If you didn’t read Jordan Holt‘s “Younger Years,” you may want to circle back. This week, she talks all about COLLEGE RECRUITING. This is MUST-READ info for players and families in the middle of, or just beginning, college recruiting!
Take it away Jordan:
Going into high school I knew the recruiting process was about to get real. I had seen the sidelines filled with college scouts at the ECNL events. I was hungry for it and couldn’t wait. I took every chance I could to play in the older age groups to battle bigger and stronger girls. I got my first red card when I was 14 playing a bunch of 18 year-olds, so the toughness side improved for sure to put it nicely.
Going into my sophomore year of high school was when everything ramped up
Suddenly my club coaches were handing me lists of college coaches I needed to call after a game. I remember telling myself not to get too excited, to stay on the grind. At first I was dealing with a few California schools, but soon I was talking to schools across the PAC-12 and SEC.
One of the best decisions I made in high school was to run track in spring of my junior year instead of playing high school soccer. I played high school soccer my freshman and sophomore years but wanted to focus on my fitness as I prepared for college and track definitely paid off in that regard. Track was demanding yet very social. I made some of the best high school memories with friends far outside the soccer circle. Branching out was both refreshing and rewarding.
I started documenting every phone call with college coaches and writing my thoughts down after. Journaling became a great outlet and a fun method of scrapbooking my soccer journey. I collected dozens of mementos throughout the years including room keys, ECNL badges, hospital bracelets, tickets to NCAA games, and broken but “lucky” pre-wrap headbands. I have always been ridiculously sentimental and see those mementos as chapters that hold stories that are dear to my heart.
When it came time to decide what school I wanted to attend, I looked through my journal and went over all my entries to confirm my instincts aligned with my initial thoughts. Kentucky. I was all in for the University of Kentucky. I wrote down my commitment in my journal before I shared it with anyone else. My mom and I took a trip out to Lexington and I verbally committed to UK and its growing soccer program that had just appeared in the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.
I considered a number of topics before committing to UK. I knew I wanted a big school, big sports and an awesome college town. SEC seemed to beckon me. While I am one of the biggest homebodies to ever walk the earth, distance from my family was not a huge factor. My family was excited for me to get out of California. Soccer was my ticket to get a whole new, unique experience.
Choose a school you would love if you didn’t have soccer
What drew me to Kentucky specifically was the team culture, campus feel, and the Big Blue Nation. I loved it all. I started bleeding blue the moment I set my eyes on campus. When I was just beginning the recruiting process, I was given the best advice I think a young, wide-eyed soccer gal can get: choose a school you would love if you didn’t have soccer. I didn’t appreciate those words at first, but I’m grateful I ended up listening to them anyways.
I loved Kentucky. End of [the Kentucky] story.
Stay tuned for Week 3, because there is a big twist coming!
Thank you, Jordan & the ECNL, for sharing this story with SoccerNation families!