of this year. 

What has it been like for you so far?

To be honest, the recruiting process has been a confusing but rewarding experience. If I look at where I started in the process over a year ago compared to where I am now, so much has changed. When I started out, there were so many schools that I looked at solely because of their reputation. When I actually went to visit those schools and meet the coaches, I found that none of them felt like a good fit for me. A big part of that was when I decided that a DI program isn’t what I want to pursue in college, which I think was a tough decision for me at first because of the reputation that sports programs get when you’re looking at DI compared to DIII. 

Generally, around this time in junior year, what is supposed to have happened?

Generally, for DIII programs for soccer, this is around the time that schools start making offers and doing pre-reads on recruits’ chance of getting into schools. It’s also around the time that coaches might contact players of interest and ask them to come out to an ID camp or official visit so [coaches] can try to finalize their top recruits. 

How has the coronavirus impacted your college recruiting process?

Of course, all ID camps and official visits are canceled because of the virus. For me, this means that some of the schools that I’ve been talking to have shifted their recruiting timeline. This means that I’ll have to wait until schools can host these ID camps so that they can make a final decision on me and recruits, which will probably be in late summer or early fall at this point. I’m lucky though, as I’ve already visited and attended camps at a couple of schools that have seen me play enough to recruit me at this point.