With the end of the Spring Evaluation Period the recruiting calendar transitions to the summer football camp season. Colleges programs and coaches will start the process of evaluating prospects at camps all across the country. Attending several summer college football camps has become a big part of the recruiting process. Often referred to as the Summer Camp Circuit, it is becoming increasingly important for prospective recruits to participate in these football camps to help demonstrate their skills to college coaches.
Mid-March, what a great time of year. The NCAA tournament has kicked off, the weather is getting warmer and Spring Break is here or right around the corner. All you need to focus on is school, your spring sport or training to get better for next season. Life is good. That is unless you are a junior dreaming of playing college football. If that is the case then this time of year is one of the most important and exciting times of the recruiting process. College football programs are in the midst of holding their Junior Day events and the Spring Evaluation Period is less than a month away.
If you are a student-athlete chasing your dream to play in college all it takes is a Google search to find more information than you could possibly read on what you need to do to make that athletic scholarship dream a reality. We won’t deny it, Fullride does and will continue to provide you with our advice and guidance about the recruiting process because these articles can be very helpful. Many of these recruiting articles will occasionally mention things you should avoid doing if you want to receive an offer. You might have run across some of these tips in your social media feeds too, but our experience tells us there really isn’t a good resource to find this information in one place. So, we decided to put together what we hope is a pretty comprehensive list. We feel these “don’t do” tips are just as important to know and understand as the tips on what you should do. In some cases, they may be even more important for you to understand. Even if you have all the skills, tools, athleticism, and attributes that make a college coach drool, if you trip over just one of the items on this list you may seriously be jeopardizing your opportunity to play at the next level.
We all know that highlight videos are critical if you want to play at the next level. They do not necessarily make or break your opportunity to receive an offer, but your video is your primary tool for grabbing a coach’s attention. For some reason though, highlight videos are also one of the most confusing pieces of the recruiting puzzle to get right. Over the last few years we have had the opportunity to watch a lot of Hudl and YouTube highlights. We have seen a lot of outstanding videos and we have seen our share of videos that make potentially critical mistakes. So rather than write a how-to make a video story we thought it would be more helpful to tell you how not to make your video. The following list highlights those things you need to avoid. Some of which can lead to a coach automatically dropping you as a prospect and others that could make the road to an offer more difficult.
Congrats, if you are senior you can finally take Official Visits! Even if you are not a senior this information can be important to know and understand. These visits are one of the most exciting things about the recruiting process. If you receive and invitation for an official visit, you can bet that the interest level is now getting serious. You will want to be prepared and ready. But before we get started on the 10 things you need to know let’s quickly review the definition of an Official Visit.
An Official Visit is any visit where the school pays in whole or in part for your expenses.
1. WHEN CAN I START TAKING OFFICIAL VISITS?
2. WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS?
3. WHAT DOES A VISIT INCLUDE?
4. WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
5. HOW MANY OFFICIAL VISITS CAN I TAKE?
6. HOW LONG ARE VISITS?
7. DOES IT MEAN ANYTHING IF A COACH OFFERS ME AN OFFICIAL VISIT?
If a coach offers you an official visit, you have probably already received an offer or you are very high on their recruiting board and you are a priority. In some cases, coaches will also have a weekend of visits for high priority preferred walk on candidates.
8. WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
Not all visits are made equal. Each school will have a different budget and some may have their own internal guidelines on what they can or cannot do. Because of this, your experience may vary with each school. However, there are a few things you can expect from every official visit.
9. IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO BE READY FOR MY VISIT?
Approach the visit the same as you might for a job interview. Remember that while the primary purpose of the visit is to provide you an opportunity to evaluate the school and the program, it is also an opportunity for the coaches to continue to evaluate you. With that in mind, start the visit by dressing nice and showing the coaches that you appreciate the opportunity. Does that mean you need to show up in a suit and tie? No, but you shouldn’t show up in workout shorts and wearing your hat backwards either. A nice pair of jeans and a nice button down or polo shirt will work. You also need to come prepared to answer and ask questions that will help you further help you and the coaches to evaluate each other.
Some questions you should be prepared to answer-
Some questions to ask coaches-
Some questions to ask players-
Some questions for the professor or academic -
10. WHAT ELSE SHOULD I BE AWARE OF DURING MY VISIT?
OK, so there are a lot more than 10 things to know when preparing for and going on an Official Visit. But when it comes to college athletic recruiting, the Official Visit is an extremely important step in the process. Being invited on an all-expense paid visit indicates that things are getting serious. You want to go into it as prepared as you possibly can be.
Unless you are in the top one or two percent of players in your sport of choice you cannot expect or assume that college coaches know who you are or will find you and offer you a scholarship to play for their program. What do you do then, if you are not a four or five star rated player and your long-term goal is to continue to play in college? How do you achieve your dream of receiving a scholarship? Truth is you are going to need to be proactive and take charge of the recruiting process. And to do that you are going to need a plan.
Whether you are a freshman or a rising senior here are six steps that you can take in order to jump start your dream of a college athletic scholarship.
There are a number of other steps and goals to set for any long-term recruiting plan. By starting with a set of short-term steps you can get your recruiting efforts off to a great start. The recruiting process can be intimidating and it can require a lot of work. But, if your dream is to play at the next level, than the effort you are required to invest in the process will pay off in the end.
Fullride Nation is a key part of our effort to provide prospective college student athletes and their parents with quality guidance and information on the college recruiting process