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Men's Recruiting Jan 31, 2012

Sign here: College soccer recruits set for National Letter of Intent day

By Coree Reuter and Charles Boehm

Wednesday is a big occasion for thousands of talented young athletes across the nation and the college coaches who spend ample amounts of time and money pursuing them.

That’s because February 1 is “signing day” for National Letters of Intent for college recruits in soccer, football, field hockey, track and field, cross country and men’s water polo – the date by which players must formalize their intention to attend a given university for the upcoming academic year.

A voluntary NCAA program described as “a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution” on the program’s official website, National Letters of Intent are designed to bring clarity and sanity to the recruiting process by assuring both parties that promises made to them will be kept, and obliging other schools to respect that commitment and stop recruiting the player.

Once a letter is signed, the student-athlete is required to attend that university for at least one year, while the school is committed to provide at least one year of “athletics financial aid to the student-athlete, provided he/she is admitted to the institution and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules.”

Should a recruit fail to follow through on the commitment they’ve made in their NLI and attend a different school which participates in the program, the typical penalty is a loss of one year of athletic eligibility. (Contrary to popular belief, a letter of intent is technically still binding if the coach that recruited the player departs that school, though many incoming coaches elect to grant such players a release from their NLI rather than force them to join their program unwillingly.)

But for the vast majority of recruits and their future universities, Wednesday is a day of celebration and satisfaction, a major milestone in the long, competitive pursuit of a place in the college game.

Potomac Soccer Wire has compiled lists of some of the area’s top recruits and their college destinations (see below) – though this is not intended as a definitive list. If you or someone you know is celebrating signing a letter of intent this week and would like to be recognized, please share this news with us via the “Contact” link at the bottom of this page.

PSW congratulates the student-athletes and college programs making commitments this week – best of luck in 2012-13!