Countdown: There's Life After November
by Ross Greenstein, 4 November 2013
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November is here, and the early signing period is around the corner. Each year, student athletes scramble to find a college to sign with, while coaches look to lock down recruits. Most families begin to feel nervous around this time, and some even go as far as "freaking out". The general feeling is there will be no roster spots available if student athletes do not sign during the early signing period. Don't worry - there is life after November.
At SFA, we know that only a small percentage of the top players actually sign in November. Early signing can provide peace-of-mind, but waiting to commit until after the early signing period can open up a world of opportunities that were not available earlier. A number of college coaches are recruiting the same top players, and once they don't sign them, they continue to move down their recruiting lists. Opportunities open up for players at all levels. Players who sign early with their third or fourth choice could potentially miss out on a chance to play for their first or second choice. Settling on a school in order to be done by the early signing period often leads to unhappy college athletes - and ultimately leads to transferring.
Three- and four-star recruits are not the only ones that sign after the early period - some of our blue chip clients are also waiting until spring to sign. There are several reasons for this. A number of coaches that have more than one spot for a recruiting class opt to keep one of their spots open until the spring. They understand the benefit of waiting to see how "things pan out," and they also know that some of the top talent will hold out. Some of the players that have already committed will choose not to play as many tournaments since they have accomplished their goal of committing to a college. That gives unsigned players an opportunity to enter more tournaments and to showcase their skills to coaches.
A lot of college coaches are looking to bring in international athletes in January, and many of them are recruiting the same international players - which can make even more roster spots and scholarship money available after January. Transfers can open up roster spots as well. We selected a random pool of 25 D-I schools and reviewed their rosters. 23 men's teams and 15 women's teams had players on the roster that transferred. This shows that rosters are continually changing.
If you don't sign in November, do not panic. Continue your recruiting process as you have - and make sure to maintain your line of communication with the coaches at the schools that you're interested in. There's no need to rush. As the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait". You never know what doors may open up for you after the November signing period.
Tomorrow, the Countdown brings you to both Texas and upstate New York. We hear from 5-Star senior Karim Arem of Houston, Texas, who has committed to the Cornell Big Red. Check out that story - and all the other great stories we have for you on the Countdown to Signing Day!
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About Ross Greenstein
Ross Greenstein is President and CEO of
Scholarship for Athletes,
an independent consulting firm that assists high school athletes and
their families throughout the scholarship search and negotiation
process. He is a graduate of the University of Florida where he played
NCAA division one tennis and made the SEC all-academic team. He was
also a former Minnesota State Tennis Champion in high school. Ross can
be contacted at