Local Student-Athletes Discuss College Recruiting Process
As athletics continues to become a focal point on college campuses across the country, so does the recruitment process of high school student-athletes.
Traverse City Central junior football standout John Pupel is one of many northern Michigan high school students preparing to continue their athletic endeavors at the next level.
"Every time I find a new school I’m interested in I go online and fill out a questionnaire,” Pupel said. “I’m working out every day for my next season, but also, in the back of my mind, preparing to get the attention of coaches this year, because if I’m improving for next season it’s going to transfer to camps."
Lake Superior State women’s basketball coach Kristen Rogers says it’s important to develop a relationship with the student-athlete early in the recruiting process.
"A lot of recruiting is about building relationships with kids and getting to really know them,” she said. “As you get to know them early in the process, you kind of find out who is a fit for the area, as well as who is a fit for our culture."
Although the high school season is an important measuring tool for college coaches, club and AAU seasons have quickly grown in importance.
"We use AAU season in the summer to kind of narrow down the prospects that we’re looking at,” Rogers said. “You don’t want players that have maxed out at the high school level, so it’s nice to see them early on, and see their progression and how committed they are to improving their game."
For Leland senior soccer and basketball athlete Libby Munoz, the decision to attend NCAA Division III Kalamazoo College was an easy one.
"I’ve spent my life being at a practice or a game every day after school. The thought of not doing that just is really strange to me,” Munoz said. “I actually had to make a list of pros and cons to decide. But in the end, I wanted to play somewhere that even if I went out and broke my leg, I was still going to be really happy there.”