There is no doubt in my mind that if you want to play college football at the Division I-A/BCS or Division I-AA/FCS levels, you need to put together a recruiting highlight video to showcase your skills. There are occasional exceptions but I would say over 90% that end up with scholarships at these levels have a highlight tape done. And the higher the level, the more important this video is.
But what if your sights are set on smaller schools? I have stressed the importance of considering all options but what happens if you are an athlete who already knows that he may be a little too small or too slow to play at a major level. Does it make sense for you to make a highlight video if your eventual destination is likely a Division II or III school?
For the Division III portion of the question, we went straight to the source. We had a chance to get a quote regarding their thoughts on a highlight video. This is an assistant coach at a Division III powerhouse that has made the playoffs a number of times over the last decade. Here is what he said:
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
We try to watch some kind of video on nearly every recruit we talk to so we can evaluate their recruitability. We prefer highlight videos for the convenience but for some kids we’ll just end up getting/watching game film. The better kids almost always have a highlight video anymore.
Even though coaches at the Division III level cannot give out athletic scholarships, they will make sure a kid is good enough to really go after hard. Let me stress one word that he said in this quote; convenience. It is a much easier process for even coaches at the Division III level to sort through a recruiting highlight tape than it is to watch a full game video and try to figure out where you are on the field.
Why should I make the video if they can’t offer an athletic scholarship? Again, this always seems to be a hot topic but say that your tape blows away the college coaches at that school. It makes you a top priority for the kids that they are recruiting. They may not be able to offer an athletic scholarship but suddenly your aid package may increase. They may be able to find a Leadership scholarship or something out of the woodwork that you would have never known about. All because you made this video.
Going back to the above quote, read what he said in the last sentence; the better kids almost always have a highlight video anymore. I hate to say this but the reason is because these kids don’t aspire to play at a Division III school. They dreamt of playing at State University and starting for them. But once they get realistic and realize that you can get a great education at a Division III program, then they can use that highlight video to their advantage in the search for a lower tuition rate.
For the Division II schools, if scholarship dollars are on the line, then yes a highlight video is a must. If you are considering Division II schools, then having a strong highlight video is going to be very important when they are ranking where you stand on their recruiting board.
Think about it this way. Would you rather take three minutes of time from the coaches and wow them with some of your best highlight videos OR would you send a full game tape and hope that they like it over a 45 minute period where their attention could easily get pulled away while you are making the best play of your high school career? One look away could cost you a scholarship.
Unless finances is extremely tight, then take the money and get it made professionally (if you can do it yourself, then do it). There are a number of quality sites out there so start searching. We recommend www.highlight-videos.com but there are a number of others as well worth looking into.