Junior forward Melvin Snoh and the Georgetown Hoyas are coming off a successful 2014 campaign in which they narrowly missed out on a trip to the College Cup. Prior to attending Georgetown, Snoh was a member of Penn Fusion Celtic (PA-E), which competed in the US Youth Soccer National League and advanced to the 2011 US Youth Soccer Under-17 National Championships final. He was also a member of the 2013 James P. McGuire Cup champions, Lehigh Valley United 93 (PA-E). While playing for his club and high school teams, Snoh took it upon himself to contact college coaches, which helped make the recruiting process a positive one. He spoke with US Youth Soccer and talked about what helped him while looking at colleges.
When did you first start the recruiting process and looking at colleges?
I would say toward the end of my sophomore year is when I really started looking at schools. I started emailing different schools that I would like to go to, even though they couldn’t really reply.
What factors did you take into consideration when looking at schools?
For me, personally, I was looking at playing style. I like a good brand of soccer. I was looking at schools that played a good style of soccer.
Is there anything academically you were looking for?
Oh, yeah. I was looking at good academic schools and good soccer schools. In high school I was really into real estate and the stock market and stuff like that. I wanted to do something that was business orientated. That’s why I chose Georgetown. It wasn’t too big, and it wasn’t too small. And it had a really good business school.
What was the feeling like when you started hearing from college coaches?
For me, it was exciting. It was nice to see colleges were interested in me and thought I was a good player. For me, I thought it was a fun process. I liked talking to the colleges and seeing where they were, who was in their recruiting class and their views of me. I thought it was a good process, to be honest.
Who helped you and gave you advice when you were going through the process of looking at schools?
It was mainly my sister, because I lived with her. Also my youth coach, Sean McCafferty, who was my head coach at Penn Fusion and Spirit United, helped me. My high school coach also helped. So, I got help from a good amount of people.
Was there anything you feel you did to help you get noticed, whether it was reaching out to coaches, sending highlight tapes or anything like that?
I spoke to the assistant coach when I got here, and he said he was impressed by my maturity. I was the one who was initiating all the emails and stuff like that. Even though I was ranked high on ranking sites, I took initiative and sent out emails. It was from my email address, so they were impressed by that. Every time they sent me an email, I was quick to reply to it. Most of the coaches I spoke to were impressed by that. Most kids will rely on their parents to do emails and phone calls, but I took the initiative and did that, so I will say that helped me a lot.
What was the hardest part of the process and making a decision?
For me, financially, I didn’t really have the money to go every school I was looking at. The hardest part was definitely visiting all the schools I was interested in, but besides that, everything was fun, to be honest.
Was there anything interesting that happened along the way?
Honestly, the most interesting thing was that when I visited campuses and spoke to the different college coaches, I felt like the schools that put pressure on me to commit early were the ones I crossed off my list. I didn’t like the fact they were putting pressure on me to commit. I liked the schools that gave me leeway and said I could make the decision anytime I want. I like the schools that just let me go through the process and let me make a decision when I was ready. If you’re putting pressure on someone, it shows you’re not really looking out for their best interests. That’s how I saw it.
Is there any advice you would give to a youth player who is going through that process of looking to play in college?
Just stick to it. Like I said, take the initiative. College coaches can’t see everyone. Send them emails every two weeks. If you’re going to a tournament or playing in a showcase, send out emails. They really like looking at good players, and obviously not everyone will be that highly recruited in high school. You might be a good player but not everyone knows who you are. So, take that initiative and send out emails and call and things like that to make sure you’re on their radar. If you’re on their radar, and they can see you play and if you play well, you can go to any school you want. Don’t settle. It’s possible to go to any school you want. You just have to make sure you’re on that college’s radar.