Recently I talked about an athlete who did an excellent job marketing himself to college coaches. This football recruit had put the time in to send out recruiting profiles that included links to his online highlights. As I have said over and over again, this is a great way to get on the recruiting database for these college coaches.
This athlete was invited to a number of Junior Days across the country and he basically attended all of them. If anything, I thought he was taking too much time and money to attend these Junior Days. While it may look good in the eyes of the college coaches, attending every Junior Day near and far that you can get to is a mistake. So I ended up speaking with this recruit late in the spring evaluation period. Despite all that he had done, the athlete had zero phone calls from college coaches. Was he over marketing himself in the first place?
I do have to admit that it surprised me when he said that he hadn’t received any calls. He has a solid highlight video and a well put together presentation. But in the end, I honestly feel that his lack of calls is due to him over marketing himself.
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What I mean by over marketing yourself is taking step three in The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer and basically going overboard. As I have said in that article from day one, you want to tailor your college search around the programs that will fit you athletically, academically, and socially. You definitely do not want to basically email your recruiting profile to every Division I coach in the country.
While I don’t know for sure, that is what it appears to look like happened. This recruit marketed himself to any school in the country that would listen. Doing this honestly can get you some letters, invites to Junior Days, and things that don’t matter a whole lot in the recruiting process. But when the visits came, the coaches at the college must have seen something that they weren’t thrilled with. Could it have been his height or his weight? Did he overrate his testing skills?
If a college coach invites you to a Junior Day, it is a good thing because you are at least on their radar in the athletic recruiting process. But for football recruits, if they don’t parlay that into a call during the spring evaluation period, then you are likely not on their scholarship radar. I have said that at least 95% of football recruits out there receive phone calls from the schools that offer them scholarships during the spring evaluation. And in my opinion, that is a low estimate.
This is why I have stressed that Junior Days are great if you can get to them easily and see the school. I have told this story before but two small school athletes traveled twelve hours to a Junior Day visit last year in hopes of impressing the coaches. When they go to the Junior Day, there were 150 other kids there and they spoke with the coaches for five minutes. How mad would you be if you spent that time and money for an experience like that?
Getting back to the original topic, you really can over market yourself to college coaches. And if you leave the spring evaluation period with zero phone calls from college coaches, you better start another marketing process that is tailored to schools that you like at a small level. This is the best thing to do if you really hope to eventually get a scholarship offer.