What does “We do not have any scholarships available” really mean in the football recruiting process?
I recently received an email from one of the most faithful fans and readers of this site stating that multiple schools recently told him that the school does not have any scholarships available. There is no doubt that this athlete is extremely frustrated by hearing this response and feels that it may actually be a cheap excuse for them thinking he is not good enough.
But could some schools be telling the truth that they are actually out of scholarships? With this being mid December, one would strongly think that very few football programs have all of their scholarships accounted for. But if that is the case, then why are they feeding him this line? I decided to take a look into what they meant and I am going to warn you that this will have some brutal honesty involved.
As I will talk about later in a future article, there is no doubt in my mind that phone calls are a very important part of the recruiting process for all sports. These are a great time as an athlete to get questions answered about the schools that you are looking into. And if you have an organized system to track the recruiting process, you will also be able to take notes about each individual call.
While these calls are great for potential recruits, they are even more important for the coaches at the schools that are recruiting you. These coaches are calling you for a number of different reasons and many have to do with making sure you know how interested they are in you overall. Without further ado, here are some of the main reasons that college coaches will call prospective recruits:
A few weeks back I talked about how much feedback parents should get when helping their children make a college decision. And while some agreed and others disagreed, the child has to be the one making the final call because a college education is vital these days for helping your long term career prospects.
But when going through the athletic recruiting process, I have seen plenty of parents run the show. They are the ones that always seem to be asking the questions and fielding the calls. If anything, it seems like they are the ones who want to be recruited and get an opportunity to play college athletics. This is a huge problem because the entire process needs to be a joint effort between all involved.
In this series of articles relating to a variety of sports and a number of different age groups, I have to admit that the most important one is those in the senior class in this situation. If you are a senior football player with interest but no offers, you need to figure out quickly what the interest level of the schools that are recruiting you.
While scholarships have obviously not been offered yet, it is pretty easy to see what schools are showing you the most serious attention. The way that you can tell is which are the coaches that are calling you. If you aspire for the Division I level and are only hearing on the phone from Division III schools, then it is going to be a difficult process to get to that level this late.
Last week I spoke about how some overzealous fans will take the time to find the Twitter and Facebook pages of certain recruits and tell them to come to their favorite school. If that fan is a booster of the school, that is an NCAA violation and something that is not going to help a school land a recruit.
But looking past those crazy fans, there is no doubt that the overall fan base will help you make a decision during the football recruiting process or basketball recruiting process. If you visit a school, you may be overwhelmed and/or underwhelmed by the fans during the game that you attend. This is the reason why college coaches want recruits to come for Homecoming or their rivalry games. If they see the crowd for other games and the fan base, it may actually hurt the school.
I am a sure fire recruit but the in-state schools are recruiting others nationally. Why are they doing that?
It doesn’t matter what college program it is, basically every coach has to recruit out of their local area. There may be some exceptions at the smaller levels but how many Division I programs in any sports have every recruit from in-state (if there really is a school that does, please let me know)? Schools like USC in football and Kansas in basketball recruit nationally to help themselves win games.
But sometimes athletic recruits want to know what these schools are doing in the recruiting process. Say you are a Division I recruit with offer from smaller schools and attention from others. Why are the Division I programs offering out of state kids when they have a talented athlete as myself right in their backyard? While that is a tough question to answer, I will definitely try to come to a conclusion.
Football recruiting questionnaires and basketball recruiting questionnaires: What is the point of filling them out?
Chances are that if you played at the varsity level in just about any sport and contributed, you may find yourself on a recruiting database. The first step in that recruiting database is to send out a questionnaire. The reason that these college coaches send out these questionnaires is to get more information about you.
The first layer of defense that the questionnaire can provide for college coaches is to take athletes off their recruiting database. If you are a 5-foot-8 linebacker or you finished your junior season with six tackles total, you are likely going to get deleted.
There is a major time commitment involved to make an informed college decision for the next four or five years of your life
It doesn’t matter at this point if you are a football recruit with Division II offers, a basketball recruit with Division III interest, or a baseball recruit with NAIA scholarships, making an informed college decision is difficult and time consuming. What makes this so tough is the fact that you need to do so much leg work in researching the schools and finding more information about them.
If you put in a lot of time into the second step of The Five Steps to a Scholarship Offer (Which by the way is finding schools that match you), there is little doubt that you will be spending a great deal of time on the Internet each and every night doing research. While this leg work does get boring, it hopefully will pay off in the end with schools that you are interested. But the time commitment put in also includes visits, calls, and so much more.
The football recruits out there reading this know that this football season is about as important as it comes. It doesn’t matter if you are a senior in your final year on the prep football field or a sophomore ready to take your first snaps at the varsity level. This is the reason why you have been working so hard during the summer months.
And while the season is important, every player out there would love to get some attention from college coaches. Because of this, I have put together five keys that will help you in landing a scholarship offer. You don’t need all five of these keys to get a scholarship but they are ranked in order of importance. Find out what areas will help you the most as you hope to track down an offer.
For most parents reading this, the reason that you were able to find this site is that you want to be able to be proactive throughout the athletic recruiting process for your son or daughter. Maybe this is your first time and for others you may have done it before but there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the most confusing times in trying to help your child.
Parents may even feel helpless because they are not exactly sure what they should be doing and if they should be doing stuff to help. When I went through the Division III recruiting process a while back, my mom had no idea what was going on. She took me to one visit and just didn’t have a clue regarding letters, calls, or things along that line. I thought now is as good of a time as any to help parents figure things out in the athletic recruiting process.