May 21, 2024

Football – Sophomore – November

Complying With NCAA Rules

Many recruits and their families are UNAWARE of the different ways  that the recruiting process can be carried on while still complying with the NCAA rules.

For example, according to the NCAA rules, before September 1st of their Junior year, student athletes cannot legally receive more from college coaches than camp invites and questionnaires, nor can the college coaches legally call a recruit before this date.

So how is it that some Sophomores and even some Freshman claim to have received scholarship offers?

There are basically three main ways that outstanding Sophomores and Freshman do receive offers before that September 1st date.

Remember the key is  that the college coaches cannot contact you other than to send camp invites and questionnaires, but you can contact them at your own expense as much as you want before that September 1st deadline.

This means if a coach calls you during your Sophomore year, he is in direct violation of the NCAA rule, but if you call him no rules have been broken.

This might sound crazy, but if the coach can get word to you in some indirect way that he wants to talk to you so you will call him, he is within the rules.  He will get someone to act as a relay between the two of you so no NCAA rules will be broken.

Here Are Three Ways That Sophomores Might Legally Get Scholarship Offers:

 1.  One way the college coach could get word to you would be to have your high school coach tell you that he wants you for his program.  This typically happens when your high school coach has an ongoing relationship with the coach and periodically gives him tips and highlight videos on promising recruits.  If the coach has had an opportunity to evaluate you during spring tryouts, you could be offered a scholarship in this manner.

 2.  Another way the coach could get you to call him is to get one of his past or current players or even a friend of yours  to contact you and tell you that the coach would like to hear from you.  In this scenario, the coach has good reason to believe that you are scholarship material and has sized you up in some way either through highlight videos or TV clips and may even make an offer to you before some other coach does.

 3.  Another typical way that Sophomore football players get verbal scholarship offers from college coaches before September 1st of their Junior year is during summer camps.  If you have really impressed a coach during camp they could verbally make an offer to you before you leave the camp.

If  the coach legally verbally offers you like this, the offer should be followed up with a written scholarship offer shortly after September 1st of your Junior year.


Decide whether to make a highlight video of your Sophomore season.  If you decide to make one, go to the Membership Resource Section to see how to make it.  Make it as soon as possible after your season ends.

If you do decide to make one after your Sophomore season is completely over, there are some important things you should think about.

The higher the quality, the better the college coaches can see your talents. If you are not using a professional service, the same advice holds true; make sure that you get a high quality video regardless of whether you do it yourself, have a friend or your high school coach do it, or hire a professional service.

In most cases, a poor quality tape will be trashed by the coaches. Make it easy for the coaches to watch your video and make every frame count.

Here are some tips that will get your video watched provided you have some solid talent:

 On the first screen, list your name, your team’s uniform color, your jersey number and your position

 Include one or two full game tapes at the end of the highlight portion or make a separate DVD for them.  Be sure to highlight where you are on the field – use an arrow, draw a circle or square or make a light spotlight around your jersey. The idea is to make it easy for the coaches to identify you in the video.

 This may be your only chance to make a good impression, put your best plays in the video early on.  Some coaches will only watch the first few clips.

  Use ONLY high quality film. No bad lighting or quality issues at all.

  Do not include several different clips of one of your hot shot plays.

 Before making your highlight video, make sure that you have high quality full game tapes to choose from.  If you start with a great full tape, you will get great highlight clips.

 Put the DVD in a classy package and do not write on it with an ugly black magic marker.

 Make sure all the DVDs work prior to sending them out.  Sending out a bad video could easily eliminate you from the competition.  The coaches just do not have the time to fool with a bad DVD.

 Include your recruiting profile in the package.  Although you may have already sent a profile to the coach, having it handy in the package will make it easier for him to review it.

 Include your contact information on the DVD including your home phone number, cell phone number, email address, and home address.

 Also put your jersey number, height, weight, bench press, 40 time, squat and anything else of major interest that might attract the coaches attention.

There are both pros and cons concerning the value of making a highlight video this early in your high school playing career:


  • You will be a step ahead of your competition.  If you’ve had a good varsity season with impressive stats, it is a great time to put yourself on the radar. Make sure the coaches know you are a Sophomore and not a Junior when you send them the DVD.
  • You will have the video available in case the coach wants to see it and you won’t have to scramble around at the last minute.  Making these highlight videos takes time, money and prior preparation.
  • With your hat in the ring early during the recruiting process, the coach will be able to see your improvement over the course of your high school playing career.


  • Making highlight videos can get expensive.
  • If you didn’t rack up great stats during this season, it would be a waste of time, effort and money.
  • Many college coaches don’t bother with Sophomore videos unless you are a blue chip athlete.
  • Early offers, rarely actually materialize from these videos.

In the final analysis, it is up to you and your parents to decide, however if you were one of the really good solid players who truly had a great season, it probably is a good investment.  On the other hand, if you didn’t rack up impressive stats, it probably wouldn’t pay off other than to give the coaches a base line for comparison purposes.


Add this to your Financial Aid Tips file. Remember, there’s plenty of money out there that has to go to someone.  It may as well be you.



  • Start looking for the colleges you are interested in now – don’t wait.  An online source for college searches and message traffic is
  • Although this is only your Sophomore year and you have what seems like plenty of time to think about how you will get your college paid for, this is a good time to sit down with your parents and have a real heart to heart about how college expenses will actually be paid.
  •  This is not something that you want to put off until the last minute. Once you know what the bottom line is from your parents, then you will know what you have to shoot for in terms of other money to pay for college.
  •  Sure, you are after a full ride scholarship, but what if something happens like a torn ACL in your Senior year, or what if you just don’t get selected for a college where they are obligated to offer you a full ride?
  • All student athletes should pursue financial aid opportunities from other sources so they will be able to get a college education regardless of whether their full ride comes through or not.
  • Attend college fairs in your community where financial aid is discussed in detail. These are good places to find out about the different sources for financial aid.
  •  If you have consistently high grades, you should inquire about honor societies such as Beta Club and National Honor Society. Your high school may have a local chapter and belonging to this group may help you get college academic scholarships in the future. Different schools have different requirements for membership so check now so you won’t be surprised.



Study! Continue to focus on GRADES and learning.

 Look on your classes as foundational building blocks to your continuing education rather than as something just to get through. Shift your attitude and you will not only get more out of your classes but you will enjoy them too.

 If you followed our advice and took the PSAT last month, give yourself a pat on the back. Taking this test now will leave you much better prepared to take the PSAT again next October when it counts for possible academic scholarships.

 Stay on track! Are you taking challenging classes? Take college prep courses. Find out more about earning college credits while in high school in programs like Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, etc.

 Read something other than sports magazines. Instead of flipping on the TV or heading to Facebook, how about picking up a book (or Kindle) and read. Yes, reading does take you to terrific unexplored worlds in your imagination but it also has real concrete value as well.

Reading gives your a more well-rounded background. College admissions and future employers pick up on that. Avoid being known as just a football jock.

Things to do this month:

 Become familiar with general college entrance requirements. Don’t get caught with your pants down on this. It’s not fun taking two math classes at the same time because you failed to notice the college requirements earlier. Check out the information on General Preparation for College in our Membership Resource Section.


How Your Imagination Rules Your Emotions

If you are one of those football players who spends all his time training on fitness and technique while completely neglecting your mental game, you’re missing a real opportunity to elevate yourself into the elite levels of play.

Literally countless studies show that mental skills are acquirable and with practice can become an important part of your overall winning strategy.

Whether you are aware of your feelings or not, they affect the way you play football. Feelings are derived from what you “imagine” about an event and not from the event itself.

For example, two quarterbacks arriving at the regional championships may imagine two entirely different things about approaching the game.

One quarterback may imagine that he will be unable to play well in such an important final. This quarterback will feel nervous and uncertain and his performance is likely to be sub-par or poor.

The other quarterback might imagine the upcoming game as the experience of a lifetime. He sees himself enjoying the game; he feels relaxed and free; he pictures himself hoisting the championship trophy. All of these visualizations produce positive emotions.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory.

The lesson here is very simple, learn to change how you perceive your play and the game and you will learn how to manage your emotions. When you can manage your emotions then you will be able to play your very best.

New Landmark and Historical Changes In NCAA rulings.

1.  The NCAA board adopted a proposal allows universities to boost their athletic scholarships by as up t o $2,000 to cover the full cost of attendance.  Each conference will be free to vote on whether to adopt the proposal.

2.  High school athletes to be eligible for college play will now be required to have a GPA of 2.3 or higher in their 16 core courses rather than the previous 2.0.  Junior college players will be required to have a GPA of 2.5 or better.  These tougher entrance requirements could force some incoming freshmen to spend their first year in college as an “academic redshirt”.  They would be allowed to practice but not compete.

3.  Multi-Year Athletic Scholarships have been approved though one-year grants are still the minimum.

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