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How Junior College Can Improve Your Chances of Getting a Scholarship

A Championship Contender Built Different Than the Rest
Image from kstatefootball.com

In the 11th week of the college football season, Kansas State sits at number two in the BCS standings. No one predicted that in the fourth week of BCS polling that Kansas State, who began the season ranked number 22 in the AP Poll, would play defending-champs Alabama for a national title if the season ended today.

Some of the credit goes to head coach Bill Synder, who at 73 has over 45 years of coaching experience. Some of the credit belongs to Kansas State’s veteran roster. But a lot of the credit has to do with Kansas State’s recruiting philosophy.

So What’s Different at Kansas State? Junior College Transfers

They recruit more junior college players than most schools. We have talked about the benefits of junior college players on a college team before, but even Georgia coach Mark Richt tries to keep the number of junior college athletes in each recruiting class limited to three or four. Since 2010, Kansas has signed 24 junior college transfer athletes- an average of 8 athletes per signing class.

Junior college transfers spend at least one, but usually two years playing in junior college; this makes them more mature and ready to play at the NCAA Division I or II level immediately, whereas freshmen don’t have as big of an impact on a program. Having more athletes on a team that are both physically and mentally mature can bolster a roster and make a team already deep with upperclassman, like Kansas State, that much better.

There Are Some Negatives to Going to Junior College Though

Not all coaches recruit junior college athletes as much as Synder; some coaches like to have more time to mold and develop players, as well as give them a chance to learn their system. It works for Snyder because he has been involved in the game for so long and his network of contacts at junior colleges is so much stronger than most other coaches. This gives Kansas State the advantage of finding athletes other coaches may not have ever heard of. Snyder can also use his network of coaches to identify athletes that can easily fit into his system.

Because of some coaches’ hesitation to recruit junior college athletes as actively as Kansas State, junior college shouldn’t be your number one choice if other options are available, but you should use junior college as a safety net. Don’t view junior college as a reason to slack off in your recruiting during high school, look at it as another way to maximize your college opportunities.

What Should You Do?

If you are already enrolled in junior college, start looking for universities that have coaches who are proponents of recruiting junior college athletes- Kansas State and Georgia for example. Ask your junior college coaches what universities former athletes have transferred to. Also look at universities’ past recruiting classes to identify colleges that like to recruit junior college athletes.

If you are in high school looking to attend a junior college, the recruiting process is similar to that of a four year school. Identify the schools you are interested in attending and contact those coaches with information about your academic and athletic history, as well as a highlight film that showcases your skills.

If You Are Interested in Attending Junior College Then Check out These Resources:

If you have any questions about attending junior college or transferring from a junior college to a four-year university then just ask us in the comments section below, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+!


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