Five Keys to a Football Recruiting Scholarship Offer

The football recruits out there reading this know that this football season is about as important as it comes.  It doesn’t matter if you are a senior in your final year on the prep football field or a sophomore ready to take your first snaps at the varsity level.  This is the reason why you have been working so hard during the summer months.

And while the season is important, every player out there would love to get some attention from college coaches.  Because of this, I have put together five keys that will help you in landing a scholarship offer.  You don’t need all five of these keys to get a scholarship but they are ranked in order of importance.  Find out what areas will help you the most as you hope to track down an offer.

1.) Size/Speed/Strength
You ever wonder why college coaches may end up offering an athlete who hasn’t done much at the high school level?  That is because they are recruiting them based on their potential.  If you have the size/speed/strength that a college coach is looking for, they are likely going to take a chance on you.  Not only does it happen at the college level, this is exactly what helps athletes make a major move up the NFL draft charts as well.  Football coaches are in awe of those physical specimens that have size, speed, and strength.  If you have those (or even one of those three attributes), then there is a decent chance that you will get a scholarship somewhere.  A lineman who is 6-foot-8, 295 pounds will likely get a scholarship at some level simply on potential.  He may not be good enough to play at the Division I-A/BCS level but a Division I-AA/FCS or Division II school will take a chance there.

2.) Skill/Abilities
It doesn’t matter what level you want to play in college, you have to have the skills and abilities at that level in order to get a scholarship offer.  But you could also be the greatest linebacker in the world but if you are 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, it will be a tough ride to get a Division I-A/BCS scholarship offer.  Your skills and abilities are essential because it really can help get you on the field at the college level.  If you are good enough to get on the field, the college coaches are trusting you enough to perform because you will have a big say on if they keep their job over the long run.  Having the skills and abilities that college coaches want will certainly help you get a lot of attention.

3.) Work Ethic
I have talked to enough college coaches to know that they love hearing when athletes are gym rats or weight room warriors.  One Division I basketball coach told me a story about how an athlete got up at 5:00 AM everyday to lift weights.  He played hoops at a very small school but hearing that work ethic was enough for the coach to pull the trigger on a scholarship offer.  It may have been his first and only scholarship at the time but the coach saw the work ethic himself and it made the difference.  That work ethic eventually helped him be an All Conference player in a major BCS college conferences.  Not bad for such a small school player.

4.) Grades
The importance of academics and grades continues to grow as the NCAA has put more of an emphasis on the APR (academic performance review).  I have mentioned this before but some Division I coaches have APR numbers tied into their contract.  The better the grades are for the team, the more money they make.  College coaches are much more prone to add walk-ons with excellent grades.

5.) Character
I hate that it is this far down the list because character is important but that is just the way things go.  College coaches want to recruit athletes who they can bring to campus and not worry about for four or five years.  The character of an athlete is what keeps them from getting a DUI or a bar fight.  Yes, college students will do dumb things but athletes should stay as far away from that as possible.  That is the last thing you want to end up in the newspaper for.


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