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Recruiting 101 — The Right Fit

College Selection 101

I’m asked this a lot by many parents, “when is the right time to begin the recruiting process?” My opinion would be that it needs to take place as the recruit is approaching the high school level, immediately after their 8th grade season. As soon as you enter into high school, you should personally assess your abilities as a QB, and then ask for advice on where you would be best placed in college from your HS coaches and/or QB trainer.

Creating a College List

The biggest mistake that recruits make is narrowing their options to the wrong schools when seeking scholarship opportunities. It’s important to keep your options spread out to include all possible offer considerations.

When you first begin the recruiting process, put together a list of your top 20 schools:

  • 10 Match Schools: where you feel that you are a good match, both athletically and academically.
  • 5 Safety Schools:  where you have a very good chance at receiving offers and fit alongside your academic stats but may not be your top tier choices.
  • 5 Reach Schools: very competitive schools when it comes to specific athletic and academic criteria, dream schools you’re hoping to get offered.


Another important factor is your ability to be accepted into a specific football program based on your academic record.  Make sure to keep your GPA well above the highest GPA required for admittance by any of your choices. The NCAA academic eligibility includes a minimum 2.3 GPA to compete in first year of college, otherwise you’re sitting the bench.

Determining Division Level

The division level will often hinder players from obtaining ideal opportunities at most of their reach and match schools.

Next is your ability to compete at the varsity level. College coaches want to see a good amount of varsity film and stats to better assess the potential providing you with an offer. Your level of competition, location, size of high school may also be factors considered by college coaches of whether they should reach out to you with an offer. Know where you fit in. If you’re able to come to a realistic assessment to determine your place, whether it’s D1, D2, D3 NAIA as early as possible, this will better your chances of finding a school that meets your needs and are also super excited to have you on their team. Knowing where you fit will also save you time and money, especially when planning for college camps, school visits etc… Be smart, it’s nice to dream about landing that big offer but don’t miss out on the not so flashy schools, which may be a better fit.

Size (does it matter?)

There’s been a lot said about size and if it impacts the ability for a talented recruit to be considered for offer by the top tier D1/FBS schools. Unfortunately, it’s a factor which clouds the decision-making process of many college coaches. My take is this, if you have the talent, I’ll shine well above your size. Don’t let that be a deterrent which would hinder your school search. There’s many examples of college QB’s who have excelled at the collegiate level despite their size, Baker Mayfield, Johnny Manziel, Drew Brees, Michael Vick, Doug Flutie, Russell Wilson. Current big name QB at the collegiate level, Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) 5’10”, you can throw in Brock Purdy (Iowa State) at 6’1”.

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