National Signing Day (Photo by Andy Hilton/recruit757)
Let me help you understand why this secret to recruiting is hurting you
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
I’ve been at this for ten years, and every year, with numerous parents, athletes and even some coaches, we need to have a conversations about how recruiting really works.
Let me first make one thing clear.
STAR RATINGS DO NOT MATTER.
I get asked, “How do I get a star rating?”
My easy answer? Develop your skills, keep your academics in order and demonstrate good character. Once you’re ready for a college coach to notice you, communicate with the college coaches who are recruiting your area. Let them know you want to be recruited to play football at their school. Develop a relationship with the college coach. Most importantly, show you can play on Friday nights.
You might have to go visit their campus to show you’re willing to make an investment in the school. You might have to prove yourself by camping at the college in June or July in order to earn an offer.
Once you earn offers, a national service is likely to start assigning stars to you.
The best way to earn stars is to get offers. Once you have offers, the stars don’t matter. If you don’t have offers, the stars don’t matter.
You’re not going to land college scholarship offers based on your “star-rating”. College coaches don’t recruit based on what 247, ESPN or Rivals has to say.
Instead, it works in reverse. Consider an offer the school’s endorsement when it comes to stars. If a Power Five school offers you, there’s a 95% chance that you’re going “earn” stars. The bigger the school, the more stars you’re likely to get.
Have you noticed that the guys with stars are landing offers?
They’re landing offers because they have other offers.
Rivals, ESPN and 247 aren’t in the business of discovering talent. They’re in the business of promoting the talent that’s already been recognized and touting that talent to the fan bases of the college schools. Those fans pay subscription fees. When subscribers pay to read about the players being recruited by their college, the players with offers from that school are the ones that are going to get the articles from those sites.
Oddly enough, there was a story on Football Scoop this week about recruiting sources being Catfished by a group of high school students. The students invented a lineman at a Knoxville, TN private school. That lineman shared the blessings of his “offers” from powerhouse schools on a fictitious Twitter account. Blake Carringer, a 6-6 315 pound class of 2020 lineman that doesn’t exist, earned a three-star rating from Rivals after getting fictional offers from Georgia, Florida and Alabama. That led to a profile on 247 and ESPN. The Football Scoop article explains it in more detail. The Knoxville News Sentinel listed Carringer as one of their Top 10 prospects from the Knoxville area.
A local “recruiting source” with only two total tweets and started in the same month the tweet was sent, published this message, reinforcing the farce:
— Tyson Kellog (@KellogTyson) November 28, 2018
Before anyone screams, let me set one thing straight. Rivals, ESPN and 247 recognize a lot of very talented athletes. Their focus is on recognizing players that specific college football programs are recruiting, mainly because fans of specific schools want to read about the next crop of talent that could be headed to their school.
Rivals, ESPN and 247 is not in the business of finding a talented diamond in the rough and convincing a college coach to take interest.
There are a lot of short cuts to gaining attention. If you want to be taken seriously, you’re going to invest the time in doing things the right way.
When you want to be taken seriously by college coaches, you’re going to have to work for it.
Again, here’s the short list:
Communicate with college coaches
I’ll add a couple of additional points based on comments from a few experienced coaching contacts of mine that came in just after this was originally published. College coaches may love you, but may not have a need for your position in the current recruiting class. If your favorite school is loaded with good players at your position, you may not get an offer and you may not want to go into that football program if you’re going to be buried on the bench.
Colleges may often offer the athletes that their rivals offer, but not always. A UVA offer doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a Virginia Tech offer and vice versa. Sometimes college coaches may have different priorities in the type of student-athletes they want. They may want a particular physical attribute or skill in specific positions. Don’t take it personally. Keep as many options open as you can.
Also, in the vast majority of cases, you’re going to be assessed physically before a college coach offers you. If a college coach offers you out of the blue before you’ve even met, there’s a chance that college is blanketing the market with scholarship offers. That’s essentially casting a wide net in hopes of catching a few fish. They’ll also be the school that may back out on your verbal commitment down the road. Make sure the school is invested in your as much as you’re invested in them when it comes to committing.
Stars don’t get you offers. Offers will get you offers. Once you have a scholarship offer from one school, their rival schools will almost certainly sit up and take notice. Do what it takes to earn the offers, and your notoriety will have staying power. Lay down a solid foundation for your recruitment. Be patient, work hard, communicate, and good things will happen.
– Andy Hilton