Crystal_logo289.pngWhat You Need to Know About Football Recruiting to Improve Chance at Gettting Scholarship – Know Your Odds 


Know Your Odds of Receiving a College Football Scholarship

By Will Cummings
This article has been updated on March 2, 2011 

Part 1 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 2: How College Coaches Decide Which High School Football Prospects Get a Scholarship Offer
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.

Generally speaking, the NCAA grants each of its 119 D-1A football programs the ability to award a maximum of 25 full ride student/athletic scholarships per year. Multiplying 119 D-1A colleges times 25 scholarships equals a maximum of 2, 975 football scholarships that are available each year to high school seniors.  But wait!  Not all schools give out all of their 25 allotted scholarships to high school graduates. Some of those scholarships (roughly 20 - 25%) go to junior college players, and some D-1A programs do not utilize all of their allotment for varying reasons--including penalties levied against them by the NCAA for rule infractions. So in actuality we are probably looking at closer to only 2,000 D1A football scholarships being available to a any given high school senior class.

The NCAA states that "Approximately 5.8 percent, or less than one in 17 of all high school senior boys playing interscholastic football will go on to play football at a NCAA member institution."

That percentage figure represents ALL of the NCAA's football programs (Divison 1A, Division 1AA, Division 2 and Division 3).

NAIA member colleges also offer scholarships--but nowhere near the number as the NCAA--especialy when it comes to full-ride scholarshps.

Looking at the above numbers,  it's suffice to say that receiving a football scholarship--of any kind--is not an easy process. And if you are serious about playing college football--at any level--It's critical that you know how the Big Dogs--the D-1A football programs--recruit high school football players. Because the D-1AA, D-2, D-3, and NAIA football programs go after what the Big Dogs leave behind.

So let's get started.

Writer's Note: At the time of the initial writing of this article (February 8th, 2010), the total number of scholarships that were available to the class of 2011 was considerably less than 2000.  That's because colleges started giving out early offers to the class of 2011 way back in September 2009. By NCAA rule, Division 1A football programs  are allowed to offer scholarships to high school prospects begining the first week of September of their junior year.

This rule could soon change due to a newly proposed amendment, introduced this past summer,  that would forbid any NCAA sports program from offering a scholarship before the July--after a prospect's junior year of high school. There is currently no restriction on how early NCAA basketball programs can offer a scholarship.

Throughout this article I will be using the State of Nebraska to illustrate how the high school football recruiting process works. However, the concepts and information contained can be applied to any state. The only difference being that the total number of high school football prospects in the highly populated and football rich states like California, Florida, Ohio and Texas are far greater. For example: Annually, the densely populated State of Texas (pop. 25 million) produces roughly 350 Division 1A football scholarships, whereas Nebraska ( pop. 1.8 million) averages only about 8 Division 1A football scholarships per year.

The Nebraska class of 2010 had 6 D-1A offers and the 2009 class had 8.  That's an average of 7 D-IA scholarships per year in the past two years. As of September 29th, 2010, the Nebraska Class of 2011 has 7 D-1A offers 

Update: The Nebraska High school class of 2011 ended with 10 players being offered D-1A football scholarships.

Next Part 2:  How College Coaches Decide Which High School Football Prospects Get a Scholarship.



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