Small Town, Big Time Recruit
NCSA talks to a lot of families that are worried that their student-athlete will not receive the exposure they deserve due to living in a small town. Some families use their town’s size as an excuse as to why their athlete isn’t receiving attention, while others recognize their disadvantage and work extra hard to reach out to schools. The first group of families often makes the claim that coaches won’t consider their athlete elite simply because the competition they play against is labeled as inferior. This is simply untrue. If an athlete has the talent and the desire there is no reason that they can’t get noticed by a coach if they are pro-active.
Take a look at star recruit quarterback Austin Hinder from Steamboat Springs Colorado. He litterally has thousands of feet of mountains between him and the closest urban area, yet is highly regarded by top scouts across the country. The Denver Post chronicled his rise.
“Right now, I’ve seen the majority of top quarterbacks in the nation,” said Tom Lemming, CBS College Sports Network’s recruiting expert. “He’s one of the premier players in the country.”
After his sophomore season, Hinder attended elite camps and the famed Steve Clarkson Quarterback Academy. It was there, he said, that he realized he could play major college football.
Hinder attended the U.S. Army National Combine with half a dozen scholarship offers. When he left the combine, Hinder was a household name.
“Going to San Antonio really set him apart,” Lemming said. “It allowed him to throw against the best DBs and throw to some of the best wide receivers. He competed against the best and showed he’s a premier player.”
Hinder knows that at this level, everyone is a critic. But he knows he belongs.
“I know I’m going to get criticized by everyone,” he said. “Coming out of a small school, they’ll say I haven’t seen the competition. But that’s why I went to the combine, so I could show them I can play with these guys.”
Austin took the extra steps to get to San Antonio to prove he could compete and it paid off. NCSA helps many athletes in his situation reach out to schools to prove they can compete. In the end it is about taking the extra steps to make sure coaches know your name. If you don’t take take those steps you have nobody to blame but yourself.