I am a junior in the football recruiting process with recruiting attention and zero scholarship offers on the table. What should I be doing in December (Part One)?

Talent outweighs character everyday in the athletic recruiting processFor junior football recruits out there, the month is December is actually more about preparing for the oncoming storm that you will encounter during the process.  Using this time wisely will save you from headaches down the road as you try to scramble to get caught up.

It is more about doing your homework and research simply because college coaches have a lot going on.  Some coaches are using the beginning of the month to finish up their season.  That obviously comes above everything because these December games are extremely valuable to keeping their program at a high level.

Coaches are also hitting the road in order to see senior prospects and finish up their current class of recruits.  Bringing in the most talent that you can will likely help you win games.  That translates to more overall success as well as financial opportunities.  Throw in the holidays and that means December may be when college coaches spend the least amount of time looking ahead to younger classes (the only exceptions may occur when a college already wraps up most of their commitments from the current crop of seniors).

What that means for you juniors out there is that you likely won’t be making visits to colleges and per NCAA rules won’t be fielding calls from them either (that won’t be legal until late April).  You may get a chance to say “hello” to these college coaches if they visit your school but that is basically it.

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Outside of time spent working out and excelling in the classroom (school work has to be very important), your focus right now should be sitting down with your family, talking, and doing research about the eventual football recruiting process that you will be going through soon.  You wouldn’t be reading this site unless you were under the assumption that things will heat up over the next twelve months.

Parents, make sure your junior athletes do this.  Feel free to print this out and continue to show it to them over and over.  But what we need you to do is come up with some things you are looking for in a future college.  Cute girls and warm weather unfortunately is not going to be enough here.  You really need to think about it, even if most teenagers will change their answer within an hour or so.  But for the time that you are reading this, think about what first comes to mind with these questions.  Write them down or speak with your parents about this now.

Even if you didn’t get a cent of scholarship money, would you still want to play college football?
What fields am I interested in academically?
How far away from home do I want to be in my future college?
What level of college football would be my dream to play at?
Would I still be happy playing at a smaller college if it allows me to continue playing?
What position do you want to play in college?
Do you love football?
What things would be at your dream college program?

There are a ton of other questions that your family can discuss.  The point is trying to figure out what your interests are and what you are looking for in a college program.  If I were to try talking to a 17-year old version of myself, that version would have no clue as to what he wants to do in life.  And because of that, I know it is extremely difficult for football players to really figure out what they want not only in college but in life.  However, it is important that your family openly discuss college and the interests that could land you at a certain school.

This discussion needs to be ongoing as well.  It can’t be a one time thing where the parents take the answers and use it to only look at schools that fit those parameters.  The reason why this has to continue month after month until a college decision is made is because teenagers change their mind frequently that one day you may want to play on the west coast and a minute later you are heading to the south.  So many things can change so quickly that talking and keeping dialogue open is the best way to come help figure out what deep down an athlete wants in a college.

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