I hate to say this to football recruits reading this throughout the country but these upcoming camps at the end of May, June, and July really can make or break the recruiting process for you. The reason why I hate saying this is simply because many athletes who dream to play at State University will not be getting the chance to. It is unfortunate but in the football recruiting world, scholarships are still extremely rare at the major Division I level.
Because these are so essential for college coaches to evaluate you as an athlete, you need to be in peak physical shape and ready to compete. Think about it this way. If the school costs $25,000 per year and they are showing you serious interest (calling, visiting the high school, hand written letters), you are honestly fighting for a $100,000 worth of schooling and education. That does not even count how much gear and benefits athletes get (legal benefits, right?).
The first thing to try to avoid during the spring and especially now is injuries/sickness. I saw an athlete a few years back come down with mono during the spring and then struggle at summer football camps. The obvious reason is because this athlete lost strength, speed, and weight. He then went to State University hoping for a scholarship offer and ended up in the end with nothing but a walk-on opportunity.
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The second athlete I am keeping an eye on now is one who tore up his knee during the football season. While he has not put up huge numbers on the football field just yet, he does have jaw dropping testing times that could get him a scholarship. If he can bounce back to full health and put up some great testing times, he may receive that offer he has been hoping for. Again, he is one I am keeping an eye on in the Class of 2013.
I am not going to go much into specifics here but the two things that you need to be working on is your testing numbers and your football skills. Let me start by talking about your testing numbers. What I mean by those is your 40-yard dash, bench press (it probably won’t be used but it might), vertical leap, shuttle run, and things along those lines. Regardless of your production on the football field, if you have some amazing numbers, you will get a Division I scholarship offer. Coaches at that level will take chances because you can only do so much to teach speed. And if you have it, chances are high you will have a scholarship offer.
What you need to be doing this spring is working on your starts for the 40-yard dash, the vertical (I would practice both with a step and without a step because some schools may do it differently), and the shuttle run. I would assume that in 99% of the camps, the 40-yard dash will be ran. So practicing on your starts and doing it over and over is the best way to help your speed. Speak with your high school football coach or a track coach who could help you in this area. Again, it is essential to practice this beforehand because the start is so vital. Again, is spending 10 hours this month worth potentially $100,000 to you?
The second area is football related skills. If you speak with college coaches on the phone this month, make sure to speak with them about what position they are recruiting you. If you are a running back and they want you to work at defensive back, try to speak with your coach about things you need to work on for this position. If they are recruiting you for your position, make sure to get some work in on it. If you are a lineman, practice getting low and coming off the ball. I know it is tough now if you don’t have spring practice but is a good thing to do.
One idea that a recruit told me he did a few years ago was pick a top five school in the country to attend his first camp at. Again, it must be your first camp. The reason that this recruit did it is because he wanted to get used to the workouts and what the other camps would be doing. So he picked this stretch school to get rid of the rust in his game and then went to in-state schools afterwards when he was ready for what they would be doing. Just something to think about that may help as well.
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