College recruitment an active process

Campbell Narron pitching for his summer team. (Photo provided by Campbell Narron)

Run, jump, stretch, kick, repeat. What do you get? A great hobby and healthy body. However, for some students, sports is the vehicle that carries them from high school to college.

“I don’t think I ever considered myself good enough to get recruited to anywhere sophomore year,” said senior Nigel Harriman, who has committed to row for Cornell University. “But then over the summer and junior year, I realized that maybe it’s more attainable than I thought.”

Every year, colleges recruit student-athletes to continue their athletic careers in a certain sport. Years of dedication and experience in a sport improve your odds of being recruited by a college.

Harriman has been rowing for five years, but he made his decision to seek recruitment only a year ago. This decision was also made recently by senior Campbell Narron, who is being recruited for baseball, and senior Maya Midzik, who has committed to play volleyball for Yale University.

Narron has been playing baseball since he was five or six years old and Midzik has been playing volleyball since seventh grade, but each began planning for recruitment only two years ago, following their sophomore seasons.

Seeking recruitment is not too burdensome to the athletes, but they do acknowledge it requires increased commitment and responsibility to excelling in the sport.

“Honestly, if you are this far in rowing or any sport,” said Harriman, “it really means that you love the sport.”

Narron’s passion for baseball outweighs the added stress and responsibility of performing at the collegiate level.

“There might be negative aspects of it, but for me, the positive aspects of playing sports are much greater than the negative aspects,” said Narron. “For me, it’s a lot of fun to play a sport six days a week that I love and enjoy. That’s why I play it. If I didn’t like the sport, I wouldn’t play it.”

Narron also said that the recruiting process is unclear and confusing. He also described the process as very active, and Midzik agrees.

“For me, it definitely took a lot of my time, sending letters to coaches, sending videos to coaches, even going so far as to call a coach out of nowhere, because it’s hard to get noticed,” Midzik said. “You really have to self-advocate if you want to get a look.”

It is true that an athlete’s career is a major factor for colleges recruiting high school athletes, but academic requirements are also crucial.

“It’s not something where you can be horrible in school and still get recruited to play in college,” said Narron.

“You want to have a good balance,” said Harriman. “Even if you are insane and really, really good but you have a 2.5 GPA, you are probably not going to get into one of the top crew schools.”

For Midzik, the balance between academics and athletics will always be an important factor, even after being accepted to a college.

“I want to be a student-athlete and not an athlete who also is enrolled in school,” said Midzik.

As passionate as she is about volleyball, Midzik also wants to pursue many different goals.

“I recognize the fact that I have a lot of other things that I want out of my life,” said Midzik. “Sports are not necessarily the main path, and I have a lot of other interests too.”

Harriman, Midzik and Narron also encouraged students who are interested in college recruitment to keep working toward their goal.

“It’s fun don’t think of it as a task,” said Narron. “Just get started early, get you name out there and things will happen.”

Midzik also said that athletes should be active in the pursuit of their goals and be confident in their abilities.

“Don’t be afraid to push for yourself,” said Midzik. “It’s a big world out there, and there are a lot of athletes, but coaches will appreciate it if you get in contact with them.”

Amy Park can be reached at [email protected]