Each week, ESPN.com surveys our student-athlete panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.
What was your recruitment process like?
"My recruitment process was unique because I did not get any interest in playing baseball in college until school had almost let out for the summer of my senior year. God blessed me enough to have a successful senior season and sparked some interest from some good baseball programs. I spent my early summer after my senior year going on a few trips to some schools who were interested in me and even more time on the phone talking to coaches from those schools. I received a couple of offers from a few schools, and lucky for me, Rice was one of them. I committed and signed with them really late, it wasn't until early July before I finally signed the papers and finished my application. The process was often stressful, but also very rewarding. It is nice to look back and see all of the thought that went into trying to decide where to go to school and now know I made the right decision."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball
"Unlike many sports, the recruiting process starts very early for college hockey. I first began contacting schools during my sophomore year of high school; due to NCAA rules, coaches cannot call you, but you are allowed to call them. I found a small range of schools in which I was interested, so I was able to set up unofficial visits to tour the campuses and meet the coaches. I committed to Boston College (verbally) during the spring of my junior year, so I never really got to do an official visit anywhere. However, I had seen the school enough and had been to enough games to recognize that it was the place for me. Overall it was a very exciting and enjoyable experience. Coming from relative obscurity in high school to being wanted by some of the most recognizable coaches in the game is really a thrill and the attention is always fun as a young man. There wasn't anything about the process that I did not enjoy, however overall for the game of college hockey, I feel that kids are being recruited too young. Some kids are making commitments four years in advance of college and I just feel that a lot can change in that time, or that younger kids may not know what they want in a school. The only thing I would change would be to perhaps place an age limit, say 16 or so, before coaches are allowed to talk with you."
-- Cory Schneider, Boston College men's ice hockey
"During the later part of my junior year I started receiving letters from a multitude of schools and that progressed to phone calls during the NCAA allowed times and finally narrowing down the list to five schools which offered to fly me out for an official visit. Cal was most definitely the best trip for me because the university, athletics program, and people were just the right fit, but essentially the trips were quite similar. During every trip we had a campus tour, usually went to a basketball game or some type of sporting event at the university we were visiting and then had a player from the current roster host us for the evening, when we would go out and experience the social scene of the campus. The football program also put us up in a nice hotel and paid for all the meals, events, etc. It's kind of like a weekend getaway when you get pampered. There is great food at every turn, you get to meet all kinds of interesting people, tour the athletic facilities that the general public never gets to see, all in all a pretty great time. The running joke is that you better enjoy your official visit because once you commit and show up in the summer for fall camp, you're just another piece of fresh meat for the veterans to chew on during practice. I loved the recruiting process. Although stressful at times, it was exciting and a once in a lifetime event. Fortunately, recruiting is only the tip of the iceberg, you only truly realize how great this experience is when you finally arrive at college and get to compete at such a high level."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football
"I was recruited by participating on different soccer club teams which gave me a great deal of exposure. I played for the club Pleasanton Rage. We were fortunate enough to win national titles in 2002 and 2004. I also played for the Olympic Development Program at the state, regional and national level. College coaches attended many of the tournaments we entered and this helped me to get seen. I also was active in sending letters and e-mails to coaches. Once I narrowed down my options to five schools, I scheduled official visits. My first visit was to the University of Portland and I fell in love with the program and the school. The next weekend I visited another university and I didn't leave with the same feeling as I did from Portland. That next week, I called Garrett Smith at the University of Portland and committed. I cancelled my other three visits and have been a Portland Pilot ever since."
-- Cori Alexander, Portland women's soccer
"I did enjoy the recruiting process. Each of the three schools I wanted to visit called me. Each did things a little different. Usually one of the highly recruited kids from the year before would be my host. From there it was lots of food, fun, wrestling and a little info about the school. I would like to have been able to work out with the team."
-- Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma wrestling
"I was recruited late because of my involvement with the USA U-17 National Team. Our coach at the time, John Ellinger, thought it was a good idea for us to graduate high school (Edison Academic Center) early and go straight into college. He was worried that the level of competition would drop if we went back home for our senior year of high school. I actually enjoyed the recruiting process, but it was difficult for me because of the late notice given to the college coaches and a lot of the schools have already given away a lot of their scholarships. I ended up choosing SMU because it was close to home and because of the great tradition of the program."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer
"From Colorado, not a true lacrosse hotbed, I traveled out east for camps and tournaments in order to be seen by coaches. These opportunities to travel and the official visits were exciting and great experiences. Recently, it appears that recruits are signing earlier and earlier, even committing their junior year! I would think this would create extra pressure on high school athletes to make decisions before they are ready. I believe the recruiting process should be something to be enjoyed. Meeting people and traveling to see different campuses should be a fun experience and recruiting should be about finding the right fit for the student-athlete and the university."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse
"I went through the normal recruitment process. I received phone calls, had school visits, and home visits. Unfortunately, I never had a cell phone or a computer so I was unable to receive text messages or e-mails. I really enjoyed the recruitment process; it was fun listening to all of the different accents, especially Pat Summitt's! I actually thought she was joking when I first heard her talk. There really isn't much I would like to see change, but it might have been a little better if schools could give out a car here and there."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball