Yesterday was one of the best days of the year if you are a college football fan. It was National Signing Day and somehow in the last several years this day has become almost a national holiday. Kids are holding press conferences and ESPN is having over 11 hours of coverage on all your favorite recruits that you probably have never heard of.
Which hat is he going to put on?
Oh that sneaky kid putting three college hats in front of him. He grabs one hat, then puts it down. Grabs a second hat, fakes the placement on his head, and finally reaches for that third hat and puts it on his head.
At that point, you are either jumping for joy or cursing this kid you had no clue existed until a day ago. Heck, you don’t even know if he is worth all the hype. You’re just basing it on all these newly created high school scouting services that are on the web.
“Al Bundy has nice size and speed as shown here in this video against the School of the Blind. Watch him score 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High.” The guy must be good right?
That is to be debated, but let’s discuss a few of the criteria you should consider before you can determine if you will have a shot at signing on National Signing Day.
What is your size and speed like?
Admittedly, you don’t have to be as big as a college player, but you should be close. Most college coaches figure they will need to pack some pounds on most of their incoming freshman, but if you have a good base to start with that will certainly help.
Put that in a measurable of bench press reps and I can’t give you a number, but I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Like I said, you probably won’t experience a college lifting program like the one they will put you through at Big-Time University. Don’t be weaker than Sally going in and coaches will feel they can get you as strong as you will need to be to play college football.
Speed is the one that might seal the deal. You can still develop speed as a collegiate athlete, but if you already are fast, that will really open some eyes. In order to gauge how fast you would need to be at your position, I would just go through one of those high school recruiting lists and find one that has testing results. This will give you an idea what the supposed top guys across the land are running and what you need to at least get to. The faster the better though.
Who is your competition?
You can’t change your competition when you play high school football. If you got good competition and play well, make note of that. If your competition isn’t great, then don’t emphasize it. Ideally, make a videotape of what you do during a game to send out to potential college coaches. Heck take the initiative and contact them.
If you are even thinking of playing football in college, I’m assuming you must have some good plays that you have made in your high school career. Show them. If you are a skill position, show some plays that highlight your athleticism (running away from the field, jumping up higher than a defender to catch a touchdown).
I’ve seen average football players make game tapes that make themselves look as good as Adrian Peterson, thus securing a scholarship. Find your good plays and get them out there for the world to see.
I’ve got a client who has a Youtube channel devoted to his kid playing football and he is just now turning 13. He’s got some great video on the internet to point to. I’m sure this will help him out down the road when college coaches come a knocking.
Attend some camps.
If you really want to make an impression, attend some of the football camps of colleges you would consider playing for. This is your time to make an impression. If you run particularly fast or jump particularly high, trust me, they will hear about it. That’s what these camps are for anymore. Make some money for the coaches and to see the upcoming stud athletes that are out there.
There is a famous story of Erik Haw not being heard of until he ran this awesome 40 at an OSU football camp. 4.21 seconds is what he ran. He got a scholarship offer that day. I’m assuming OSU didn’t want other schools to get a look at him.
If you think you have awesome numbers in a 40, 20 yard shuttle, and vertical jump, then bring your game tape, WOW the coaches with your awesome times, and I guarantee you will be signing your national letter of intent on National Signing Day.