Matt Wheeler breaks down the recruiting process

This is a different kind of episode. Unlike the usual episode format, where we interview experts or unique people in the youth sports world, today we have Matt Wheeler, Co-Founder of SportsRecruits. Matt started SportsRecruits in 2009, after playing 4 years of college lacrosse at Wesleyan University.

This episode is all about breaking down the recruiting process. Here’s why this episode is so valuable: while Matt has close to 15 years of experience with recruiting, this talk isn’t just about drawing from his experience. Rather, he combines the intuition he’s gained from all that experience with real, hard, empirical data to tell you what you need to know, and he cuts out all the other BS and misinformation you’ll find elsewhere.

He talks about the statistical realities of playing in college at all collegiate levels, and how many schools high school athletes should target to give themselves the best shot at overcoming some pretty steep odds. He breaks the recruiting process into three pillars:

  1. Research
  2. Proactive outreach
  3. Exposure

Most importantly, he gives you the blueprint to getting recruited. It requires a lot of effort, but he maps it out for you in a way you’re not going to find elsewhere. Of course, the devil is in the details, so rather than me taking more time with this summary, press play above or listen to this special episode with Matt Wheeler on your favorite podcast app.


  • There are approximately 177,000 boys high school lacrosse players and 130,000 girls high school lacrosse players.
  • There are approximately 13,000 collegiate men’s lacrosse players and 11,000 collegiate women’s collegiate lacrosse players. In other words, the rates of boys and girls high school lacrosse players who play in college are 7.3% and 8.5%, respectively
  • An average recruiting class is around 10 players per grade.
  • Compared to members who don’t have a favorite schools list, members who actively use “Favorites” to manage their recruiting processes are 4.8x more likely to commit to play in college than those who “wing it.”
  • On average, members end up contacting 15 schools before they commit. Players who don’t commit usually quit the process after contacting just 8 schools.
  • Video on the SportsRecruits Platform is exploding: over the past 12 months, college coaches have streamed 337,362 videos that total up 1,082,086 minutes, which is just under 2 years of video.
  • College coaches are 2x more likely to respond to your message if you include video in your outreach than if you don’t have video.
  • Players with video are 3x more likely to commit than players without video.
  • If you measure “engagement” from college coaches as profile views plus video views plus messages sent to a player by a college coach, we found that having video increases “engagement” by 4.1x!


Select Quotes

  • “We see the recruiting process as very rational. The success a family has in the process is a function of factors that the family has complete control over.”
  • “The number 1 mistake we see made is a family never digging in and doing their research. That can happen as early as 8th or 9th grade.”
  • “When we examine the difference between a committed player and an uncommitted player, a committed player ends up contacting 15 schools, while an uncommitted player contacts just 8. These are averages, but it holds true every year.”
  • “No one is keeping you from contacting your favorite schools. Don’t leave anything to chance with your target list of schools.”
  • “When I was going through the process, we were literally going to the post office and sending VHS tapes. That was a whole process. Technology now allows college coaches to watch high quality footage of a recruit, wherever they tend to be, on whatever device they’re on, wherever they choose. So, take advantage of that.”


Selected Links from the Episode


About The Recruiting Closet Podcast

On The Recruiting Closet Podcast, we hear from elite college athletes, owners and directors of some of the largest youth Lacrosse, Volleyball, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Baseball clubs in North America. We interview college coaches at NAIA and NCAA colleges at the Division 1 (DI), Division 2 (DII), and Division 3 (DIII) collegiate levels to find out what they’re looking for when they recruit student-athletes. Our guests know what’s important in the complicated world of college athletic recruiting. The show features thought-provoking discussions with the experts who are passionate about youth sports. Want to know how NCAA rules effect your ability to get recruited? This is the show for you. Want advice from leaders at the biggest, highest profile clubs about how to help your high school student-athletes secure rosters positions, even college scholarships and financial aid, to play at the next level? Listen up.

The Recruiting Closet Podcast is hosted by SportsRecruits and the SportsRecruits Recruiting Management Platform. The SportsRecruits Recruiting Management Platform is the technology built for youth sports clubs and high school student-athletes to give them access to every college coach in the country. Club organizations use our Platform to empower their players in the college recruiting process and oversee their efforts and communication with complete transparency. Connections made on the platform have resulted in commitments to the best academic and athletic institutions across the country. SportsRecruits is headquartered in New York City. For more information, visit


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