Question: Committing Without A Letter of Intent? If you are being recruited by a Div. 1 school without an athletic scholarship is there a formal signing process? Without a letter of intent, how do you know you are more than a walk on?
Answer: Committing Without A Letter of Intent
Basically, you have only the coach's word on this. There are no guarantees, and you do not sign any kind of letter---or at least anything you sign would be meaningless. However, if the coach has treated you like a "recruited" walk-on as opposed to just any walk-on---e.g., if you've gone for an official visit, if the coach has assured you have a spot on the team (assuming you do the work when you get there), you're probably okay. It would be a good idea to do an informal poll of current team members and ask them whether the coach is as good as his or her word. Ask them how many walk-ons make the team, how many were recruited ahead of time versus those who just showed up. Answering these kinds of questions can help provide some sense of security.
HOWEVER, be aware that it's really up to you---e.g., how hard you work---and there is definitely an element of risk. Every coach needs committed walk-ons, and these days, many coaches are loading up on recruited walk-ons. My last bit of advice is that you be sure you're going to the college because that's where you want to be. Don't go there just because it's Div. I or has a big name.
There might be all sorts of good colleges (and teams) out there who would love to recruit you and give you the chance to play!