MOUND WESTONKA WHITE HAWKS FOOTBALL
Do not assume that just because you made an All-District, All-Metro, or All-State team as a junior/senior that you’re automatically going to be recruited at a high college level as a senior. Do all you can to promote yourself as much as possible. Make a bio sheet with stats and honors and also include your academic information.
Be Honest and Accurate:
It has become commonplace to grossly inflate or exaggerate numbers when making a bio sheet for stats, honors, and especially heights and weights. Be honest in your assessment and trust that the body of work is enough to get you noticed. A college coach will find out easily enough what the true numbers are and, if it appears they were fudged, the coach may think you have something to hide and will question your integrity.
Not everyone can play for University of MN, Yale, or Iowa. Shoot for the stars, of course, but also understand that a very small percentage of players who play high school football will move on to play in college. An even smaller number of players will sign with a DI or DII school. Do not burn any bridges and big-time some of the smaller schools that are showing interest. Fill out and return every questionnaire you get from colleges, even if it is from a school you currently do not have any interest in. The last thing you want to do is blow off some of the smaller schools that are recruiting you in hopes of landing an offer from one of the big schools, an offer that might not come.
Take the Right Classes:
Long before college catalogs clog mailboxes, and recruiting tapes are viewed, a student-athlete takes classes in their freshman year of high school that directly affect their NCAA eligibility. Because eligibility standards continue to evolve – in 2008 the NCAA increased the number of English and Math courses required by one – it’s an athlete’s responsibility to make sure their class schedule fulfills NCAA core course requirements. The best way to make sure you meet all requirements is to schedule an appointment with a high school guidance counselor to ensure your course schedule is in-line with the approved high school core course list.
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center:
It used to be called the NCAA clearinghouse, but now it’s the NCAA Eligibility Center that students must register with to validate their status as an amateur athlete. The process is relatively pain-free and a minimal cost ($70); all you need is your social security number. Don’t leave it to the last minute. Every year a few student athletes miss out on the chance to play collegiately because they fail to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. The NCAA Eligibility Center can be found here:
Create a Personal Highlight Video on Hudl:
The recruiting video is one of the most important ways an athlete can attract the attention of coaches at the university level. Keep the video short 7-10 minutes max with in-game highlights that show off athletic ability or extraordinary skills. The first 5-7 clips should grab your attention. Make sure to fill out ALL personal information on HUDL for recruiters (home address, email, ACT/SAT scores, etc.). Coaches have the ability to send your highlight tape to specified colleges and universities. Please make all requests to Coach David.
Make Your College Choices List:
Before you compile a list of 200 schools you would just die to play for, remember the function of the list is to help you focus your search going into your sophomore and junior year, not overly complicate the process with unrealistic expectations.
I.) Make a list of your dream schools that you would like to play for.
II.) Make a list of the top schools for academics you would like to attend.
III.) Get those two columns to align to find your best fit.
IV.) Make a list of schools that you could realistically get into.
VI.) Apply to those schools.
VII.) Make a list of fallback schools in case something happens at the last minute.
Ideally your lists should total no more than 12 to 15 schools, with the bulk of the schools residing in the realistic list. Give the list to Coach David so he can contact these schools.
Complete Prospective Athlete College Football Questionnaires:
Go online to schools you like and fill out their prospective athlete questionnaires accurately and honestly.
Research the Schools:
There is a multitude of recruiting information, both official and unofficial, about virtually any college or university you’re interested in. For starters, check out the school’s website to find out the best coach or school official to contact. For smaller schools, individual email addresses for coaches can be found quite easily, as they often view the website as a promotional tool for their institution. Bigger schools may require a little detective work to find contact information for specific coaches, but it is not impossible.
First Contact with Football Coaches:
Now it’s time to place yourself on a college’s radar in an aggressive, but friendly way. Make sure that all responses using email or by phone are responded back to quickly and are polite, honest, and sincere.
Making the Final College Choice:
Hopefully you have a few offers on the table so how do you narrow it down to the one school that is right for you? For most athletes, it will depend on the financial package being offered by the school. If one school offers a significantly greater financial award, it should not be considered lightly.
Ultimately, though, most people suggest basing your final decision on the University itself.
Not just the athletic department, but the overall collegiate experience a school has to offer.