Make no mistake, at whatever level a collegiate athlete plays at, his/her coaches will try each year to bring in new talent to try to improve the team. A high school athlete, however; that has an outstanding academic record, can opt to consider colleges that many athletes with lesser academic credentials will be less likely to attend, thus allowing the scholar-athlete less competition and a more direct path to playing time at the college level.
The athlete should first decide what does he/she want from the college and the athletic program. While some may not mind being a bit intentional in strategically setting themselves up for a favorable path to playing time pretty quickly, some are content to go into a situation where they know it may take several years to earn significant playing time, and then there are those that may want playing time pretty quickly, but also are willing to step into a highly competitive situation.
The Division 2 level offers some very attractive possibilities for scholar-athletes to earn playing time, particularly the private institutions. Division 2 schools typically don't offer full rides based strictly on athletics, but when the athletic scholarship money is added to significant academic money, not to mention the possibility of financial aid; the cost for college can be mostly taken care of. I specified private institutions because the cost to attend these schools is usually significantly more than the public schools, especially when compared to the in- state cost for public schools. Division 2 schools are often landing spots for athletes just below the level of what the Division 1 schools are looking for, as well as for Division 1 athletes that for one reason or another don't pan out at the Division 1 level and decide to transfer. Public schools are in position to offer a lot cheaper deal to these athletes, especially the ones from in state, meaning that those attending the private schools are less likely to have these athletes compete with them for playing time. So a logical goal for a high schooler is to excel academically to merit a lot of academic scholarship money, making attendance to a private college an affordable option.
A bottom line for Believers is wanting to be in line with God's Will. Hopefully you are familiar with the importance of prayer, faith, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead. This certainly does not mean that doing your due diligence to find colleges that are a good fit, and utilizing the means at hand to contact coaches and give the student-athlete exposure are not critical parts of the process. I've found, however; the old saying to be true, that "if you take one step then God will take two." Proverbs 6:10-11 warns us, A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man. So let God lead your hustle.
If you're not new to the Spirit Led Life, then chances are you'll recognize God's voice during the journey, advising you what to do, and what not to do. As with anything else you will make mistakes, but keep grinding and things should work out. Even being in God's will doesn't mean things will be easy, but it will be best, especially in the long run.
Aiming high in all walks of life is a good thing. Daring to be great and aspiring to compete successfully at the highest of levels, are positive states of mind for athletes, but greatness can be expressed and recognized from a variety of platforms. I maintain that the objective should be to choose the most suitable locale.