Should I give up my dream of playing Division I-A football and contact Division I-AA and II schools during the football recruiting process?

When should I give up on the Division I-A dream and contact Division I-AA and II schools?This article is a testament as to why leaving comments and asking questions may be worth doing.  Anyways, a father basically wanted to know when his son should give up on the major Division I-A football recruiting dream and start looking at smaller schools.  Here is what he said:

My son is a junior and the season is now over. All of the interest thus far has been from Div-I schools (ACC and Big Ten) with no offer as of yet. At what point when there is no offer on the table should one start looking at the next level as in D-1AA (old name) and D-II?

First off, the situation that his son is in currently is a good one.  A great one would be having at least one scholarship offer but a good one is having college coaches interested in you at an early juncture of your junior season.  That means you are at least on the radar and hopefully you have been following the advice of this site.

But when do you give up your dream and really start looking into some Division I-AA (FCS) and II schools?  I really believe that even if the interest is from schools like Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, and other top programs in the leagues he mentioned, the time to start looking into those schools is today.

Let me state that I am not saying that you should give up the dream to play at The Ohio State or Division I-A (BCS) schools.  Hopefully his son will prove himself worthy in front of college coaches and open doors to multiple scholarships at that level.  However, keeping your options open and knowing what is available from right now is always a great option.

Say you decide over the next week to sit down with your son and contact twenty Division I-AA (FCS) and Division II schools.  You are a good marketer so you email out your profile and of course it has a link to your online video.  This way the college coaches will get a chance to get a better feel for you.  They like what they see so they start recruiting you.  They may not show you as much interest because they are awaiting to see if you get any bigger offers but they know that you like their school.

What exactly is the downfall here outside of a little time to make sure that backup options are available?  If your son gets an offer from Division I-A (BCS) schools, then there is a strong chance that he will end up playing at one of those schools.  The time you spent researching smaller schools has helped open some doors in the future if he decides to transfer because of playing time.

The other way that a Division I-AA school may help is by receiving an early offer.  Scholarships breed scholarships, even if it is a level smaller than the one you are hoping to play.  If Indiana (Division I-A) realizes that Indiana State (Division I-AA) offered you a scholarship, they may evaluate you longer and extend a scholarship as well.  With your marketing skills, your relay the word that Indiana has offered you and that prompts Penn State to throw their offer into the mix.  If you hadn’t focused on smaller schools, this chain of events may never have occurred.

So anyways, the answer to your question is as soon as possible.  Don’t look at it as giving up a dream or settling for a smaller school.  You want your son to be as informed as possible about a college decision so focusing on schools at all levels will allow that to eventually happen.

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