I’m a senior with football scholarship offers. What do I do?

Like a few of the other series of articles that I have started, I plan to break down what I would recommend to high school athletes in different situations. This will cover football and basketball as well as the year the athlete is and the recruiting interest they have been receiving. This should help those athletes and parents that are confused about the recruiting process and what they are doing.

If you are a senior football player with scholarships, the first thing you should do is to be thanking your lucky stars. But I won’t go anymore in depth in that because I have in other articles. With it now being less than two months away from Signing Day, now is an important time for you. Coaches are free to make call you, visit your high school, as well as visit you in your house.

What I would do is write down all of the schools that are seriously recruiting you. These can be anywhere from Division I to Division III, NAIA to Junior College. What you should do is start figuring out what schools you are seriously interested and others that you are not as interested in. I have always said keep your options open in recruiting so don’t just cross programs off of the list right away. Figure out what you don’t like about the schools and put them on the back burner now. Again, make sure these schools are seriously interested in you and at the least will offer you a walk on spot.

After you have figured out what schools you like and dislike, now is the time to narrow the list down to five to ten schools. Once that list is narrowed, you can spend more time learning about their programs, the academics that they offer, their coaching staff, and the location of the school. Talk to the coaches and talk to them about potential scholarship offers, how they would use you on the team, and if they are going to bring you on an official visit.

Because you are only allowed five official visits (Official visits mean that they pay your way to get to the school as well as hosting you and feeding you), that is the eventual number you want to narrow things down to. With high school football now behind you, basketball or wrestling may keep you busy but it is important to find time for those visits. In a perfect world, all athletes would take all five official visits and get to make a carefree decision (Click here to find out what happens on an official visit).

However, that is not how it works. There will be other recruits vying to take up that scholarship. But as of now, because you have scholarship offers in hand, look at your options and begin setting up official visits. If you are doing this at this point in the recruiting process, it should allow you to spend a weekend at each school and not rush things along. This weekend will be a great chance to meet the players, the coaches, see the environment, and learn more about their program.

Like with buying a car or a house, make sure to write down your thoughts after the visit. Because you will be visiting so many places, things may blur together and you could forget what is at which school. Keep a journal to put how you feel about their coaches, their players, the facilities, or anything that you really like or dislike. Hopefully your parents will be able to make the trip with you (Which they will have to pay for themselves) and that will make things much easier.

The biggest thing is setting up visits to schools so you can make that eventual decision before Signing Day in February. If you are fully qualified, double check that you are certified with the NCAA Clearinghouse so you can take those official visits and will eventually be a full qualifier.

This really will be a very stressful two month stretch in the recruiting process if you decide to wait things out. College coaches from all over the country will be calling you and trying to tell you about their school. Many athletes get so busy during this time that they rush a decision instead of waiting things out. Obviously would not be something I recommend.

If you are unhappy with the amount of attention you are receiving, then you really will need to go back to the drawing board. Even if you have athletic scholarship offers, they may not be the type of football recruiting attention that you want. You can start at step one by click here. That is a list of all of the schools in the country. Look at the site and see the schools that you want to learn more about in terms of the area you want to go to school. Find out more about schools and figure out which ones would be a good match.

Once you get done with that, what you want to do is send out your recruiting profile. This is something that I have talked about many times so click here to see an older article on putting together a recruiting profile sheet. This should be something that you have done earlier in the recruiting process. Make sure to update it with new information as well as senior year stats. Send that recruiting profile sheet out to the colleges that you are interested in and tell them that you are.

At this time, the clock is ticking towards Signing Day so make sure to have video tape handy. That includes some of your best full game tapes as well as highlights showing your very best plays. If your old junior year tape is not impressing college coaches enough, it may be time to put together a senior year highlight video. If you really think you are scholarship worthy, it is worth the few hundreds of dollars to put that together. Click here for more information on putting together a football highlight video.

Again, you are in a good situation with a scholarship offer. Now is a great time to setup official visits or open things up if you are unhappy with the offers that you currently have.

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