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What I Learned: Recruiting Tips, Jan. 12

Colin Sweeney, left, says it's important to stay in touch with the college coaches from programs in which you are interested. Chris Wraight

According to the NCAA, less than six percent of all high school senior soccer players will move on to the NCAA Division I, II or III ranks. The recruiting process can be daunting, frustrating and downright confusing for a majority of the athletes seeking one of the highly coveted, yet limited, soccer scholarships.

Therefore, ESPNHS is turning to the athletes for helpful advice in dealing with the recruiting process.

Each week, ESPNHS will feature tips for high school seniors who have verbally committed to NCAA Division I programs.

QUESTION: “What did you learn or what surprised you about the recruiting process?”

LUKE MELODY, Storrs, Conn.

High School: E.O. Smith (Storrs, Conn.)

Club: Oakwood SC

College Commitment: Holy Cross

“Overall, I found that the recruiting process to be very time-consuming, yet this time is definitely well-spent as making the right decision is critical for the future. The more time spent, the greater the opportunity there is to learn what a player might want for himself.”

SCOTT THOMSEN, Brick, N.J.

High School: Christian Brothers (Lincroft, N.J.)

Club: New York Red Bulls

College Commitment: Virginia

“I learned that coaches want you to make unofficial visits as early as possible, and if you are looking to make a decision early, try to visit schools as early as possible because that helps a lot. I also learned to never shut any doors because you never know what can happen, so just keep your options open until you are sure on a school.”

COLIN SWEENEY, Southborough, Mass.

High School: Algonquin (Northborough, Mass.)

Club: New England Revolution

College Commitment: High Point

“It is very important to keep in contact with the college coaches of the schools you are interested in.”

RYAN McLAUGHLIN, Westerville, Ohio

High School: Westerville South (Westerville, Ohio)

Club: Columbus Crew

College Commitment: College of Charleston

“I would just say don't hesitate to send the schools you want to consider an e-mail. Don't always wait for them to contact you first.”

ANDREW BROWN, Overland Park, Kan.

High School: St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.)

Club: Sporting Kansas City

College Commitment: Bradley

“This was my family's first experience with the recruiting process, and we were amazed at the amount of time that is required throughout the process. So my advice to the younger players is to prepare for spending hours working on your computer, and make sure you are organized.”