Athletic Recruiting Recruiting is Like.. Starting Early

What High School Football Players Can Learn from Tom Brady’s Recruiting Process

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(Flickr – Joel Desrochers)

The Patriots held on to their undefeated season over the weekend in a close game against the New York Giants.

Depending on where you live in the country you might not be the biggest fan of quarterback Tom Brady. But the thing is that the Patriots are looking pretty sweet this season, despite coming up a rocky few months dealing with last year’s deflategate scandal and the many tribulations surrounding it. (Although with Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis out, that might change).

Even with these setbacks, keeping focus and overcoming adversity is something Tom Brady has long exceled at in the NFL.

As it turns out, overcoming adversity was something Tom excelled at as a young student-athlete in his hometown of San Mateo, California, and then throughout his years at the University of Michigan.

The ups and downs of his recruiting process were precursors to his winding journey to stardom in the NFL. Throughout it all, Brady never wavered when it came to the confidence and competitiveness he built during his prep career.

Like many student-athletes today, even a current NFL star like Tom Brady’s recruiting was confusing — even frustrating at times. He was a talented two-sport athlete with great grades. So where were the offers?

This is a situation many student-athletes find themselves when they come to us. But, like the Brady family found for Tom — there are lessons we can take away from this recruiting process.

Tom Brady’s recruiting process teaches us to start early.

Tom Brady didn’t take charge of his recruiting process until the summer going into his senior season.

It absolutely is not impossible to get recruited as a senior. But it does add a degree of difficulty to the process, as well as anxiety and urgency as the clock ticks closer to graduation.

Starting to explore schools and contact college coaches earlier – as early as freshman year – is going to give a student-athlete optimal time to explore colleges and universities options, understand their athletic and academic programs, and uncover scholarship opportunities.

Starting late in the game only compounds an already complicated process. Avoid the extra stress altogether by putting the right game plan together.

In college recruiting, be proactive and outgoing.

Once Tom’s senior year rolled around and there weren’t any college coaches calling let alone scholarship offers on the table, it was time to “do a little marketing.”

And the Brady family’s revelation couldn’t be more spot on.

It is a student-athlete’s job to market themselves to college coaches. With thousands and thousands of prospects across the country, there is just no way a college coaching staff could have the time or money to evaluate or seek out the perfect recruit for every position.

” It’s up to the recruit to get in front of the programs they have interest in.” Tweet this! Tweet:

Plain and simple. It takes picking up the phone and calling coaches, it takes a carefully compiled – and routinely updated – academic and athletic resume, it takes effort.

Having film is key for your college recruiting process.

As Brady Sr. recounted, the looks and interest only came after one major course of action — compiling film, getting it verified by a quarterback expert, and getting it in the hands and on the screens of college coaches.

Not until they saw his film did any coach reach out and contact Tom Brady for a serious discussion about his future as a football player. The same goes for any recruit today. A coach must have consistent and relevant evidence of a student-athlete’s abilities before he or she can determine whether or not they are a realistic candidate for their program.

Having film is absolutely key in the recruiting process, and lucky for Tom Brady, he was able to get it together and eventually catch the eye of an assistant at the University of Michigan.

If you are a high school student-athlete who is serious about playing at the next level, but does not have current highlights compiled in a clear and easy-to-spot way, do not wait any longer in getting footage together. We’re happy to help.


Any of these lessons sound familiar? Let’s chat about where you are in the recruiting process and how we can help get you closer to playing in college. The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.