How Recruits Can Help Recruit

Would you do anything to get a competitive advantage? In today’s collegiate athletics, programs will go to great lengths to succeed. Specifically, recruiting has evolved into something of a game itself – where Coach X competes against Coach Y, Z, etc. to sign the best recruits. Recruiters even have their own ranking on 247 Sports that divulge certain athletes they have directly signed.

Now, it’s the athletes’ turn.

Student-athletes who have already committed to a school are becoming de facto recruiters for their future programs. Their goal: create the best team possible. This will improve their chances of competing in the postseason and ideally improve their visibility to professional scouts.

With this relatively new practice becoming more commonplace in the NCAA, Signing Day Sports will dive into the development and analyze how it can affect the landscape of college sports.

Recruiting Your Peers

So, how does this play out? How are athletes recruiting each other?

We’ll look at Ohio State’s football team as an example – a well-oiled machine. Their culture is second-to-none, just as head coach Ryan Day wants it to be. This way, when one athlete commits, they are more inclined to convince uncommitted athletes to follow in their footsteps.

Ryan Day with Ohio State University

(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

“I think when you start to see guys jump on board and recruit each other, that’s a sign of how things are going in recruiting and a sign of how people view the program and the culture and what’s going on here,” said Coach Day. “That’s what you’re seeing, guys coming on these visits and getting around our players, getting around our coaches, they see who we are, they see the foundation of the program here.”

From there, it’s easy. “Look at this great experience I had,” a recruit might say on Twitter. “Commit with me and you can experience it too. Also, we will make each other better and experience success on and off the field.”

Easy as that.

James Peoples, a recent Buckeye commitment, has experienced this process firsthand – and how beneficial it can be. He is a 2024 graduate, almost a year away from even being able to join his future teammates, but he has already connected with a handful of other ‘24 grads who have committed to Ohio State.

“That’s the good thing about committing early is you get to have an impact on your recruiting class,” Day said.

Peoples told The Athletic that he has bonded right away with his fellow commits, and that they are already a “family.”

“You build that trust together, then you can recruit,” Peoples said.

Schools like Ohio State, and others that have embraced this development, grant their commits the freedom to recommend players. In fact, it’s shown that group chats or Twitter DMs often reveal more about a recruit than a program ever could have learned through an official visit.

“We listen to those guys, they tell us the real information sometimes,” Day said. “Some recruits can put on a different face in front of coaches, but behind closed doors they are real with the recruits. We take a lot of their feedback.”

Coaching staffs have a good balance of listening to their student-athletes’ suggestions, while also trusting their own instincts. But once again, programs continue to do anything to find that competitive advantage, whether that be on the field or in recruiting.

With a school like Ohio State, it is not a hard sell. But the basic premise of the “recruits recruiting recruits” strategy is deeply rooted in high school and collegiate athletics.

What Can You Do?

You always want to help your team have success. The first way a recruit can contribute to that success is by helping the recruiting effort. If your program does not carry the same gravity of a school like Ohio State, then your efforts may be even more impactful and important.

Committed athletes should be active on Twitter with their school. Show your engagement and enthusiasm to be attending your school in any way you can. By searching certain topics like “Buckeye recruits,” or something of that sort, it should be easy to find student-athletes who have been offered and are weighing their options. Reach out to them!

Something else that has been successful for this purpose is documenting and posting about your own personal experience. If you went on an official visit and loved the experience, post pictures. Post updates. Brag. It’s encouraged. Recruits will want to follow suit.

Or, if you have developed relationships with other commits, interact with them publicly. Surely, many will want to be included and take part. Really, the more you can illustrate how positive your experience was, the more others will want that for themselves.

And what does that mean for you? A better team that can compete for championships, additional visibility and fanfare that comes along with a better team, and the heightened potential for sponsorships, partnerships, and NIL deals.

Most importantly, you will have had a hand in creating and contributing to a positive team culture and family that will stay with you for life.

At Signing Day Sports, we believe that the ultimate power of the recruiting process is in your hands – and this is another example of that truth. Take your power and use it to create your success.

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