I’m a junior with no football recruiting interest. 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.

Now that Signing Day is in the past, if you are a sought after junior by colleges, you should be receiving some sort of attention from schools at the next level. There are always athletes who say that the coaches are so busy with Signing Day that they can’t focus on the next class. That however is an excuse. Coaches are always looking ahead and many are offering scholarships to the elite players in the the junior class. 

According to NCAA rules, until the first day of school your junior year, you cannot receive any football recruiting information that is not just a plain questionnaire or a camp invite. These coaches also cannot talk to you. That is part of the reason there is a perception that coaches don’t focus on the juniors. But once September 1st hits, coaches will flood the top junior prospects with mail.

If you have not received anything or much on the recruiting front, it is still a very good time to start contacting college coaches. You may be forced to sell yourself to these coaches but if your goals is to play college football at a high level, then you have no choice.

As talked about in the five steps to a scholarship, even before you start contacting college coaches the first thing you should do is build a recruiting profile. This word document basically highlights what you have accomplished over your high school career. If you haven’t really accomplished anything, don’t expect to garner much interest because of that. Click here to see the full article about building an athletic profile.

The next step for you is to talk to your high school coach and anyone not related to you. What you want to talk to them about is what level that they feel you can realistically play at in college. It would be great if your coach knows how good you are but not all do. Try to find someone who is old enough to know.

I recently received an email telling me that there was a 6-foot-1, 195 pound tight end who was a surefire Division I prospect. Even though that is the size of many wide receivers, I heard many times that he was a Division I football player. When I questioned the person’s ability, he claimed he knew exactly what it took to play Division I football. Let me tell you that sometimes I don’t have a clue why one athlete is Division I vs. another who isn’t.

Once you find out what level they feel you can play (And you have to be comfortable with this), start searching the Internet. I know everyone wants to play for USC or LSU, but chances are strong that you will be wasting your time contacting them. What you need to do is go through the list and compare them to what you are looking for in a school. Think about location, your future major, the level of athletics, and anything else that could factor in on where you go.

After you have a long list of schools, now it is time to use their website again and contact their coaching staff. It will be similar for those who send out resumes for a job. You need to introduce yourself to the coaching staff, tell them why you are contacting them, mention why you like their school, and include your athletic profile.

The reason the lists needs to be long is because you want to keep your options open. If you begin by focusing just on five dream schools, it is going to be an uphill climb to keep all five of them interested. Never say never but the more options you have, the better chances you have at getting a scholarship down the road.

Not everyone of these schools is going to start recruiting you either. I would expect many to send you a camp invite (Click here for an older article on that). What you are looking for is more information about the school and for them to start showing you real interest. If you really feel you can play at that level, then it may be smart to go to camps. But as mentioned in that article, camps are big for college coaches to make money. Some are for recruiting but the majority just end up paying the college coaches.

Another important step you can take is look for a Nike Camp, Rivals or a Under Armour camp.  As I have mentioned before, be wary of those camps that charge money for you to test out. Like the college camps, these are making money for the person running it. If you perform well at the camp, expect your numbers and ability to get mentioned to college coaches. This is an easy and free way to help your stock in the eyes of coaches at the next level.

You could also contact coaches that you are interested in visiting their campus. They may not pull out the red carpet for you but you could at least introduce yourself and meet them face to face.

The biggest obstacle you face right now is getting your name out there. By contacting coaches and being able to provide them with stats, information from your coach, and video will help things. Also talk more to your college coaches about if he has any connection with coaches at the next level. You might as well use as many people are you can to help you with this difficult process.

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