CAMPS & COMBINES
David McNabb: Recruiting Purgatory
October 17, 2011RECRUIT HIGH
By David McNabb
VYPE DFW High School Sports Magazine
College football recruiting certainly isn’t a science but it is predictable. There are hundreds of players in the Class of 2012 who have committed to scholarships to major programs across the country.
There are thousands more players in purgatory. If you are in the Class of 2012 and haven’t gotten any offers, the chances are slim you will get one during the season. No matter how many times college coaches tell players they want to evaluate the first four games of the season before offering, the colleges are just in time-buying mode.
Certainly, there will be a few players who have the size, speed and measurables who will get sudden offers once the season starts. But the vast majority of players who have had proven success in high school and/or are having strong senior seasons won’t get offers until the recruiting season starts settling in December.
If colleges are contacting a player for a once a week NCAA maximum, that is a GREAT sign. Even if you haven’t gotten an offer, that means those colleges are very interested. While it doesn’t mean you’ll end with a scholarship, it means you still have a chance.
If colleges are not directly contacting you by text or call – mail doesn’t count – then you need to re-evaluate your college plans.
A Few Suggestions:
If any colleges are making direct contact, you still are in some kind of mix. Let them know you are interested in their college. Make sure they have all the info they need for transcripts. Check their depth charts and if they already have commitments or openings at your.
Remember, if you haven’t been offered you are on the bubble. It’s a dance. They haven’t offered you a scholarship because they are waiting for someone else to say “yes” or “no.”
If you are being contacted, but not offered: you’re on a list but “where on the list” is an unanswerable question. Waiting for one of those final scholarship offers is a risk and no one is going to tell you exactly where you are cause it’s so fluid. Why would colleges offer a player on the margin a scholarship during the season? A player could get hurt, go up and down in value. Few players get in-season offers. Mainly those in-season offers come from coaches on the bubble, which want to make a case their recruiting is going well with lots of commitments.
Consider putting yourself in position to be a walk-on at a major college. Being a “recruited walk-on” or “preferred walk-on” doesn’t technically mean anything other than a walk-on – which means no scholarship. Walk-ons begin each day at the end of the line. But college programs need to know which specific walk-ons are coming and put you on a finite and fluid list.
Always keep in mind that a walk-on is very valuable in terms of practice personnel and a HUGE asset for a program if you get on track to graduate. If you have a “I only want to play for this school” approach, definitely pursue this option.
If you are geographically flexible, start looking at Division II and III schools. They all need players. There’s always a place to play. Athletics participation is the No. 1-enrollment tool of DII and DII programs. Visit one. Eighty percent of every male and female on campus is playing a sport. At that level, it’s a negotiating mix of academics, student aid and athletic money, but there are 100s of colleges where it might be a great life experience.
There are lots of great athletic options. If Oklahoma, USC, Alabama and Texas haven’t offered you as a 2012 senior, there’s almost zero chance they will offer you a scholarship, but being a walk-on to one of those schools remains a realistic goal.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t major college scholarships out there, but there are only a few of them. Being in recruiting purgatory isn’t a bad thing. Just realize where you are and which direction you want to go in.