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Breaking down an athletic recruiting letter from a college coach

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Breaking down an athletic recruiting letter from a college coachOne of the most interesting parts of running this site is that I get all kinds of interesting emails that help give me a better perspective of the overall athletic recruiting process.  And when I get that information, I try to share it will as many readers as possible on Recruiting-101.

I recently had an athlete forward me an email received from a college coach regarding their summer camps.  As mentioned in the levels of interest from college coaches, an email camp invite ranks the lowest out of everything.  It is even below a mailed camp invite because an emailed camp invite is free.  They at least pay a little bit for postage when sending the letter.  Anyways, I am going to break down the email and talk about what they are trying to sell here.

The parts of the letter will be

My staff and I were going over the information from the Nike Combines that have been going on throughout the country and we like the combination of athletics and academics that you possess.

Basically they are saying you went to a Nike Combine (because they obviously are not specific about which location it was at).  They received a sheet full of information after that included testing, size, and academics.  You basically met the initial requirements to get into their recruiting database with thousands of other football players across the country.

It is difficult to find student-athletes that are able to get it done on the field and in the classroom, but with a high GPA like yours. Clearly you have the tools to take your game to the next level as long as you keep working hard. You could be (part of our program)!

Again, your grades met the requirements that they are looking for.  This is a strong academic institution and a high GPA will get you in.  I am not sure what limit they are looking for but it obviously has to be 3.0 or higher in this situation.

In order to get to know you better I would like to invite you to our Summer High School Camp which takes place in the (State University) Football Stadium and on our practice fields (during the summer).

Please come and give us money.

Not only will you be able to show your skills to my entire staff but you will also be able to showcase your talents to over 35 college coaches who will work the camp. Furthermore, 70% of our incoming class of freshmen attended our camp last year.

I do like the fact that they are selling other coaches being there.  I have said it before but a number of Division I-AA (FCS), Division II, and III coaches usually work big state wide football camps.  This gives them a chance to see the players flying under the radar.

Please act quickly because space is limited and it’s starting to fill up. We are quite interested in you and hope (State University) is at the top of your list of colleges.

Space is not limited.  This is exactly how infomercials sell people when they talk about call in the next ten minutes and you will get a second one free.  These coaches want as many people as they can get at their camp.  If you showed up ten minutes before they started, do you really think they would turn away a check?  I highly doubt that.

Anyways, this camp invite was sent to an athlete halfway across the country to this school.  It would be at least a fifteen hour drive, if not longer, or a few hundred dollars to fly there.  This is a mass invite where they basically pulled your information off of a Nike Combine list.  If anything, this school may have just done that to every single athlete that attended a Nike Combine.  If it helps them draw more to their camp, then it is worth it on their end.

I hate to rain on the recruiting parade of athletes but I know many that get suckered into this type of thing.  They think that this school is seriously interested in them because they heard about them at the Nike Combine.  And unfortunately, many take the plane ride, get a hotel, rent a car, and go to the camp.  In the end, they walk away with nothing outside of a $1,000 down the drain because of a stupid email.  This is why I stress that the only camps you should attend are of the schools that call you during the spring evaluation period for football.  Keep that in mind before spending your parents’ hard earned money.

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3 Comments so far
  1. Deborah August 5, 2009

    I like the one day clinics for rising seniors best that just cost under $100. These are serious about evaluating prospects. We also saw that its fine, as this site recommends – to attend just 1 day of 3 day camps. That’s what we did at one school and lots of others were coming for just one of the days as well. My son and I recently did spend the money to fly out and stay in a hotel for a 1 day clinic at an ivy league school – they had called his coach and requested game film, then were sending personal emails. Hundreds attended from across the country. It was very well run with each athlete being monitored. My son and a couple others were made an official offer at the end of that day. It made all the difference in the world that he showed up and performed very well. We would have thought it was worth the trip even if no offer had come because we saw it as visiting a great school in the league he wants.

  2. [...] recruits called “” In its latest edition it does a fantastic job of breaking down an actual e-mailed letter from a coach to tell you what is actually being said therein and how a potential recruit should feel about [...]

  3. Coach Emond August 5, 2009

    THANK YOU for telling it like it is!

    A parent is better served to put $1,000 toward a family vaction or toward their child’s college education.

    Go to a local college’s football camp with the intention to work own your football skills, not exposure. Rather, take the opportunity to attend a football camp at a college that you are seriosly considering attending for its quality education.

    Just play football; it’s fun.