I am still trying to write a blog about a situation that I encountered a couple of weeks ago. Still struggling to get it done. Somebody is simply not “getting it done.”
Last football season I was watching a football scrimmage and each team had one player who was getting some love from the media and some college coaches. Thought both of the players that I was asked to watch were okay. Solid D2 prospects, but not D1.
Actually, the player that I really liked had little pre-season hype. I really liked his potential. Played WR and corner. Guessin 6’0-165. Needed to get much bigger and stronger. But this junior, was and is a state ranked sprinter. More 200m than 100m. Thought that he good feet and some athleticism. But needed “coached up.”
Obviously, a raw talent, but with some talent. Sometimes I just get a “feel” for a player. And sometimes I hit and sometimes I miss. I just liked his football talent, but more a D2 level talent for sure.
During the season, his high school coach texted me twice, asking me to help get him some exposure. Much the same last spring. I tried to get his name out there. His coach has been a head coach for many years. And a good one, I might add. “Old school,” but a really good coach.
I was at a college football camp some two weeks ago. I saw this “about to be a senior.” I introduced myself and we started chatting. What I found out kind of amazed me, kind of. First, he was the player that I was watching in the scrimmage that I just mentioned.
- First camp that he had been to all summer and this was late June.
- Did not know what position to play and work out with in this camp.
- Never met a college coach.
- I don’t think he had posted a HUDL highlights video.
- He had not heard from any D1 college coaches.
- I took him to meet one of the assistant coaches and he had no clue – what to say or how to answer.
- He did okay in the drills, but he was not comfortable, nor really competitive in getting reps.
I felt bad for the kid and his parents. Going into his senior year, he made one camp. His parents had very little idea of what they should be doing. Who in the world is at fault????????
Somehow, we have to do a better job of educating these young football prospects about the football recruiting process. Also, the process has to begin earlier.
- For me, I try to answer every email that I get with questions regarding the recruiting process. Sometimes not right at the moment, but eventually. I run football camps and combines, but a guy on twitter calls them a “scam.” I send a Directory to colleges who purchase my program. I do public speaking on the subject. My problem is that I try to be as honest as I can be with anything in the recruiting process. Free info. Actually, I believe that I am doing my part in the process.
- The high school football coach has to do a better job of getting information out there. College nights, except for Central Ohio and Cleveland, are doing a “slow death.” Dayton and Cincinnati dropped theirs. Northwest Ohio does not have one. The irony here is Northwest Ohio needs one the most. A few years ago the NCAA ruled – no more college nights for D1 football. High school coaches started losing interest. The irony here – D2 and D3 prospects are the ones who really need the exposure.
- Recruiting services make me nervous, quite honestly. Just too much money for what they accomplish. Two of my good friends – Bill Conley and Dave Berk are excellent evaluators and each has their own recruiting service. Don’t know their price, but I do know they are good at what they. I do not know much more than that. I do know the ones that are too expensive for what a recruit gets.
- Just like anything else in business – there are good ones and bad ones. I am talking football camps here. Of course, I run some. Educational and supported by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. My camps get a player ready for college summer football camps. Camps like the Best of the Midwest, get players camp experience and exposure. Problem – players should use “selective hearing.”
- “Bus tours” are getting more popular. A good idea, but be careful of the credibility of the people in charge. Most people are good and have the player first and money second.
High school football practice starts July 31 for most schools. Still some college summer football camps out there. Commitment time to your high school team. Some thoughts:
- Make a trip to your high school guidance office. Double check your GPA. Get a schedule for the SAT and ACT. A knowledge of your academic stats is huge in beginning the season.
- Get all of your personal information on paper, so that you have it handy. Maybe even start a resume’ of some type.
- Be sure to know your high school football schedule. You may need it for a quick reference.
- Not too early to understand how to make a HUDL highlight video.
- Work and train your butt off to be the very best football player that you can be. Be a super teammate.
- Lastly, pre-season football tabs will be out in August. Don’t get caught in all of the hype about your team or you. If internet recruiting media talks to you, don’t get too caught up in what they print. Their job is to get people to come to their sight. Sometimes the recruiting writers get way too carried away with superlatives.
From years of experience in this business, from years of knowing college football coaches, from years of knowing recruiting media people like Tom Lemming, from years of watching high school recruits go through the recruiting craziness, and from years of both the good and bad and sad of football recruiting, I will tell you, the recruit – to LEARN early as much as you can about what it takes to get started in the process of football recruiting.
The best to you this fall.