Lesson 1 : What are College Coaches Looking For?
In order to successfully navigate the recruiting process, athletes and parents must first understand what college coaches are looking for. Verified Athletics did extensive research and surveyed hundreds of college coaches in order to understand this question. These are the most important attributes coaches are looking for in a player:
- Athleticism - College athletes are special. They can do things that other high school athletes can’t. College coaches are looking for players that can start, stop, and change directions faster than their opponents. They are looking for plays that make people say “Did you see that?” That is athleticism.
- Playmaking - How is the athlete helping his team win games. Scoring touchdowns, getting interceptions, getting sacks, making blocks that spring big runs. Look for plays where your performance had a big impact on the difference between winning and losing.
These first two attributes are very important for creating a highlight tape.
- Leadership - College coaches like team captains because they are selected by teammates and coaches. That is a good sign that the player is hard working, listens to the coaches, and sets a good example for his teammates. Team captains are much more likely to adapt to the demands of a college football program. College coaches want to understand what your teammates and coaches think of you.
- Grades - The NCAA has standard grade requirements for anyone looking to play football at the collegiate level. In addition, a good GPA presents an opportunity for more flexibility in scholarship offers (at the FCS, D2, and D3 level). Coaches prefer to recruit athletes that they can create good financial aid packages for. A good GPA also signals to a college coach that the athlete has a disciplined mentality and is more likely to succeed in the classroom and on the field. Transcripts are the first thing college coaches look for when recruiting athletes. Apply to the Verified Watch List and get your transcript delivered to hundreds of college coaches by clicking HERE.
Most athletes only focus on one or two of these attributes. Paying attention to all four and improving any of them will increase your chances of being recruited. Make sure you highlight these attributes anytime you engage with a recruiter - phone calls, camps, visits and of course highlight tapes.
- Verified Athletics in depth article on what college coaches are looking for
- Verified Athletics article on how to create a good highlight tape