5 Ways to Play Sports in College Without Getting Recruited

It's every high school athlete's dream to play their sport in college. But what if you're not good enough to get recruited? Is there still a way to play sports in college? The answer is yes!

Here are five ways to do it.

1. Contact the coach directly.

If you have your sights set on playing college football for a specific team, the best thing you can do is reach out to the coach directly. Many college coaches rely heavily on recruiters and may not even be aware of your interest and abilities unless you reach out.

A simple email or phone call expressing your interest in being a part of the team could potentially open up new opportunities for you. Even if the coach is not currently recruiting players or already has a full roster, they may remember your initiative and contact you in the future.

At the very least, reaching out shows them that you are proactive and serious about playing college football. So don't be afraid to take the initiative and contact the coach – it could pay off in unexpected ways.

2. Look into club sports.

While college football may dominate the athletic scene at many schools, club sports offer another avenue for college athletes to compete. These teams are typically run by students and do not have the same level of intensity or competition as varsity sports.

However, they provide a great opportunity for college students to continue participating in their chosen sport and meet other passionate individuals on campus. Plus, club sports allow students the chance to hone their skills without being recruited or facing pressure from college scouts.

Whether it's football, soccer, or any other sport, joining a club team is a fantastic way to stay active and involved while pursuing higher education.

3. You may not want to hear it, but consider intramurals.

Intramural sports can provide college students with an opportunity to stay active and have fun, without the high commitment and competitive pressure often found in varsity athletics. These recreational leagues are open to all students, and typically do not require tryouts or a large time commitment.

This makes them a great option for those who want to stay in shape and have some fun but may not have the desire or ability to compete at a varsity level. For example, a college football player who has suffered an injury and can no longer play at a high level may find it enjoyable to join an intramural flag football team and still feel a sense of camaraderie and competition.

Overall, intramural sports provide all college students with another avenue for physical activity and social engagement.

4. Check out Division II and III schools.

Athletics at Division II and III levels offer a unique college experience for student-athletes. While these schools may not offer full athletic scholarships or any scholarships at all, they do often have competitive sports teams that compete at a high level.

Many division II and III college football teams have historically had successful seasons and even appeared in national championship games. If you're interested in college athletics but want a more balanced academic and athletic experience, division II and III schools could be the perfect fit for you.

It's important to keep in mind that these programs tend to focus on the love of the sport rather than professional development, so it may not be the best option for those looking to go pro. However, for those wanting to compete at a collegiate level while also pursuing their academic passions, division II and III athletics can provide a fulfilling college experience.

5. Walk On!

The college sports landscape is highly competitive, and it can be difficult to secure a spot on a college team. However, for those who are determined to compete at the collegiate level, walking on may be a viable option.

While some schools have strict tryout processes, others welcome individuals to come out and showcase their skills in the hopes of securing a spot on the team. Of course, this route may require dedication and hard work as walk-ons often begin at the bottom of the roster.

But for those willing to put in the effort, this path can ultimately lead to becoming an integral member of a college team. So if college sports are your passion and you aren't quite ready to give up on your dreams, consider pursuing the opportunity to walk on.


Playing sports in college is a dream for many high school athletes, but getting recruited can be tough (especially if you don't have the talent or connections). Luckily, there are still ways to play sports in college even if you're not recruited! From Division III schools to community teams, there are plenty of options for those who want to stay active and compete at the collegiate level. So get out there and start exploring your options today!

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