Should you inflate your height and weight during the athletic recruiting process to draw attention from prospective colleges?

I just received a question recently asking me if most players inflate their height and weight on recruiting services like Rivals.com, Scout.com, and other sites. Because I know that this unfortunately happens, I thought it would be important to talk about and reasons why I think you you should not do this. The first thing to mention about this is that if you overrate your height and weight, it is likely that college coaches will eventually find out about this.

One quick example I heard a few years back is that at a Junior Day held at the University of Nebraska, the Cornhusker coaching staff weighed and measured the recruits while there. So if you had impressed the coaching staff by filling out a form and saying you were a 6-foot-3, 225 pound linebacker and got measured at 6-foot, 205 pounds, the coaches will definitely think differently of you as a recruit. While these coaches likely know that this happens, it is not the first impression that you want to show the coaching staff at a school that you hope to impress.

During the spring evaluation period for football, this is a huge time for the college coaches to put recruits up to the “eye ball” test. What I mean by this is that the coaches that stop by the school want to see the recruit in person and say hello. While they are restricted by rules of how in depth they can get with the conversations, the most important part about this meeting is seeing the recruit in person and sizing them up. I assume that if the coaches are in the game long, they know if a kid is the height/weight he says he is or if the recruit is way off. Plus your high school coach will likely say something as well to the coach. Few coaches at any level want their players inflating their height by inches.

Two good stories that I have to tell about this include a lineman and as an athlete as well. One I saw first hand myself in covering the lineman and the other I heard stories about.

Starting with the athlete, there has been a story going around about this prep who sent a highlight video to Penn State and Joe Paterno. They were serious about this recruit so Paterno was watching part of the tape himself. Included was a portion where the athlete runs the 40 yard dash. After he finished running, you could hear someone yelling 4.4 seconds. Paterno decided to rewind the tape and time it himself. When he timed it with a stop watch while following the video, it ended up being 4.7 seconds. Again, this is not a perception that you want to leave with college coaches.

The second was about a small school lineman who really wanted to get recruited and go to a Division I school. This happens all the time but this story was one that stands out to me. In the first update on him, he told a reporter that he was 6-foot-1 and named all of these schools recruiting him. This recruit took visits to junior days at Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, and other programs in the Midwest. The summer before his senior year, he decided to attend a Nike Camp and a number of other camps. This is where his real ability finally shined through. He got measured at 5-foot-10 (And I heard he was closer to 5-foot-8 as well) and then performed very badly at college camps. While I heard that at worst, he might be able to walk on, those camps completely showed that he didn’t have Division I ability. To this day, I am unsure if he is playing in college.

The point of this article is to not inflate your stats. It is one thing to include your height with shoes on (which I did), but if your shoes are three inches tall, then there is a problem. Also keep your weight realistic as well. Like I said, if you inflate these stats too much, it will be something that college coaches eventually figure out. And in the recruiting process, I think it is important to be as honest as you can with college coaches. They will figure you out if you can’t play so being honest will help figure out what level you really are at.

 

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