First off, let me note that regardless of if you are a top twenty recruit in the country or someone who will play Division III football, colleges are limited in what they can send you. The real mail can begin on September 1st of your junior year. Before that date, colleges are legally only able to send you camp invites and a questionnaire. That is all you can receive.
So the first thing you need to do is not get extremely disappointed that you have not been hearing from schools. It does happen throughout the recruiting process and is another fun part that you need to deal with during this time. But even though you are still young, it would not hurt to get your name on their radar for future reference.
I always have to preface articles like this by saying that having extended varsity experience is a must. I sound like a broken record in saying this but college coaches do not care about what you accomplished at the freshman, sophomore, or junior varsity levels. The competition you will face in college, especially at the Division I level, is going to be so many times better than that.
How can I help support Recruiting-101?
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- E-Book: Guide to the Athletic Recruiting Process for Parents
- E-Book: How Juniors Can Get a Head Start on the Football Recruiting Process
- Complete Package: Junior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Football Recruiting Position by Position Advice
- Complete Package: Senior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Producing a Scholarship Worthy Highlight Video
- E-Book: How Seniors Can Finish the Football Recruiting Process Strong
If you have stats and some ability to back it up, one of the first people I would speak with is your college coaches. Obviously unless you are undersized, they are not going to say your only option is to go play Division III football. Many will not give you a final assessment because you have so much time before you graduate but it is important to speak in regards of what level they may think you can play at.
Once the talk with your high school varsity coach is out of the way, now is the time to start piecing together early on the five steps to getting an athletic scholarships. As a sophomore and a freshman, unless you can do the tape yourself or get it done cheaply, I would not produce one just yet. A lot of development is expected out of you over time so I think it is too early.
What you can do is put together a recruiting profile that includes your contact information, stats, and what you have accomplished. If you have the ability, then go ahead and build a website. At this age, I would actually build the website before putting the highlight tape together. The time to do that highlight tape is following your junior year. Yes, sophomore tape can get you a scholarship but it doesn’t happen all that often. And college coaches are not exactly beating down the door to request sophomore video.
After putting that profile together, now is a great time to talk to your parents and possibly about your coaches about what you want in a future college. Think about location, weather, academics, and anything else that may factor in. If you have an idea what you want to study, make sure it is at the colleges you are looking for. After putting a list together of what you want, now is a good time to get to work on researching these schools online. You can see a big list of schools here. Find the schools that fit what you are looking for and have your parent contact them.
In the email, include your recruiting profile and just introduce your son to the coach. Tell them exactly why you are interested in their school and say something that you hope they will consider him a prospect over the next few years. No, this will not get you an early scholarship but being on the list means you will be more heavily evaluated over time.
After finding out what schools you are interested in, now may be a time to start looking more heavily at their camps. Again, most colleges don’t offer kids that early at camps but you can help your stock in the long run with a recent performance. Most juniors who aren’t just freak athletes get early offers because they attended camps at the school during the previous summer.
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