This question was posed recently in a comment on one of the recent articles on this site. Again, I am happy to help athletes and families during the athletic recruiting process so feel free to comment on any specific areas that you may be curious about. This is a great question, especially if you are a senior, and is definitely worth answering in a full fledged article.
Before going into my answer, let me go into my usual spiel (veteran readers can skip this section). If you cold sent your highlight video to colleges without any prior contact from the coaches, don’t waste your time contacting them. They are not going to watch that tape. You are better off throwing away/burning the video because at least you will confidently know what happened to it. If you continue reading, there is actually more info regarding when you should contact them.
There is no doubt that I feel following up and getting feedback on your tape is vital during the athletic recruiting process for any sport. This will give you a much better feel as to where you stand in their eyes. They may not always give you a straight on answer but at the very least it should help determine where you sit on that school’s recruiting board.
How can I help support Recruiting-101?
- Use highlight-videos.com for a Hudl tuneup/new video
- E-Book: Guide to the Athletic Recruiting Process for Parents
- E-Book: How Juniors Can Get a Head Start on the Football Recruiting Process
- Complete Package: Junior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Football Recruiting Position by Position Advice
- Complete Package: Senior Football All State Recruiting Package
- E-Book: Producing a Scholarship Worthy Highlight Video
- E-Book: How Seniors Can Finish the Football Recruiting Process Strong
The key to answering this question is that it really depends on the time of year. For example, lets say you are an All State recruit who two weeks ago had Florida request your highlight video. Now may not be the best week to contact the Gators because they are just coming off of an SEC title game and figuring out their plans for the bowl game.
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Look at the schedule and what is going on with each school before contacting them. I have said this before but these coaches have a lot going on in their lives. They have the current season, recruiting, their families, and they have to somehow fit that around sleeping every night. If you send a highlight tape in during the early portion of the summer, there is definitely going to be a quicker turn around time.
Let’s say you sent your highlight tape two weeks ago to a school like South Carolina (first school to come to mind). They have finished up their regular season and are preparing for a bowl game. Once the bowls are announced, maybe wait a week or two and contact them. These coaches are focused on the recruiting process at this point and take a step back from the actual season. Getting these future recruits will help them stay at their current job so it is very important.
If you are looking at a Division I-AA school, did they make the playoffs? If so, are they still alive or have they been eliminated? Unfortunately for most schools out there, the first priority the day after the season ends is not to look at your highlight video. They have lives away from their sport so you must factor that in as well.
So be realistic about the timing. Obviously if it is two weeks after their season ended, giving them a call definitely will not hurt anything. The worst that the coaches can say is that they have not had a chance to see the video. If you contact them, it does show that you are interested to hear what you think and that will help you figure out things in the recruiting process.
Also you do have to maintain a fine line between being interested about when they watch your highlight video and overbearing. And again, if the coach didn’t request the highlight tape, don’t bother calling. That ship has already sailed.