If you have the time, it is definitely worth it to take these official visits. The colleges will reimburse you with a check according to the mileage that you drove to get there. They will host you during the weekend (likely at a hotel) and handle basically all of your meals while you are there. It may cost a little extra if your parents come but bringing family members is something I strongly recommend.
There may be schools that are calling and stopping by your high school that you really like. If that is the case and they haven’t mentioned an official visit, you might as well bring it up. My opinion is what will it hurt if they give you a line about how they are still figuring out everything? These smaller schools can normally get away with it simply because they do not have the recruiting attention that an Alabama or Texas has on multiple sites across the Internet.
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
It is however worth asking them. If they seem to be putting you off an are mentioning a late January, early February visit, then you are likely going to receive very little to no scholarship money. There are some exceptions but most college coaches try to bring in their top recruits as early as possible and secure a commitment from them shortly after those early visits. The later the visit, the less chance that you are to get a scholarship offer.
But the good news for you is if they are clamoring about a late visit, that means you can turn to other schools and see what their situation is. This is the exact reason why I stress over and and over again about having a lot of different options at all levels. If all of your Division I-AA options don’t want you to visit until after Signing Day, then you can focus on your Division II schools because of the importance of a scholarship offer.
And if you are unhappy with the amount of attention that you are getting, then it may be worth it to go back through the third step in The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer. This would be to market your child but in order to do that, you also want to see the second step and find new schools along the way. Broaden your search and see what other options there are out there that could be good fits.
If you followed what I wrote about in November, you would have already updated your recruiting profile and have finished your highlight video as well. This is the best way to help yourself get evaluated by college coaches. In the search for a scholarship, having a professional product for college coaches to see is the best way to impress those at the next level.
Now would also be an excellent time to sit down as a family and figure out what your son is looking for most in his college experience. I recently had a chance to speak with a family, and like most 18-year old boys, he had no idea what he wanted in a college. But you have to think long and hard as mom and dad can’t guess your interests or base them on what you like four years ago.
So families, get the discussion process going on what your son wants in a college. I am talking academically, athletically, socially, location, and anything thing else. Most teenagers want great eye candy at the college but there has to be more substance than that behind a college decision. Athletes should use their families to talk about things that interest them and be proactive in the football recruiting process. That is the best way to be happy about your eventual college decision.