Could I Sign with a Lower Level and Plan to Transfer in a Year or Two to a Higher Division?
Does your plan include signing with a school, and then jumping ship in a year or two to greener pastures? Is it possible, yes. Is it your best option, probably not.
If you are considering this option, you are likely not getting the offers that you are interested in, or you are a late bloomer. Both are situations that happen to a lot of college athletes, relax.
An alternative to trying to work off this plan would be to start at a Junior College for a year or two, you can basically re-do the recruiting process and transfer to a four-year institution. It’s true—college coaches, especially Division I coaches, begin evaluating players younger and younger, and if you are a late bloomer or were dealing with off-the-field issues, you may not be getting the offers and recruitment that you think you deserve. Junior College opportunities give you the chance to start over, give you another year to improve and get bigger, and see if a better opportunity comes along—and many JuCos offer athletic scholarship aid.
It’s also important to note, that all that glitters is not gold. I’ve worked with small programs, operating on nickel and dime budgets and I’ve worked among the best with near limitless budgets… you can build great friendships and make life-long memories at many schools. Don’t limit yourself to only Division I schools, you can be missing out on scholarship money and the overall college experience.
Yes, transfers happen to nearly every team in the country. You may get there and the fit may just not be right, or your relationship with your coach may just not be working for you. You may have new family issues at home and would be more comfortable at a school within an hour or two from your hometown. Transferring is an option, but should not be part of your overall plan. Coaches and teammates put time and effort into building their program, it’s not good to take advantage of that and go chasing after “something better.” Remember the old saying, “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.”