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What should you do if you didn’t play much during your junior year of football?

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What should you do if you didn't play much during your junior year of football?In the eyes of college football coaches, I believe that those at the highest levels put more stock into the junior year or an athlete than the senior season.  The major college programs around the country already have a great feel for who they are recruiting and which athletes they are trying to land by the time that senior season gets going.  I hate to say that but it is the truth.

But what happens if you have college aspirations and your junior season didn’t turn out as planned?  It may be due to an injury or a better player in front of you.  It really doesn’t matter the reason as to why your junior year was much less than you had hoped.  The question is why can I do to turn the tide and right the ship now?

The first thing you must realize is that first off, if you did not play much as a junior and you are still receiving major recruiting interest, it is because you are in their database.  These coaches will eventually figure out that due to injury or your abilities the lack of playing time you received.  What this means is that the letters that are coming are worthless.  They do not mean anything so don’t be delusional.

The problem will occur when you are trying to figure out ways to put together your highlight tape.  You will either be doing it with a very limited amount of plays due to injury or just post video that was done in scrub time.  In both cases, putting together that recruiting highlight video is not worth it.  Just save the money or the time and don’t do it.

What I would do with coaches is be straight forward while also lowering your sights.  Yes, playing at State University may have been a goal of yours but unless you have the #1 rated recruit in the country playing in front of you as a junior, then getting a scholarship from them is going to be nearly impossible.  I know that there are football factories in Texas where this happens but outside of that, if you didn’t play and were healthy all year, figuring out that you are not very good is something you have to be realistic about.

Both athletes will be given a chance to prove if they can play or not during the camp circuit.  And by camp circuit, I am not talking about the independent camps that charge way too much to not get your name out.  Don’t bother going to those.  I am referring to the college coaches where you will get a chance to work with the coaches and showcase your skills.

So if anything, you must train hard in order to showcase your full array of skills at the college camps during the summer.  Hopefully you can find a way to snag an invite to the football recruiting camps at the college that are for only their top prospects/seniors.  If may be tough in some situations but if you can talk your way into it, it should be a great way to test your skills.

Outside of that, I hate to say this but there is not a whole lot you can do.  I don’t recommend you market yourself to college coaches simply because you don’t have the stats to back it up.  Are you going to send your JV stats on your profile?  You might as well save the time of State University throwing away your highlight video that you cold sent them loaded with some great JV plays.

Be patient, work hard, hit the weight room hard, and wait until your senior season.  There are a decent amount of aspects of this that will be tough to deal with.  But unfortunately, you are stuck because of the situation that happened throughout the junior year.  Now you have to make the most of your off-season and come back much improved.

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3 Comments so far
  1. hana January 15, 2010

    Would you recommend making a highlight tape for a sophomore who was on varsity but was not a starter?

  2. Ethan Ricci January 16, 2010

    Ive played a lot at the varsity level along the D-Line, And i will be a senior this season. I have a lot of playing experience but my sophomore year I was only 170 pounds. My Junior year I played Nose Guard and weighed about 210 I played well piling up 38 tackles in only 7 games due to injury. Ive been putting on a lot of weight though and now I weigh 235 hoping to get to 260 by the time the season rolls around. What should I do? I have limited Junior film because of an injury and Ive always been undersized until this year. Should I bother putting together a Junior highlight tape? Or should I just keep putting on the weight, go to some camps this summer and hope for a great senior season?

  3. Andy Kraft January 19, 2010


    How about if my son started/played in every game in a position all junior year that I know he could never play at the college level? For example, my son played O line because that is where the coach needed him (he is 6’1″ and 215lbs) …he’s one the biggest kids on the team.