Eight Things College Recruiters Are Looking For In Athletes

Posted on: 24 May 2015

If your son or daughter is anticipating a visit from an athletic recruiter for college admission or scholarship, there are some definitive traits that may serve them well in this process. While it may seem that athletic prowess is the only thing that prospective colleges are seeking, there are actually many things that can influence their perception of the prospective athlete and the recruiter's decision.

Eight attributes beyond athletic ability that college recruiters are looking for include:

Genuine Interest

If your athlete comes across as disinterested or distracted during interviews or meetings, recruiters may get a sense that the student doesn't really care about representing their school. Genuine interest, even passion about the next chapter in their lives, is something many recruiters hope to observe.


If an athlete comes across as immature, on or off the court, this can be a turn-off for prospective recruiters. Students will need to display the ability to take care of themselves, and to be independent yet responsible. Immaturity during game-play and temper tantrums could be a red-flag to recruiters.

Grades and Academic Achievements.

Grades are important, and many recruiters will have minimum grade point average standards that determine if the athlete is a potential candidate for their college or special commendation, such as a scholarship.


Recruiters want players that they can count on to show up at practice, study hard, and commit to the team. Being reliable, and being able to demonstrate a history of dependability at work or school, can go a long way toward impressing college recruiters.

Work Ethic

Recruiters are also looking for candidates with good work ethic, who work hard and don't complain about it. Work ethic may be demonstrated through employment experiences, school achievements, or family responsibilities.

Physical Size

The size of the athlete will inevitably come into play during recruitment. Typically, there are size requirements for certain positions, and many don't want to risk recruiting players that may not be able to plausibly meet those standards.

Good Character

A sign of good character is abiding by laws and morals of society. Nothing turns a recruiter off quicker than a criminal record or pattern of trouble with the law.

Team Mentality

There is a saying that no man is an island; it takes more than one gifted individual to compose a team. Recruiters are looking for athletes that are team players and that are humble enough to share the spotlight with their fellow team members.

Encourage your athlete to embrace these traits in applications, resumes, and letters regarding their admission or potential awards. Remind them that informing college recruiters that they possess these attributes may not be enough, but that exhibiting these traits may improve their chances. For more insight into the recruiting process, talk to companies like On Point BBall.