So, you believe that you are ready to be recruited.
One of the initial questions that coaches will ask you is, “Are you registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center?” If you are a high school track and field athlete who is looking to compete at a DI institution, the NCAA recommends that you register with the NCAA Eligibility Center https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/ during your freshman year. There, you’ll learn about your high school’s list of NCAA-approved core courses you’ll be required to take and pass. The NCAA Eligibility Center must certify that you have met certain academic standards and amateur criteria before you can practice, compete and receive an athletic scholarship during your first year at a DI institution. So, if not in your freshman year, you should start planning for the recruiting process by registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center as soon as you have determined that you want to participate in DI athletics.
The NCAA publishes an annually-updated guide that is a recommended early read for college-bound student-athletes, to provide current information on the do's and don’ts of college recruiting. The guide outlines a grade-by-grade timeline of the eligibility process, defines important recruiting terms, lays out the annual recruiting calendar, explains the amateur criteria, details scholarship opportunities, and much more.
Current NCAA rules permit DI college coaches and high school track and field athletes to contact each other beginning June 15 between the student-athletes’ sophomore and junior years. That date has changed multiple times in the past few years, so make sure you are using the most current NCAA guide.
Before that date, do your research to create a preliminary list of colleges you are interested in. As demonstrated with the table in the section ‘Academic Interests/Abilities/Settings’, you can use the following websites to obtain data for your research.
Next, go to the track and field webpage for each institution that you’re interested in and fill out the recruiting questionnaire. You’ll be asked about your academics, such as your GPA, class rank, academic interests, and if you have already registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Additionally, you’ll be asked to provide information on your athletic achievements, such as the details of your best performance marks, honors won, and race videos. All track and field stats can be readily corroborated on https://www.milesplit.com/. The questionnaire might want you to divulge the names of other colleges that you're interested in, presumably so that the coaches would know who they are competing against to attract you or, at least, where they should discourage you from attending. You’ll also be asked to provide a contact number. I had received random calls in the middle of the school day from college coaches and was glad that I provided a land line number instead of my cellphone number on the questionnaires I filled out.
While on the webpage, read the coach’s bio, study the team roster for who is in your event group and when they are scheduled to graduate, and compare the team’s historical stats with your personal records.