This question is for anyone with prior recruiting experience. How do official visits work? Is that when a school usually make offers or do they make offers first and the official visit is more of a formality? Thanks in advance.
Both of my daughters had their offers given over the phone and actually did their official visits in their Sr year . I may be wrong but believe true official ( where everything can be paid for) visits can only be conducted in the Sr. Year.
Official visits can begin Sept 1st Junior year, and responding to someone prior question- yes, all the parents travel and lodging expenses "may" be picked up. That will depend on the school, their budget for that and how highly recruited your daughter is. I have heard many players get invites for unofficial visits, then if things go well can go back with a paid visit. As per NCAA you may only accept 4 official visits, but can visit all the rest on your own dime and basically accomplish the same thing. From the pre-covid era, most coaches spend sept 1st and the first several days of recruiting making home visits to their top recruits, then get back to campus to start welcoming players to campus visits. Many coaches will make offers over the phone, especially if they feel the player may be out of reach, they take a wild stab at it, trying to land their "Dream Player" (flipped the script right there).