Athlete Success Story: Making the team even after being cut

CaptainU soccer player Garrett Blodgett’s profile is full of highlight videos that showcase his talents as a midfielder, action shots, stats and more, which make him a stand out to college coaches.

But he wasn’t always on the right path to getting recruited to play college soccer. In fact, he even got cut from his club team and took a year off at one point. Yet, his dedication to CaptainU and passion for the sport landed him a spot on a Division II soccer team.

Find out all the things he did to recover from a year off of soccer, how he used CaptainU to take his game to the next level, and his advice for soccer players (and any athlete) looking to play their sport in college.

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Garrett Blodgett, Soccer Midfielder

When did you start playing your sport? How did you decide to play your sport as opposed to another?

I started playing soccer when I was four years old. I tried out other sports and just found that soccer fit my personality much more than other activities. I like to run and soccer requires you to do so for upwards of 90 minutes at a time. I love that.

What do you like most about your sport?

I like being a part of a team. When someone scores a goal, its not *just* because of that one person, it takes an entire team effort to make it happen. As a midfielder, I pride myself on the ability to deliver the ball to the front, our forwards, so they can score. Sure, I still have my opportunities to score as well, but I will always choose to do what’s best for the team.

What are the biggest obstacles in your sport that you’ve overcome? How did you overcome it?

Probably one of the worst, and best, things that happened to me one year is that I was cut from my club team. I was devastated and left the sport for a year. I played football and lacrosse instead. After taking the year off, I decided I wanted to get back into soccer and so I tried out and made another team. After that, I never looked back. I knew after almost losing my opportunity to play soccer, coming back to the sport is where I wanted to stay. Because of that experience, I’ve never taken my position on a team for granted and instead constantly look for a chance to get better.

What are the biggest obstacles in the recruitment process that you’ve encountered and/or overcome? How did you overcome it (if you did yet?)

The toughest challenge in the recruiting process is trying to stand out; to make sure coaches could recognize my abilities knowing that many players across the country were doing the same thing. I used CaptainU to set up a profile that made it easier for coaches to get an idea of who I am. I also personally reached out to any of them that looked me up. I visited some schools, went to ID camps, and always kept them informed of my progress. I was told by one school that I became their top recruit because I kept checking in with them.

How do you balance being a good athlete with being a good student?

I learned early on that being a good athlete wasn’t good enough for college coaches. I went to an academically very demanding school so for me balance and taking advantage of any free time was key for me. I studied on the way to games, I brought my homework away on tournaments, and I learned how to focus quickly in order to take advantage of any time I might have. I ended up making the dean’s list for 5 semesters in a row, something I’m very proud of.

When did you realize you wanted to play college sports?

I’ve always seen myself attending college and playing soccer.

Where did you first turn for recruitment tools, platforms, strategies, etc.?

Late sophomore year a sports agent came to our school to talk about the recruiting process. That helped me get started. But truth be told, I would’ve started earlier if I had to do it all over again.

What things have worked and what things haven’t/didn’t work when trying to get in touch with coaches?

Contact with the coach is key. I learned that relying on a coach seeing you at a tournament would never work. I really had to first establish a relationship with the coach enough where they wanted to come see me play. I think probably what didn’t work is pursuing a school that I wasn’t a good fit. There’s no reason to put your efforts into a place that you’re not wanted. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good player, it just means you’re not a good fit.

How was your family involved & how was this helpful?

Having my parents involved was extremely important. They were not only there for moral support, but also they helped get me to the right camps, helped me with what to say or write coaches, etc.

What tools, platforms, strategies did you use throughout the whole process?

Of course video was key… coaches need to see you play or they’ll never recruit you. I liked CaptainU because it really gave coaches a well rounded look at who I was not only as a player, but as a student athlete.

What worked best for you on CaptainU / what was your favorite CaptainU tool?

I liked learning what coaches came to view my profile. It gave me a reason to reach out to the coach and identify whether or not they had further interest in me.

What would be three recommendations you have to athletes trying to play in college?

First, work hard… both in school and on the field. Coaches won’t look at you if you aren’t even able to be admitted to the school.

Second, communicate. I found you need to start creating a relationship with a coach much before you want them to come see you play. By the time they decide to come see you (or you, them), they should know all about you.

Third, be respectful. These coaches have a lot on their plate and showing them the respect they deserve goes a long way. And don’t forget to treat the assistant coaches with respect as well. Often, they are the ones in charge of recruiting!

Finally, what are your goals for the coming year in your sport? How are you currently doing in your sport? Have you been recruited yet?

My high school and club seasons are over. We did well, finishing in first place in both leagues. I was a captain on both my club and high school team and was named all- league and all-academic team by the city paper. In the end, I was recruited by 8 different colleges. I finally signed a letter of intent with a DII school on the west coast and can’t wait to play at the next level!

Connect with thousands of college coaches, access helpful tools and attend events with a free CaptainU profile today to take your game to the next level!