CRASH COURSE
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Aimed to provide you with a one-stop shop in regard to recruiting information, this page was designed to cover the need-to-knows when it comes to the entire recruiting process. If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to go through the process, chances are you will only get one shot. In just a few quick reads, you will be able to take something that many families describe as "frustrating and confusing" and make it exciting and enjoyable. Whether you're wondering where to start, or you're ready to commit and want to know what's next, consider this complete crash course a gift - from us to you - as a Thank You for allowing us to be a part of your experience.

 
HIT. THE. BOOKS.

If you get nothing else from this... if you do not read any further... understand it. There is NOTHING more important that can create you more opportunities than what you do in the classroom. Your mom and dad are not wrong. We've all been there and we get it - the classroom isn't every PSAs cup of tea - but you still have to drink it. Anything below a 2.3 GPA and you can pretty much kiss NCAA ball goodbye. You have to meet NCAA eligibility requirements to play NCAA DI, NCAA DII, or NAIA football. Anything below a 2.0 GPA and you're going to find it difficult to get on any field. If you have questions in regard to your academics, please feel free to reach out. We can guide you through it. Too often extremely talented PSAs are left hanging because they're a risky investment for a coach. They only have a certain amount of money to hand out. They will not invest in you if you do not take the classroom seriously. Recent rule changes also emphasize grades for programs to remain bowl eligible. If you're serious about playing ball in college, grades have to be the most important thing to you from this point forward. Actions speak louder than words. Show these coaches you are for real. If you're not - there is nothing anyone can do for you (unless you are close with Rebecca Romijn Stamos.)

NEED HELP WITH NCAA OR NAIA ELIGIBILITY? 

 

"YOUR" cannot be emphasized enough here. The experience for most Prospective Student Athletes (PSA's) will be entirely different. Even if multiple players on your team are pursuing their opportunities to play at the collegiate level, chances are all of your journeys will be different. You shouldn't compare anyone else's success or experience to your situation - nor should you have any negative feelings about yourself because of it. Your focus should be on your studies, improving your play on the field, and crushing whatever task you take on next. We're going to focus on you - no one else. Use your energy to control the things you can. Stars DO NOT matter. Rankings DO NOT matter. The only list you should be concerned with is the list on the coach's recruiting board that is in their office at whatever school you wish to attend. 

We also like to refer to this as "building your brand." There is no place where recruiting goes on more than online. College coaches no longer have to invest the resources they used to in traveling around the country, from high school to high school, trying to identify all of the talent thats out there. More often than not, chances are that if a coach is visiting a high school, they are there to see a recruit play in person that sparked their interest after seeing their athletic and academic information online. Make sure your athletic and academic information can easily be found online by college coaches to increase your chances of playing at the next level. Social media accounts can also help you out, but they can hurt you as well. Do not make yourself a ghost, but be smart with them - keep it clean. 

 

One of the main reasons we started G.E.M. Class was to provide PSAs with a FREE Player Profile that is live and viewable to all college coaches. Over 7,000 coaches throughout the NCAA, NAIA, NJCAA, and CCCAA have profiles with us that allow them to login and check out our Player Directory. While that is just a tiny part of what we do - take advantage of the opportunity. Once you sign in, and fill out our recruit form, our Scouting Director will look over your information. Just like college football is not for everyone, neither are we. We only work with the best 400 PSAs for each year across the country, so treat your Player Profile like a resume. Fill in all of the information you can beyond the required info. A good highlight reel that is put together professionally can single handedly make or break you. If you need help with that, let us know if and when we reach out - or even if we don't - we can take care of it for you! Our  Scouting Director can more easily evaluate your film than he can your contact information. If we feel like you have what it takes to become a part of our ELITE 400, we will reach out to you or your family directly and see if you qualify for our FREE Scouting Evaluation. If we do not reach out, keep grinding. Things can easily change for you in the future. Your profile will still be visible to  ALL college coaches and they can reach out to you directly if they like what the see. 

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Coaches know when they are receiving the same message you sent out to twenty other coaches right before the one you sent to them. One of the best ways to let a coach know you're serious about their program is to be personable. Including specifics that are attractive to you about their program can generate a higher response rate to your messages. We can help you craft your emails! The only way to write a good one, though, will inevitably require you to look into their school and/or program - so do your research. This is a good time to mention that this should be something you WANT to do. We're talking about your college education. That is something that no one can ever take away from you. Find a school that will allow you to be successful in life in the event that your football career ends after college. 

4. CONNECT WITH COACHES

Football is all about relationships. Ask any coach you know. Same goes for your chances of playing at the next level. Build your relationships. Get to know coaches. More importantly, make sure the coach wants to get to know you. Five star athletes don't generally choose to go to UNC when they have offers from Alabama, LSU, and Clemson - but it happens. You want the coach to RECRUIT you. That means he/she will want to get to know you and they will do their best to make sure you know (without a doubt) that they have you and your families best interests at heart. It's truly less common than you think. Be prepared for these conversations so you know how to communicate effectively. If a coach called you today - would you know what to ask? What he's going to ask? We can help you prepare for these things. 

1. KNOW YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

PROGRAMS BY DIVISION

DI FBS

DI FCS

DII

DIII

NAIA

JUCO

CC

TOTAL

130

127

169

250

96

65

66

903

THE NEXT LEVEL - BY THE NUMBERS

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYERS

1,057,382

NCAA FOOTBALL PLAYERS

73,603

NCAA FB PLAYERS DRAFTED

253

% HS FOOTBALL PLAYERS TO NCAA

6.9 %

% NCAA FB PLAYERS TO PROS

1.6 %

College football is not for everyone. You need to be realistic in your approach. If you are going to play in college, you're probably one of the best players on your high school team. Understanding your opportunities will provide you with the best chance to find success at the end of your journey. If you're not sure that you have what it takes, or maybe you're not sure how to even begin to find out - don't worry - you're not alone. Gather all of your athletic and academic information and start putting yourself a resume together. Reach out to your high school coach for help. It's key to understand that it is not your high school coach's responsibility to get you a scholarship. They oversee an entire team that, in most cases, have over half of your teammates reaching out to them for help as well. TAKE OWNERSHIP OF YOUR RECRUITING PROCESS. No one cares more about your future than you and your family. 

2. CREATE AN ONLINE PRESENCE
CREATE YOUR GAMEPLAN

JUST GETTING STARTED OR LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE?

 

It is EXTREMELY important to become familiar with collegiate rules and regulations in order to get the most out of your recruiting process. Understanding how to connect with college coaches and when it is and is not permissible to do so will give you a huge edge on the rest of the PSAs that your are competing for a spot with. Most PSAs are under the impression that recruiting starts their junior year. The biggest mistake you can make, in the event you want to play NCAA Division I football, is waiting until your junior year before you start getting to know college coaches. 85% of NCAA DI athletes are identified by their sophomore year. Coaches have to win to keep their job. In order to win, they need to recruit the best talent possible. Identifying elite athletes before other coaches is key to that process. There are numerous 7th graders today that have DI offers. Do not wait to begin to get your name out there. Below is a table that identifies what type of communication is allowed between PSAs and college coaches for each grade level.

 
RECRUITING GUIDELINES

RECEIVE YOUR FREE PLAYER EVALUATION!

READY TO CONNECT WITH MORE COLLEGE COACHES?

NCAA DI

MIDDLE / FRESHMAN / SOPHOMORE
JUNIOR
SENIOR

Recruiting Materials

Questionnaires, camp flyers, academic publications, and NCAA educational materials

Official Visits

Permissible June 15 after SO year

Official Visits

Permissible June 15 after SO year

ALL UNLIMITED

recruiting materials, private electronic messages, calls, & in person, off campus, contacts

ALL UNLIMITED

recruiting materials, private electronic messages, calls, & in person, off campus, contacts

NCAA DII

MIDDLE / FRESHMAN / SOPHOMORE
JUNIOR
SENIOR

Recruiting Materials

Questionnaires, camp flyers, academic publications, and NCAA educational materials

Recruiting Materials and Electronic Transmissions

All private communication allowed Sept 1.

Telephone Calls

1 per week after Sept. 1 SR year.

Unlimited during contact period.

Telephone Calls Initiated by PSA at his Expense

Institutional staff member may receive calls at any time.

Telephone Calls from Coach

One call from April 15 through May 31.

Off-Campus Contact

July 1 prior to senior year (limited to contact periods).

Official Visits

Apr 1 through Sun. before last Wed. in June.

Not during a camp or clinic.

Max. of 5.

Official Visits

Aug. before SR yr - official visits 48 hrs before & after home game.

Sept 1 SR year - open (max of 5)

NCAA DIII

NCAA DIII coaches can contact you day one your freshman year. They do not extend athletic offers. Instead, if they want you to play for their program, they will put together an academic package to pay your tuition and guarantee you a roster spot.

NAIA

NAIA does not regulate communication between high school students and their coaches. There are regulations in regard to visits and tryouts. They also have guidelines for PSAs who are enrolled at another collegiate institution.

Nothing raises more questions by PSAs and their families than the recruiting calendars. The purpose of the calendars are to create a level playing field - in all aspects of the recruiting environment - throughout each division. More importantly, they are designed to keep the well-being of the PSA as the priority. The calendars essentially set the rules and regulations that govern the recruiting process. They specify who can be involved in the process, when they can be involved, and exactly what type of involvement they can have. According to the NCAA, "a contact occurs any time a college coach says more than hello during a face-to-face contact with a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents off the college’s campus." While this seems simple, it can be a complex subject if you are not aware of the terminology and the periods the calendars are broken down to. If you and your family would like to have a better understanding of the recruiting calendars, create your player profile and we can go through them with you. The periods are briefly explained below.

RECRUITING CALENDARS
CALENDAR PERIODS
PERIOD
GUIDELINES

Contact Period

Coaches CAN have face-to-face contact w/ PSA & family, watch PSA compete, visit schools, and write/call PSA & family.

Evaluation Period

Coaches CAN watch PSA compete, visit their school, and write/call PSA & family. Coaches CAN NOT have face-to-face contact w/ PSA & family off campus.

Quiet Period

Coaches CAN have face-to-face contact w/ PSA & family ONLY on campus. Coaches CAN write/call PSA & family. Coaches CAN NOT watch PSA compete or visit their school.

Dead Period

Coaches CAN NOT have face-to-face contact with PSA & family, or watch PSA compete, or visit their school. Coaches CAN write/call PSA & family.