Test Your Football Recruiting IQ:

*Q – When does the recruiting process begin?

A – Athletic scholarships are more competitive than ever and coaches are sifting through more recruits than ever before. As a result, the recruiting process is starting earlier and earlier. According to the NCAA, college coaches are now identifying and offering scholarships to recruits as young as 7th and 8th grade.

*Q – What percentage of high school athletes will play at the college level?

A – Far too many student-athletes are lost because they think they are going to be discovered. The biggest mistake in recruiting is to wait and assume coaches will find you. But remember that college programs have a pool of talent that includes over 7.3 million high school athletes in more than twenty-five sports, and each coach has less than about $500 on average to sort through all these athletes. The recruiting process is very competitive and not always the best student-athlete will get their chance to play in college. Developing a recruiting game-plan and knowing how to navigate through the recruiting process is vital to playing your sport in college.

*Q – What percentage of high school athletes will get a Division I full scholarship?

A – Less than 1% of high school athletes get a full ride to a Division I school. It’s a common myth that Division I schools are the only option for collegiate scholarships, but in fact there are over 1,700 U.S. colleges and universities that sponsor collegiate athletics and offer financial assistance to players. 80% of those colleges are outside of Division I.

*Q – Who is the most responsible for getting you an athletic scholarship?

A – Getting successfully recruited is a full time job – your full-time job. No one wants you to achieve your dream of becoming a collegiate athlete more than high school and club coaches. Unfortunately, they don’t have the time, resources, or college coach relationships to handle your recruiting on their own.

*Q – Where do college coaches get information about potential recruits?

A – College coaches depend on verified information from reliable sources about prospects as young as 7th grade. When coaches attend tournaments, games and camps, they come with a list of student-athletes they know they want to evaluate – they’re not looking for new ones. Camps, combines, and showcases are useful to verify measurables (bench press, 40 time, etc.) for your athletic resume.

*Q – Where do college coaches evaluate athletes they are looking to recruit?

A – College coaches do most of their initial evaluation by looking at video from reliable sources, almost always delivered online. Coaches will generally only do an in-person evaluation if they’ve already seen video that interests them.

*Q – What type of mail means you are being seriously recruited?

A – Personal correspondence from college coaches is a great sign that an athlete is being actively recruited. Other recruiting materials like questionnaires, brochures, and camp invites are only important if you are able to turn them into relationships. Respond to all mail from coaches and make introductory telephone calls when appropriate. This is a great way to get ahead of your competition and get your recruiting profile in front of college coaches.

*Q – What is the one question all college coaches will make sure to ask a recruit on their initial phone call?

A – College coaches will always want to know what other schools are recruiting this athlete. This will tell the coach how much attention they should give the recruit and possibly how early they should offer a potential scholarship. How you respond to this question is very important in building leverage for yourself in the recruiting process. If a rival university wants to recruit a student-athlete, his or her stock will likely rise. Let them know your top choices and obviously include the school you are talking too. This will likely trigger a stronger response and sense of urgency for the coach to evaluate or visit the athlete.

*Q – What is the role and importance of the NCAA eligibility center?

A – The NCAA Eligibility Center determines if a student-athlete is eligible to compete as a freshman at the DI and DII level. Less than one in ten athletes who register with the NCAA Eligibility Center ever play in college. They will not get you in touch with coaches, get your highlight video viewed, or even give you any advice. The NCAA Eligibility Center is something you need to check off your recruiting checklist.

*Q – What does recruiting cost?

A – Many recruits and families wrongly assume recruiting will be free and easy – nothing could be further from the truth. Recruiting will cost a significant amount of time, effort and money! The investments in equipment, a competitive non-school team, training, travel, camps and showcases can add up hundreds of hours of time and thousands of dollars. Simply put: recruiting is hard work…but it’s totally worth it. The opportunity to play college sports is a life-changing experience and can set an athlete up for success long after their playing days are over. Don’t miss out on the chance of a lifetime because you expected the process to take care of itself.

Up Next: Importance of Your Performance Evaluation in the Football Recruiting Process