I haven’t talked about it all that in-depth but I played college sports for all of my four college years at the Division III level. There was very little recruiting because I played on a very good high school team, averaged very little stats, and basically didn’t know what I was during throughout the recruiting process. We were also limited in our trips to schools because of a vehicle situation that prohibited us from driving too far away from our home town. I basically received mail from five to ten schools, calls from three schools, and only took one visit.
The reason this site was started is for teenagers and their families to be informed about the athletic recruiting process. So if I could somehow go back in time and speak to myself about what I could do to help myself in the athletic recruiting process, here are some of the main things that come to mind.
Division I-A Football Recruiting vs Division I-AA Football Recruiting/BCS Football Recruiting vs FCS Football Recruiting
In the football recruiting process, there are some major differences between schools at the Division I-A level (BCS) and Division I-AA level (FCS). These differences are something to think about long and hard before trying to receive the scholarship offer that you are longing for. Schools at different levels offer at different times and their level of play factors in.
So first off, what is the biggest difference between Division I-A and I-AA? The answer is simply in the timing of scholarship offers. The Division I-A schools can basically offer whenever they want. The bigger the school, the earlier the offer and the less that they care if Rivals or Scout writes about it. Division I-AA schools on the other wait until later in the process. The earliest I have seen a school at this level offer a player is at their summer football camp. The reason is because the earlier that they offer, the greater chance a Division I-A school will offer them a scholarship.
When a college coach starts recruiting an athlete, they realize that they are getting you as an entire package. This includes your abilities on the court/field, your skills in the class room, and unfortunately for some coaches, that also means dealing with your parents for the next four or five years. Let me stress that the majority of parents that I have dealt with over the years have been outstanding. They may feel that their son or daughter is better than they really are but they are far from crazy during the athletic recruiting process.
However, there are some parents who take that crazy title to a completely different level. I will go into a few interesting stories that I have dealt with and/or heard in the past few years. But while the stories are funny, there is no doubt in my mind that this type of parent will scare away college coaches at a drop of a hat. Coaches at the next level have enough to worry about and would prefer not to have to listen to a parent calling them weekly as to why their son or daughter isn’t play. So keep that in mind before screaming at a college coach because they didn’t think your child was good enough to get a scholarship.
Which football recruiting combines should I attend and will they really help me with the recruiting process?
There is one thing that I have always been adamant about when talking about the football recruiting process. That is dealing with football recruiting combines. These combines are held throughout the country and give athletes a chance to compete with some of the best athletes in your area. There are some that are great and others that are not.
So with the combine season just around the corner, it is time to talk once again about these events. There are some that you should take the time to go to and others that I would try to avoid like the plague. The difference, in my opinion, involves around the money that is being charged.
This situation happens more often than many people throughout the country think. While a number of athletes are having press conferences to finalize their future college, other senior football players have not yet made a college decision. And in the majority of situations, these are the athletes who have not been offered by the Division I-A (BCS), Division I-AA (FCS), and Division II schools.
There are certain exceptions to what I just said but 95% or more of the senior football players who have not made a decision likely do not boast any scholarship offers at this time. An athlete like Bryce Brown, the #1 football player in the country, did not sign because he wants more information about Miami and their new offensive coordinator. But for those without offers, the question is, what should you be doing now if you want to continue your career at the college level?
Time may have flown by quicker than anyone expected but Signing Day is finally here for football recruits across the country. I firmly believe that if you followed the advice we brought every single day on this site over the last year and have some talent on the gridiron, then you should be signing your National Letter of Intent today.
So what should I be doing today? If you are signing, it really depends on the school. Some programs have multiple signees each year while others may have a scholarship football recruit once every decade. Regardless of what your school is doing, we have put together a checklist for Signing Day.
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.
Before diving into this article, the main subject of this article is basketball but it can also be carried over into sports that have club teams (soccer/volleyball) and the majority of sports that have different off-season all star teams (football is the main sport that does not have this). So even if you see that I may be talking mostly about AAU teams, this information can apply to a number of other sports.
First off, the key is timing and that makes it very difficult for athletes to get on teams. While there are still tryouts for a number of these teams in all states, the majority of the sports (basketball and volleyball for instance) kick off their season early in the spring. As a note, I must say that I am mainly talking about 16, 17, and 18 year old AAU and club teams. I don’t plan on delving any younger just because playing at that young of level will do little to help you with the recruiting process. What really matters is after your sophomore and junior years so keep that in mind.
I have preached on this site for a year and a half about the recruiting process. It matters more about you and your family taking these steps to help yourself rather than the sport that you play. Yes, this site is more football and basketball specific but a Junior Day is a Junior Day, regardless if it is soccer or football. So I recently got a comment that basically made my month from a father of an athlete. Here is what he said:
First of all, I would like to thank Recruiting-101 for helping my son get an offer from our school of choice. We utilized the concepts mentioned here, did our own recruiting plan! My son came from a small school with a new football program, he only played 2 years, 1 JV and 1 varsity. He has great athleticism, size and grades, but hidden at a small school. Like this article, some other schools in the same NAIA conf. loved his tapes, but scared of experience, but the school with the better tradition (and several NAIA Natl Championships), said they didn’t worry about that and made the offer. They liked the whole package, potential, my son as a person and as a student.
I’m a junior football recruit who has college interest during the winter but no scholarships. What should I do?
With Signing Day now behind us, the football recruits currently in the junior class need to be on top of the ball with the recruiting process. As I have always talked about, the sooner that you can get started, the better it will be for your overall football recruiting journey. That doesn’t mean if you can’t play but you start marketing today that there will be multiple scholarship offers to turn down. What it means is that the earlier you get your abilities in front of coaches, the easier it is to get an evaluation from the staff.
There are thousands of junior recruits who are in this boat that I am talking about. They want to play football at the college level and have received some interest from coaches. This may include questionnaires, camp invites, and things along those lines. But there are no offers and the recruiting attention has not yet been overwhelming. What should I do?