COVID-19’s impact on college recruitment

On account of COVID-19, athletes of Jupiter High have been experiencing difficulty with college offers and recruitment opportunities.

Head football coach, Timothy Tharp, weighed in on the issue, saying that with all the COVID-19 restrictions, “players missed out on the exposure [college summer] camps provide,” 

Without the opportunity to be physically seen by college coaches or scouts, high school athletes are missing out on ways to showcase their skills for recruitment.

“Not being able to play or be seen by my coaches was super frustrating,” Amanda DeWitt, a Jupiter High senior volleyball player.. “A lot of coaches told me that they wanted to wait until they could see me in person until they could give me an offer.”

COVID-19 has not only affected athletes’ opportunities to be scouted but also opportunities to improve their skills for college.

“[COVID-19] threw off my training schedule for a few months,” Caleb Petranchuk, a Jupiter High senior swimmer, said. 

When Petranchuk is unable to train, he’s not prepared for his meets. Scouts specifically watch for improving times from players they are looking to recruit.

However, even with all of the current restrictions in place, high school athletes and coaches are still finding ways to communicate with college coaches. Students often use email or text, but social media is becoming increasingly popular for keeping in contact with coaches.

“With today’s technology, high school athletes can regularly reach out to Colleges/Universities of interest,” Tharp said.

One significant setback of the pandemic on college recruitment is that colleges are pushing back their “dead period.” The dead period is the amount of time where colleges are unable to contact future prospects. 

“All of those students are trying to play catch up and their summer/club teams are still playing now, even though they usually would have ended about a month or two ago,” Kimberly Jalm, Jupiter High’s athletic director, said. 

Nonetheless, athletes are taking initiative and reaching out to colleges and continuing to stay fit through workouts and other activities, beating the obstacle of the current pandemic.

“I’m going to overcome this challenge by pushing through it,” said Petranchuk. “During these times, you can’t just sit back and wait for all the work to get done, you have to take matters into your own hands in order to achieve the goals that you set.”