Ok...I'm going to throw a LOT of information at you at one time. I'm going to give you what I know as a parent of two college football players who has been through this as well as a recruiting analyst who has been in the business since 1984. That said, there is a lot more to the recruiting game that you need to be versed on, as mentioned in this article as "do your research!"
PART I: THE BASICS
Year in and year out, I get contacted by hundreds of parents and players about the entire recruiting process.........and the questions usually run about the same....."How can I get my son more exposure? Is my son good enough?" and on and on. This special is written to give some of what I have learned over the last 27 years years about the entire recruiting process from a football perspective. Others I'm sure have a better knowledge, others basically make a living off of a lot of the information that I hope to provide with this four-part series. I hope to inform all of you a little bit of what I have run across.......both the Do's and the Don't! Hope this helps!
First off........is your son really a recruit?????
It's the best place I can think of to start............is your son really a recruit? So how do you find this out? Is there some magical formula that tells you........YOU'RE A RECRUIT? No. When do you find out if your son is a recruit? Senior year? Junior year? Sophomore year? Earlier? My experience tells me that there really is no set time.......kids are discovered EARLY, while others are found late......or your Late Bloomers if you will. So how can you get an evaluation?
So how can I get my son evaluated and by whom should it be?
My first and most important piece of advice is simple, yet is without question one of THE most important pieces in the entire recruiting process.......talk to your son's High School coach. A High School coach is without question THE person who will in most cases give you an honest evaluation of your son's abilities, his physical strengths as well as his weaknesses. Your High School coach in most cases has been personally involved in the recruitment of other players and has seen first hand if your son has what it takes. Many coaches will talk to parents throughout the year about the entire recruiting process, and have the experience and knowledge to help guide you thru the process. It is imperative to rely upon your coach for advice on the recruiting process. Your son's coach is your number one source for recruiting information as well as for an honest evaluation! Your son's coach is one of the MAIN people that colleges and recruiters rely upon for information.......the coach is who these people talk to FIRST!
I have yet to find a High School coach that isn't interested in promoting their kids.........now to which degree of interest of course varies from coach to coach. Some coaches will make and send out highlight tapes.....some coaches will work tirelessly in promoting kids whom they feel deserve a fair shot. Others might go further, others might not go as far.......but when a coach gets a request for information on your son, trust me they will ALL reply. So let's say that your High School coach thinks that your son is a recruit and that your son has some serious ability. Great! Now, is it all in the coaches hands? Nope! Not even close! You as a player/parent have some serious work to do! So get crackin!
At SCVarsity.com, we offer numerous opportunities for the players to get evaluated by myself and our coaching staff. The SCVarsity.com Elite Football Combine is one of the top combine events in the entire country, drawing more than 500 players to each event. Our evaluations are honest and we'll tell you where we feel your best suited in the recruiting game. And most importantly, we communicate either by phone or email with your son's high school coach. For more information on SCVarsity.com opportunities, email us at email@example.com
Know the Recruiting Game.........Learn the Rules!
Most parents and players really don't know the rules! So how can you find out what the rules really are? When can a college contact your son? What is a "silent" period? Phone calls? The FIRST place to get information on the entire recruiting process is located at the NCAA website! This is an excellent source for all of the NCAA rules regarding everything about the recruiting process.......from when the NCAA rules determine when you are considered a recruited athlete and everything in between! It is imperative to KNOW THE RULES! It's YOUR responsibility!
Recruiting Services..........from free to major fee $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
This certainly becomes a sticky subject.......can a recruiter or a recruiting service really make a difference? Are those "Pay" recruiting services really worth it? How important is it to impress those "recruiting" gurus? What are the different type of recruiting services available? My experience tells me a few things........first off......let the buyer beware!
Recruiting Services...............what, why, and most importantly how much and is it worth it?
A prospective recruit will be besieged by many different type of services, all with the claim that "we can help your son get a scholarship!" Many of these services come at a price.......in some cases a HEFTY price tag! My experience? I have heard from many parents who have used various services.........some claim with success.....but in MANY cases it's almost impossible to judge if the service actually helped.
These "services" come in many various sizes and shapes.......some will charge you $25 dollars for a T-Shirt and they will also claim to put your son's bio on a list that "will be read by hundreds of colleges" while others offer a more "personalized" service. The more "personalized" services also can vary......many claim to help your son get more exposure and they too offer a "comprehensive" listing that is sent to many colleges and universities.
Best advice? Research! Many of these services claim to have helped "thousands" find scholarships.......just ask them for a list of those names. Ask for references.....in most cases, you'll either get a short list of "kids" that in many cases are relatives/friends of the service, or you won't get any names or references at all. Remember this folks.......if anyone could pay anywhere from $25 to $2,000 for a scholarship, then sign me up! Sign all of us up!
Now, as far as those "lists" that get sent out to the colleges......guess what? These either never get sent, or if they do get sent, they wind up in the shredder and the wastebasket! Any major college and university has staff that compiles a listing of all potential recruits, and the chances of your son getting noticed from these "lists" is a long-shot at best. Again, let the buyer beware. Play it smart. Do research. Do LOTS of research. Talk to your coach. Talk to other parents who have already gone thru the recruiting process. Learn as much as you can BEFORE you decide to fork over that hard earned money.......these "services" are more than aware that you want to do what's best for your son.....that is there "hook". Let the buyer beware! Remember, if any of these services can guarantee your son a scholarship.....go for it! Just get it in writing
coming....Part II: Develop a gameplan