How to Get Recruited
How to Get Recruited
Researching College Rosters

Researching College Rosters

Many athletes don't realize how much valuable information can be found in a program's roster. Here's what you should look for to stay ahead.

After you have spent some time building out your Target List, there are a few ways to determine which programs on your list are looking for your position and grad year, and if it’s a good athletic fit. 

Evaluating a school for athletic fit can help you determine whether that program is likely to be recruiting athletes in your class year who match your student-athlete profile. By looking for key information in a program’s roster, like positions in the upcoming class years, you’ll be able to determine whether that program is likely recruiting athletes in your class year and position.

How Can I Determine if a Program Is Recruiting My Position? 

When you first build your Target List, it’s important to share it with your athletic advocates. This can include your high school coach, club coach, or personal trainer. They have a deep understanding of your skill level and can guide you toward divisions and conferences that best align with your skills and athletic goals in college.

After you have your Target List built out, there are a few ways to determine which programs on your list are looking for your position and grad year.

How to Use A Program’s Roster to Your Advantage

Many athletes don’t realize how much valuable information can be found just by looking at a college team’s current roster! It can tell you whether you might be a good fit for that program’s playing style, as well as whether the coaching staff might be recruiting your position soon. We recommend taking these steps to research programs you’re interested in:

  1. Find the program’s current roster.
    You can find a link to the current roster for every program in the country in the free SportsRecruits College Search Tool.
  2. Look at the classes graduating soon.
    If you see there are juniors and seniors graduating who play your position, it is likely your position will become a recruiting focus for that program’s coaching staff soon. Coaches want to make sure they have a balanced roster, so it’s critical they backfill positions as they graduate each class.
  3. You can see how you stack up against current athletes.
    On SportsRecruits, you can easily search for athletes currently on the team and watch the video they published on their profile when they were going through the recruiting process. While watching these videos, you can get a good sense for how you stack up against the team’s current talent.

Using Roster Needs

On SportsRecruits, college coaches have the ability to post their program’s needs for upcoming recruiting classes, helping prospective student-athletes better understand what type of recruit they’re looking for and better identify opportunities. These Roster Needs are published and maintained directly by the college coaches and appear on their school’s profile page. With SportsRecruits Pro, athletes can layer the Roster Needs Filter onto their school searches to help focus in their recruiting efforts further.

When creating Needs, college coaches can add requirements that must be met in order for an athlete to be deemed a match. These requirements can include GPA, athletic benchmarks, and having video available for review. When an athlete’s profile meets the listed requirements, they become a “full match” and are surfaced to the college coach in a custom feed for easy identification and evaluation.

Roster Needs are currently available for publishing in positional sports including baseball, basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, volleyball, and water polo. The Roster Needs search filter is currently available in field hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, and women's volleyball. Get started with your free SportsRecruits account to complete your profile and begin matching Needs!

Utilize Athletic Advocates

Depending on the sport you play and the NCAA Division you are looking to play for, you will not be able to have recruiting-like conversations until entering your Junior Year of high school. A college coach may be unable to tell you if they are looking for your position or grad year. 

While they may not be able to tell you directly, they can converse with your athletic advocates. 

Club or high school coaches can communicate with college coaches anytime, see if they are recruiting certain positions or grad year, and let the coaches know you would be a good fit. This is why sharing your list with your athletic advocates is essential. 

Message College Coaches Directly 

Depending on your class year, you may be able to start having direct recruiting conversations with college coaches. After you have sent several messages to a program and expressed your interest, don’t be afraid to ask where they are in their process and whether they are still looking for your position.



I hope all has been well at (COLLEGE NAME). (COLLEGE NAME) is at the top of my list both for its academics and competitive level of (SPORT), and I hope to be considered by your coaching staff as a recruited student-athlete.

I am sure you are well into your (GRAD YEAR) recruiting process, but I wanted to see what I can be doing to set myself up for success with your program. Are you still looking for (YOUR POSITION)?

I would love to connect further on the phone to discuss where you are with your (GRAD YEAR) recruiting class and to learn more about (COLLEGE NAME). Do you have time this week?

As a reminder, you can find my full athletic and academic profile, as well as my most up-to-date video and highlights, via the link below. I would greatly appreciate any feedback from these clips. Also, you can find my coaches' contact information if you would like to learn more about me as an athlete.

I look forward to connecting soon!


How Do I Know If A School Is An Athletic Fit?

Once you’ve determined a school has an available roster spot, it’s important to really evaluate if it’s the right athletic fit for you. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is it critical to me that I play for a program where I will play starting Freshman Year, or am I okay with playing for a program where I won’t get to play until Junior or Senior Year?
  • Does the team culture align with what I am looking for during my college experience?
  • Do I want to play for a program requiring intense training with little time to be involved in other extracurricular activities or specific majors?
  • Do I want to study abroad, join Greek life, or other clubs?

Some of these questions will need to be answered after you’ve done some research about what each school offers. Use the SportsRecruits School Search Tool to learn about each school’s division and conference, as well as watch game film posted by recent commits. You can find this information on each school’s program page.

How Can I Get On A Coach’s Radar? 

It’s important that you communicate with college coaches throughout high school. First, send an introduction message to let them know who you are and why you are interested in their program. Afterward, you should communicate updates about your academics, athletics, videos, or events.

Video will be essential to share with college coaches throughout your recruiting process. Video has become a requirement for college coaches to evaluate you properly. They will use video to determine whether they would like to make time to see you play live and whether they’d like to move conversations forward.

Attending recruiting events is another excellent way to catch a coach's attention or to continue to stay on their radar. At recruiting events, coaches will be able to evaluate your skills live. It’s a perfect way for coaches to understand your athletic skills and how you could contribute to their program.


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