July 1. When I was a head football coach, back in the day, my wife knew for sure that the first Monday after the fourth of July, vacation was over. For sure, teachers reported the end of August, but high school football coaching began.
Times have changed and football coaching is more “year around.” But the first Monday after the fourth was football coaching time. In a sense, I still follow that track with my scouting service.
For Ohio high school players actual practices will begin the end of July. For some programs, coaches use some of their allotted days to begin even sooner. The summer is will be coming to an end soon. More than the actual playing of football is more on the minds of the seniors beginning their last year.
More concerning to me are the frustrations that some college prospects are going through now. Frustrations ? – the primary ones are no “offers.” Camp season, for the most part, is over. There are a few camps still left in July, but not many. Prospects have busted their butts, have attended many camps, and have competed against players with offers. But, many seniors, no “offers.”
Many prospects did not get and are not getting any recognition from the Rivals, 24/7, or ESPN. Trust me, that is really no big deal. Those sites write primarily about prospects are being chased by P0wer Five schools. That’s where the followers are and, more importantly, the money is.
The so-called football recruiting reporters, who use the “expert” title too much do more reporting that actually evaluating. The higher profile recruits usually are more gifted and have more natural talents. Their size, speed, and strength give them a “head start” in the recruiting process. But that is “no excuse,” for recruits with no offers should not work hard now and through the football season.
If a football prospect has no offers going into his senior year, of course, earning one now will be hard, BUT not impossible. I have read where the “Mel Kiper of Ohio football recruiting,” says the opposite. Wow! Difficult – but impossible to still get an offer and a scholarship.
Just some simple thoughts and suggestions for the seniors with no offers. These suggestions also may provide some motivation when competing against against the higher profile 4 and 5 stars that sites like Rivals and 24/7.
- Work harder than anyone else. Of course, a lesser athlete who works harder than a gifted one, will not always win, but if he does not work harder — he has no chance. Receivers and defensive backs who are 4 and 5 stars are usually the ones who do not necessarily work the hardest. Not always the case, of course. I use to have this quote in my locker room. “Hard work beats talent, when talent does not work hard.” I believe this for me personally.
- Play with a chip on your shoulder. Don’t make the chip the size of a basketball, nor the size of a golf ball. My chip is usually the size of a baseball of softball. One of the reasons that I compete is to “prove people.” Requires a chip during competition (only). Play under control, but compete very hard, really hard. Prove that you belong. Plus, I enjoy competing, besides proving people wrong.
- Work hard in the classroom. Begin your senior year working hard in the classroom. Prep for the ACT. Even though the higher profiled recruit has many offers, his grades may hurt his qualifying. College coaches find ways around that, too. But not always.
- Much the same as the classroom, stay out of trouble. Don’t give coaches a reason to not “offer” by messing-up your personal life. Not only is staying out of trouble – plain common sense, it will also make you a good citizen. That helps in recruiting, especially walk-ons.
- Never assume anything. I divided this word into syllables the first day in my classroom and at our first team meeting. Sometimes higher profile recruits with many scholarship offers, may not take the same approach as lesser talented prospect. Don’t take anything for granted. Work hard. Players with 4 and 5 stars sometimes expect playing time to be handed to them, because that is their life story. Out working a 4 and 5 star, should be your goal. Plus less talented prospects are just ” a play away.” Never assume anything because it can make an ass/u/me.
Make a commitment to yourself on July 4th that you will out work everybody. Don’t look for a “pity party” for yourself. Don’t make excuses. Finally, prove people wrong. Whether it be the local media, the recruiting sites. College coaches. Whomever.
Carry that baseball sized chip on your shoulder, but only in competition. Offers are hard to get now, NOT IMPOSSIBLE.