It is harder to get college athletic looks when breaking out as a senior

The easiest way to get recruited and stay recruited during your high school athletic career is get to the varsity level early and make a name for yourself.  By doing this, it makes it easier for you to get your name out to college coaches.  These coaches can see you early in your career and see the improvements that you have made over the off-season.  While this is the ideal way to go, it doesn’t always happen like that.

We recently had a comment from a grandparent who saw his grandson really break on the scene this fall on the football field.  He was wondering when the recruiting attention would start after such a break out year.  The problem is that when you break out as a senior, it is a much tougher battle to impress college coaches and earn a college scholarship.  It may not be fair but that is the way it works in the world of recruiting.

College coaches, especially at the Division I-A (BCS) level, like to get recruiting started and finished as early as possible.  These coaches are always looking ahead to the biggest and best thing.  They may be working to finish the the senior class but if a coach has been in the State for a while, they have a great feel on the upcoming juniors, sophomores, and possibly even freshmen.

Let me state that even if you are not on their initial radar, it doesn’t mean that you can’t earn a scholarship at the college at next level.  The problem is that you are going to have to work a lot harder to make up for lost time.  Most athletes don’t worry about which school will realistically offer them if they are not producing on the field.  You must now find a way to make up for that time and make the most of your opportunities in the eyes of college coaches.

If you are striving for Division I-A attention in any of the BCS schools and you don’t have interest from these programs, chances are slim that you can get a scholarship offer.  Walking on may be a potential thing to look into but break out seniors rarely receive Division I offers from those major programs.  As mentioned above, these schools are focused in on a number of targets that they have already evaluated and seen in person.  Getting them to watch your video this late in the process is not going to be easy.  Your tape must be amazing to really get a serious scholarship look from these schools (again, it can happen but the odds are against you).

In all honesty, my focus would be at the Division I-AA (FCS) and Division II levels.  These schools are normally a step behind in the recruiting process simply because they are waiting to see which athletes the Division I-A schools offer.  These FCS programs do offer a few athletes here and there but they usually wait until late November, December, and even January to really make it apparent as to which athletes they want to land in each class.

These schools rarely have commitments this early and that means more scholarship money is open at these schools.  If you can impress them with your recruiting profile, then there is a better chance to have them watch your highlight video.

A good example of getting this to happen is when a football player is either hurt his junior year or playing behind another Division I athlete during that year.  If that is the case, then you may be sitting there waiting in the wings and hoping for a chance.  At most schools, unless you are far and away better than the senior ahead of you (during your junior year), chances that you will be sitting most of the time.

If you are a recruit who just broke out during your senior year and have little recruiting interest, here are a few things that you should do differently that could help you get that scholarship offer:

  • Broaden your search: Don’t just focus on the big schools in your State.  Look at schools that may fit you all over the country and at all levels.  I don’t want to hear the Division I eyes excuse like I normally get either.
  • Put together a fantastic highlight tape: If you break out as a senior recruit, make sure that highlight tape is as good as it can be.  This will help.
  • Have a very professional recruiting profile ready to send: This needs to showcase what you did as a senior and why you didn’t do it as a junior.  These coaches need to know
  • Get your video out there: Put together a quality product on hudl and get it to Rivals, Scout, 247Sports, and others.
  • Contact media people in your area to try and help: What is the worst that can happen, they will say no?  Getting some publicity is a great thing
  • Make up for lost time: The next few months need to be spent researching schools, contacting coaches, and getting your name out there.  The time you spend will pay off if you work hard enough and are good enough on the field.



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