How Do I Get Recruited?
+ Should I Use a Recruiting Service to help with the recruiting process
Unfortunately, most of the recruiting services available today provide very little value but can have a significant cost. Be especially wary of recruiting services that promise to promote you for a fee. The majority of college coaches do not use these promotional services because they tend to over inflate the athlete's abilities and projected division of play. For example, they regularly promote D3 level athletes to D1/D2 coaches, it doesn’t take very long before college coaches begin ignoring those emails, which does a disservice to both the athlete and the coaches.
College coaches like getting unbiased information from independent sources such as Verified Athletics because we do not skew the numbers. Additionally, your high school coach can be a great resource during the recruiting process because college coaches will trust him.
+ How do I know which spring game or practice to attend when I can’t attend all of them?
The main reason to attend a spring practice or a game is for you to figure out if you like the school and coaches so you can make a great college decision when it is time. For that reason, you should spend your time learning about schools that are really recruiting you. You need to figure out where you are on each team’s recruiting board.
During the recruiting process, coaches create recruiting boards with athletes they are interested in. The athletes on the board are ranked and the rankings determine how much time a program will spend on recruiting the athlete. You can read more about the recruiting boards in our article. It is important to know if and where you are on the board. It helps you make decisions on where to spend your time in the recruiting process. There are a few ways to determine if and where you are on the board:
- Ask the coach that is recruiting you. If you don't know who that is, then they probably aren't recruiting you very hard.
- Ask your high school coach to reach out to the college coach to find out how serious they are about recruiting you.
- Think about how much time a coach had to spend to invite you to the event. If it is a generic reach-out, that equates to no time spent. If it is a personalized message via twitter, that equates to a little time spent. If it is a phone call, that's a lot of time. The more time they spend on inviting you, the more serious they are about recruiting you.
If none of the invitations you receive are personal, you should go to the schools you are most interested in at a variety of different division levels. This will help you understand what different schools and divisions are like and help you figure out what you like about each school. This way you are prepared when you need to make a college decision.
+ I have really limited film from my sophomore season due to injury. What can I do to put my best foot forward to coaches during recruiting?
Make the best highlight tape that you can with the footage you have, and keep it short if you have to. Click here to read the article with tips on how to create a good highlight tape. Coaches will understand that you got hurt but will want to see flashes of greatness from what you have on Sophomore film.
We also recommend going to a national recognized combine. If you run well, coaches will be intrigued. Remember, you still have time though, get healthy and get good grades so you can shine during your Junior year.
+ Should I email college coaches directly if no other method seems to be working?
Direct emails to college coaches will have a better chance of success than through a site like NCSA, but even that can be a difficult way to reach college coaches. College coaches can get hundreds of emails from high school athletes a week and many don't take the time to read them.
Your high school coach is your best resource to help you in the recruiting process. He knows the most about your chances of being successful at the next level and will also have relationships with college coaches. College coaches are much more likely to respond to a high school coach than an athlete, parent, or recruiting service.
+ MY HIGH SCHOOL COACH DOES NOT SEEM VERY HELPFUL DURING THE RECRUITING PROCESS. WHAT CAN I DO?
If you feel like your coach is not really helping you, first try to get him on your side. Also try to understand the difficult position he can be in. He is trying to strike the balance between helping his players and giving his honest assessment to college coaches. It can be a difficult job.
If that doesn't seem to work, going to a testing event like the one Verified Athletics hosts every year can show college coaches how you stack up against other athletes they are recruiting. This is a great way to bypass your high school coach and get on the recruiting radars of college coaches.
+ Does my team's losing record impact my chances of getting recruited?
Having a losing record is not a big factor for college coaches in the recruiting process.
+ How do I setup unofficial visits?
Call the coach at the school that is recruiting you and tell him you would like to set up an unofficial visit. If they are interested in recruiting you, they will be happy to set something up and make sure you learn a lot about the school, team, and coaches during your visit. If they are not recruiting you, try calling the football office and let them know what day and time you are visiting. If it is not a major D1 school, you will likely get at least a few minutes of a coach's time to ask questions.
How Do You Know If a School Is Really Recruiting You?
+ How do I distinguish between genuine and mass communication from colleges?
Unfortunately recruiting communication can often be deceiving, and not a good indicator of a future offer. Mass communication such as fliers and letters do not signify legitimate recruiting interest. A more personal communication, such as a text invitation to the spring practice usually indicates that you are on their recruiting board. But, the recruiting board is likely ranked, and it does not mean that you are at the top of the rankings. If the coaching staff is eager to spend personal time with you at the spring practice, that is a good sign.
We always tell athletes that the more time a coach spends, the better the indication is that they are going to extend an offer to you. Mass mailings require no time from the coach and are therefore not worth anything. Texts at least take some time so they are worth more. Repeated phone calls and in-person visits by the coach are the best indicators that a program is genuinely interested in you
+ If you receive personal invite through email from school recruiting director or high school relations is that school interested?
If it is truly a personal invitation, then the school is likely interested. If it is just a general email with your name at the top, it is probably not a personal invitation and is something that is sent to a ton of athletes. The fact that it is coming from the recruiting director or high school relations staff means that it is more likely a mass communication. A more personal communication would likely come from the coach that recruits your school or the position coach.
+ What if a coach states in email to look for him or staff members when you get to a camp? Are they serious about recruiting me?
If it is truly a personal message, then the school is likely interested. If it is just a general email with your name at the top it is probably not a personal invitation and it is something that is sent to a ton of athletes. If the coach is talking about a camp run by a different school that they are working, then you are almost certainly on the board and they are interested in recruiting you.
+What does it mean if you get invited to a junior day?
If it is truly a personal invitation, then the school is likely interested. If it is just a general email with your name at the top it is probably not a personal invitation and something being sent to a ton of athletes.
Importance of Grades
+ IF THE SCHOOL REQUIRES YOU TO GET A 3.2 GPA AND YOU GET A 3.1 WILL THEY STILL CONSIDER RECRUITING YOU?
Most football admission requirements are not that cut and dry. Admission is typically based on GPA and SAT's/ACT's. But, schools do have specific minimum football team standards and if you fall below these minimum standards, the coaches can't recruit you no matter how talented you are. If you are just below the standard, the coaches might still recruit you with the hopes that your grades or test scores will go up by the time you officially apply to their school.
+ I WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE FOOTBALL BUT I DON'T HAVE THE GRADES?
Please read our in-depth article about your options.
+ Is senior year too late to receive big time school offers?
It's never too late to get your first big time school offer. However, 95% of athletes that do get offers from major D1 conference schools will have their first offer before the end of the summer between their Junior and Senior years. You can look at our college recruiting timeline to learn more.
If playing college football is important to you, you should keep your options open to all schools until you have two or more scholarship offers. Unless you are in close communication (handwritten notes, phone calls, etc.) with D1 coaches by the spring of your junior year, you should focus on other schools and hope to get surprised if the big time schools start getting interested.
Offers and Commitments
+ If you have committed to a college early, is it ok to go to camps in June at other colleges?
That would depend on why you are going. It might be ok if you talk to the coach of the college you have committed to and he is ok with it. Some specific circumstances that could be acceptable are:
- Exploring your options at that specific school if it is a higher division,
- Going just to improve your skills,
- Or because your friends are going and you want to go too.
But make sure you talk to the coach and the reason you are giving is an honest one.
If you are treating your commitment as a placeholder while you explore other options, you are not acting faithfully in the recruiting process. You wouldn't want the school where you committed to tell you a couple weeks before signing day that they have decided to sign a better player.
+ What does a college offer look like? I get little things from colleges but I don't think they are offers.
You will know when you get a scholarship offer from a college. You will first get an offer verbally, likely over the phone, from the coach recruiting you or the school’s head coach. An “official” offer will arrive in the mail on the first day of August of your senior year. Anything else you get from a school is just recruiting communication that may or may not indicate real recruiting interest.
Verified Athletics Database
+ How do I know if a college has looked at my profile?
Verified Athletics utilizes an innovative way of letting you know that a school is interested in you. Instead of alerting you every time a college coach looks at your profile (which does not mean they are genuinely interested in you), we have created a tab called “Schools that are interested in you” that gives you a list of schools that have put on you on their Head Coaches List. College coaches can only add a limited number of athletes to their Head Coaches List, if you are on the list, the school must be serious about recruiting you.