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What I Learned: Recruiting Tips, Jan. 19

William Grace recommends: "Don't play games. Identify the colleges you want to attend early and go after them." Keith Grace

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?”

JORDAN BINGHAM, Ontario, Calif.

High School: Damien (La Verne, Calif.)

Club: Albion SC

College Commitment: Seattle

“All the work involved for both myself and my parents. My advice to younger players is to make sure you start the process early. Get a head start on researching what kind of school you are interested in and start making contact with those coaches. Get your name out there so any chance you can get looked at, you will be ready. Lastly, always follow up with any coach that comes to watch you play.”

PAT SHELTON, Fla.

High School: Wharton (Tampa, Fla.)

Club: Clearwater Chargers

College Commitment: High Point

“You have to market yourself instead of waiting for the right school to come along.”

WILLIAM GRACE, Crofton, Md.

High School: Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.)

Club: Maryland Rush Nike

College Commitment: Lehigh

“Players really need to make contact with college coaches. Don't play games. Identify the colleges you want to attend early and go after them.”

FAIK HAJDEROVIC, St. Louis, Mo.

High School: Mehlville (St. Louis, Mo.)

Club: Scott Gallagher-Metro

College Commitment: Evansville

“The best advice for younger players is to work hard, be nice and be polite during the recruiting process.”

KYLE PARKER, Waxhaw, N.C.

High School: Marvin Ridge (Waxhaw, N.C.)

Club: Charlotte Soccer Academy

College Commitment: North Carolina-Charlotte

“(1) Grades are really important and go a long way toward giving you the most opportunities, (2) visit schools, try to understand what you are really looking for in a college and be consistent in your follow up with the coaches, (3) Play your game and don’t try to do things you wouldn’t normally do just because you are trying to impress a coach and (4) practice like you’re the worst player on the team and perform like you’re the best!”