Can there be a basic 101 for high school recruiting? I’m not so sure when answering that question because so there are so many moving parts. While there may not be a set formula for getting athletes into school there are some things that seem to remain constant as you are going thru the process. We are glad to share them and hope you find them useful!
There is a popular saying in the sports industry that SPEED KILLS. NO! GRADES KILL! So many place their focus in reverse order, assuming that if you work to get the “offer” the rest will take care of itself. This is false and has caused many athletes to lose an opportunity. There is not a college with a football program that can “get your athlete in” if you do not meet their minimum, academic requirements. Even JUCO programs have an academic requirement to play football if you are transferring from a 4 year college. You need to know which governing body and which level you qualify for now and set targets on where you need to be by December of your senior year. Bad grades and/or low test scores will scare away offers. Be ready to accept anything that comes your way by NOT putting yourself in such a hole that it cannot be corrected.
Next to academics, TEST SCORES are the next in line to kill or delay a dream. Different schools have different requirements depending on the governing body and level. Even NCAA D1 schools have the option of setting higher test requirements than the popular sliding scale. Knowing what these are based upon the schools that are showing you interest are a must. If you are not getting interest just yet then setting the bar higher for test scores is the next best back up plan so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity.
When training to reach that next level from high school most college coaches are looking for SKILL. With programs needing to be more and more competitive coaches need to know that you can shorten the timeframe of when they can get you on the field by being a student of your position. Weight training is important for speed and for keeping up with the pace of the game but knowing how to play your position at a college level is KING!
Next to attending your high school game or seeing you at camp, there is no better way for a college coach to evaluate your talent than with you highlights. College coaches are looking for body type, technique, adversity responsiveness, and resilience. Your seasonal highlights can be the tool that provides this for them without ever having to step onto your campus. But also know that if you are light on seasonal plays, offseason film (gym workouts, trainer workouts and drills) can help fill in the gaps.
We know it may be strange to see exposure so close to academics and test scores but with the expansion of social media athletes are no longer just competing within their school district or regional area. They are competing nationally with highlight films, camp performances, and ranking systems (although most college coaches don’t rely solely on these rankings). Not using these tools to your advantage may leave you without a scholarship and/or a college home.