The top football recruits across the country will be signing their Letters of Intent shortly. But not all readers of this site are the lucky seniors who have offers in hand. So with that in mind, we take a look at ten things that a senior football recruit should be doing if they do not have an offer on the table at this point.
1.) Make 100% sure that you love your sport and want to play in college
This must always be brought up when an athlete does not have a scholarship at this point. Are you sure you love the game and want a big portion of your college career based around athletics? Make 100% sure you want to play and that you want to do it for yourself. If you are playing for your family, then chances are strong you won’t make it. Playing athletics at all levels involves a lot of time so keep that in mind.
2.) Gauge your interest from scholarship level schools (this includes NAIA programs)
Signing Day 2012 will be here before you know it but there may still be opportunities to land an offer. Take a look at the recent recruiting attention that scholarship programs have shown you. Is there any indication that an offer might be coming? You may want to call the coaches and speak with them about it. See what opportunities might arise if players don’t sign with them. Don’t expect anything though. If they haven’t offered yet, getting a scholarship will be difficult.
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3.) Gauge your interest from non-scholarship level schools
Take a long hard look at the programs that are recruiting you from the non-scholarship level (aka Division III). Have you made visits to these schools? Have you built relationships with their coaches? Would you be happy at the Division III level? Think about these questions and get a feel for your thoughts on these programs.
4.) Go back to the drawing board
If you are happy with where you sit in the recruiting process and the schools recruiting you, then skip this step. If not, you basically can just hit the reset button and start looking for new schools. You won’t be able to get time back by hitting reset but it does allow you to update your recruiting profile and start fresh with new schools.
5.) Research, research, research
Figuring out new schools to look into will involve researching the situation. You want to be able to take a look at what is offered academically, athletically, and socially at all of the schools. Please keep in mind that you should be mainly considering smaller schools. Having Division I eyes at this point in the process is a waste of time.
6.) Show interest in the schools you like
After figuring out what new programs could be a good fit for you, show interest in them. Send them that updated recruiting profile and tell them about yourself. A Division III school should have a much better response rate in getting back to prospective recruits.
7.) Apply and fill out your FAFSA
Once you hear from the schools and learn more about them, find five to ten that you feel comfortable with and apply to their programs. On top of that, you may need to fill out a FAFSA to help with aid and getting your overall education lower in costs.
8.) Look into outside scholarships
Relying on just the school to get your education cheaper will be tough. That is why it is worth looking into outside scholarships that could help you. The sooner you look into this, the better.
9.) Take some overnight visits
Before coming to a final decision, getting a better feel for life at the school, the dorms, and going out with the players on the team is a must. Try to make multiple overnight trips in order to compare and contrast all of the experiences at the schools.
10.) Pick the school that fits you best both academically and athletically
In the end, you are a student athlete and academics has to have a major say in your eventual choice. As much as you love football and that has been your life, academics is what will help you be success beyond sports.
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