Over the last year, I have had a chance to speak with an outstanding athlete and his father throughout the football recruiting process. With his decision coming in the near future, I thought I might post some of the notes that I have talked about and learned with regards to their recruiting process. In every situation, things are going to be unique but it is very interesting to see what a four star recruit has been through.
The first, as I have talked about before, is that because he is such a sought after recruit, he has cut himself off from the media. This athlete currently boasts scholarship offers from schools in the Big 12, SEC, Pac 10, Big 10, ACC, and a number of other smaller conferences as well. Because he holds double digit offers, reporters from each of the major recruiting sites (Rivals and Scout) would both want to speak with him about the newest scholarship offer. And with so many on the table, it took a toll and he ended up going into seclusion from the media.
The icing came when a school from the Big 12 called and one of the sites spoke with him and reported it. The other recruiting site (I am not going to go into which one did this) from that school started calling him. Since he wasn’t answering, they kept calling him. Over the course of the evening, that reported called him eight different times trying to speak with him about the offer. If you are on eight already, why not call ten times?
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That is simply ridiculous with regards to the recruiting process. Some may even consider that stalking, and this was from a grown adult trying to speak to a 17-year old on the phone. What this shows is that if you make the offers public (Which I still would recommend, as I will talk about in a bit), be prepared to talk to a lot of reporters and coaches. Not only from Scout and Rivals, a lot of newspapers are trying to cover in-state recruiting. So get used to it.
One of the more interesting stories that I heard with regard to highlight videos was that a school in the Big Ten requested that they send his highlight tape. The dad did it, in fact he ended up doing it four different times. The coaching staff at this school lost it three different times for a tape that they actually asked for.
Let me state for the record that this is one of the better programs in the Big Ten and happened three different times. They ended up offering the athlete a scholarship but it seemed to be one of the most difficult processes in the world to get it to them. And with each tape being send overnight via UPS, the costs added up rather quickly.
The reason why I mention this highlight video tidbit is that this was from a recruit that they offered and requested the tape. As I have said many times, I am against just randomly sending out highlight videos without talking to the coaches prior. If a recruit with a four star ranking gets his tape lost three different times, imagine what would happen to the video of someone who has not had any contact with the coaches prior? Make sure that the coaches request the tape and follow up afterwards in recruiting.
And the third and final note comes from the importance of marketing yourself and making sure that people know you are getting offered. This recruit did a text book job of following the five steps to a scholarship. He marketed himself to schools, sent out tape, built a website, and made his video widely available to college coaches. Without the work that he did, I wonder how many offers would be the table right now?
Regardless, what really set his recruiting off was one scholarship offer. While there were some smaller schools that offered early, this senior received a major scholarship offer from a program that many consider a powerhouse. It was the third school to extend a scholarship but it really broke open the recruiting process.
The recruit wisely made sure that the recruiting services were aware of this offer and that the coaches at other schools knew he had it in hand as well. The schools that were biding their time in the recruiting process stopped coming up with excuses and stepped up with offers. Obviously this recruit is a special athlete because you can do all the marketing in the world but if you can’t play, you are not going to get looks. He worked hard and put himself into a great situation. Combined with the work that his dad did, he will get an opportunity to play Division I football on scholarship and will turn down some of the top programs in the country along the way.
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