Last week, all our social media timelines were filled with high school seniors celebrating National Signing Day 2023.
According to the National Letter of Intent website, nearly 48,000 students sign official National Letters of Intent to NCAA Division I or Division II schools each year. Beyond that, Division III, Junior College and NAIA future-student-athletes, who are not technically eligible to sign NLIs, are also getting in on the NSD celebrations.
Social media and some recruiting platforms will make you feel like because you missed National Signing Day, you need to fully re-evaluate your strategy to get recruited, but that is not necessarily the case. Don’t panic. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you to still make your student-athlete dreams a reality.
1.Signing Day is whatever and whenever YOU want it to be.
People find the program that fits them at different times. Don’t let the pressure of wanting to sign on National Signing Day push you to rush a decision that you aren’t 100% sure is the right fit for your athletic and academic future.
Once you find that program that is the perfect fit for you, talk to your high school principal or athletic director and pick a day that works with your timeline. Most of the time they will work with you to find an alternative day to celebrate your success.
The most important thing to remember is your signing day should be about celebrating the hard work you have done to get where you are now and surrounding yourself with people who mean the most to you.
2. The transfer portal changed everything we thought we knew about recruiting timelines.
Now that current student-athletes can enter the transfer portal until 30-45 days after the conclusion of a championship selection, depending on the sport, coaches are waiting longer than ever to solidify their rosters.
3. Explore options that you would not have thought of before.
National Signing Day often opens people’s eyes to all the diverse paths that are out there to continue playing sports at the next level.
Now that you probably saw many of your teammates or classmates sign to play at the next level, let it open your eyes to schools you may have never even heard of before.
Start following new teams on social media or doing some research on your own. You may find a great fit in a place you didn’t expect. No matter where you end up, college athletics will broaden your horizons to new places and people and that is ultimately what is going to define your experience in college athletics.