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Senior Football Recruiting: How Much Time Is Left On Your Play Clock?

senior football recruiting requires some desperate plays

(Flickr – KOMUNews)

The following is a post by Chris Burget, a head scout at NCSA Athletic Recruiting, who regularly contributes to our blog, as well as his own at Coach Chris on Twitter. Chris played football at the University of Arizona, where he received a full scholarship. You can also find Chris on Twitter @Coach_Chris99. You can talk to Chris and other football scouts about your football recruiting process and how you can maximize your chances of getting a football scholarship.

As a head scout for NCSA athletic recruiting, I am always looking for ways to help student athletes and families navigate the highly competitive recruiting process.

For families with seniors, especially football players, the process is made even more daunting as many schools, divisions and coaches have already locked in commits for their scholarships. High school senior athletes who have no commitment midway through their senior season from college coaches need to understand that chances are they are looking at one of two options:

  1. Walking on, or
  2. Playing at a lower division.

Yes, there are some athletes who may still get offers. Maybe a random guy will drop out or get injured.

But unless you target the right school, you are probably wasting your time. The number of high school seniors I speak to every day have limited options due to the hour glass of time running out in the recruiting process.

The best advice for seniors in their football recruiting is to start early.

Keep in mind, athletes who start the process early with strong academics have a leg-up on the competition, as this New York Times article demonstrates so well:

“Two Ivy League coaches said they were generally able to look at players with a grade-point average above 3.7 and a score above 2,000 on the College Boards — out of 2,400 — much lower than the standard for nonathlete applicants. Ivy League coaches can put their recruits on a list of preferred candidates given to admissions officers, who in turn help the process along by telling coaches in the summer after an athlete’s junior year whether the player is likely to be admitted — months before other applicants find out.

But there are still many football recruiting options available to you.

If you are a senior in high school and have not heard from any DI or DII schools, you need to look at options at the NAIA, DIII and Junior College level.

This is something scouts and head scouts try to communicate to every athlete we speak to about the recruiting process:

“The majority of DI coaches have offered or are in the last stage of finalizing offers for the 2016 class. While there will be DII schools with spots available throughout the year, majority will complete their 2016 class with the DI programs during the early signing period that starts on November 11th.”–Amanda Perak, VP of Scouting

Don’t panic.

But, if you’re serious about playing in college, you do need to think strategically. I recommend the following be the mantra for high school seniors without commitments:

Feel urgency.

Acknowledge that as a senior you are behind in the recruiting process. Unless you put urgency into the last weeks of the year chances are you will be playing at a college that wasn’t even on your radar or sitting out wishing you had started the process early.

Be realistic.

If you haven’t had a phone call or any offer from DI or DII college coaches, every 2016 grad needs to be open to looking at NAIA, DIII and 2-years programs

Be flexible.

If you’re not wanting to travel out of state to play, or to find a school that may not be a Division 1 program, then be prepared to walk on. Casting a wide net–and keeping an open mind–will help you find a school that fits what you want to accomplish: playing college football.

Be proactive.

Sure, the recruiting process might have been easier you had started when you were a freshman. But there’s no time for regret. I recently wrote about how, seventeen surgeries later, I still feel no regret about my time playing college football.

So be urgent, be realistic, be flexible; contact coaches and schools that you think could be a good fit for you. NCSA Athletic Recruiting offers many technologies to help high school athletes target the right schools, saving time and money in the recruiting process.


Connect with NCSA Athletic Recruiting, where you can instantly have a profile up with all your information in one place making it easy for college coaches to reach out and evaluate top prospects. having your profile online, with all your information filled out, will make it easy for a coach to think about how you’d fit in on the roster.

Set high goals.

You’re no stranger to game time. To getting to the line ready to play. That’s what this is: game time, on the field, in your recruiting, and in the classroom. Seniors who finish the year strong are in a better place to connect with college coaches, and increase their opportunity to play at the next level and have it paid for.

There are no second chances in the recruiting process. Now is your chance to help make your student athletic dreams a reality by getting proactive by talking to as many schools and coaches at all levels to see where you might find a fit at the next level.

The best way to get started is with a recruiting profile.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.