Broadcasting your recruiting attention to make sure coaches know what is going on with your recruiting

I recently did an article with a coach about his son. The son is currently a junior on the team and has already started going through the recruiting process. He is a good athlete and was named All State in a smaller school. After finishing the article, the coach requested that I take the names of the schools off of the article that are recruiting him. According to the coach, he said he did not want to broadcast the schools recruiting him online.

Like always, I have no problem doing what a coach asks me to do. I understand he wants privacy regarding this issue. But in terms of looking at it through a recruiting perspective, I think it is a bad move that in the long run could end up hurting his recruiting.

When a player is receiving recruiting interest, it shows that the school got his name either from an All State list, All Conference list, a coach, a camp, or somewhere that shows this player stands out above others in his class. When talking to a player, a college coach will second guess themselves if they are the only school recruiting this athlete. While the school may eventually stay with him and offer a scholarship, they will wonder why other programs are at the very least contacting him.

So when a school does see a player getting recruited by some of the bigger Division I programs in the Midwest, they will likely add him to their recruiting list. The coach that sees the article may be from a Division I-AA, II, or even III school. The fact that the article shows he is receiving early recruiting interest from a major school shows that he likely is a solid prospect. Obviously the mail does not mean he is a sure fire player at the smallest college level but there usually is some skill behind the early interest.

Anyways, the coach reads the article and sees the big time interest. He decides to add him to their recruiting list and start sending him mail. If the player does what I always talk about and that is look at all of your options, another door has opened. This school may send him one letter and move on or they may eventually not recruit him at all. It really just depends on the level of football the school plays and how good the kid is.

If the same coach reads the article and it says nothing about recruiting, chances are smaller that he will add him to the list. It may happen that he does it anyways but without the bigger names on the list, chances are smaller.

I have always mentioned that your first scholarship offer can help you receive more attention because schools really realize than that an athlete can play at that level. I feel that letters show that this kid can play and other colleges will respond off of it. The top programs in the Midwest do help the smaller schools recruit. So if this player is legit, then there should be no reason why the recruiting portion of the article is not included. It may be broadcast to a wide audience, but college coaches are reading the content and that could end up hurting the recruiting in the long run.

Players and parents do this all the time where they decline to name what schools are offering scholarships and who is recruiting them. To me, it really does not make a whole lot of sense. Putting your options on the table in a newspaper article or a story with will allow other coaches to see that. These other coaches will wonder more about why a conference rival is recruiting this kid and look into it.

At the major Division I level, colleges like Texas and other major programs have no problem letting reporters know what players they are offering (Off the record of course). They are the top programs and are not worried if other schools are going to try recruiting this kid. They are the University of Texas and they pour a lot of money into athletics.

Smaller colleges, especially mid major Division I basketball schools, would prefer to have their scholarships they have offered private. Here is a recent example regarding this. A mid major program in a very small state starting doing a very good job on the basketball court and was able to make the NCAA tournament three straight seasons.

Once other coaches figured out they were doing so well, they would recruit the players who had already committed to this school. Instead of competing against conference foes for recruits, they had major programs going after their recruits. In the last few years, there currently have been two decommitments from this team to major programs that are much bigger than this smaller school.

Anyways, I brought this up because schools read about and research who other programs are recruiting. If the are after a player who is keeping their recruiting quiet, then don’t expect other programs to know what is going on unless they have seen you play or they have been recruiting you. There is no reason at all why you shouldn’t broadcast who is recruiting you. If anything, you should be open about it and try to get it in the hands of people who will publish it in front of college coaches.

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Athletic Recruiting Misconception: I just sent out my highlight tape and expect to hear from all of those coaches soon

Just to let readers know, I will be putting together a series of articles based on common misconceptions with the athletic recruiting process.  This includes why the misconception is a problem and what should be done instead.  In the majority of cases, these misconceptions do not work so it is important to avoid if you want to have success in the athletic recruiting process.

Our first look at an athletic recruiting misconception is something I head often from athletes.  When asking them about the schools that are recruiting them, they usually backtrack and talk about how they just sent tapes out to a number of schools.  The problem is that their highlight video is going to get thrown away without prior contact to the coaches at that school.

I will repeat this as I do many times throughout the site.  There is no doubt in my mind that cold sending your highlight video is a great way to NOT have it be watched by the coaches.  Think about how many recruits who would love to get a scholarship from State University.  Then imagine that 50% are taking the steps needed to make a highlight tape and will be sending it to the coaches.  That ends up being tens of thousands of athletes who randomly send video to schools.  Do you really think that is the way to go about getting your video watched?

Just a quick story to talk about before mentioning what you should do.  A few years back, there was a college basketball prospect from a school in the Midwest.  This athlete was too small to get a scholarship but that didn’t stop him from sending tape all over the country.  I spoke with a college college on the east coast who told me that this athlete had send them his tape.  If they received, how many colleges do you think total ended up with his highlight video?  Think about the time and money that went into his cold sending of these videos.  In the end, I believe he ended up at the Division I level like I had originally assumed.

Why is this misconception a problem?
College coaches have too much on their plate to be watching videos that have been cold sent by recruits that they likely have never heard of before.  A graduate assistant or a student manager may end up watching your tape if the school has a detailed process of what is done when highlight videos are sent in.  But in order to get the tape in front of an assistant coach, cold sending your highlight video is definitely not the way to go.

What should be done?
First off, save your time and money by not randomly sending out tape.  Chances of this ending up good are very, very, very small.  What you should do is before even sending the tape is to market yourself to the colleges that you are interested.  You will want to put together a recruiting profile, find schools that match you, and then market yourself to the schools you are interested in.  I always seem to have to say this but make sure you are not sending your profile just to the Division I schools.  Broaden your search and look into your future major.

After that, track the contact with the coaches.  If they are interested and have shown interest back (which they should in 75% of the emails), ask them if they are interested in evaluating your highlight video.  You can send them a hard copy or make it easier for them by putting the highlights online.  I have heard from a Division I coach that it is much easier to click a link for video of an athlete and then can watch it on their computer with ease.

Getting evaluated and your highlight video watched is not an easy process.  But don’t waste the time in cold sending your video in hopes of a scholarship offer and a massive amount of recruiting attention to suddenly come your way.  It just doesn’t work that way.

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Why is my child not being recruited by college coaches?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from parents is why is their child not being recruited by college coaches.  Their son or daughter may have been lighting up the stats sheet on the sophomore team so they are obviously talented.  And now they are wondering why a flood of Division I schools is not knocking down the door wanting to extend a full scholarship to them.

Unfortunately unless you have elite level athleticism, that is not the case in how the athletic recruiting process works for any sport.  The first thing that I always must talk about when this question gets asked is related to the playing ability of your child.  Are they really good enough?  Seriously?

A big reason why college coaches are not recruiting athletes is because they don’t have enough talent to play at their level.  Just because you rushed for 1,500 yards against small school competition doesn’t mean you have the speed, vision, and strength that Division I college coaches are looking for.

So outside of talent, why is my son or daughter not being recruited?  If they are good enough, the key here is marketing.  You need to do what you can to help push the name of your child out to college coaches.

What happens if that doesn’t work?  Then I would strongly recommend that you really start to focus on helping your child and putting in more time.  Take a weekend and spend hours with your potential college athlete of a child and research these schools.  You can find information at the library about them but can do most of the work by researching them online.

Once you have found twenty to thirty schools at all different levels (let me stress the all different levels so take off your Division I eyes only), then email coaches at each with the recruiting profile.  Make sure to say something unique about their school.  While doing this, track which schools you contacted and make notes about why.

Unless you get really lucky, you will not be receiving 100% feedback from the coaches.  Track which coaches contacted you back and which ones didn’t.  For the ones that didn’t, follow up one more time after a few weeks.  If they don’t get back to you, pick another coach on staff.  You may eventually get fed up but any decent coaching staff will at least say thanks.  But then again, you never know what type of spam blockers that these coaches have so don’t get frustrated.  Persistence is key here.

If you take these steps, it should help.  There is no perfect path to the recruiting process but if your son or daughter has no attention and they are productive at the varsity level over a season, then this should help.  Like I said, all levels need to be looked at.  This includes at least a few thoughts about Division I, II, III, NAIA, as well as Junior College.  Prep school may even be something to think about as well.

There is no doubt that from the eyes of a parent, the lack of recruiting interest that their child is getting is difficult for you and them to go through.  But you have to take control of the process yourself and help put them in the best situation they can to be evaluated.  They may not be good enough in the end but how do you know unless you take the reigns and run with it.

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College Coaches don’t care about you playing at the highest level if you commit to their school

If you have a lot of interest from a variety of college coaches, there is no doubt that one of the lines you may end up hearing is about how their coaching staff really cares for their players and always does what is in their best interest.  There is no doubt that when the coaches say this, there is some truth behind it.

But if you think for a second that they would be okay with you picking a larger school that could be a better fit for you academically, you are crazy.  These coaches want to find the best athletes possible and will do all kinds of things to force you into a commitment (see deadline) and stick to it as well.

The reason why I came up with this article idea was what I saw shortly before Signing Day.  A major Division I-AA/FCS who always seems to be competing for national titles received a commitment from a talented running back. This athlete had a great deal of potential so they wanted to do everything they could to keep a larger school from swooping in at the last minute with an offer.  For the record, this athlete was a Junior College player.

The coaches from this college requested to his high school and Junior College coaches to not let word leak out.  They wanted to keep this on the down low as much as possible.  Once Signing Day rolled around and he was basically coming to their school, the coaches at the college no longer needed to keep it under wraps.

Like I said before, if State University came in with a full scholarship and a better fit for him academically and athletically, this Division I-AA school wouldn’t care.  They may talk a big game but when it comes down to it and their backs are against the wall, they will do everything they can to land the top talent.  This allows them to win games which helps them keep their job and make money coaching football in the process.

Division I-AA/smaller Division I-A schools/mid major Division I basketball programs also try to do everything they can to keep other coaches from knowing who they are recruiting and who they are offering.  There is a recent example from a mid major basketball program who put together a fantastic string of performances year after year over the last decade.  They were landing diamonds in the rough and winning a lot of games.

Once the major college basketball programs started figuring that out, the coaches from these schools started to pay much more attention to their recruits.  One school was able to snatch one of their verbally committed athletes because they were a bigger program in a better conference.  These coaches started getting paranoid and were doing everything they could to keep their offers and commitments as quiet as possible.  It didn’t matter if the other schools offered a better place for you, the mid-major program wanted your skills and they will do all they can to keep you in the fold.

What sucks about this article is it is all true.  You are likely to hear some fantastic lines from college coaches throughout the recruiting process.  But in the end, know that you and your family are the only ones that really want is best for you.  And even if you have to anger a coach in the process, do it.  You will likely end up happier and not have to wonder if you made the right decision.

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More than one athlete on a team can play at the college level and why the better the team, the better for recruiting overall

A few weeks back I got an email from an athlete talking about a teammate. His teammate has much better college potential because of his size along the offensive line and college coaches have taken notice of that. What this teammate did, in my mind, was very questionable.

He basically just emailed me destroying the teammate and his abilities. He hyped himself up in the process but the overlying theme that I got out of the emails was his lack of respect for his teammate. And for the record, his teammate is getting early Division I attention at this point. I don’t know if there is jealousy involved or what but it didn’t sit well with me.

The last thing an athlete should do is basically throw a teammate under the bus. I don’t care how much you hate him or don’t respect his skills/work ethic in your sport. It just should not happen and it makes me question in a huge way the overall attitude of this athlete.

What this player needs to realize is that just because he has a teammate who is going to be playing in college and is a football recruit, it won’t be stopping him from following the same path if he has the skills. If anything, having a recruited teammate may actually be a benefit to both parties involved.

When the evaluation period starts and say State University comes in to talk about Recruit A, their high school coach may talk about Recruit B and his abilities as well. The coach will likely call both of them down to “bump” into the college coach and just say hello. This gives him a chance to potentially pass the eyeball test.

Chances are that if you have two or more recruits on your team, that you are going to win more games than a school that has zero recruits (this does depend but it normally the case). The more games you win, the better chance you have to play in front of college coaches deep in the playoffs. And the more success you have, the better your chances for potentially being named All Conference and All State. These honors are not needed to get a Division I offer but they certainly help matters.

Two recruits can also help reduce travel expenses. I know that there are some families that have emailed me about saving money during the recruiting process. One great way is to have a teammate or someone in your area who you befriend. When there are Junior Days or unofficial visit, you can bum a ride from them instead of having to fit the travel bill all yourself.

If you don’t know any of the other players at the visit, having a teammate there will certainly make things more comfortable. That is at least until you meet some other people there. So really, it is important to realize that having another teammate being recruited can be a good thing. If a school has enough talent, scholarships will be extended often.

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I am a junior in the football recruiting process with attention and no current scholarship offers on the table. What should I be doing in March

The top football players in the junior class have already started to secure scholarship offers from some of the top college programs across the country.  But in most cases, these are the freak athletes who will end up with multiple offers from a variety of college coaches.  My guess is that most readers are the ones that are going to be working and plugging along to get an offer.

So if you are in the boat that there is interest but no offers, what should you be doing now?  What direction should you be heading in right now?  This type of article has been extremely popular over the last six months so we thought we would continue with it for March of your junior season.

Getting letters and receiving early recruiting interest means that you are on the recruiting databases of some college coaches.  That is a great thing but that is just an early part of the battle.  In order to get a scholarship, the coaches that are recruiting you will only continue to evaluate you.

Due to NCAA rules, the major way that these college coaches evaluate you is through your highlight video.  In an ideal world, all junior football players reading this will have already put their highlight video together and have it available on a free site online.

Since that never seems to be the case, I want to stress once again the importance of putting this highlight tape together.  It is the best way for a school to evaluate your overall skills on the gridiron.  Doing it yourself or spending the money and getting it made professionally is a huge step that can be a major factor in the football recruiting process.  Take the time to learn hudl or spend the money to get it done.  There are few investments worth it as much as getting a video done.

If you have the video done, then you should be doing what you can to put it in front of the coaches that are recruiting you.  It may be worth calling or emailing with the coaches that are recruiting and see if they would prefer the video online or a hard copy of it.  The reason to ask is because cold sending out the tape is going to be a huge waste of time and resources.  Time and money are saved by sending it online but chances are that the overall quality may be hurt a little bit.

Either way will work fine because your main goal is to get them to watch your footage.  If you sent the highlight tape, follow up one to two weeks after the tape arrived and see if they watched it.  Please realize that patience is a huge must here and something to have during the football recruiting process.  If you sent the coach a link to your video on youtube or a similar service, email them a few days after it was sent and see what they thought.  This is the most inexpensive way to do it and something that I strongly encourage.

The thing you want to get out of the coaches regarding your highlight video is feedback.  If they were wowed by the tape and wanted to offer you a scholarship, chances are that it would have been done without you asking and following up.  So in your follow up, ask questions about things that you can improve on.  And when you get responses, take these to heart as these are college coaches who are paid to coach a sport that they love.

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I’m a junior with no football recruiting interest. What do I do?

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.

According to NCAA rules, until the first day of school your junior year, you cannot receive any football recruiting information that is not just a plain questionnaire or a camp invite. These coaches also cannot talk to you. That is part of the reason there is a perception that coaches don’t focus on the juniors. But once September 1st hits, coaches will flood the top junior prospects with mail.

If you have not received anything or much on the recruiting front, it is still a very good time to start contacting college coaches. You may be forced to sell yourself to these coaches but if your goals is to play college football at a high level, then you have no choice.

As talked about in the five steps to a scholarship, even before you start contacting college coaches the first thing you should do is build a recruiting profile. This word document basically highlights what you have accomplished over your high school career. If you haven’t really accomplished anything, don’t expect to garner much interest because of that.

The next step for you is to talk to your high school coach and anyone not related to you. What you want to talk to them about is what level that they feel you can realistically play at in college. It would be great if your coach knows how good you are but not all do. Try to find someone who is old enough to know.

I recently received an email telling me that there was a 6-foot-1, 195 pound tight end who was a surefire Division I prospect. Even though that is the size of many wide receivers, I heard many times that he was a Division I football player. When I questioned the person’s ability, he claimed he knew exactly what it took to play Division I football. Let me tell you that sometimes I don’t have a clue why one athlete is Division I vs. another who isn’t.

Once you find out what level they feel you can play (And you have to be comfortable with this), start searching the Internet. I know everyone wants to play for USC or LSU, but chances are strong that you will be wasting your time contacting them. What you need to do is go through the list and compare them to what you are looking for in a school. Think about location, your future major, the level of athletics, and anything else that could factor in on where you go.

After you have a long list of schools, now it is time to use their website again and contact their coaching staff. It will be similar for those who send out resumes for a job. You need to introduce yourself to the coaching staff, tell them why you are contacting them, mention why you like their school, and include your athletic profile.

The reason the lists needs to be long is because you want to keep your options open. If you begin by focusing just on five dream schools, it is going to be an uphill climb to keep all five of them interested. Never say never but the more options you have, the better chances you have at getting a scholarship down the road.

Not everyone of these schools is going to start recruiting you either. I would expect many to send you a camp invite. What you are looking for is more information about the school and for them to start showing you real interest. If you really feel you can play at that level, then it may be smart to go to camps. But as mentioned in that article, camps are big for college coaches to make money. Some are for recruiting but the majority just end up paying the college coaches.

Another important step you can take is look for a Nike Camp, Rivals or a Under Armour camp.  As I have mentioned before, be wary of those camps that charge money for you to test out. Like the college camps, these are making money for the person running it. If you perform well at the camp, expect your numbers and ability to get mentioned to college coaches. This is an easy and free way to help your stock in the eyes of coaches at the next level.

You could also contact coaches that you are interested in visiting their campus. They may not pull out the red carpet for you but you could at least introduce yourself and meet them face to face.

The biggest obstacle you face right now is getting your name out there. By contacting coaches and being able to provide them with stats, information from your coach, and video will help things. Also talk more to your college coaches about if he has any connection with coaches at the next level. You might as well use as many people are you can to help you with this difficult process.

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