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Football--please help!

FrancescaBennettFrancescaBennett Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
I'm trying to help a family friend. The student is a high school Senior. He had a growth spurt and worked hard over the summer, and is having a very good football season. After last year, he and his family didn't think college football was a realistic option, but now it looks possible. So, they're just getting started now and know it's late.

He's a great guy, an average student, and works very hard. They have a high school teacher advising them, a guy who played in college and coaches at another nearby school. I'm not convinced, though, that he's giving them the best advice. It seems to me that they should be targeting a Division suited to his abilities. The advisor is telling them that the kid has the potential for any division, it's just a matter of finding a school that has a spot for him. The advisor is waiting for coaches he knows to call him, and he will refer my friend to them. Is this how it works?

Meanwhile, the student did email one coach at a nearby college and sent him a link to game video. The coach met with him and his parents and seemed encouraging and said he liked what he saw in the video. So, I'm thinking they should be emailing lots of other coaches, too, at schools that he's interested in, in all three Divisions. Shouldn't the student be initiating lots of contacts at this stage of the process?

I'd really appreciate any advice!

Replies to: Football--please help!

  • lubbublubbub Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    It is late, but it is not too late. He needs to ask his coach for an honest evaluation of what level he thinks he can play. No BS and no over reaching, give it to him straight. Then locate schools playing at that level and see which ones have academic programs that fit his interests and abilities academically. Go to each one of these school's websites and send emails to the recruiting coordinators with his personal and school information, and a link to his highlight video.

    Make sure his highlight video is direct and gets quickly to the action with his best 6-8 plays. No long intro or distracting music. On average a coach is going to watch 20-25 seconds before making a decison to shut it off or keep watching.

    At this stage he absolutely should be initiating contact with coaches if he wants a chance to play college ball. There may still be later opportunties but the likelihood of him being "discovered" this late in his Senior year is pretty remote. He needs to find coaches and let them know who he is.

    Answer every email or phone call, you never know who will be the right fit. He also might find a spot with a team that missed on a player they thought they had a great shot at getting. Some D2 and D3 schools are just now ramping up their recruiting as they often have to see what is left after the D1 schools get their players committed.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,103 Senior Member
    He should definitely contact any school he's interested in. And he should be realistic. If he's good but not great, he should look at lower D1 and D2 schools. If he needs athletic money, he needs to consider that too. If his team is playing in the high school state play off, local schools might have a representative at the games.
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,234 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    The first question I would ask is where is his high school coach in this process? The coach is the primary gateway to a lot of college coaches at all levels, and is usually the place to start this process. The second question is why do you feel the high school teacher is advising him
    poorly? Third, are you in an area that sends a lot of kids to college and does the program he is in produce many recruits? If you can provide some of that information we may be able to help a bit more.

    As far as time line, D2 and D3 schools will recruit well into the spring. Some FCS schools (NEC and Pioneer conference mainly) will as well. For the most part that recruiting doesn't really get rolling until December/January as FBS and higher up the food chain FCS school's boards shake out. I would say that it would be very hard to get on the radar of an FBS or bigger FCS program coming in cold in November of senior year. Maybe the HS teacher has a contact at his old school or with another school he has sent recruits too, and they happen to have a spot open. But absent something like that, or truly trancendant talent, I would think most of D1 would be difficult.
  • FrancescaBennettFrancescaBennett Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    Thanks for the replies!

    His high school coach has said to wait until college coaches call him. But this is not a program that sends many players to college, so I don't know why they would. Last year, one guy went. He's the only one I can remember ever seeing a photo of in the local paper on "signing day." The teacher advising him is an assistant coach at a nearby private school that does have a successful football program, so maybe he does have a lot of contacts. His advice just seems rather vague and passive!
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,234 Senior Member
    Because football is a mature sport, a lot of recruiting at the non elite level is done by relationships a college staff has with a high school staff, or because of the reputation of the high school program/coach. In that scenario, the advice of the coach makes sense. If, however, there are not a lot of kids going on to play in college from your program then being a bit more aggressive could make sense. I am not a fan of "cold calling" coaches at this point. This is because teams are in season right now, and at best a highlight clip and an unsolicited e mail is going to get pawned off on a grad assistant. Unless the kid absolutely jumps off the tape it unlikely to lead somewhere in my opinion.

    Does the player have a Hudl account? If so, I would suggest putting together a short highlight of ten to twelve plays. Pick good, basic plays showing the player doing different things. Ten plays of a running back running a sweep don't tell me much. A couple of sweeps, a few dives, a couple of flare passes, a blitz pick up or two tell me a lot more. Leave just enough time at the beginning of each play for the coach to identify the formation and find the player (hudl has various highlight tools), and then run the play. End zone view if available for linemen, all 22 for "skill" guys. Several states have a statewide, free or low cost hosting site for players to post Hudl highlight clips and relevant stats (ht, wt, position, 40, shuttle, bench press, squat, etc). These are used by a lot of lower division teams who don't have huge recruiting budgets to quickly identify prospects by certain categories (OL over 6'3", WR running 4.7 or better, etc). That may be an option. Another option is gobigrecruiting.com. It is a low cost national hosting site. It is really popular with the high academic schools, but is also used by a lot of lower division teams. The nice thing about gobig is that you pay based on each school that reviews the kid's highlight tape and profile, so you know who is looking at each player.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,103 Senior Member
    If there is a school he's interested in, he could ask his coach to contact them, or tell him he is going to make contact.
  • zenatorzenator Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    A couple of quick points. More information is required. At this point, what we know about the recruit is that he is an average student of unknown height, weight and speed playing an unknown position who is a late bloomer playing for a non-football HS. As always, Ohiodad's advice is spot on, but even he can only do so much without additional information.
  • FrancescaBennettFrancescaBennett Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    I will pass along all of these suggestions. Thank you! I don't know the details Zenator asks for, but I will ask. He's the quarterback (I do know that!) and he's taller than my husband, so about 6' 2" I think. The team has only won one game, but my friend gets positive mentions in every newspaper article and has completed lots of passes and scored some touchdowns himself by running.

    My kids are musicians and went through the performing arts admissions process, so I'm familiar with the idea that the applicant needs to take initiative to get noticed by the schools. That's why the passive approach my friend has been advised to take seemed wrong to me.
  • Ohiodad51Ohiodad51 Registered User Posts: 2,234 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    Well, I have a football kid and a drama/music kid and your impression is correct the process is much different, or at least it appears that way as we are just starting with the drama kid. I would also say that the way you attack things if you are being actively recruited, or earlier in the process, is different than what I am recommending now. While I think it pays to be aggressive earlier in the process (say during junior year) at this point there is only so much that you can do to get the kid "out there".

    I really think your best bet is to put together a good highlight tape (maybe the high school teacher can help with that) and make a profile on gobig or another good hosting site. Ask around, and find one that is reputable. There are plenty of places that will take your money but are not really used by colleges. Here in Ohio, a website called scoutingohio,com is used very regularly by D2/D3 schools looking for talent, and I personally know several kids who have made contact with schools through that site as well as gobig. Most if not all "power" states (Florida, Texas, California, Ohio, Georgia) will have something similar that is in wide use. Other states that don't produce quite as many college players may not. Ask around, and find one with a good reputation in your area. Again, the high school teacher and other parents who have been through the process in the last few years can really help here.

    If there are specific schools that the kid really likes, then after he sets up a profile, find the schedule for that particular school and the recruiting coach for your area. If they have a bye week coming up, have the kid send a short e mail introducing himself along with a link to the profile very early in the week preceding the bye. If there are no bye weeks left, send the email a week after the season is over. You will have a better shot at getting a coach to look at it that way. I would advise the kid to include a sentence or two as to why he is starting the recruiting process so late, and something about the specific program that is attractive to him/fits with his skill set. If you think that more specific ideas may be helpful, feel free to pm me with the state and program and the types of schools of interest. Good luck!
  • carmadesimplecarmadesimple Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    This late in the game of recruiting can be difficult as stated by others above. Particularly by D-1. The quickest way is to get on the radar with the hopes to get a scholarship as a senior is the following. If your student athlete has good to great film and is an impact player in the conference and in the state but under the radar. 1. organize your film strategically with best 5 plays. provide a game film. Hudl usually will have that feature. 2. send it to schools that are looking for athletes in your position. i.e. D-2, D-3, NAIA. Having networks is a plus and those networks vouching for your ability and talent. Knowing that system is key. There is an educational training on this. 3. Follow up with these coaches to speak with them that will make the decision. There is also an educational training on this as well.

    The best advice is start early in the process.
  • FrancescaBennettFrancescaBennett Registered User Posts: 157 Junior Member
    Just thought I'd check in, since you were all so helpful. He's got a highlights video on Hudl. He has contacted a lot of D2 and D3 coaches and has met with a few already. The struggle right now is how to narrow his list down for applications. He's got about 25-30 colleges that meet his academic and geographic criteria. But what his father has heard from parents of older alums of the high school is that college coaches want to keep their options open. They don't know who will commit elsewhere, so they've kept some guys on hold well into March. His Common App is ready to go. Any pointers on how to narrow down the application list? Thank you!
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