I recently had a chance to speak with a parent about how interest colleges are in his son. This football recruit had received some big time questionnaires and early information from some big time programs throughout the country. But because the athlete is so young, the amount of attention that he can get is limited.
This parent felt that although they had been sending letters and receiving early interest, these schools were not yet recruiting his son. But if that is not recruiting, what would actually constitute a college coach recruiting an athlete? If letters are not to be considered, then what exactly is?
Before going into the story too deep, I must say that it really is tough to tell for an athlete in any sport early in their high school career if they are really being recruited by college coaches. Unless an offer comes early on, there is no real way to tell. This is the case for basketball and especially football. So keep that in mind before reading the rest of this article.
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Because a college coach normally follows the rules (in most cases, right?), they are extremely limited on the amount of interest that they can give athletes early in their prep careers. These high school athletes would love to see scholarship offers on the table but it normally doesn’t work that way. Most of the scholarships offered for football come between the winter of your junior year and the fall of your senior season (for Division I-A recruits).
So is a questionnaire or a camp invite mean that a school is really interested in an athlete? No, it doesn’t mean a whole lot if that is all you receive from them. But if you do receive these letters, it is a good thing overall. I harp on this often but in order to get a scholarship, the college coaches will need to evaluate you and your ability on the playing field/court.
What a questionnaire means is that they in some way found your name from somewhere. It may have been from Rivals, Scout, your high school coach, someone that knows the coaches in your area, or any number of different sources. But receiving a questionnaire from a college, no matter how big time it is, is a good thing.
Is is considered recruiting? I would say if you are young enough where all the college coaches can send you is that, then yes, they are recruiting you. That is a great thing but nothing to get a big head about.
Let me stress yet another time that a camp invite is not recruiting. I know many college football and basketball coaches who mass send out these invites just to boast their numbers and the amount of money that they take home. Camp invites are a joke and something that is not recruiting. I hate the fact that coaches even send them out simply because most athletes feel that the school is interested in them and wants to evaluate them. I can go on forever about this but I will leave it at that.