College recruiting is simple, right? Play well in your sport and coaches and scouts from all the top schools will find you; all you have to do is pick the best offer and sign on the dotted line. Think again. No matter how good of an athlete you are, there’s someone else out there just as good as you are, and probably better.
Records are Meant to be Broken
Nothing brings this point home more than what happened in Oregon on Friday September 15, 2012. Thomas Tyner, a senior from Beaverton, Oregon, scored 10 touchdowns and racked up 643 yards in a single game. Tyner received newspaper headlines and recognition for this amazing accomplishment and it will definitely help him with football recruiting. The only thing more surprising than Tyner’s accomplishment is the fact that Josh Hiebenthal of Perrydale High in Oregon also scored 10 touchdowns that same night. (It should be noted that Hiebenthal’s feat came in an 8-man football game, making it a little easier to score than in a typical 11-man game, but still extremely impressive).
Both of these feats are incredible, but there is an important message to take away from all of this: even on a night where someone scored 10 rushing touchdowns, there was another athlete that did the same exact thing. If you think your playing ability alone will get you a scholarship, then you may be left behind in the college recruiting process. Recruiting is hard, and athletic ability just isn’t enough for most athletes to find a scholarship these days.
It isn’t Just About Athletic Ability
10 times out of 10 a coach is going to choose an athlete that he has developed a relationship with over an athlete that he doesn’t really know, assuming both athletes have a similar skill set. This doesn’t mean you have to spend years building a relationship (although the sooner you start the better your scholarship chances will be), but it does mean that you will have to take some time to contact coaches and tell them more about yourself, your playing history, and your academic profile and interests.
If you have questions about the recruiting process, or what it takes to find a scholarship, we have plenty of resources available on our website, including our blog section with hundreds of articles about recruiting, our coaches contact database, and numerous eBooks designed with helping you get a scholarship in mind. Take advantage of these free resources and begin looking for a scholarship today!