College coaches are not always confident of their evaluation skills when offering scholarships to prep athletes

When talking about football camps during the summer months, I have mentioned the importance of going to just one day of camp at a number of different places.  The reason is to save money, time, and get to more camps along the way.  I have stressed this and will continue stressing this to readers simply because I feel college coaches are skilled enough to know in one day if an athlete can play or not.  You will either get a scholarship, continue to be recruited/evaluated, or no longer be on their recruiting radar.

But one thing that I saw a great deal of this winter in the months leading to the second portion of Signing Day was the inability of college coaches to pull the trigger in offering an athlete.  These were college coaches who had evaluated prospects for years and the reason they were not so confident about their evaluation skills was because the players in question didn’t have any other offers at the time.  These coaches didn’t have the confidence and evaluation skills to be the first.

Let me say that the athletes that I am talking about all did end up with scholarships at the Division II level or above.  Each was an All State performer over the last few years so it wasn’t as if they couldn’t play.  They had provided the coaches with plenty of highlight film, game tape, and everything they could ask for.  They were also strong students in the classroom and I was unaware of any problems that they got into away from the field.

So what gives?  Scholarship offers breed other scholarship offers and the reason is because these coaches trust the evaluation skills of other coaches.  If they see a school has done the research, looked into a prospect, and offered him, then another program may jump on board with less evaluation and film watching then the prior program.  Then the more offers this athlete has, even less evaluation will be done down the stretch of the recruiting process.

This shows me first hand the importance (and weight off of your shoulders) that the first offer can bring.  Once that scholarship is on the table, you need to make certain that the other schools that are recruiting you know about it.  I don’t care what level those schools are at, the more people that know, the better for you during the recruiting process.

I recently had a chance to see a highlight video of an athlete who is a junior.  In the tape, the quality is terrible, there are no arrows pointing out where he is on the field, and the tape was under two minutes long.  But the lineman looked pretty athletic.  That tape, along with passing the eyeball test, helped this standout recently receive his first scholarship offer.  From there, the momentum started rolling as he picked about another in-state offer and a scholarship from an out-of-state powerhouse.  If that first school would not have stepped up, what would have happened then?  My personal opinion is that he would currently be holding zero scholarship offers at this point.

Two athletes over the last few years were waiting and hoping for the in-state powerhouse to offers them a scholarship.  For both players, it took a conference rival to offer a scholarship for them finally to extend an offer to the athletes.  One ended up signing with the school and the other is a junior currently who is leaning towards them.  What is amazing about this story is that the in-state school is the one that is not afraid to recruit diamonds in the rough despite playing in the Big Ten conference.

Getting back to the original topic, if you don’t have any scholarship offers, it is a tough boat to be in.  It is both stressing because you have no idea what you will be doing as well as frustrating because you have to wonder if you are good enough.  This leads to doubts and worry about your future.  All because a good number of college coaches think you are missing one part of your game and the don’t have the confidence in themselves to pull the trigger.

If you are in this situation, broaden your recruiting horizons and market yourself to more schools.  The program that ends up offering you may have never recruited your state before but because you are a good fit for them, they may extend a scholarship.  It is all about being in the right place at the right time in order for doors to open up at the college level for you.  So be patient, work hard, and come to our camp (wait, that is what a college coach says every time you ask them about an offer).




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