Crystal_logo289.pngThe Football Recruiting
Process: How They Decide

How Colleges Coaches Decide Which High School Football Prospects Get Scholarship Offers

Part 2 of the 4 part series "The Football Recruiting Process:
What You Need to Know to Improve Your Chances of Being Recruitied and Receiving a Scholarship"

Part 1: Know Your Odds of Reciving a College Football Scholarship.
Part 3: Understanding Recruiting Services and Media's Role in the High School Football Recruiting. Process
Part 4:
How to Prepare and Improve Your Chances of Being Recruited.

Colleges will base their decision on which prospects they will offer scholarships to based on the following:

  • Film Evaluation
  • What they discover through the NCAA high school football recruting Evaluation Period
  • A prospect's Camp Performances

What a high school player seeking a football scholarship must always keep in mind, during the recruiting process, is that colleges are constantly comparing you--based on your projected position--against every other known high school football prospect in the country.

99% of the time their final decision on whom to offer a scholarship is based entirely on which--available--prospect they believe has the most potential to be successful within their system.

Important: The football recruiting process for any given high school class year starts from the minute a player enters high school--and sometimes even sooner than that for players with elite physical attributes and demonstrated athletic abilities--the top college programs are aware of these young gifted players.

Film Evaluation

Throughout the recruiting process, film evaluation will be the No.1 tool that colleges use to a) become aware of a prospect b) decide if they will pursue (recruit) an athlete and c) make the final decisions on which 25 prospects they will offer scholarships.

How early do colleges start recruiting high school players?

Colleges will start looking at a high school football player's film as early as their freshman year!


This is something that most high school athletes and their parents and even many high school coaches do not take in consideration. I will share more about this in a future article as well as how athlete's and their parents can combat falling into this trap. However, for the sake of brevity this article will focus on the--outmoded train of thought--that the high school football recruiting process starts at the beginning of a prospects junior year.

Evaluation Period

Colleges are always evaluating talent, but the official Evaluation Period (Aprll 15 - May 31 for class of 2011) occurs most prominetly during the month of May. it is during this month that the NCAA permits college coaches to visit high schools and evaluate a prospect's athletic potential and GRADES. They are not permitted to speak to the prospect but they are allowed to talk to coaches, watch a prospect participate in practices and/or sporting events and review high school transcripts.

A lot of what they discover during the Evaluation Period and from a prospect's performance at subsequent summer camps will determine how high up on their recruiting boards his name will be appear. A name placed high enough will earn an offer or at least further consideration.

HINT: Know the timeline and important dates of the official NCAA Recruiting Calendar.

After summer camp, a prospect's final chance for a D-1A scholarship is to perform extremely well on the playing field during his senior year.

Most all of the prospects in any class year will be identified and--ranked--by colleges and recruiting services by the end of summer (that is the summer after their junior year and prior to the start of their senior year of high school).

By the end of this summer (2010) most all of the potential class of 2011 prospects in the country will have been identified and most of the D-1A schools will have offered and filled a very substantial portion of their available spots for the class of 2011. Some of the top D-1A programs will have filled practically all of their needs by this time.

Typically in Nebraska between 2 to 3 additional D1A scholarships will be given out between the end of the summer and signing day in February. The colleges will base their decisons on the evaluation of senior season film.

D-IAA colleges start their process slightly latter than the D-IAs but they are known to make early offers too. The D-IAAs main focus is to capture as many of the top prospects that do not get picked up by the D-IAs. D-II and NAIA schools will pick from what is left over from the cream of the crop of prospects that the D-IAs and D-IAAs left behind.

KEY POINT: This is why it is so extremely important for an athlete to be identified as a D-1A prospect during this process---it greatly increases his chances of getting at least a scholarship offer from a D-IAA, D-II or NAIA school.

Next Part 3: Understanding Recruiting Services and Media's Role in the High School Football Recruiting Process.










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