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  • Writer's pictureJason

Let's Chat About the Phenom List

Because I have been misunderstood when it comes to things like this, I will first say that I think it's great anytime an athlete gets noticed or rewarded for their accomplishments. It's great when they get recognized for the hard work and dedication they put in to their sport.

Also just a couple things to put at the top here - this is technically the Phenom "Watch" List. Which means that the final "Phenom List" will be made up of athletes mentioned, but is much smaller in size. One of the stipulations of being on the list is that you must be nominated by a coach who is an AVCA Member. Personally, I never joined the AVCA until I became a college coach. That means for the 5 years I was coaching club and high school prior to coaching in college, I would not have been able to nominate any of my athletes for something like this.


When it comes to recruiting (which is almost always my angle on these things) I do not see any sort of "causation" to being on the AVCA Phenom list or any other ranking/list to being recruited at the college level. Just because an athlete on the list is being recruited, that doesn't mean they are getting recruited BECAUSE they are on the list.

I don't see a correlation from college coaches across the country that they are recruiting athletes SPECIFICALLY because they go to this specific showcase or because they are on the list. To be completely honest, I don't see this kind of correlation with any other list either.

It certainly isn't something that is necessary to the recruiting process, in my opinion.

If it helps at all, two 2024 athletes that I have been helping with their recruiting process are not on this list. Both recently committed to D1 schools. A third athlete (again, not on the list) will be receiving offers on her visits later this fall.

This list is in no way exclusive.


Let's talk numbers.

Just in the 2024 class alone (which makes sense in the way they format this list) there are over 1,600 athletes mentioned. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that there are limited scholarships at D1 for volleyball. The numbers look roughly like this:

335 D1 schools

4,000 D1 scholarships available across the country (in total)

1,000 scholarships available in YOUR recruiting class

25% of every roster is made up of walk-ons

This all means that some of the athletes on this list are not going to play college volleyball. It means that many of these athletes will play D2 in college (not a bad thing at all). It also means that some of these athletes are going to be walking-on at a program. Potentially it means some of the athletes on this list will play NAIA, D3 or maybe even JuCo (again, none of these scenarios is a negative).

Should you go to the "Talent Showcase"?

Well, that's entirely up to you. If you want to go see the Final Four in Omaha, then it might be a good option for you. In my opinion, I don't think there is a TON of recruiting happening there that isn't going to happen come Triple Crown or the later qualifiers. I think that if there are college coaches planning on being there that might not get the chance to watch you play because of regional recruiting and their ability (or lack of ability) to travel very far because of their budget, maybe it's worth it. That is something you will have to decide on based on YOUR specific situation and where you are in the recruiting process.

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