What to look for in schools when taking unofficial recruiting visits

For those football recruits out there reading this article, the fall is a fantastic time to make unofficial visits.  These trips to college programs can give you a much better overall feeling for the schools that are recruiting you and allow you an up close look at what the program provides. 

It doesn’t matter if you have a scholarship from the school or not; they want as many athletes as possible to come to the campus for game day visits.  The reason is because they don’t want to miss out on any athletes.  While this does mean that invites to game day visits don’t mean all that much, getting free tickets to a college football game is usually worth the costs involved with travel. 

So for those taking unofficial visits during football games this fall, we have put together a few things to take special note of.  It may be worth writing these and other areas you want to focus on during your visit as well. 

The campus
If you are going to be going to this school for the next four or five years, then you should like the campus.  Are you a small town athlete and the campus is spread upon mile after mile?  Think about finding a school that can fit the style that you are looking for.  You will likely be walking to class everyday so think about the size of it.  Is the campus connected or are there other things that separate it?

The fan support
If you end up going to this school, think about their support both positively and negatively.  I know right before Phillip Fulmer was fired at Tennessee, the home fans booed him and that didn’t exactly help him in the football recruiting process.  There are always good to be a few bad apples but you should try to get a good feel for the overall support of the fans.  Are they always positive?  Are they front runners?  These are things to think about.  

The atmosphere
Taking a football visit will replicate what the atmosphere is like if you play there.  You can get a feel for the fans, the city, and the atmosphere surrounding it all. 

The surroundings of the college
What I mean by this is the area outside of the college.  Is it in a small town or a bad neighborhood where you might not feel safe stepping outside? 

Your interaction with coaches
First let me state that coaches are busy on game days so they don’t have a ton of time to talk to recruits.  But I am willing to bet that any good coach is willing to show their top prospects attention.  It doesn’t matter how little time he has, if there is an offer to an athlete that is there, a good coach will make him feel comfortable and take the time to talk to him.  

How many other recruits are there
Are there hundreds of other recruits?  That might be a red flag at how many tickets that they are sending out to recruits.  If you don’t have a scholarship, then it may be an uphill battle. 

What they do with players at your future position
If you play tight end, watch the tight end’s warmup and what they do while they are in the game.  Take the time to follow your future position and see what they do before and during the game. 

The girls
Just kidding. 

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