How To Get A Football Scholarship - Key Recruiting Steps
The goal for high school football players who want to play ball in college is to receive a full scholarship. There are many misunderstandings about how football scholarships work and football scholarship facts.
Many people still believe that every athlete who competes at the college level is on a full-ride athletic scholarship. This is not the case. Most coaches will combine athletic scholarships with other ways to give you money off, such as federal financial aid.
How Football Scholarships Work - Get Started By Completing Your FAFSA
This begins with FAFSA, a Free Application For Federal Student Aid.
With the prices of college continuously on the rise, we want to give you all the information you need to save as much money as you can from college.
FAFSA determines how much you will receive in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds, and the United States Department of Education will give this to you. Also, universities will use your FAFSA information when deciding how much financial aid money you will receive if you were to go to their school.
If you think you are well off or think you’ll receive a complete athletic offer, you should still apply. Don’t assume you will receive a full athletic scholarship, and don’t assume your income may be too high where you don’t think you will qualify.
There are many factors that FAFSA will evaluate to determine how much you will receive, and it may be more than you expect. Any extra money you can obtain from college goes a long way, trust me.
You can do a few other things to maximize your chances of getting a football scholarship, which we’ll cover in this post. Take a look below at what you can do so you know how to get a football scholarship.
Set Yourself A Plan
Everything you do in order to get recruited and get a football scholarship starts with preparation and planning. Start by making a list of colleges you’d like to attend. You want to go to a university that will be a good college fit for you.
Do research on the schools, take a look at their academics, location, and anything else that you’d be looking for when choosing a college to attend. You can organize your list based on the favorite schools you want to participate in vs. the less interested ones.
As you continue the recruiting process, you can adjust your list after speaking with the coaches recruiting you. Be realistic with the schools you choose.
Of course, it would be amazing to attend Alabama or Georgia. Unless you’re a 5-star recruit with top-level talent, you may want to start smaller. Of course, nothing is impossible, but we want you to be realistic in your approach to the recruiting process and find the right fit for you.
After you have made the list of schools you’d be interested in playing for and researched each of the schools, it’s time for the next step.
Register For The NCAA Eligibility Center
For athletes that want to be eligible to play sports in college, you need to take steps to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
The NCAA Eligibility Center verifies that athletes who are going to play Division I and II football are indeed eligible to play. They prove your ACT/SAT scores (depending on which you took) and your high school transcripts to confirm you meet all the academic requirements to play at the collegiate level.
You should register during your sophomore year of high school, although many athletes wait and register during their junior year. Although there is no deadline to register, the Eligibility Center must clear you before you accept any athletic scholarship to compete at Division I or II level.
The sooner you register for the NCAA eligibility center, the less you will worry about later in your college recruiting journey. Since you can complete your registration at any point in your high school career, we recommend getting registered as soon as possible instead of holding it off until the last minute.
Create Your Highlight Film For Football
You want to showcase your ability to college coaches. When creating your highlight film, you might not know where to begin.
When creating your highlight film, always include your contact info, the position(s) you play, your GPA, and your test scores. Also, keep your highlight film short and highlight yourself in every play.
Don’t make your highlight film 10+ minutes long, as coaches don’t have the time to watch 10 minutes’ worth of your highlights. Highlighting yourself on every play makes it easier for the coaches to evaluate you and know where you’re at on every play instead of looking and guessing where you’re at.
Reach Out To College Football Coaches
We live in a time filled with social media (being an enormous influence in recruiting), text messages, and emails. A great approach to building a relationship with a program is by reaching out to college football coaches yourself. Based on proven research, studies show that the average college coach receives less than ten phone calls from recruits a week, or less!
Take the time out of your day to contact college coaches. It is a great way to stand out from the other recruits and get some attention!
How do you get the coach’s number? We built out a database that includes every college football coach’s contact information: Gridiron College Coach Contact Database.
Do as much research on the university as possible to ensure that college is the right fit for you!
Another way you can find a coach’s contact information is through social media. After your research, give the coach at your position a follow on social media and reach out. Introduce yourself first, and fill him in on your grades, what schools are currently looking at you, and what it would take from you to get recruited to their school. This is good for building a relationship with your desired school or team.
Understand The Recruiting Process and Calendars
All football coaches recruiting players to play at their college program must follow specific guidelines when recruiting high school football players. This includes when they can contact you and how they can contact you.
You don’t want to reach out to coaches when they cannot contact you. The more you can understand how the recruiting process works, the better your chances of receiving a football scholarship.
When football coaches are allowed to contact you officially, you can expect a coach to talk with you over the phone or in person. During the evaluation period, college football coaches can come to watch you play in person. During the quiet period of the recruiting process, college coaches are not allowed to talk to you in person, but they can contact you over the phone or through social media. During the dead period of the recruiting process, a football coach’s contact with you is minimal.
Keep in mind that you can contact college coaches on any social media platform. Coaches can talk with you over DMs at the start of the contract period. With that being said, coaches aren’t allowed to post or comment on your social media profile until after you commit to their school. Coaches can directly message you, like, and share your posts.
You don’t have to worry about all these NCAA rules across social media during your recruiting process, but we want you to understand what you should expect from college coaches and when. That way, you’re not discouraged if you don’t hear from them immediately.
Is It Your Goal To Get A College Football Scholarship?
If you need more tips on how to maximize your chances of getting a college football scholarship, you can read some of our latest posts on the “Tips To Get Recruited For Football – How To Get Offered” and “How To Talk To College Football Coaches: What To Do And Not Do.”
Suppose you’re a serious football player looking to play at the next level. You can access our sports performance training programs, football drills, workouts, and the Gridiron Recruiting Center inside “The Gridiron Academy” to help you with your football recruiting.
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