Back in the day, I never wrote about underclassmen. Talked to the college coaches about younger guys, but even the college coaches were focused on the juniors, about to be seniors. Underclassmen were recruits just to talk about.
Of course, the internet and social media have changed everything. I mean everything. Probably for the better, maybe. And this is no profound statement.
I know whom I would rate as five of the top 2021 Ohio recruits. I have over three hundred 2020 Ohio recruits on a list. Actually, I could tell readers one of the top 2022 Ohio recruits. He is a no-brainer and lives in Northeast Ohio. If he keeps focused – a national recruit.
My concern is for the present freshmen/sophomores in Ohio who are getting no love from college coaches right now. April 2. No mail. No contacts during January. No invites to spring practices. And away from coaches – no social media noise.
First, to be honest – some 9th and 10th graders are on radar list. Some are invited to a spring practice. Some are definitely invited to football summer camps. Some may be invited to a NIKE camp, or an Under Armour camp, or a RIVALS camp. These recruits are far and few between.
Now the NUC camp or FBU camp will invite anyone to a camp. They will take anybody’s money. For FBU – a lot of money. Bambi’s crippled mother would have had a shout or an invite.
The only HUDL Hi-lites video that I post are prospects who only have posted varsity video. To get recruited now, a player has to have a lot of varsity reps. A 9th or 10th must have almost all varsity playing time to get the evaluation of a college coach or recruiting assistant.
Regarding HUDL Hi-lites video, if I were a 9th or 10th grader, I would make one regardless of what level of play. Someone may take a look at it. McCallister will at least watch it, but not post it. A player gets experience putting a video together. Maybe by chance if you have one, somebody who can evaluate, may take some time and check it out.
I believe that the head coach is in charge of the high school football program. Period. Everything should thru him. Regardless what ANYONE tells a player who wants to play college football, the head coach needs to know what is happening. Talk with him about the process of football recruiting. The ins and outs. The good and bad. Camps. Academics. The Eligibility Center. Both coach and player need to be honest.
If I were a parent or recruit and have a 2020/2021 Ohio recruit with no college contacts, I would not ask the high school what level that he thought that he could play. Way too much time ahead of you to get better! Way too much too much for you to get bigger/stronger/faster. Way too much time for a bad attitude to develop. Puts the coach in a small bind.
Sometimes I question just how useful a personal profile is in the process. You can pay money to have one done. You may find samples on the internet. Talk to some of the older players who have put together a recruiting profile. Get a copy. Be sure to have all of your personal information. Be sure to include other sports/with accomplishments. Be sure to have contact information.
Do not go off on all of your accomplishments on the football field, Boring! Do not go off on all of your other school accomplishments. Mention them, however. Be exact and correct on the academics section. Please remember you will use this profile for all levels D1, D2, and D3. Any info available is huge for D3. Starting familiarizing your family and you with financial aid packages for D2 and D3 schools.
I go both ways on reference letters. They are good, because coaches, teachers, and administrators need to say good things about you. They are bad, because coaches, teachers, and administrators are going to say good things about you. Limit your references and limit the length of reference letters. Hopefully the coaches will get some kind of idea of who you are.
About social media. Football Recruiting Reporters write only about prospects who sell their website. 24/7 and Rivals do not write about underclassmen, unless a college coach mentions them. Really, if you are not a recruitable player, good chances are you will not see them. In fact, Ted Ginn, Cleveland Glenville HS head coach, told me last week that he never sees a 24/7 FFR any more. No prospects-No interviews.
Honestly – if you are a freshman or sophomore (right now) and are getting no love, get to a college football summer camp. Get to more than one. Get to a camp that has D2 and D3 coaches working the camp. Camps are the best way. Ashland or Tiffin would be good camps. See what D3 schools host camps,
While at the camp, ask college coaches questions about recruiting. Do in a relax setting, or after camp. Do not ask them what you have to improve on. Do something to “WOW” them. Work extra hard. Finish drills. Compete hard. Bust you butt. Get noticed!!! Now, chances are huge that you are not going to get an offer at a college camp. But work hard.
With regards to “snail mail.” Regardless of level – D1 or D2 or D3, colleges cannot send out serious recruiting information until after September 1, and only recruits going into their junior year.
I almost forgot one more important task that a player who wants to play college football must do. Register with NCAA Eligibility Center during his sophomore year.