College Football Recruiting Process - NCAA and NAIA

Six things in college football recruiting that can lead to disaster!

College football recruiting is like every thing else, you get good at what you do a lot of.

Unfortunately, you may not take or have the time to learn, practice and apply it all when you are in the moment. This article will help you learn and utilize the best football recruiting methods.

We will compare the similarities of the job search process to the football recruiting process. The giver (coach / employer) wants the best for the least amount of money whereas the recipient (athlete / worker) want the most money and best opportunity for their future they can get.

Understandably for best results, the athlete must be proactive to have a chance or even more colleges to choose from (like the movie Blind Side). The athlete must initially reach outand start building relationships with many college coaches.

As you read on, you will see how eScout4u differs from others and how we help deliver you to more coaches, recruiters and staff than any other recruiting service out there.

In this scholarship and recruiting guide we will cover recruiting services, distribution, timing, numbers game, follow-up, the interview with a college football coach, summary and close.

This is a lengthy article but the time spent reading, understanding and using this as a guide could mean the difference of getting a scholarship or not. This is not some sugar coated article about "hope you get a scholarship", so do not just gloss over it, is to important to your future.

We’ll use an athlete scenario we see quite often and refer to the athlete as Joe American. This may resemble your situation or a path you plan to take.

Joe American had some good athletic (including All State) and academic accomplishments (3.2 GPA) that had gone unnoticed by college coaches despite his efforts. Joe’s family took the initiative and Googled multiple colleges, and found the email addresses of the coaching staff. He then crafted a resume of sorts with his information and sent it to the coaches. Using either method, by email (without videos) or by mail (with a highlight CD). 

Joe, like many athletes and parents eScout4u has talked to, they might have received letters from 2 to 5 coaches expressing a slight interest or standard camp invitations. Some even had a coach’s visit and even an invite to visit the school. Seems that Joe did everything he is supposed to do, right? Or did he?

The part of our job that we hate is when we talk to countless people with good athletic talent in a panic calling us close to signing date that never get a scholarship.

The biggest mistake by far is athletes and parents were under the impression they were going to get a scholarship thus reigning in or stopped their recruiting efforts. Results were devastating to the athlete.  All the talent, work, hopes and dreams crushed. We can hear the desperation in the voices of the parents and athletes.

Let’s see how you can avoid being a horror story.

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1. College football scholarship recruiting services, which one works?

Other recruiting services

What are the differences? Recruiting services vary widely by what they offer so it is important that you compare. All claim success but you should dig deeper to weed out sales pitches and find who will really deliver you to the most college coaches.

This section may be long but could depend on your success or failure to be recruited. eScout4u welcomes all questions, feedback, comments or corrections concerning this article. Email us by clicking here.

Most other recruiting services will want to evaluate you and try to match you to a coach some say they must evaluate you to see if you meet their standards.

Really? Then they will be your middleman, meaning the coach will have to contact the recruiting service to get your information.  This means they don't send your contact information to the coach. Bad idea, this sets up an opportunity for that service to send 5 to 100 other athletes seeking the same position as you to that coach.

Another bad idea is to "evaluate" you.

That is not a blind date. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Rest assured know there is no recruiting service that could possibility know what every coach is looking for at any one given time.

Point 1. Coaches don't let anyone know about their position planning board including who's on / off or current / future needs. Would you?

Point 2. Position planning boards could easily as not change daily. When ever potential talent shows up someone will move up or down or even off the board.

Football RecruitingTip: Get on as many as possible to increase your chances or even keep you in the running.

Point 3. What if the other recruiting service refers you to the wrong schools? Easy answer, the coaches at other colleges who were looking for your talent never knows about you.

eScout4u eliminates this problem.

Point 4. You only want college coaches who can award scholarships to evaluate you. Who made these evaluators and match makers, the impossible know it all or mind reader of every college coach in the United States at the other recruiting services?

I think no one, how could anyone know what the coaches keep secret?

Point 5. These are the same recruiting services that bombarded coaches with countless athletes all the time. Therefore, you should not send your information to all coaches nationwide.

Answer me this, if that is true then why do they sell athletes and parents that only they know what coaches want when coaches are bombarded with so many choices to pick from?

Point 6. Most limit you to how many (number) you can contact and some require you to choose the colleges.

What if you chose the wrong coaches?  Well, then you will never know if a coach had a scholarship ready for someone with your talent.

Point 7. Some will only send your information to colleges they feel you might fit in.

Bad idea!  Again, what if they chose the wrong coaches?  You will never know if a coach had a scholarship ready for someone with your talent.

Point 8. How do you even know what they do for you or how much time they work on getting you recruited for a scholarship. There is no proof the other recruiting services do anything.

A parent showed me that one recruiting service displayed a list of all the colleges that were interested in their son. Shockingly they told me they called every one and none of the colleges or coaches had heard of their son. How do you explain that?

Point 9. No other recruiting service will let you try it for free before you spend your hard earned money.

Do a free test drive at eScout4u.

Point 10. You have no control or proof.

If you see the word "evaluate" or "match" in what you read that implies you have little to no control nor can you prove that they made the right choice for you.

Point 11. The real questions is "How many coaches can you get me in front of and what is the cost?" and "How many times will you get me in front of those coaches?" With this you can calculate the unit cost (cost per contact) just like you can do at Sam's Club or Costco before you buy.

I can see no way the other recruiting services can give you an up front unit cost (cost for each contact they make with a coach).  Do you really know what you are buying? How can you compare to other recruiting services or make a informed decision?

Point 12. Cancel and get a refund. Think about their big selling point. If you don't have proof that they did anything or not then, how do you know to cancel? You may only have 30 or 60 days to cancel. They can't give you a date or certain time line of events with the exception of posting your information online and most services do that for free, eScout4u does.

Also, they probably won't put specifics in writing such as, "25 coaches will be contacted voa phone in 15 days" How would you prove if they did it or not.

eScout4u is for the athlete first and foremost! We are different!

eScout4u does not evaluate or judge your athletic skills because we know that every coach has their own guidelines.

eScout4u will assist you every step of the way keeping you in total control of the decision process eliminating the middle man.

eScout4u eliminates the middle man fostering a athlete / coach relationship not a athlete / recruiting service / coach relationship.

This means unlike other recruiting services there is no way eScout4u can send other athletes seeking the same position to that coach because coaches will contact you directly. Start building your relationship the right way.

eScout4u will let you test drive for free showing how easy our innovation is to use.

eScout4u will let you send your athlete resume "Web Page Profile™" including highlight videos, stats, your contact information, etc. to all coaches in each NCAA division, NAIA college and or NJCAA colleges nationwide.

You decide on the number of colleges you can contact. eScout4u imposes no limits, in fact we suggest you send your athlete resume "Web Page Profile™" to every coach, recruiter and staff in the division(s) of your choice. Makes sense, this way you will know if a coach had a scholarship ready for someone with your talent.

eScout4u  provides the best proof. How? You know it got sent since you get to send it yourself.

We have been around since 1979 and push the technology envelope all the time with innovation. Embrace eScout4u's innovation just as you have done with other technology like smart phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, cable TV and so on.

eScout4u has helped thousands of athletes.

eScout4u's success rate hovers up and down but always above 93%.

eScout4u warrants what we do.

eScout4u allows coaches to watch your video highlights' right on their smart phone where ever they are. Sounds unbelievable? It works!

eScout4u will let you try it yourself, sign up, sign in and take a test drive with your free account. Did I mention a no cost test drive.

eScout4u has 37,600+ coaches, recruiters and staff in our database. It took us a year just to go to every school's website in every NCAA division, NAIA and the NJCAA in every sport so we know exactly how many there are.

There are so many ways todeplict how eScout4u can assist you in your scholarship endeavor.

Our best advice is to read and learn about recruiting and recruiting services before you spend your money. The real questions is "How many coaches can you get me in front of and what is the cost?"  and "How many times will you get me in front of those coaches?" With this you can calculate the unit cost (cost per contact) just like you can do at Sam's Club or Costco before you buy. 

Login in to eScout4u we will surprise you with the number of possible coaches, recruiters and staff,  how many times you will get in front of them and the cost so you can figure the unit cost. eScout4u will tell you in an agreement exactly what you will receive.

Logically, if you use eScout4u's innovative method and contact all coaches, recruiters and staff you will never have to second guess yourself, did I miss a full ride scholarship opportunity.

eScout4u welcomes all questions, feedback, comments or corrections. Email us by clicking here.

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2. Distribution Methods

If you were looking for a job, would you (pick one);

1. Put your resume on CareerBuilder or Monster? /  Athletes would  create free profiles on recruiting websites.

2. Wait for someone to recommend you for a job. / Wait for your high school coach to call college coaches they might know.

3. Apply on line at  the company website?/ Apply online at a college coach's website.

4. Wait around for employers find you and to request a resume? / Wait to be discovered by a college coach or recruiter.

5. Drive to each employer and fill out an application and leave your resume? / Drive to colleges uninvited to talk to a  coaches. (Yes this has happened)

6. Go to a job fair? / Athlete attends camps or plays club sports.

7. Do it yourself, create and send your resume to as many as possible . / Parents make a package with video highlights and mail or email link to a coach..

Which one would you pick? Put it in your mind and let's take a reality look at each choice.

1. Put your resume on CareerBuilder or Monster? /  Athletes would create free profiles on recruiting websites including ours.? Joe also put his information on different recruiting sites for free.  We even offer as a possible solution but a reactive method is never as good as a being proactive (see #4).  

Problems! The coach don’t cruise the internet often or never so the football coach may not know that a site exists.

Coaches are forced to have to login to sites, these recruiting services act as a middle man, the site won’t display your contact information until they login (claiming it will protect you when all along it keeps the service/site in control making it harder to contact you) and so on. See if you can find contact information on the web.

Bigger yet is know the service/site knows what position a coach needs and can send an entire list of athletes for that position and you would never know it.  Wouldn’t you be better off standing on your own instead of being in the middle of a list of hundreds of athletes?  Do you think is this is the best way to go?

2. Wait for someone to recommend you for a job. / Wait for your high school or club coach to call college coaches they might know.

Wait is like making a wish, how many have came true for you? The reality is that most of your coaches don't really know that many coaches. Don't believe me, ask them for a list and contact them yourself and tell them you were referred by your coach. Coaches are not recruiters, the have a job, family and coach as well and with all your other team members how much time do you really think they have left over?

3. Apply on line at the company website?/ Apply online at a college coach's website.

Don’t know of any college that lets you submit your video highlights, stats and information online. Problem! Even if they did, how long do you think that would take you to do 50 or 100 schools? What if you missed the school that was needing someone exactly like you?

4. Wait around for employers find you and to request a resume? / Wait to be discovered by a college coach or recruiter.

If you believe the myth “Coaches will find me” and you’re not a top 50 rated athlete in the nation then you are in serious need of help and need to contact us ASAP. Community colleges may find you, but what will you miss by not trying for a D1, D2 or NAIA college and the money and education they bring?

5. Drive to each employer and fill out an application and leave your resume? / Drive to colleges uninvited to talk to a  coaches.. (Yes this has happened)!

Going back to our scenario, Joe did just that and took unofficial visits to colleges. Of course a coach would not be rude to anyone or try to belittle your hopes. But here is the reality. Again the countless horror stories of families spending on gas, motels, food sometimes not even to get to talk to the head coach. Many told us they drove hundreds of miles and the coach wasn’t even there.

What a waste of resources. Think! Spend your money wisely on something that is proven, dollar for dollar, to get you in front of more coaches.  You can’t beat how much exposure eScout4u can get you.

6. Go to a job fair? / Athlete attends camps or plays club sports.

Been to all kinds of camps and combines and club sports games. Talked to so many other parent that have done the same. Just ask each event what their main purpose is. Teaching, testing or building athleticism and they do a great job of doing just that.

Problem! When it comes to being recruited for a scholarship it is a whole different story. It is not their main focus. If you pay money for an event they should be able to tell you the contact information of the coaches or recruiters attending. Most won't answer you because the coaches in attendance are not decision makers, in fact most are assistant coaches. You will find out there are not many if any at all who will be their to do recruiting. If they are they only come to see one player and devote all their time watching them. Coaches and recruiters are busy people and don't have time to lollygag around to scout for new players.

7. Do it yourself, create and send your resume to as many as possible. / Parents make a package with video highlights and mail or email a link to a coach.

Joe’s family thought their DIY method would be effective but didn't have the time and effort to send to every coach and probably didn't contact the one coach that was the perfect fit. This DIY method lacks enough exposure to create any leveraging position for more money plus had no follow-up plan in place.  In our experience Joe’s method usually fails miserably more than it succeeds. 

Why? What if Joe by chance only sent his resume to those coaches who already had someone better for Joe’s position? Point. how can anyone know what every coach in the US is looking for at any given time since position needs can change daily?

The interview, Joe even took official visits (he was invited by the coach) and even invited to spring game and got to stand on the side line with the team.  Joe didn’t receive a scholarship form any of them. 

Why? Again, just like a job, just because you go on an interview doesn’t mean you will get the job.

The results, Joe only needed one coach that needed him yet Joe couldn’t find that coach. Wouldn’t Joe’s odds increase dramatically if every coach (in his sport) in the US could have got his highlight video, stats and information? Why try reaching only 20, 30, 50, 100 coaches when we can deliver you to hundreds or thousands of coaches?

To summarize, there are a lot of options, including eScout4u, distribution can make or break your dreams. Sure some methods cost more than others but make sure to keep in mind when you evaluate distribution options that this is a life changing experience for you.  Joe’s life was changed instead of that college dream Joe had to do what most face, a $10 an hour job or the military. Where do you want to be?

The sad part, like we said before, is the worst part of our job, Joe’s parents came so close to picking one of our eScout4u plans and didn’t. Like others before then, close to signing day, they called in a panic. All of Joe’s time and effort he put into his sport and talent went unnoticed because he wasn’t in the front of the right coach at the right time.

To end with a good story, we will call him Bill. Bill's story was very similar to Joe’s including visits.  As a final effort in the middle of summer after signing day (yes you read that right) he picked one of our plans, sent his Web Page Profile™ we built for him.  Within hours was inundated with text messages and emails which included 6 scholarships offers.  Our thoughts, what would have been Bill’s possibilities if he would have signed up earlier and sent his Web Page Profile™ in the time frame we suggest.

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3. Timing, when is the best time?

You realize that coaches will award scholarships early to those athletes they really want and are afraid to wait because they may sign with another college.

If you were looking for a job, what would be best?

  1. Wait till after most athletes with your same talent have already heard from college coaches, already been on visits, or even got the scholarship?
  2. Get ahead by starting early and being prepared?

We're not going to mention the countless horror stories but they are real and you need to take note of it. So, do not follow #1 above. Why? It seems so evident and crystal clear if you are serious about your future education and to play at the next level. 

Follow #2, starting early and being prepared.  The process starts academically at minimum in your freshman year and athletically at different time depending on the athleticism of each individual. Know this, your recruiting process can impact the next 40 years of  your life.

Why wouldn’t you want to start as early as you can and gain a competitive advantage over others?

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4. Numbers Game, more increases odds

As an athlete how many coaches should you contact likewise if you were looking for a job, how many potential employers would you contact? If you’re serious, your answer would be, “every coach”? Realize that to even get one you may need to get in front of hundreds or thousands to find that one that may be interested in you.

It is important to understand it is a numbers game on both sides, you and the college.  You want a job you like and skilled at that pays the most and have good benefits. A coach wants the best talent for the least amount of money necessary to get it done. 

Also, like most athletes we will assume you have put in countless hours sharpening skills in the sport as well as in the classroom. Again, like most parents you have spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money helping your athlete live his dream. Driving your son or daughter to and from practice, attending events, … and we know this list could go on forever. 

Point! Do you have a plan to move forward and produce results?  If Columbus would have turned back no one would have blamed him, but no one would have remembered him either. Back to Joe American, even if Joe only qualified athletically and academically for one forth of the schools offering football, he still only applied to a small amount of opportunities.

Point! Just like the job search process and just like the way college coaches pursue recruits, it’s a numbers game. Play it. In order to create enough interest and provide enough opportunities to generate leverage for a recruit, they should initially involve 100-200 college programs in their search. Again, if you really want to play in college, why would you limit yourself to a fraction of the opportunities available?

As you know by now, a job is not a luxury it is a must. A scholarship is the only ticket out for a lot of athletes to get their college education. An education that will change the rest of their life!

The  number of coaches, recruiters and staff  vary widely based upon sport and NCAA division(s or NAIA. Create a free account at eScout4u and we will tell you how many coaches, recruiters and staff we can get you in front of.

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5. Follow Up

If a coach responded to you, would you follow up?

What if you didn't hear from those you sent your athlete resume "Web Page Profile™ to"? Shouldn't you follow up to make sure they got your highlight videos or to check their interest in you? Something most don’t even think about.

In any search process, follow up is a must to move you closer to a visit and on to that scholarship offer you desire. Back to Joe American again, who can guess if they did any follow-up or not.  Most people wouldn’t admit they didn’t realize follow-up is important or messed up by not responding, even if you asked. 

Points! If you don’t follow-up you will lose immediately without a second chance proving you don’t care enough to make their team.

80+% of the recruiting process involve building relationships with college coaches. Just like coaches, you must have others in line in case one doesn’t come though.

Horror story again, do you know majority of athletes and parents believe that simply “getting out to local colleges” is all there is to the recruiting process?

Good news! eScout4u provides our athletes with a library of follow-up letters they can use and send directly to the coach while making it personal. Plus we realize how important it is as this stage we will instruct and guide you through it. This could be just what is needed for you to get in because others fail to respond.  A win is a win even if by just one point.

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6. The interview with a college football coach

Would you go to a $50,000 a year job interview or a official visit with your hat on or pants sagging? 

While we can’t dress you like the all American athlete would, the college will want you to represent their image. We will help you understand and prepare yourself to properly navigate this vital portion. 

Point! Another more prepared athlete could impress coaches in their “interview” and receive the “scholarship” even though they might have similar talent and grades but was better dressed. Show the coach you are really interested, dress nice. They know you may not always dress like that but you are making a statement that could get you that full ride scholarship.

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Selecting a college, much like finding a job, is a life changing process. With any process, there will always be several methods and avenues to pursue. However, if you attack the recruiting process the ame way you would seek a job, then more times than not, you will find success.

You must be proactive and tenacious.


There is so much more to the recruiting process that you will learn from eScout4u.  Our success rate hovers above 93%. We can help you all the way through the recruiting process, clear to and preparing for the interview then it’s you, your attitude, desire, commitment and talent.

Remember 80+% of the recruiting process involves building relationships.

You will never get recruited or even have a chance for a scholarship if a coach doesn't know you exist. Unlike other middleman type services that force an athlete/recruiting service/coach relationships (coaches have to go to their site to contact you), eScout4ugives you control with guidance creating direct athlete/coach relationships then continue building each coach’s relationship as the coach dictates’.   But first you have to believe a scholarship is possible, let eScout4u help you, have faith in our methods and get started now knowing this can impact the next 40 years of  your life.

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Author: Don Sprowl

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