When breaking down the football recruiting process during certain times of the year, there are a lot of times where you are able to make up for not doing the right things in the first place. But if you are not on the right page come January of your senior year, it is going to take a mammoth effort in order to get a scholarship before Signing Day.
The reason why January is so important for football recruits is because this is finally the time where college coaches can focus on how they are going to finish up their recruiting classes. Bowl games will be ending soon and the schools with playoff systems have already crowed their champions. If you are not getting recruited, there are just no more excuses for you to make.
January can be a month that is both good and bad for recruits. The good news could come in the schools that want you to take official visits. This is the time when these college coaches will get you on campus and finally (let me stress finally for families) talk to you about your scholarship situation. It has been a long process and finally hearing that there is a scholarship on the table is normally fantastic news.
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It can be bad for a few different reasons. A school that has been recruiting you for the last year that you would love to attend tells you that they are not longer recruiting you and won’t be offering an official visit. Another program that you were hoping for a scholarship from offers a walk-on. And a school finally steps up with a scholarship but it is 10% of tuition.
As I have said before and will say over and over again, if one door closes, then it may not be meant to be. This is very wishful thinking (especially for stressed our parents) but if you stay the course and put education above everything else, good things will likely happen regardless of the level.
For those with Division I-A (BCS) dreams, there basically is only one reason now why a school at this level will offer you a scholarship this late in the process. It is simply because a recruit that they were after picks another school or the coaches just do not feel good about where they stand with a current football recruit.
I would love to sugarcoat this response and say that these schools will be throwing out offers left and right. The problem is that this is just flat out not true. Many of these schools are now putting the finishing touches on their recruiting classes. There is also a potential for a grayshirt offer but those don’t happen very often and are rare from school to school.
What these schools will most likely be telling you is if you are going to be invited as a walk-on. Regardless of your disappointment, there is no reason to shut down any doors in the football recruiting process so at the very least consider it. It may be a good bargaining tool in the race for scholarship dollars.
Look for part two on Wednesday!
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