Coach Jordan Nies pulls back the curtain on college recruiting.

Today we have Jordan Nies (@jordannies), veteran college coach who has dealt with the collegiate recruiting process from the other side of the table – the side with the college coaches doing the recruiting.

When you look across the Internet, you’ll find helpful recruiting advice. However, most information is from the perspective of the recruit. Whether the advice is from a high school coach, club sports coach or club recruiting coordinator, or even a former collegiate athlete, you rarely hear from the college coach who actually does the recruiting. You rarely hear from people like Jordan Nies.

Until now.

Because of NCAA rules, college coaches have to be really careful of talking to the wrong people and being accused of giving advice to companies that can be classified as “recruiting services,” or in the business of acting as agents for high school players to get them into college. Because SportsRecruits is not a recruiting service – we’re a SOFTWARE company – we can talk to college coaches about the recruiting process. And good thing we can!

Jordan has a perspective on the collegiate recruiting process you’re not going to find anywhere else. He’s been a standout athlete in high school, he got recruited to play sports at Bucknell, he was a Men’s and Women’s coach at Lycoming College. From there he went back to the High School level to coach some of the most gifted and talented young athletes at Culver Military Academy. He then became an assistant coach at the elite Division I College of Holy Cross.

He’s recruited the most sought-after young athletes in the country. He’s coached All-Americans and Olympians. He knows what the families of high school athletes don’t know but should, and he shares it with you on this episode.

The idea for this episode came from a blog post that he wrote for the SportsRecruits blogs, Summer Events Advice from a DI Coach, and after we saw the tremendous amount of interest that people all over the country have for his perspective, we decided to follow up and go really deep into the topics that matter to high school athletes trying to get to the next level and the club staffers tasked with helping them do it.
[ecko_toggle style=”solid” state=”closed” title=”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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  • What players don’t understand about the recruiting process from the perspective of the college coach. [8:28]
  • The breakdown of amount of time spent coaching the team versus the amount time spent recruiting. [9:28]
  • The most popular times of the year college coaches spend recruiting. [9:42]
  • On how college coaches actually evaluate talent. [11:10]
  • What players should include in their messages to college coaches. [11:43]
  • The first step a player should take when they want to get recruited. [13:13]
  • On the role of video in the recruiting process. [14:47]
  • The limitations of recruiting events and tournaments. [16:00]
  • On the small things that can determine whether you get recruited or not. [22:18]
  • What he learned from mentors Head Coach Judd Lattimore and Assistant Coach Ryan Klipstein. [25:14]
  • The most off-putting things that potential recruits do (and should avoid). [28:43]
  • Recommendations to players for staying on a coach’s radar without being too annoying. [31:33]
  • Why it’s so important to have all the pertinent information ready when a college coach asks for it [32:02]
  • What updates college coaches are interested in hearing about [34:15]
  • Why you can’t expect college coaches to remember you unless you form a true relationship. [35:12]
  • The most important attribute coaches look for in a recruit. [37:55]


  • “I’ve been through it myself. I had a lot of help from my mother when I went through the recruiting process myself. I probably would’ve been lost without her.”
  • “Even after I left Culver to coach at Holy Cross, some of those kids called me for advice as they were getting down the stretch of their recruiting processes.”
  • “I was on the other side of the table, making offers to players and seeing things from a completely different perspective at the Division 1 level than when I recruited at the Division 3 level. Two completely different approaches to the recruiting scene. So, I’m pretty familiar with just about every angle of it.”
  • “As a coach, you need to make sure you have players coming in the door who are not only talented, but are the right type of people who are going to take your program to the place where you want it to go.”
  • “As a staff at Holy Cross, we spent 51% of the time on the players we had on the team, and 49% of the time on recruiting.”
  • “Besides a handful of NCAA mandated dead periods, we spent just about every day, every weekend either evaluating talent, staying in close contact with prospects, or having some sort of further piece of the relationship – whether a home visit, having a player visit campus or spend a weekend with the team – you’re really focused on the players who are going to help the program down the road.”
  • “Recruiting is a whole lot more than just sitting on the sideline watching players. I think sometimes parents get too hung up on that. It’s just one piece of the puzzle.”
  • “You’re not only evaluating talent, you’re evaluating character.”
  • “If I just see a player and I’m impressed with their speed or skill or strength, it’s likely they’re too young for me to contact them. So, we always keep a database of players who reach out to us – whether they had been on ur radar or not.”
  • “Contact me, so I know who you are, where you play, or what club or high school you play for. Then, when it gets to that time of year when you have some recruiting events where I can watch you play, let me know what that schedule is.”
  • “Video is that first taste of what a player can do.”
  • “If you’re reaching out to me to introduce yourself, and you tell me ‘I have a 4.0, and I play for a prestigious high school program,’ I’m certainly intrigued. But, if you tell me ‘I have a 4.0, and I play for a prestigious high school program,’ and you send me a video where I can really see for myself if you have even a glimmer of what it takes to play at the next level? Then I’m a lot more intrigued.”
  • “I was taught to check my emotions and not get too excited right off the bat when I see a player. It takes time, so if I see somebody making some big plays, who’s really flashy, I don’t jump to conclusions. I need to watch them a couple times.”
  • “It was really important that we got to see players more than once, to determine if they’re as talented as we think they are, but also to develop a rapport with them.”
  • “Recruiting isn’t a transaction. This process of choosing where you’re going to go to college, or deciding which player we’re going to make an offer to, really isn’t a 1-for-1 transaction. Some families take a tone of ‘I meet X-Y-Z requirement, therefore you should make me an offer, and why hasn’t that happened!'”
  • “Every program has different hurdles they have to overcome. For us, it was academics and financial support […] We needed that information, and if we had to wait around for it, it delayed the process too much.”
  • “If you have something worthwhile to share, that someone who is recruiting you for your athletic abilities, academic abilities, or your character, if you have anything related to those three things that’s a worthwhile update, it’s worth sharing with college coaches.”
  • “The one thing that held the most weight when evaluating a player: toughness. It’s worth repeating. Toughness is this sort of intangible that not only shows you’re a strong athlete, but really, a strong person.”