June 25, 2022

Football – Junior – February

Signing Day Is Only Twelve Months Away

As you know, signing day falls on February 1st this year, which means that college football coaches are very busy during the first few days of the month, but the good news is that you still  have an entire year to do all the things necessary to land yourself either a full-ride football scholarship or at least one of a substantial size.

Recruiting Profile

Hopefully many of you have already done this, but if you haven’t, during this important month, you and your parents should make sure that you have put together a Recruiting Profile, which should include the following information:

   Contact Information – You cannot send the coach too many ways to get in touch with you.  Include your name, address, home and cell numbers and also email address.  Also send your parents contact information and if you have asked permission, include your high school coach’s contact information.

   Academics and Grades – First, be honest when reporting this type of information.  The better your grades and test scores, the more opportunities you will have to play.  Unless you are going for one of the Ivy league schools, a 3.3 GPA and a 23 ACT is all you will need to meet the entrance requirements for most other schools.  If you know it or can get it, also furnish your class rank.

   Your Picture – A smiling photo will acquaint the coaches with you even before they actually meet you.

   Athletic Accomplishments –  Include the usual stats, but also include things like team records, post season honors, and team accomplishments, and also include the same type of information if you have played more than one sport.  Again, be truthful with all this type of information.

See the Membership Resource Section for a sample and profile layout instructions.

Once you’ve completed the profile, send it in a .pdf or .doc file to everyone you can think of besides the college coaches just to see if  there are issues opening it and to get your family and friends to review it for grammar and typos.

Where To Send Your Recruiting Profile

Do you already have a list of schools where you would like to play?  Have you and your parents researched schools that would actually be a fit athletically and academically?  What type of college program would realistically suit you?  Here’s how to develop a list of colleges where you would be a fit.

 Have a big family meeting where everyone is comfortable putting in their two cents worth.  Come at it from a number of different angles with people who know you best:

  • Academics – Think about what fields of interest you have.  What are you good at academically?  Do you already know your major?  What career do you imagine for yourself?  Remember, college is preparation for where you will be spending about forty years of your life.
  • School Size – Have you imagined yourself attending a school with a student body of forty thousand or more or would you be more at home in a smaller school, say five thousand or less?
  • Location Of School –  Would you be comfortable living clear across the country from your family, or would closer to home suit your personality better?  Remember, it is more expensive to travel back and forth from long distances than it is from the in state schools.
  • Athletics –  Time to get really honest on this one.  What level of college football can you realistically play.   Ask yourself, your high school coach and your parents.  Hopefully, they will all agree, but ultimately you must decide.  If you know now that you are not D-I material, shoot for a level of play where you feel you would realistically be a fit.
  • Finances – Obviously, you are hoping to land an athletic scholarship, but you should also be striving for other types of scholarships as well.  It is very possible that you will be offered a partial football scholarship and the rest of the money will have to come from somewhere else.  Are you parents willing and able to foot the rest of the bill?

Once you and you parents and other interested family members have talked about these issues, then it is time to start researching schools where you will be a good fit all the way around.

Try to find 25 to 40 schools that meet the criteria derived from your family discussion above.  Even if you are pretty sure you are D-I material, select schools from all the other levels.  This may prove to be very beneficial to you as signing day twelve months from now moves closer.

How To Send Profile

 Now, send your profile to these schools.  Go to our College Coaches Online section and find the schools on  your list.  Just click on the school, under the athletics department, click on the staff directory.

 This will give you a list of all the coaches, if you the position coach, send your introductory email to him (see Member Resource Section for sample), attach your recruiting profile with a link to your highlight video and personal athletic website if you have them.

 If you do not know the position coach, send everything to the recruiting coordinator.  DO NOT SEND to the head coach, he has his staff do all the sifting through the many hundreds and sometimes thousands of profiles for potential scholarship recipients.

 Parents, you will probably be handling this for your son.  Write the email from you (do not pretend it is from your son) saying a few things about your son’s highest accomplishments, link to the video and website, attach the recruiting profile and thank the coach for considering your son. Avoid being long winded about your son’s accomplishments and be honest.

You should at least get several camp invites as a result of this email, if you do not hear from some of the coaches within a couple of weeks, resend your information.  Camp invites do not mean that you are being recruited, but do at least mean that you are on the recruiting radar.

Junior Days

Some Coaches hold Junior Days during this month.  At a Junior Day you will hear from the head coach, get a fee meal, tour the facilities, listen to the head coach and other coaches pitch the school and football program, view a short school highlight video, and you may have a coach’s position  meeting.

In addition, you will hear talks about the importance of maintaining a good GPA, coaches will encourage you to attend their summer camp, and they will tell you to keep up the good work and be patient about  receiving a scholarship.

A Junior Day invite can come anytime between January and May.

“Things To Do This Month…”

  • If you have not already done so, complete your recruiting profile, highlight video and get your athletic website up.
  • Send the package as above to the schools on your list. Research schools and come up with a good list of 25 t0 40 schools.
  • Make Junior Day visits only to schools on the top of your list, but do visit ones where you will be a fit.


Begin Thinking About Your College Essays

 Hopefully, you have been writing essays for several years now.  Also, you hopefully have been keeping your essays in a portfolio at school or at home.  By having this source of writing that has been critiqued, you have a priceless resource for any future writing you need to do.

These previous essays can help you see how your writing has changed over time, how your views have changed and give you excellent ideas for new essay topics.  This is very important because you will be writing several essays as part of your application to college.

It is not too soon to learn about the college essay and how to make sure yours is outstanding. The process of writing a college essay can be broken down into three parts.

  • Part 1 is brainstorming the topic of the essay.
  • Part 2 is selecting the topic.
  • Part 3 is writing and editing the essay.

Below are some excellent tips on Part 1 Brainstorming the Topic. 

 Plan to spend one to two weeks on brainstorming the topic. Don’t worry about exact wording at this point just get ideas flowing.

 When brainstorming, the goal is to get all ideas recorded. Don’t toss any idea out at this stage. Ask friends and family for ideas.

Some questions to help you get started:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What are your accomplishments?
  • What person (event, book, etc.) has influenced you the most?
  •  What struggles have you faced and overcome?
  • What do you want to do in the future?


Financial Aid Facts That Can Save You Thousands

 1. Some Colleges Give More Than Others

Most schools use the same financial aid formulas but there are huge differences in how much they award in grants, scholarships and other financial aid.

The older prestigious colleges and many other private universities offer higher financial aid amounts because they have large endowment funding.

Endowments come from donations and over the years can become enormous.  Public colleges and universities, on the other hand, rarely have significant endowment funds.

 2. Look Beyond the Amount for Tuition Published for Colleges

A year at a state college or university may cost $20,00 – $35,000 (tuition, fees, room and board, etc.). A private school may be more than $55,000.  So the state school will be cheaper to attend, right?  Not so fast.  Private schools use their endowments to meet 90-95% of their financial aid.  State colleges meet about 50-65%. You may end up paying less at the big private school.

 3. Middle Class Families Can Get Generous Grants, Scholarships and other Financial Aid

Recently, colleges and universities have sought to help upper middle class families far more than in the past.  But you can’t get financial aid if you don’t apply. A recent study showed over 50%  of eligible families did not apply – leaving millions on the table.

 4. Grades Have Little To Do with Financial Aid Awards

In the current economy, all families need help paying for college expenses.  There are two types of scholarships, those based on financial need (how much money you make) and those based on merit (GPA, test scores, etc.).   About 98% of the financial aid funds available are NEED based.  More families qualify than in the past so make sure you apply.

 5. It May Matter WHERE You Save for College

The financial aid formulas count college “savings” differently.  Generally money saved in the student’s name will hurt you more than money saved in the parent’s name.  Check carefully to make sure your assets give you the best chance.

 6. Graduation Rates Are Not All the Same

Most people think of graduating from college in four years.  That amount of time used to be pretty standard.  But only 50% of students from state schools finish in four years now.

There are many reasons.  Private colleges have about an 85% four-year graduation rate.  Keep that in mind in thinking about how much college is going to cost.

How To Prepare Mentally for Competition

How well you can control your mind determines whether you choke , go crazy or are able to remain focused and calm during competition.

Overcoming mental and emotional weakness is difficult to achieve, especially if you let your defects overwhelm you.

 Learn to turn your weaknesses into positive outcomes.  Begin by knowing your deficiencies. Do you get nervous, anxious or angry?  Train yourself to avoid letting these negative emotions reach the surface.  Change your anxiety into energy and your anger into the determination to win.  Learn to view “a raw deal” as a challenge.

 Mentally tough football players view competition with fascination, however, they realize that it is just a sport and their self-image is not wrapped up in whether they win or lose.  Their self-worth comes from knowing who they are from an inner perspective.

 They slow down to enjoy the adrenalin rush of the present moment, and they understand that practice and the games are a part of the journey.

“Mental Toughness Tips…”

1. Even when you are tired or discouraged, stay pumped up.

2. Even if you are losing, “act as if” you are winning.

3. Stay loose and relaxed during the breaks in the play.

4. Plan your strategy before the game.

5. Before beginning each game, follow the same rituals.

6. The more intense the game gets, the more you love it.

7. Thrive on the fun of the play.

8. Stay positive no matter how bad things are going.

9. Stay intensely focused on the competition.

10. Realize that toughness is more important than talent.

11. Maintain your composure regardless of the score.


New Legislation Just Approved For Division II

  Advanced communication technology like e-mails and texting have forced member schools to drastically relax recruiting restrictions in several areas.

  • D-II Athletic programs will be allowed to visit potential recruits on an unlimited basis beginning June 15 before the student athlete’s junior year in high school.
  • D-II Programs can now contact student athletes via fax, e-mail, phone, instant message and text starting June 15 before the students junior year.
  • Additionally, D-II programs can use social media like Facebook and Twitter to contact recruits as long as it is private.  For example, coaches and recruiters could send a message on Facebook, but would not be allowed to write on his wall.

Twitter And Facebook Beware

 Now that college monitor Twitter and Facebook as a routine part of the evaluation process, potential athletic recruits  have to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL about the content of Tweets, Facebook and other social media.

Recently, the Michigan Wolverines stopped recruiting, Yuri Wright a nationally ranked hot cornerback prospect, as a result of a series of sexual and racially derogatory Tweets.  His fate also hangs in the balance with Rutgers.

This young athlete has possibly ruined his chances to play college football.  The fact is, although most college athletic scholarship hopefuls have been warned about the possible negative consequences of using social media, we now have concrete  proof of how damaging their use can be.


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