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Coaches Corner with Scott Collie father of Colts WR Austin Collie

WRsScott Collie has seen the recruiting process from all angles as a player, parent and now Scott sees the recruiting process as a coach running  the RT-25 and Receiver Tech. NCSA sat down with Scott to get helpful advice for aspiring collegiate WRs.

How early did the recruiting process start for your three sons?

There were three different paths for my sons. For Austin now with the Colts the process began at the end of his sophomore year. For my youngest son Dylan (now a WR at BYU), it started when he was a freshman in high school. My oldest son was a walk-on so there was minimal recruiting until near the end of high school.

How many recruiting letters did your sons and daughter (a college golfer), get between the four of them?

Over a thousand, I am sure.

95% of our families struggle with exposure to college coaches. What is your best piece of advice to them?

Be proactive and contact coaches. People do not realize coaches can and do take calls from parents or from student athletes. Also please do not rely on your high school coach to get you exposure or a scholarship. It is the responsibility of the parent and the student athlete to make it happen.  No recruiting letters yet?  CLICK HERE to stop waiting to be found and build a recruiting profile in the NCSA database. 42,000+ college coaches use it to fill roster spots. How has the recruiting process changed since you went through it?

Colleges and coaches have more access to athletes with all the combines and 7 on 7s and other competitions like the RT 25. In addition there is much more material available to evaluate players. The age when athletes start getting recruited has gotten earlier as well. Technology has played a major role in the accessibility of these athletes to coaches. NCSA has a database of players college coaches fill roster spots from. There was nothing like that when I went through the process.

Besides your son, who is the best route runner in the NFL?

Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald.

Who has the best hands?

My son Austin Collie and Super Bowl Champion Anquan Boldin

With the Super Bowl just behind us it seems like a good time to discuss mobile 49ers QBs. You played with my favorite QB of all time, Steve Young. Tell me your memories of playing with him.

I also played with Jim McMahon at BYU before Steve arrived. I wouldn’t label them as runners or even mobile QBs. I would label them as winners . That’s what they were. They did whatever it took to win sometimes it was with their arm, feet or their mind. They did it all.
When you played with them did you know they would be good NFL players?

Yes, no question.

What are some common mistakes that WRs make in their recruiting?

I see a lot of flaws in the design of the highlight films. Players think the most important thing is the deep ball. All they put on their film is the same deep routes. The problem is that a college coach doesn’t know how good the competition is. They cannot tell how fast they DB is. They want to see those long routes but I see too much focus on that. Coaches want to see a complete player, running routes, catching with your hands and working away from the ball. If you have your raw game footage and need help making your highlight tape and getting it seen by college coaches CLICK HERE and a member of the scouting team will contact and assist you with this process

Speaking of working away from the ball, let’s talk blocking. Who is the best blocking WR in the NFL?

I cannot point to any one WR specifically as the best. My son Austin and Pierre Garcon are great blockers. Reggie Wayne commented that playing with those two had made him a better blocking WR. Blocking has become very important. Television announcers are showing WRs working blocks downfield more and more. There seems to be some glamor tied to mastering blocking. The father of a HS WR asked me how important blocking for WRs. It’s very important to learn – there just isn’t enough time to teach everything.

What do you accomplish at your camp? How do you go about it?

I call it a skills training session rather than a camp. We focus on the intricacies of the release at the line of scrimmage versus soft coverage as well as press coverage. We also teach athletes how to understand the economies of motion in route running, momentum and balance into a route as well as balance and explosion coming out of the route. We also teach how to catch a ball properly with your hands, eyes and head to the ball and finishing with the ball tucked for security

Additionally the RT 25 regional competitions are designed to allow WRs to compete against their peers in a series of speed of contests including agility, route running and pass catching. The events help identify WRs who are great athletes but who may get less exposure than a WR whose QB throws for 5,000 yards in a season. The Northern California winner last time was Jaden Walker. He only had 20 catches on the year because he was in a run centric offense. He did not break out until he won the event.  CLICK HERE to learn more about these Receiver Tech events

What is the role of camps and combines in the recruiting process?

Camps are becoming a way for HS coaches to get together to get extra practice in There used to be more of a focus on individual camps, now there are more and more team camps. Camps and combines bring in high school teams to colleges and compete as a unit against other teams. Now colleges have a chance to get a firsthand look at recruits not on their radar and discover new players.

How has playing football helped prepare you for “real life”?

No sport parallels life like football. Through football you learn discipline, dedication, passion, hard work and ability to get along with others you may not like.  These lessons from football put you ahead of the rest of college graduates when you enter the working world. In our trainings we like to relate stories from football and teach the kids how they relate to life.

Football helps prepare you for life in other ways as well. It can give you the ability to bite your tongue and be led by a boss that you may think you are smarter than but that you still have to get along with to be productive. Football teaches you how to overcome adversity disappointment and the other setbacks that you encounter in life.

Another thing it teaches is being comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.  At the 90 minute mark at our training sessions at Receiver Tech I pair the Student Athletes up with others they don’t know and force them to teach their peer a concept we went over earlier in the day. It puts them in an uncomfortable situation where they have to communicate what they know. The insecurities you see in men and adults all come out. They don’t want to say something stupid, they don’t want to be made fun of. They come away with a “win” though because they realize they didn’t die from that experience. Now you go to a combine with kids you don’t know and coaches you don’t know and you can go back and remember the helping the young kid you didn’t know and the new concept. That is a win they can build on.

What advice do you have for a DII-or DIII athlete or parent?

Success of players from smaller schools has pioneered exposure from NFL Scouts at smaller institutions. Scouts have to continue to look at small schools for players. Dads get so caught up in DI or BCS school they lose sight of what it’s all about – playing at the next level at a school where you can earn a meaningful degree.

How can someone get involved in your training sessions?

We are booked out on a weekly basis for the one day training sessions. We will be holding ReceiverTech Receiver Skills Training, Saturday Feb 16, 2013 at University High School of Indiana, Carmel Indiana. Visit Receiver Tech for more information.

Explain the how the hosting party can turn this into a charitable event.

The hosting organization can use our camp as a fundraising event. Once the hosting organization gets a certain number of participants, they keep the registration fees for every additional camper. Because it’s a charitable camp, it’s quite popular and our clients are booking their spot early.

The RT 25 competitions are held in 10 different regions. Each has all the top WRs from the area and our WRs are actually the WRs that catch the balls for the prestigious Elite 11 QB competition.

What other advice do you have for parents going through this process?

I have gone through the recruiting process four times already. I think it is important to check on the contract length of the coach. Look into what network the school has to help players succeed after football. Also check on the backgrounds of the position coaches make sure that your son or daughter likes their pedigree as they will be spending a lot of time with them.

What makes a school a perfect fit school for a WR. What are they looking for?

That is different for every athlete. I hear weather is a deciding factor for WRs often since conditions affect a team’s ability to throw the ball. When I was going through this process I chose BYU for a couple reasons: one, they wanted to let me play WR and other schools saw me as a DB and two, I wanted to be a forest ranger and BYU was in the mountains. CLICK HERE to join the NCSA network with 42,000 college coaches and take your first step to playing in college.


About the author
Aaron Sorenson