If you are a fringe Division I-A player, then you may eventually have to make a tough decision in the recruiting process. Would you rather take the walk on at the bigger Division I-A school in the BCS conference or go to a smaller school on scholarship at the Division I-AA level?
Over the last few years, I have seen many different recruits go each and every way possible when trying to answer that question. I have even seen a recruit pass up a Division I scholarship to go to a Division II powerhouse. But if you are given the choice between some scholarship money or being a walk-on, what would you do?
Taking the Division I-A walk on spot: While there normally are a lot of walk ons that get a chance at some of these bigger schools, it is a prestigious honor to be able to say that you were a part of the big in-state school. You may spend four or five years and never play but you can always say that you were part of that program. It may have been something you have dreamt of over the years and would make your dad proud that you are finally doing it.
How can I help support Recruiting-101?
- Use highlight-videos.com for a Hudl tuneup/new video
- E-Book: Guide to the Athletic Recruiting Process for Parents
- E-Book: How Juniors Can Get a Head Start on the Football Recruiting Process
- Complete Package: Junior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Football Recruiting Position by Position Advice
- Complete Package: Senior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Producing a Scholarship Worthy Highlight Video
- E-Book: How Seniors Can Finish the Football Recruiting Process Strong
You can also hope that if you put in enough time and work hard enough, there may be a scholarship for you later on. My guess is that the majority of walk ons assume at some point they will be put on a scholarship. Really, why else would they be there? But I think the biggest draw here is being on the big state school and always saying that you played for them. Again, there is a chance to sign later on but you will definitely be taking your knocks early on.
Taking the Division I-AA scholarship: I am not saying that this will be a full ride by any means but getting scholarship money, no matter how small, will help you pay for college in the long run. You will likely not realize how great student loans are until you graduate from college but they flat out suck. Keeping your college tuition and costs as low as possible is something that should be a major issue when picking your school.
Getting a scholarship also shows that the school does actually want you there. Even if it is 10%, it is more than a lot of other athletes that they have been recruiting. And it also has the opportunity to go up over time so that you will be getting a higher percentage as you get older. These coaches feel that you are good enough to get money in that first year and make you a sought after target. You also have a greater chance of playing as well.
Other factors to consider: How good are both of the schools? I would think that most athletes would be happier if their team is winning, regardless if they are playing or not.
What are the overall cost of both schools, with scholarship money included? Unless your parents have the money, you will likely have student loans until you are into your forties. Think about that for a second.
Has the Division I-A school put a lot of walk-ons on scholarship? If they don’t give walk ons a chance, why exactly do you think you will be the one that breaks through?
Overall: Really it just ends up being a personal decision. If you dreamed of playing for the big in-state school, that may be your best bet. At the very least, you could try it and transfer out if you don’t like it. If you go to the Division I-AA school, chances are small that you will transfer out to a bigger school. Think about that as well before making that decision.
Want to help support Recruiting-101 to keep all of our articles free? Please consider purchasing one of our E-Books today!
Are you a junior football recruit who needs direction on where to go from February until August of your junior year? Recruiting-101 has written a 29-page E-Book that breaks down the football recruiting process from Signing Day until Summer of their junior year and is for sale for only $10.00. Find out more about purchasing the e-book and what else is included by clicking here now!
Recruiting-101 has written a 51-page E-Book that helps parents throughout the journey of the recruiting process. This includes an example recruiting profile, a step-by-step time line, and much more. It is currently available for sale for only $10.00. Find out more about purchasing the e-book and what else is included by clicking here now!
Are you a senior football recruit who needs direction on where to go from August until February of your senior year? Recruiting-101 has written a 26-page E-Book that breaks down the football recruiting process from Summer until Signing day of their senior year and is for sale for only $10.00. Find out more about purchasing the e-book and what else is included by clicking here now!
Recruiting-101 has put together a 25-page e-book on how to Produce a Scholarship Worthy Highlight Video. It breaks down the overall process of creating a Highlight Video and gives step by step instructions for football and basketball recruits. Click here to learn more about the e-book now, which is currently on sale for only $7.50!
For position by position help throughout the football recruiting process, Recruiting-101 has put together a 28-page guide to help athletes get a better feel for what college coaches are looking for at each spot. Click here to learn more about the e-book now, which is currently on sale for only $5.00!