With high school football teams around the country deep into the 2011 season, many of the top prep players have already had a chance to get games under their belts. Some of these prep players are among the best in the country and have received multiple Division I scholarship offers.
While the total numbers of Division I recruits are small, chances are good in most areas that a football player will eventually line up against a Division I recruit sometime or another during the season. Some people think that if their son outplays this Division I recruit, they should have scholarship offers and coaches knocking down the door. The problem is that it just doesn’t work that way.
When college coaches evaluate a prospect, they are evaluating them for the time being and in the future. If an offensive lineman is 6-foot-8, 290 pounds, and can move, coaches at all levels are going to give this athlete a serious look in recruiting. But for athletes that big, college is important for them to add muscle, improve flexibility, and just get a better feel for what coaches are looking for in an offensive lineman.
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Because these coaches are projecting how the lineman will be when they are 22 or 23 years old, what they do during the high school season really is not all that important. If the recruit can make a splash at their camp, that is the vital time for them to standout. So if anything, the future of this recruit is years ahead. If you have a son who is a 6-foot, 215 pound defensive tackle who dominates this Division I recruit, that does not mean you are a Division I recruit. Coaches have a certain size that they are looking for and your son may not fit that. Some players are considered outstanding high school players just because of their size and that may be the case in this situation.
The problem is this happens all the time because parents and even some coaches are so big into their players or their son outplaying this storied recruit. I have seen it in football because some athletes will think just because they out rushed the Division I recruit in a game, they should get an opportunity to play at that level. It is just not that simple.
To be a Division I recruit, there are a lot of things that you have to do. And while excelling on Friday nights (Especially during your junior year) are important, the leg work that needs to be done after the season is what really is important in securing that Division I scholarship. These recruits have to make highlight tapes, send out film, have a coach and a school supporting them and their character, excel at camps, market themselves, and put themselves in the best position to get their name out to college coaches. Even if your son has more catches than the top recruit in the State that game, were they going head to head?
So if you are heading out Friday night for the big game and the team sports a Division I player, it is a great experience for your son to see what it takes to play at that level. But it does not mean this is a difference maker in getting a scholarship offer.
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