The biggest hurdle that you must overcome in the recruiting process is getting your first scholarship offer. It could be from a Division I or II school but getting that first offer is not an easy thing to do. As I mentioned when I talked about broadcasting your recruiting attention, the more schools know that other schools are recruiting you, it is better for you.
For example, if an athlete is being recruited by a number of out of state schools, the question is where are the in-state schools? If they get a late start to the recruiting process for whatever reason, these coaches will scour sites like Rivals, Scout, and anything else of interest to see who the best in-state players really are. They use this information as a starter to see what other schools are recruiting their in-state athletes.
The same thing happens when scholarship offers are extended. As I have mentioned before, schools will look much harder at an athlete that has offers from other schools. It doesn’t mean that you will get more offers, but having that scholarship validates you as a prospect.
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Some schools are known for extending early offers to a lot of players. Schools like Nebraska, Air Force, Oregon, and a variety of others are sometimes known for throwing out offers extremely early. But if you are lucky enough to get one of those scholarships, it will help your situation.
Going back a few years, there was an athlete in the Class of 2009 who had a few smaller scholarship offers. While there were some good schools among the mix, they were not major Division I power programs. It seemed that a number of other schools continued to balk at offering him and fed him a lot of lines along the way.
The prospect decided to take a trip out to Penn State and see their campus. While on the trip, the prospect and his dad got a chance to speak with the legendary Joe Paterno. But before leaving, they ended up extending him a scholarship offer. This shows how confident Penn State was about him and their evaluation. They were the first major school to offer.
And once word got out about the offer, which it did because it was broadcast very well, his recruiting absolutely blew up. Within weeks, he is already up to double digit scholarship offers and more are on the way. Schools like Clemson, Florida, and other major programs are after this athlete. And if Penn State didn’t come to the table, chances are not as high that these offers would be on the table.
I feel that I have to mention being ethical during recruiting is very important. If you don’t have any scholarships, don’t make up a story (And hopefully don’t ever hold a press conference). You may get away with for a while and get attention out of it but you will eventually be found to be a fraud.
Anyways, once you get past that first hurdle of a scholarship, make sure the recruiting websites know that you have offers. There is little doubt that it will help you and make things easier knowing that your college will be paid for.