I didn’t expect to have a fantastic junior season in my favorite sport and now I feel behind in the recruiting process. What should I be doing right now?

I didn't expect to have a great junior season in my favorite sport and now I am behind in the recruiting process.  What should I do?I recently had an opportunity to talk to a football recruit who is currently a junior.  This athlete was refreshingly honest with me about the entire recruiting process and what he had been going through.  He told me that he had not been invited to any Junior Days and mentioned the two primary schools that have been sending mail.

This was refreshingly honest because I hear athletes try to make up schools recruiting them and not answer the questions that I ask.  With this athlete, he was completely honest the entire time and that made it a great interview.  But what this player said to me regarding the recruiting process really stood out to me.  He said he wasn’t expecting to have quite the junior season of football that he had.  With that, he had no idea what he should do to help himself get recruited.  Now he feels that because he hasn’t learned or been able to look into his recruiting options, he is behind.  What should he do?

Just a little more background on the athlete.  He played his first varsity season on the football team this past fall.  He knew he was going to see playing time but didn’t expect to rush for over 1,400 yards and receive All State honors.  His team also plays in the toughest conference in their State and he did it against some great competition.

So far, this player has received interest from two college programs.  I believe that the main reason he has been hearing from both of those schools is simply because he was named All State last fall.  When you are named All State, you seem to find your way to the recruiting databases of college coaches and get on their mailing list.  I would suspect that is the case.

There will obviously be some questions if he has the speed to play running back at the Division I-A level (BCS) but that doesn’t mean he can’t try and send out some feelers to college coaches.  His high school has sent a number of players to the Division I level so him excelling at this school with a veteran coach who knows the process should help things along.  If I was in his shoes and I had done nothing thus far in recruiting, here are four things that I would do:

  • Make/update your recruiting profile (see The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer)
    Getting your name and ability in the eyes of college coaches is a great way to help yourself in the football recruiting process.  This profile is key.  Also, just to let readers know, I am confident that he has finished a highlight video so if he had not, that would have been something I would have added as well.
  • Find colleges that fit at all levels (Division I-A, I-AA, II, III, and NAIA) and market yourself to them (see The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer)
    My advice here is to do the second and third steps that I have talked about in The Five Steps to a Scholarship.  Click the link above for more.
  • Speak with your high school coach about your college potential and what you should do
    Again, the high school coach has sent numerous players to the college level, and even the Division I-A level.  So college coaches respect him and he likely can help you with the process.  Talk to the coach about what you should do, what level he thinks you can play at, and anything else college related.  Your high school coach should be a great resource.
  • Sign up for summer camps but be picky about the ones that you decide on
    This is a hard one to decide on.  You want to help get your name out there to college coaches but with none calling or showing serious attention, it is hard to pick.  One option may be to pick two large in-state camps and then call it good.  The reason for this is because these large in-state camps likely have a number of coaches from other colleges working the camp and that will help garner interest from other programs.  You could also pick a few Division I-AA (FCS) or Division II camps as well.  This is tough because you don’t want to be wasting money but need to do something to help put your name and abilities in front of college coaches.

In all honesty, you are behind the ball if you haven’t started marketing yourself and getting your name out there.  But it certainly isn’t too late to get interest from college coaches and be evaluated.  These coaches are always looking for athletes who can play.  And if you can, even if you start late, these coaches will want you and do what they can to land you.  The obvious key here is being good enough.

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