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The recruitment process


The following letter was sent out to coaches in 2013 from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. I found it to be extremely informational and helpful. Please read it if your player has a desire to play college football!

Much of the narrative focuses on the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association). In case you were curious, here is a breakdown of the number of football teams per organization: 

NCAA Division 1 FBS: 129

NCAA Division 1 FCS: 125

NCAA Division 2: 169

NCAA Division 3: 250

NAIA: 96


"The MHSFCA is increasingly concerned with the influx of commercial "recruiting services" that advertise their ability to get kids noticed by college coaches. If you were at the Kalamazoo Clinic, and attended the panel discussion you heard each of the coaches there say that they want to continue to talk to you about potential recruits and they want to see your film and your athletes at camps run by colleges and universities... That commercial recruiting services and combines - run by guys that charge parents for exposing their kids - are a waste of money.."

Michigan High School Recruiting Position Paper, 2013 

The purpose of this Recruiting Position statement is to bring focus and clarity to the high school football recruiting process.  The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association and our State of Michigan College Coaches have joined together with the hope of properly educating our parents and student athletes.  We all are concerned with the number of misleading business practices that do nothing to help students fulfill their dream of a college athletic career.  

Areas of Concern:

Paying a Private Recruiting Services is not advised:  Paying a recruiting service for “exposure” or for help with the recruiting process does little to help in recruiting.  The NCAA mandates and approves all recruiting services colleges can use.  Most of these services are not accessible to the public.  All of these services are free to the high school coach and student athletes.  There is no harm in using “free” services, but make sure the services are NCAA approved.  Most emails and “exposure” packets sent by services paid at the parents expense is considered “spam” and mostly sent to the trash. 

Private Combines and Showcases:  Results from combines most local, private “combines” or “showcases” are questionable and Numbers and scores from such events may not be credible to a college coach.  National combines may have more clout but are usually invitation only.   In addition, the NCAA has very strict guidelines colleges need to follow as well as possible issues regarding amateur status. 

“AAU” model events:  AAU coaches exist now in football and the trend is growing.  The AAU coach also forms a relationship with the student athlete.  You should choose wisely in regards to this process.  Football coaches at all levels disagree with the AAU type approach becoming a part of high school football.  Led by the Southeastern Conference (SEC) most colleges will no longer allow such events held on their campuses.  There are a number of legislative proposals at all levels of football to restrict such events. These events may offer intense competition and some skill improvement, but real game performance still determines scholarship offers. *The NCAA has already acted to prohibit AAU teams from competing on D1 campuses.

Truths of the Recruiting Process: 

Exposure:  Exposure comes from your high school coach.  College coaches will continue to acquire prospect information from the high school coaches.  These relationships are based on a trust built over time.  Secondly, send every college a personal letter and game DVD yourself [today it would simply be a link to your Hudl highlight]. All college programs have a staff directory on their web sites.   

Role of the High School Coach:  Every college coach wants a truthful relationship with the high school coach.  Truthful is the key factor. College coaches use a number of sources to cross-check every potential prospect.  Inflated numbers, dishonest evaluations can hurt the high school coach’s’ future recruits.   The role of the high school coach is to: 


-Supply viewable game tapes (in winter of junior year for most D1, middle to end of season for seniors)

-Correct and honest student bio information and a copy of the high school transcript. 

-Complete the NCAA approved recruiting services forms so the prospects are listed in the publication. 

-Attending the MHSFCA December recruiting fairs should also be fulfilled by either the high school head coach or a member of the high school staff.  A number of colleges will only recruit our state at these fairs.   

Attend College Camps:  This is where most college scholarships are awarded.  Attend and perform at the different college camps in-front of college coaches.  Student athletes need to perform in front of the college coaches.  College coaches want information they can trust.  Performing on a college campus and against other prospects can reinforce a prospects evaluation.  All camp dates are on every web site.  


Game Tapes:  “The eye in the sky doesn’t lie!”  College coaches evaluate student athletes based on real game tape footage.  Make sure the college coaches have your game tape at the appropriate time (December of Junior year for D1).  If they feel you are a real prospect, they will connect with you or your coach (given NCAA restrictions).  The higher the division desired, the earlier the tapes are needed.  For example, some D1 offers could be based on sophomore and most are based on junior game tape. 

Important Aspects of Fulfilling the Dream of a Collegiate Athletic Career

Understand the NCAA and NAIA Academic Eligibility rules before the student athletes ninth grade year begins.  The NCAA continues to add more restrictions to their eligibility process.  The Class of 2013 will now need 16 core classes to qualify as a D2 athlete.  The Class of 2015 will need a 2.3 GPA to qualify as a D1 athlete.  Academic eligibility begins with the first semester report card in the 9th grade.  All students and parents need to calculate the students NCAA CORE GPA every semester beginning with the 9th grade.

The overall GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) is the most important number in the recruiting process.  The higher the GPA above a 3.0, the more athletic opportunities a student athlete may available.  The most important high school report card is the first semester of the student athletes ninth grade.  

Academic Scholarships are Guaranteed:  College athletic scholarships are limited and in high demand.  Academic scholarships are available at all colleges and universities.  All students can earn academic scholarships but athletic offers are determined by the evaluation of college coaches.  Again, the most important report card is high school is the first semester of the 9th grade year. 

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association and the State of Michigan College Coaches will continue to work together and educate our student athletes and parents.  We understand the college athletic dream is a powerful motivator and all student athletes deserve the opportunity to fulfill their dream.    

The following Michigan Colleges and Universities have “signed on” in support of this position paper (As of 3/28/2012):

Adrian College
Albion College
Alma College
Central Michigan University
Ferris State University
Grand Valley State University
Hillsdale College
Michigan State University
Michigan Tech University
Northwood University
Olivet College
Siena Heights University 

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