Glossary of Recruiting Terms

Official visit: Official visits include any visit to a prospective school by a student-athlete paid for by the school. Official visits include schools paying for transportation, room and meals and entertainment.

Prospective student-athlete: A student-athlete becomes a prospective student-athlete when he/she starts ninth-grade classes; or if before the student-athlete's ninth-grade year, a college gives the athlete, his relatives or his friends any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally.

More: Recruiting in the 21st Century

Quiet period: The quiet period is the time designated in the recruiting calendar when college coaches may make in-person recruiting contacts only on the coach's school campus.

Recruit: A student-athlete is considered a recruit when he/she engages in off-campus, in-person contact with a coach; receives a telephone call from a coach more than once; is issued a National Letter of Intent from a prospective school; or makes an official visit to a prospective school.

More: How NCAA Eligibility Works

Redshirt: Also known as a "Fifth Year Senior," redshirt refers to a student-athlete who extends four seasons of play over five years. A redshirt player typically sits out of games for a season, while still attending practices and classes.

Unofficial visit: Unofficial visits occur when student-athletes pay their own expenses when visiting a prospective school, including transportation, room, meals and entertainment.

Walk-on: This term refers to a student-athlete who plays and trains with a collegiate team without an athletic scholarship.

More: How Young is Too Young in Recruiting

About the Author

Michael Cramton is a former Active editor and is a contributor on a broad array of sports and fitness topics. He is based in Austin, Texas.

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