If you are reading this site, then there is little doubt that you have read articles at Rivals.com, 247Sports.com, and similar sites that follow prep athletes and how the recruiting process is going for them. And when reading about the top sophomores and sometimes freshmen on these sites, some of the football players claim to have scholarship offers from some of the top programs across the country.
So how exactly does that happen, if according to NCAA rules, college coaches cannot do more than send a questionnaire or a camp invite to an athlete until September 1st of their junior year? There are a few ways that all college coaches can make it work if they really want to offer a prospect before that September 1st date. Here are three different ways.
Speak with the high school coach
From my experience in following these early scholarship offers to football recruits, speaking to college coaches actually seems to be the most prevalent. In this example, the high school coach has a relationship with the coaches at State University. The high school coach has sent tape of you, only a sophomore right now, to the college coaches and they were impressed. Your high school coach has also raved about your abilities, your work ethic, and maturity.
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The college coaches trust your high school coach and came in during the spring evaluation period to do the eyeball test on you. This is something you have passed so they call the high school coach and tell them that they have a scholarship offer waiting for you. The high school coach then passes that information off to you and tells you that you received your first scholarship offer.
In this example, I have actually seen a high school coach relay the offer to the high school prospect and the coach then relay a commitment to the college coach after a short period of time. It is always interesting to see this at work. It takes a helpful high school coach, but honestly, a high school coach should be thrilled to be passing the good news.
If you have a high school coach who is extremely helpful in the recruiting process, what he will do is make sure that the other schools recruiting you know about the scholarship offer. Last summer, a running back prospect received a scholarship offer from an out of state program through this method. The high school coach called/emailed State University and told them that there was an offer on the table from one of their rivals. That prompted State University to pull the trigger on a scholarship offer that day.
Relay the message that you need to call the coach
One thing college coaches often do is tell the high school coach about the offer but say that they want to speak with you, the athlete, about it. In this situation, the high school coach basically just tells you that you need to call Coach Johnson and gives you his number. With everyone having cell phones these days, an athlete can make the call at the school and find out about the offer. This is a pretty straight forward method of doing it but you must call them in order to do it.
Talk to you at their summer camp
If you are attending a camp at State University and just wow the coaching staff, then they may tell you before you go that there is a scholarship offer waiting for you. These camps give the college coaches a chance to see you in person and will give them a better feel about your abilities and overall skills. Plus they get to see how well you take to new things and handle college coaches.
This is rare but some sophomores do leave college football camps with a scholarship offer. It is a great thing to have as it really says a lot about what the college coach things and how they feel about your skills on the gridiron.
These are the three main ways that college coaches can offer a football recruiting process before their junior year. Please note that if the school really means is with the offer, it should be officially mailed to you early in September of your junior year. It doesn’t always happen that way but if the college coaches are confident about you and your abilities, this is something that they should be doing.