Adam Denton joined the Wildcats’ staff in 2013 and was promoted to associate head coach in the summer of 2016, finally becoming the program’s head coach in December 2016. Prior to Davidson, Denton was the Elite Club National League Director of Coaching in Charlotte, N.C., from 2009-2013. During his tenure at CSA, he developed CSA into a regionally and nationally ranked program. He played three years of professional soccer, playing with the Everton FC in his hometown from 1995-1997. Coach Denton offers some important recruiting advice to high school student-athletes who are looking to play at the collegiate level.
2aDays: What is the most important quality you look for in a recruit?
The academic piece is the most important quality we look at. WIth Davidson being as academically rigorous as it is, athletes have to meet academic criteria to ensure that they will make a good fit through their freshman and (especially) sophomore year of high school to show academic ability. We also look for athletes to be physically able to compete at a DI level program. If they are borderline capable, are they able to be dynamic and impact the game athletically.
2aDays: What is the best way for a recruit to get on your radar?
Go to national events and recruiting events that include various tournaments, Davidson’s camps, and ID prospect camps.
2aDays: When should an athlete contact you, what is the best way? (age, grade, time of year, email, phone or other)
Best way to contact us to send your soccer schedules via email and calling (however, due to NCAA rules, I am limited in when I am able to call back if you happen to leave a message). Be diligent and keep in contact.
2aDays: What are your expectations for incoming players in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field, court, etc.?
Meet overall expectations as a DI athlete and student. This means being prepared for the weight room, travel, play, and especially pushing in the classroom. It is hard to be a student-athlete (especially at Davidson), so being able to manage time and understand that the soccer piece does not come before school work is very important.
2aDays: What are the do’s and don’ts when being recruited?
Don’t: Don’t let your parents call/email for you to show interest, further down the line in the recruitment process is fine due to the family decision of college selection.
Do: Watch your actions, especially during important tournaments or other exposure events (arguing with refs, teammates, coaches, and watching social media presence)
2aDays: What is the best advice you can offer a recruit?
Be patient, don’t let other people/teammates decide the decision of your college selection. Find the best fit for you, both athletically and academically, whether that is DI-III, as long as it is right for you.
2aDays: What jumps out at you when reviewing a recruit’s highlight tape?
We usually as a recruitment staff prefer to see players live in tournaments and games, tape isn’t prevalent, but for the tape we do want to see is quality film and being able to point out who is being watched in the film
2aDays: What are the main do’s and don’ts for a recruit’s highlight tape?
Make it easy for the coaches to see and know who they’re watching with a clear image
2aDays: When do you recommend recruits put together and share their highlight reels? Is it best to make their highlight reel during offseason, in the middle of the season, or after each game?
Spring is the best, giving edits to coaches through sophomore year
2aDays: What advice do you have for recruits that get turned down by their dream schools? What are their options if they don’t gain the recruiting attention they desire?
Start the process by identifying the important parts that you want in your college experience and identify schools that fit that criterion. Target all of those schools and keep options open. When very selective from the beginning you can miss other opportunities from other schools that may have been interested, but filled rosters by the time you considered them.
2aDays: How big a factor is social media when recruiting players? What advice do you have for athletes regarding social media?
Social media is more and more important farther along the line of the recruitment process. A coach once said that it takes years to build a career and seconds to destroy it. Don’t take the chance of giving a bad look to coaches because of something posted on social media.
* Originally published on September 21, 2018, by Makayla Binter