For those football recruits out there reading this article, I can tell you that the majority of prospects are in this boat right now. You probably had an excellent junior season of football during the fall and have been working hard in the weight room. You may have gone out for track to improve your speed and get yourself in shape for the summer circuit.
As you continue to work hard and become a better overall athlete, you wonder why other athletes are getting scholarship offers and not you? I am going to take a look at the steps you should be taking now in order to help yourself with the college coaches. I am not promising this is a sure fire way to a scholarship but it will allow you to showcase your skills in front of the college coaches. And at this point of the year, that is vital in the recruiting process.
The first thing I think athletes and parents need to focus on is what they can to do help their kid. While sometimes it does not make sense about another conference rival athlete getting a major scholarship, you need to focus on yourself and putting yourself into a position to succeed. While everyone dreams of being a Division I football player, that doesn’t mean everyone has the skills to play at that level coming out of high school.
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Because it is the open period during late April and May, you hopefully should have college coaches coming to the school and visiting you. While the NCAA rules state that all you can say is hello, I am wiling to bet in at least 90% of the situations that the college coach will accidentally bump into the athlete and have a conversation. As I have talked about before, you want to present yourself well when these coaches are coming.
If you have been told by a coach beforehand that they are coming on Friday, look presentable and make sure you look big because there is little doubt that the eyeball test is coming. The coach will be sizing you up while you talk. And yes, this is why college recruiting has been compared to a meat market.
In my recently updated levels of recruiting interest (CLICK HERE FOR THE ARTICLE), one thing that a college coach can do that is high on that list is a phone call. When I talk to athletes during this time of year, I always ask them which coaches have called. If you are getting calls, that really is a great thing. The coaches are taking time out of their day to get to know you better and learn more about you. Make sure to pay attention only to the phone call and stop using the computer, watching TV, of playing video games when they call.
If there has been no calls from college coaches, I don’t want to say that your chances to play Division I football are zero but you are in a much tougher position. These calls from college coaches show that they want you in some way or another. At the very least, they want to talk to you about attending their camp.
As I have mentioned before, schools will send out thousands upon thousands of camp invites so that they can help themselves make more money during the summer. I honestly feel that unless the school is calling you and/or sending a great deal of mail frequently, then it may not be worth it for you to pay the money to go.
Camps are an important thing to focus on now. My advice for athletes is to try and speak with the coaches about possibly attending one day. There will be certain circumstances where the coaches may have you in camp and want you to stay another day (That usually is a good thing), but a college coach should be able to evaluate pretty quickly. There are certain things that athletes can and cannot do on the football field that does make it easy to evaluate. That is why I am a huge fan of just going to one day at the camps.
The reason I feel you should be signing up for one day at the camps are that you will save money, be less tired for other camps, and the coaches should have a good feel for you. They will likely do one of three things after they see you. That is offer a scholarship, continue to recruit you and see your progress, or move on to other athletes.
If there are any free combines (Nike and Scout) in your area, these may be worth attending. Again, there will be no college coaches there but it will give you a chance to test out in front of recruiting experts. I still would strongly advise against wasting your time at a combine that is not affiliated with a school but charges money.
The most important thing you can do now as a recruit is map out your camp schedule. Your school year should be ending soon so it will give you more of a chance to workout and focus on becoming a better athlete. If you are a recruit that has some interest, you should be getting a chance to speak with coaches over the phone and in person at school. For the most part, colleges have finished up their Junior Days (Most end in April). These coaches are now working to put together the summer camps and focusing on recruiting interest as well.