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The Importance of Football Combines in College Recruiting

two football players at a combine

College coaches trust verified stats. Football combines give coaches a baseline measurement of your height, weight and athletic abilities to see if you have what it takes to compete at the next level. These measurements can also provide you with a better idea of what division level you are most compatible with. Combine numbers aren’t the only thing a coach considers, but right or wrong – they can either open or close doors in college football recruiting. Get answers to top questions about football combines or use the list below to find a football combine near you. 

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Top questions about football combines   

Athletes performing drills at a football combine

What is a football combine?

Football combines provide athletes with the verified stats and measurements coaches want to see in a recruiting profile. The NFL-style drills are designed to test a player’s speed, power, strength, and agility. Combines are open to all high school level football players.

Some popular football combines: 

What do they do at football combines? 

Football combines test an athlete’s skills, speed and agility. To do this, combines feature a range of events, including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, bench press and more, which athletes perform at throughout the day. College coaches take these stats into consideration when evaluating recruits.  

When should you start going to high school football combines? 

All varsity level football players can benefit from attending a football combine, depending on their year in school and stage of recruiting.  

If you’re a 4- or 5-star recruit with looks from D1 coaches, chances are you’ve already performed exceptionally well at a football combine. Attending another would be considered a media day for you to confirm that you’re bigger, faster and stronger than other recruits. If you’re not on a coach’s radar yet, or maybe you want to jump division levels, you’ll need to come fully prepared to perform. Good numbers can get a coach to notice you and potentially earn a spot on their list. 

How often should you get tested at a football combine?  

A good rule of thumb is to update your football combine numbers every 6 months. If you’re unhappy with your most recent numbers, do some more combine-style training before trying again. Learning the correct technique for each test can help improve your overall performance.  

college football combines timeline - combines are available January through August

Do college coaches attend football combines? 

The NCAA prohibits Division 1 coaches from attending any third-party football combines in person. But other NCAA division levels and NAIA coaches are allowed to attend, and many will. Coaches will have access to your results, but most still prefer to see a player perform the tests live and watch their demeanor. Get familiar with the NCAA football recruiting rules and evaluation periods. 

Insider tip: Good football combine numbers will get a coach’s attention, but if you don’t have video to back it up, you can almost guarantee a coach will move onto the next recruit. Be sure to have a solid highlight video ready to send with your combine numbers so coaches can see if your height, weight and performance measures match up. 

How can you prepare for a football combine ? 

During a typical combine, athletes will perform six tests. Learning the technique for each test and practicing them beforehand will help you achieve your best numbers. Check out these tips on how to master the tests at a football combine.  

The 6 tests measured at a football combine: 

How much do football combines cost? 

Football combines can range anywhere from free to $100+ per event. They’re hosted locally and regionally to give athletes plenty of opportunity to attend. Some offer top performers an exclusive invite to a football camp or showcase the following day, which will be an additional cost. Be aware, many events are held for financial purposes only. Your high school or position coach can help you figure out which combine is worth spending your money on. 

What should you do after a football combine?  

There are 3 important steps to take once you complete a football combine: 

  1. Secure your verified numbers. 
  1. Update your online NCSA Recruiting Profile
  1. Send your combine numbers and measurements to the college coaches you’re interested in. Be sure to include your highlight video and game film! 


If you’re looking for verified football stats to post on your NCSA Recruiting Profile, now is the time to find a football combine. You won’t see any college coaches at these events, but the stats and measurements you get will help you market yourself to coaches after the combine. Don’t have a profile?

Create your free profile today

Learn more about the different types of football events: 

Football camps
Football showcases