I'm an advocate for starting the recruiting process sooner. I think it helps. Some people might disagree with me and that's fine. I wrote about a similar topic last year as I was doing seminars at some clubs. You can read about that HERE.
I had a conversation with a family last week and they told me that they didn't done any recruiting stuff. Someone had told them that they didn't need to start until now; the summer prior to your Junior year. Now, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. There are plenty of athletes that "start" their recruiting journey during their junior/17s club season or perhaps later. Many can find a roster spot at the college level just fine. An athlete this club season had a "recruiting journey" that lasted about a month. It happens!
Do you have to be in a position to get offers on June 15th? No. That might be another extreme. Here are a few reasons WHY I like the idea of starting the recruiting process sooner rather than later...
You can always be doing something
You can go to a college volleyball match. You can look up schools online. You can continue to figure out what schools are a best fit for you - something I've been talking about a lot. You can be proactive in your search for a school vs waiting to see who is interested in you.
Get in front of more college coaches
The more emails and film you send to college coaches the better chance of them coming to watch you play. Plenty of coaches are off evaluating athletes during their 16s club season PRIOR to June 15th. Getting in front of them sooner helps. Giving them more time to evaluate you at more than one tournament helps. Those coaches that maybe can't get out and recruit a lot in person because of their budget or other reasons are going to focus on the athletes that they know about. You sending them your film might be the only way they would ever know about you. Regional recruiting still happens! Coaches are going to be focused on athletes in their area, the ones that can/will come to camp. There are plenty of D1 coaches that I don't get to see a lot, even at qualifiers, because they are spending their time watching club teams from different areas - parts of the country where I don't have any clubs or athletes.
Learn more and understand more about the process
This is a big one for me. Education is the key. The more you know the more you grow. This is the whole reason that I do seminars (plural) with each club team throughout the club season. There is a TON of information out there to get to parents and athletes. If you think that volleyball recruiting is going to be like football recruiting, you can probably still get recruited (honestly) but I would imagine that it would be bumpy. Understanding why coaches are emailing you back; understanding what coaches are ACTUALLY telling you; understanding that a camp invite doesn't necessarily mean that a school is going to offer you a scholarship. Give yourself time to understand all that is going on.
Biggest one here...Find out where you fit. Getting a camp incite from a P5 school is great. It doesn't mean that school is going to be a good fit for you athletically or academically a year from now. Coaches are going to be "interested" in a lot of athletes, but really only pursue a handful of them. Finding where you will be in a Top 3 is significantly more helpful to your process then finding the schools where you are in the Top 10.