After having talked about what junior football players should do during the recruiting process before the season, I thought now would be a great time to update what I had previously talked about. This mid-season review is just to help those juniors going through the football recruiting process. It is not an easy time but you can help yourself by reading this article and doing these steps.
With September 1st being the first day that college programs can officially send you personalized mail (And not camp invites, my personal favorite), juniors should be able to start receiving mail at this point. No matter what you say, there should be no excuses as to why you are not getting mail. I will never buy the lines about waiting until later to get yourself out there or hoping that your junior season will catch the interest of college coaches.
I say this in every article along this line but what you must do is market yourself. It could be you or your parents but your family needs to personally market yourself to college coaches. The reason that I stress your family needs to actually do it is because there is no one anywhere who will take such a vested interest in the outcome. There are some services out there that will do work, but at the end of the day, they do not care as much as you do about getting your son to a school that he wants to play for.
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
I seem to always stress this in articles like this but what I would recommend going through The Five Steps of a Scholarship Offer. At this point, focus on the first three. Right now, putting together a recruiting profile is very essential. What I would do if I were a family with a junior football player is update it after every game. I wouldn’t send out the same profile to the same coaches every week but time should be taken to look up schools that the athlete might be interested in.
Each week, try to target five to ten and send out the updated profile every week. Yes, this does take time but it is good for a number of reasons. If you do it yourself, you are saving a lot of money. Second, this is a great bonding experience between your family. Your son will love the fact that you are helping him at this difficult time and you will be spending a lot of time together. Keep that in the back of your head before doing it.
The fourth step that you should have already started looking into is the highlight video process. If you have not started looking ahead to the postseason, you should be doing that by now. The reason is because when things get hectic because of a number of different things in November, having done the work ahead of time will help you then. You can look locally or try a site like www.highlight-videos.com. In the end, going the professional route may be worth it to impress college coaches.
Another part of this fourth step is to be lining up the full game tape needed for these highlights. You can speak with the high school coach about it and the desire to play in college. Because you need good footage, your best bet is getting your hands on a video now. If the quality is terrible, it may be time to start looking into other options (ie: Having a family member do it). It does take away from the game experience for a dad or mom to do it but you need good footage.
The fall is also a fantastic time for those with college interest to make game day visits. If you are a recruit, schools throughout your area should be throwing tickets around to get prep athletes on their campus. Many of these schools invite a ton of prospects simply because they do not want to miss out on someone. If you are on their prospect list, then you will likely get tickets, even if you end up playing Division III football. The key obviously is to get on their recruiting list and that can be done by marketing yourself to the college coaches.
The reason these visits are important is because there is nothing that simulates game day at a college. It doesn’t matter if they bring you to a spring practice or a basketball game, the football atmosphere at schools is completely unique. There is nothing like it. Keep in mind that there will be three free tickets to the game as well.
The biggest factor in all of these steps is that you are having a productive junior season of football. The better you do during the season, the better it will help you after. The reason for this is because it will help you garner postseason honors (Which do in turn catch the eye of college coaches), help your highlight video, and give you a good name as a football player in your area. The more pub that you can get, the better.
If you have been receiving Division I interest, now is the time to also get your name out there to a number of different recruiting websites. Being listed by Rivals, Scout, and ESPN are all great ways to get your name out there. In the end, you will hurt nothing if you get on these sites. But make sure to be honest with the amount of recruiting attention you are getting. The last thing you want to do is be caught in a lie (Rivals Advice, Scout Advice, and ESPN Advice).
While your focus needs to be on the season, keep in mind that you should always be looking ahead. Think about the highlight video, college visits, updated recruiting profiles, and small things that will really pay off in the end. It may not be easy but putting in the time now is much better than trying to play catch up as a senior. Also take the time to look into taking your ACT this fall and getting it out of the way early. The cost for the test is well worth it in the long run.