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The Holiday Recruiting Checklist

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

High schools and universities are shutting down around the nation as we enter the holiday season and into the new year. For most institutions, this break can be quite extensive, ranging anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks of down time. This time is usually spent going on vacation, hanging out with family, and resting (college coaches too!) Per the NCAA, this holiday break time is classified as a DEAD PERIOD.

According to the NCAA Calendar, December 19, 2022 - January 12, 2023 is a DEAD PERIOD. A dead period is that period of time when it is not permissible to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off the member institution’s campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by prospective student-athletes to the institution’s campus.

In simpler terms, a dead period means that there is no in-person contact allowed between a college coach and a recruit. Colleges are NOT allowed to invite recruits to visits on their campus AND college coaches are NOT allowed to travel to go visit recruits at their high schools or homes.

However, with the holiday break being such a long period of time, recruits SHOULD NOT neglect their recruiting efforts. This is a great time to tackle several important items and get a head start over your peers going into the new year. Complete these items on our checklist while you're on holiday break!

  • Make a list of colleges and college coaches that you've had contact with in the past year. Especially for class of 2023 prospects, your time as a recruit is diminishing. The final signing day for this class is February 1st, 2023. This means colleges will try to fill all scholarship spots in January by this signing day.

  • Add some new colleges to your list that are close to you in terms of location. January is a big month for visits. If you haven't received any offers yet, start researching schools in your state that you could potentially go visit in January. Contact the coaches on their website via email and on social media to express your interest. Use The College Search Tool to find coaches and contact info.

  • Wish college coaches Happy Holidays! A simple text or DM can go a long way. As we all know, college coaches are very busy throughout the year and they might not remember every recruit's name. A simple message like this can remind a college coach who you are and possibly could lead to further recruiting conversations.

  • Start looking into PWO (Preferred Walk-On) opportunities. If you're a class of 2023 prospect and don't have any scholarship offers yet, it's in your best interest to start looking at walk-on options. There's nothing wrong with being a walk-on. Many great players in the NFL started their collegiate careers as walk-ons. Most colleges have walk-on visit weekends towards the end of January, so start asking college coaches about this ASAP!

  • Increase your online exposure and visibility. We all know that Twitter and social media can get diluted with prospects posting their HUDL film. How can you stand out from the crowd? Set yourself a part from everyone else by making a creative graphic or designing creative tweets for yourself. These will help you stick out from the rest of the crowd! Click here to learn about how to increase your visibility with The Athletic Academy!

We understand the recruiting process can be difficult and frustrating at times. But, if you want to see improved results, that means putting in a little extra work over the holidays. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if you need any help!

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