Football Recruiting Questions: Another Q&A with a Division I parent

Football Recruiting Questions: Q&A with a ParentA feature that I have tried to include for readers out there is a question and answer with parents who have been through the recruiting process.  While many of them have seen their sons head to the Division II or I-AA ranks, the parent that we caught up most recently saw her son receive an offer from a major BCS school that has won their conference within the last few years.  This program has had a great deal of success in recent years and that is what makes this article interesting.

To give a background of the situation, the athlete went into the summer with zero offers and it appeared as if that would be the case in the fall.  But this BCS school ended up offering the athlete at the end of July.  Before long, this senior wanted to make a decision and ended the recruiting process before the season got going too far along.  He could have sent out more tape and waited for other schools to possibly offer but felt comfortable with the program that he picked.  While we won’t say specific names in this article, I spent a good amount of time emailing with the family and am thrilled that he will get to play at the Division I level in college.  A special thanks to the mom who took the time to answer my questions.

Please describe the recruiting process that your son went through:
He started receiving mail after his sophomore season when he earned All District honors and he was invited to a few spring games. His junior year the mail really picked up and he was invited to games in the fall. He also attended four Junior Days in the winter/spring. During May, several colleges made school visits and then this past summer he attended for camps. Throughout the process you could feel the level of interest from a college by the degree of personal interactions he had with the coaches. They couldn’t call him but through personal letters and requests for him to call them he was able to stay in contact.

Had your family had much experience with recruiting before this?
Yes his father was a Division I college athlete and more recently his sisters were recruited at the Division III level.

How many summer camp invites did your son receive?

How many summer camps did your son attend?

How many highlight tapes did you send to college coaches?

Did you randomly send out tape or was it only to schools that requested it?
Schools that requested it.

Did you use a recruiting service for the process?
No, we didn’t

How did you keep track of recruiting?
Filing system on the side of the refrigerator. This included a list of the NCAA recruiting timeline so we knew what to expect and then a clip for each college.

Your son received the Division I offer in late July. What were your thoughts on the somewhat strange timing of the offer?
It wasn’t strange to us because the college that offered him maintained very good communications and were very honest with him throughout the process.

What was the hardest part of the recruiting process?
At first it was hard to know as parents how much we needed to be involved but through internet research (Recruiting 101) and talking with other parents of recruits at Junior Days, we learned a lot and gained a better understanding of what we needed to do. As parents there were times it was hard to be patient through the process. Our son did a great job of handling it all.

Were all coaches honest with you during the process?
All coaches he interacted with were honest, but some schools were more upfront and straightforward.

Did any coaches use negative recruiting? If so, how did they do it?
No, there wasn’t any “negative” recruiting.

Were you surprised about what schools offered and what ones didn’t?
The school that offered him communicated very well so that didn’t surprise us. They clearly laid out their timeline right after summer camp. Two of the schools that he attended camp at wanted to see a few games in the season and the other school felt he could play D1 football but initially were focusing on lineman closer to 290-300 lbs.

How much did the Recruiting-101 help you during the process?
It was a good resource to us.

If you could do it all over again, would there be anything that you would change?
Get highlight tapes out earlier.

Do you have any advice for other families about to go through the process?
Get a highlight tape professionally made and spend time learning about the recruiting process, the timelines, etc.  Summer camps are a very significant part of the recruiting process – our son didn’t attend any after his sophomore season which was probably a good choice for him because he matured physically so much during his junior year and became a much stronger/quicker player after he finally quit growing. But he didn’t receive the real early interest like those who had been at camps. In many situations attending camps after their sophomore season may be beneficial especially if it’s a school they are really interested in.

Any other words of advice?
Make sure to keep high school coaches, athletic directors and guidance counselors in the loop as they will be asked for information from the college coaches. We made an extra effort to get our son on the college campus’ so he could get a feel of the entire college experience not just the football program. It’s a fun time – enjoy it!

If you have any questions for this parent, please feel free to comment and I can try to get an answer!

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