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Advice for Junior Football Recruit

TheGFGTheGFG 28 replies1 discussions Junior Member
My friend's son is hoping to play Div. 1 football as a lineman. He's been evaluated for size, strength and other metrics by professional services that do that and also by some local coaches who send kids to top teams every year. They confirm he has the ability to play at that level, or worse case a notch below in 1AA. (if he doesn't grow more, and because his speed could be a little better). He's been to a variety of combines and junior days, as well as some unofficial visits he initiated.

Now, suddenly the kids around him are getting offers and things seem to be drying up for him. His football ranking has dropped too (I know nothing about that), which I'm told happens if you don't get offers. He attends a private Catholic school, and his grades aren't good, so he is fully aware that that is a factor. He has ADD, so gets dinged a lot for not doing homework or wearing the wrong socks. Thus, he has been told by some competitive schools like Colgate, Dartmouth, and Lafayette that they can't recruit him for that reason, but he had no interest in top academic schools anyway due to his more vocational prospective major and poor grades. His GPA and SAT score combination DOES, however, meet the Div. 1 requirements.

He's been told some things about managing the recruiting process which are not good advice for recruiting as we experienced it with our D (looked at HYPCS), but football is a completely different animal, as are non-Ivies. For example, he has not filled out any online recruiting questionnaires. He says his high school coach should do that for him if anyone does, because then it arrives with a different code attached. If he does it, he looks desperate. Thoughts?

Mom and Dad and Junior are starting to worry. He was told that recruiting for his position happens last, so that was a small comfort. Is that true? In terms of timeline, should he already have an offer? If so, what should he do now to improve his chances? Mom is all over him about grades, but that's not new and little has changed on that front.
edited May 2013 in Athletic Recruits
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Replies to: Advice for Junior Football Recruit

  • ChicagoMamaChicagoMama 5 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    Class of '14 football recruiting is going on now. For ALL positions, including linemen. This junior should be submitting his stats and film link through college questionnaires everywhere he has an interest NOW. He actually should have been doing it in March latest. Worst case he will never hear back, but you need to put yourself in front of the college coaches. There is nothing desperate about it!

    Also some things are not adding up. This kid has been to "junior days" but has not filled out any questionnaires? He has "bad grades" but looked into dartmouth, Colgate and Lafayette? Also unclear on "getting dinged" ... Multiple suspensions? For homework? "wrong socks"? My ds is at a private HS and has been "dinged" for dress code a few times. There is nothing more than a detention that in no way would ever be on the radar of a college.

    I am unclear about what these combines and professional services have said, but bottom line is that they are not the colleges. This kid has to get in touch with coaches at schools (where he is a good fit - not the schools mentioned), hopefully get some interest from schools that feel this kid is a good match for them, and proceed from there.

    Also, Don't depend on your HS coach to do your online questionnaires.

    In terms of timeline, I know some truly top prospects are getting offers from big conference schools, but if this junior was in that pool I don't think there would not be this much confusion about what's going on. The remark about "growing" and "increasing speed" is also a little off. Kids are being recruited for what they are now, today, and how they played last fall, and how they show at camps and combines in the next month or two. (June/July)

    One thing I do know, there are a LOT of college football programs out there. Whether or not you can get the aid you want is another story, but there are plenty of programs with "relaxed" academics, so to speak. But the kid needs to get the questionnaires and film in ASAP.
    edited May 2013
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 28 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    Thanks for the input. I think the only reason he got the feedback on grades from those top colleges is that they visited his high school to see other players who did have the grades, and made comments to the hs coach.

    As for the dings it seems that uniform violations can affect one's grade in every class if the teacher chooses to make an issue of it. He is definitely not a great student, and I know colleges are being tougher about that these days, but he's not one of those dumb-as-a-stump kids either.

    Coaches that know about him and have contacted him have seen the film posted on recruiting sites. I think he did send highlights to coaches who asked for them too. From what I can gather, his high school is somewhat known in the area for good football, so coaches look among their players for recruits.
    edited May 2013
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  • RobolotoRoboloto 2 replies0 discussions
    "They confirm he has the ability to play at that level, or worse case a notch below in 1AA. (if he doesn't grow more, and because his speed could be a little better). "

    Normally, for D-1, the evaluations are based on current size and speed. He is not a 'blue chip' if he has 'ifs' attached to his evaluation, so coaches will not come beating down his door. He has to reach out to them. IMO, he needs to be looking at D-2, also, though if he thinks questionnaires make him appear 'desparate, I get the feeling he might think that D-2 is beneath him? Getting into FCS might be a little tough in his academic situation as so many of those offer only academic scholarships.

    "Now, suddenly the kids around him are getting offers and things seem to be drying up for him... He attends a private Catholic school, and his grades aren't good"

    He is not contacting coaches-he MUST do that. Especially if his sphere of competition is weak, (I am assuming that is the issue with a private Catholic school?) he HAS to be that much more proactive in reaching out to coaches. Since he is ADD, and if he doesn't have parental guidance, his communications are probably not being logged (I assume he has talked to some coaches on his UV's-does he understand that he needs to keep in contact with them? D-1 coaches are not allowed to call him yet.) and I think he hasn't kept in touch with coaches who might have expressed interest. BIG problem! They won't waste their time looking for info on someone who is not blue chip that has not expressed interest. I'm not sure he understands how many kids he is competing with and that coaches won't contact him if they don't have information on him? (FILL OUT QUESTIONNAIRES!!)

    "For example, he has not filled out any online recruiting questionnaires. He says his high school coach should do that for him if anyone does, because then it arrives with a different code attached. If he does it, he looks desperate. Thoughts?"

    THAT is the biggest issue IMO- I have to disagree that ANY professional service would have told him that his coach should fill out the questionnaires! They would not be in business for long if that is the advice they gave! If he truly wants to play D-1, he better start filling out those questionnaires and calling those coaches at all the programs, (at EVERY level!!) that he is interested in. His coach doesn't have time to get him recruited.

    "He was told that recruiting for his position happens last, so that was a small comfort. Is that true?"

    Ummm...no? He is a lineman, not a kicker, right? The amount if misinformation he is working under is a little baffling.

    His grades are not the issue for his level if he meets NCAA guidelines since he is not interested in high academic schools. If he is truly D-1 talent, he could possibly get offers at camps this summer, but he HAS to communicate with those coaches and show interest in their programs. Start by FILLING OUT those questionnaires!!! And he needs to be filling out D-2 questionnaires also, IMO.
    edited May 2013
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  • MaryOCMaryOC 4 replies0 discussions New Member
    Division I linemen are usually a MINIMUM of 6' 3" and 275#. Most top programs have OL guys averaging 6' 5" and 300+ pounds. These hosses are also extremely athletic - good feet with the ability to move. Colgate, Dartmouth and Lafayette don't recruit kids out of combines; teams like Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oregon & Texas do.

    If this kid meets the size requirements and has attended showcases and combines WITHOUT properly training for all the events, it likely has done more harm than good. He may have ranked in the top 10% of all athletes in his position with regard to strength (benching max reps of 185#) ... but could have actually damaged his stock with poor performance in the 40 yard dash, L-Cone drill, Shuttle run, Vertical Jump or Broad Jump.


    Based on what you have conveyed... it sounds like he is targeting the wrong audience. Maybe suggest that he reach out to some DI-A/FCS state university programs and D2 programs... which tend to be less competitive athletically and academically.
    edited May 2013
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  • ChicagoMamaChicagoMama 5 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    I am glad there is some film out there and that he has seen some interest, this is all good news. I now also understand the Dartmouth, Colgate and Lafayette situation. He was screened out at high school visits as not being a good match for those schools, though I think the grades are the issue. Not turning in homework and ADD can clearly be a problem for grades.

    I am also all in line with roboto for D2 schools. Contact them now with stats and film links. Do questionnaires. Kid should Follow up with any coach who follows up with him.
    edited May 2013
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  • happymomto3happymomto3 3 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    My son is in the thick of this process as well. But, I don't know that I have any more to add than the others.

    My son has been to combines to be "evaluated". However, the purpose was to get his numbers to further fill out those questionnaires. Vertical jump, 40 yd dash, etc.

    I think its hard for kids to invite themselves to the party. I know my son is more delighted when he gets unsolicited feedback and receives unprovoked interest. So, I get that it can feel desperate to make yourself known. I equate it to applying for a job. You have to send out a resume and sometimes you have to follow-up. Showing interest is important.

    Also, coaches probably cannot fill out the questionnaires because they may not know SAT scores, GPA, etc. Its best to have the player manage the process. And it is a process!

    He should chose schools where he is close to the academic profile and fill out questionnaires. Find a camp where these schools will be in attendance (The questionnaires ask if you will be at camps). As the camps gets closer, remind the coaches that he will be there and always attach that film.

    Good luck.
    edited May 2013
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  • ChicagoMamaChicagoMama 5 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    Just wondering, what kind of football program is this kid in? Is it a team that regularly sends kids division 1? Are these his teammates that are getting offers? There was mention he had a ranking of some kind that has changed.
    edited May 2013
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  • TheGFGTheGFG 28 replies1 discussions Junior Member
    Thanks so much to all of you for the input! His school was top ten in our state for football, so they're pretty good despite the fact that the parochial conference games can make for an easier schedule than the big publics have. He started for varsity, both offense and defense.

    He did well score-wise at the combines. His body weight and lifting numbers are excellent. His height is 6' 2", but looks like he has some growing to do still. At one school, they told him they look at recruits and estimate how much taller and bigger they'll grow, as part of their evaluation. Mom got the sense from them they think he'll grow.

    I can't answer the other questions; I am only repeating here what I've heard from his mom, and some of it is Greek to me. I do know that one southern state univ. told him they aren't recruiting for his position this year, which was a blow. Also, there seem to be two schools up north who liked him based on demonstrated coach interest, but that interest fell into question when other kids from his hs team got offers from them and he didn't.

    What does FCS stand for?
    edited May 2013
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  • ChicagoMamaChicagoMama 5 replies0 discussions Forum Champion
    TheGFG, another question. I have to wonder if the teammates of your son have been having some back-and-forth with coaches from the programs where they were offered all along. I am not an expert in division 1 bcs because that is not where we are going, but I know that one division 1 kid we know who has had five offers was "quietly" indicating interest in certain programs some time ago. Like, last fall. It is so late in the game now I think it is quite possible that some programs just presumed this kid was negotiating elsewhere, and stopped bothering. There are lots of NCAA rules on coaches initiating contact. They are much more lax when it comes to the player initiating the contact. If this kid waited around to be contacted, he may have dropped a ball when he should have been running with one. Anyway, the height and position of the school's team are good. Get him in contact with coaches! :)
    edited May 2013
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  • MaryOCMaryOC 4 replies0 discussions New Member
    FCS refers to the Football Championship Sub-Division. It's essentially the former DI-A schools.

    FBS refers to Football Bowl Sub-DIvision. These are serious, BIG TIME DI programs like Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Arkansas, Florida, etc.
    edited May 2013
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  • MaryOCMaryOC 4 replies0 discussions New Member
    Here is a list of the FCS football schools:

    List of NCAA Division I FCS football programs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And here is a list of DII football schools...which may be a better fit for him athletically and academically:

    List of NCAA Division II football programs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    edited May 2013
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