When exactly should I start marketing myself to college coaches during the athletic recruiting process? Am I too late?

When should I start marketing myself to college coaches during the athletic recruiting process?In the past, I have always talked about the most important time to market yourself during the athletic recruiting process is after you have logged extensive minutes at the varsity level and put up some solid stats.  It doesn’t matter much your age or the sport.  But for whatever reason, this question keeps coming back to me time and time again in different formats.

For example, what if I play at one of the best high schools in the country and won’t play until I am a senior?  What if there is a Division I player ahead of me that is keeping me at the sophomore/junior varsity level?  With so many different variables, I thought it was time to look at this age old question (or at least it seems like it) and look at it from a variety of perspectives.

Why should you wait to market yourself?
There is no doubt that the first reason to wait is because college coaches won’t take junior varsity stats/sophomore/freshman stats all that serious.  These coaches have hundreds upon hundreds of recruits marketing themselves to the coaches that they have to sift through the ones that have varsity experience.  If there is not enough time in the day (or enough graduate assistants around to do it), then chances are slim they will be looking seriously into the twenty three touchdowns you rushed for against junior varsity players.

If the staff decides to take the time to watch to actually watch your highlight tape, in most situations, it is pretty obvious that you are not playing at the varsity level.  Signs that they will note include: number of players on both teams, number of people in the stands, time of day (most varsity games are played on Friday nights), and just the overall level of competition.

Why you should not wait to market yourself?
These are the reasons that everyone out there just wants to hear!  I have talked a lot on the site about the importance of getting your name on the radar of college coaches.  The sooner you are on the radar, the better chance that you will be evaluated throughout the recruiting process.  And the only way to get a scholarship offer is if you get evaluated by these coaches.  That is why sending my information and marketing myself needs to be done today!

I am not going to pretend that I understand every single situation out there.  You really may be at one of the best schools in the country and playing time is hard to find.  Others may be behind a quarterback that is going to Notre Dame and you just have to wait your turn.  These situations happen and you need to adjust accordingly.  That means you will need to go to more camps and figure out ways to get yourself into the recruiting database for college coaches.

In the end, what should be done?
In all honesty, it really just depends on what you want to do.  I know that college coaches are evaluating and putting prospective feelers out there on athletes who have not played varsity but could have the potential to be a scholarship athlete down the road.  So if you feel you want to market yourself and give that a try, go right ahead.  Nothing may come of it but it certainly would not hurt.  You have to do what makes you feel most comfortable and that could end up being either one of these ways.

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