Like a few of the other series of articles that I have started, I plan to break down what I would recommend to high school athletes in different situations. This will cover football and basketball as well as the year the athlete is and the recruiting interest they have been receiving. This should help those athletes and parents that are confused about the recruiting process and what they are doing.
If you played your junior year of high school football this fall and have been receiving recruiting interest from colleges, then you must be doing something right. It may have been from your coach or from you making an All State list, but your name has gone on the recruiting list for college coaches. There is a much longer process that you must go through to get that eventual scholarship offer but you are off to a good start.
The first thing I would do, if there is interest for it, is put together a highlight video. You can do it yourself, have a coach do it, or even have a site like www.highlight-videos.com put it together for you. If you really feel that you have the skills needed to play at the scholarship level and you want to pursue it, this would be the first option I would do.
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
When I mentioned if there is interest, I wouldn’t rush putting together a video if no college coaches have expressed an interest in seeing it. As I have said before many times, it is a waste of time and money to blindly send out highlight tapes to college coaches without them asking for it. The chances of getting a scholarship that way are so slim and the majority of your tapes will be tossed into the garbage. If multiple coaches have been asking you for a highlight video, then now is the time to look into your different options.
As mentioned in the five steps to a scholarship offer (CLICK HERE FOR THAT ARTICLE), now may also be a great time to put together a recruiting website. This website will allow you to send college coaches the link to your video and they can quickly and easily view footage of you in action. This saves the money of postage as well as whatever putting the highlight video cost.
If you are happy with the current interest that you have been receiving, now is the time to try and setup unofficial visits. After the holiday break and going into the spring, many schools put together Junior Days. What these include is inviting a number of their junior prospects. Some schools invite the top athletes on their list while other schools invite as many players as possible.
I have seen major Division I schools invite kids who went on to play Division III football or not play at all. This may be a great honor to get invited but it is not a sure fire scholarship offer. Some of these schools mass invite players so that it could help with their camp numbers during the summer. The smaller the group there, the more elite of a prospect they probably think you are.
While on these visits, it is a good time to get to know the coaching staff. If the numbers are low, it is a great time to speak with them about their program, learn more about your position, and have any questions answered. While some athletes are lucky enough to leave with a scholarship offer in hand, the majority do not. Expect the line to keep working hard and come to summer camp to come up if you ask about your current status.
If you have already sent them your highlight tape, chances are good that you will need to come to their camp to get an offer. What makes that part so tough for many is that these camps are expensive. Your parents will be throwing down hundreds of dollars for a hope that you stand out enough to get your college education paid for.
Now is also a good time to start thinking about what camps you want to attend during the summer. If a school has sent you one piece of mail and it is a camp invite, they are not serious about you. There have been some great stories where a player goes to a BCS school and stands out enough to get an offer. However, what normally happens is that a player spends hundreds of dollars and doesn’t end up getting much interest at all from the school.
Talk to your high school coach and anyone with knowledge of college recruiting about what level they think you can realistically play at in college. If they say Division III, chances are that if you are going to a big time camp, make sure to enjoy the experience and not expect to come away with any substantial recruiting attention.
If you are unhappy with your recruiting options, take a look at the website that lists all of the colleges in the country (Click here to see that link, and no I am not getting paid to advertise this, although I wish I was). Anyways, go through that list and see what colleges would be a good fit for you academically, athletically, and socially. Check out what programs they offer in academics as well as how good their football team is. And when you see USC and LSU, just move on.
After finding the schools that seem to be a match, the question now is have you put together a recruiting profile sheet yet (Click here to see the information on it)? If you haven’t, follow that link and put one together. After you finish, what you will do is contact the schools on your list and send them that information. Tell them that you are interested in their school and that it could be a good fit. Make sure to include your stats, contact information, and a link to your website if you have one.
Overall, I think now is a good time to also find out more information about the schools recruiting you. Check Rivals.com or other sites to see what players they have offered at your position. See what other kids in-state that they are recruiting. Also check into the school’s website and what programs they offer. If you know what you want to major in, look into that.
While you do not have any offers, you are in a good situation where colleges are interested in you. Don’t take what you have for granted and make sure to show all of the schools that are recruiting you attention. There is no reason not to at this point, even if you feel you are destined to play Division I. Do not limit your options in the recruiting process (CLICK HERE FOR AN ARTICLE ON THAT).