Top prospect Spears will take her time. Nationals and taking her visits priority right now.
The Athlete’s Journey
Class of 2025: 6’3 OH
TAV Dallas, Texas
Cari Spears, a 16-year-old five-star prospect and the best OH in the nation, is getting ready for nationals with her TAV 17s Black club team as she starts her recruitment process. The Texas star has done it all in her prep/club career. Spears played for the Girls U19 National Team for two years in a row (2022–2023) and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Texas as a Sophomore.
Spears is over a week into her recruitment process and says, “It's been good, it hasn't been too stressful. I get a lot of advice from my older teammates advising me to not take too many calls and manage my time when talking to coaches.”
Spears has been in contact with schools in the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC. “Having conversations with the coaches helps me get a feel for what school might be best for me.”
Spears currently has five schools that she is talking to. “I haven't narrowed it down to two yet, I'm still taking calls, getting to know not only the coaching staff but the program as well”, said Spears.
Spears wants to play in the most competitive conference, “I love the Big Ten because it's the most competitive conference right now, but the SEC is also growing and becoming more competitive.”
Spears is adamant about visiting and getting on campus before committing. “I think it's important to see the school in person so that I can get a feel for what my life could be like for the next 4 years”, said Spears.
Spears added, “Location has never really mattered to me.”
Whether her future home is in-state or out-of-state, Spears wants to explore all her options and find the university that best suits her and her goals.
While Spears is a competitor she also respects and is motivated by her teammates.
“The most important thing to me is my team. Whatever the team needs from me to be I try to play that role while playing my game as well. I'm being consistently pushed by my teammates and that is something that I appreciate and that helps my game continue to grow”, said Spears.
Being the #1 recruit in the country comes with a lot of pressure and coaches can get eager and impatient with top recruits, often giving them strict timelines to make a quick decision. That hasn't swayed or affected Cari's path.
Spears wants to commit after taking her last visit, “I want to commit as soon as possible, but it will be after my visits”, said Spears. “I told coaches if they need to move forward with other recruits they can because I know for sure I want to take my visits before committing.”
Spears' ultimate decision will be based on
*her initial discussions with coaches
*her interactions with prospective teammates
*the universities academic options,
*but most importantly—the success of the program.
We know MANY in the club and college volleyball world will be eagerly invested in what Cari's final decision is. She's a program changing talent for sure.