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The levels of programs

  • Division 1 BCS (Bowl Championship Series) 85 scholarships
  • Division 1AA FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) 63 scholarships
  • Division 2 (varies)
  • Division 3 (grants and merit awards)
  • Junior College (JC)

 Control your own recruiting

  • Academics 3.0 or better
  • Research be informed
  • Register with NCAA Clearinghouse
  • Amateurism
  • Official transcripts
  • SAT/ACT should have score on file
  • 16 core course
  • GPA sliding scale
  • Recruiting services
  • Highlight film Hudl, Maxpreps

Academic Eligibility

To participate in Division I athletics or receive an athletics scholarship during the first year of college, a student-athlete must:

Complete the 16 core-course requirement in eight semesters:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher)
  • 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if offered by the high school)
  • 1 extra year of English, math or natural or physical science
  • 2 years of social science
  • 4 years of extra core courses (from any category above, or foreign language, non doctrinal religion or philosophy)

Earn a minimum required grade-point average in core courses

Earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches the core course grade-point average and test-score sliding scale. (For example, a 3.000 core-course grade-point average needs at least a 620 SAT).

Student-athletes enrolling in college in August 2016 and later must meet all of the above requirements to receive aid in the first year and practice in the first term. In order to compete in the first year, prospects must meet all of the above and:

  • Earn at least a 2.3 GPA in core courses
  • Meet an increased sliding-scale standard
  • Complete 10 core-courses prior to the start of the seventh semester, at least seven in English, math and science.

If a student-athlete earns nine credits in the first term, he or she can continue to practice the remainder of the year. If not, he or she can remain on aid but can’t practice.

Highlight Film/Hudl prospect page

What colleges look for on film?

  • Game Film
  • Does he dominate his opponent?
  • Does he make plays?
  • Athletic ability? Explosiveness, Speed, COD?
  • Does he finish plays, Effort?
  • Does he use appropriate technique?
  • Does he play both ways?
  • Does he play Special Teams ?
  • Numbers? Weight room testing?

Helpful guides: Prospect Database Figuring out Football Ratings (Stars) has assembled the top team of recruiting analysts in the nation with both national and regional experts based all throughout the country. With those strengths, players at a number of different positions will be ranked once a month from June until February. The rankings are compiled after countless hours of film evaluation, personal observations and input from professional, college and high school coaches. In the finished product, players are ranked a number of different ways but the most important ways are numerically by position, qualitatively by stars and a new ranking system that grades players on the expected impact they will make in college.  Players are ranked numerically on a national level at their positions. The numerical ranking at each position varies depending on the depth of the talent at the position.

Players are also ranked on their quality with a star ranking. A five-star prospect is considered to be one of the nation’s top 25-30 players, four star is a top 250-300 or so player, three-stars is a top 750 level player, two stars means the player is a mid-major prospect and one star means the player is not ranked.

The ranking system ranks prospects on a numerical scale from 6.1-4.9.
6.1 Franchise Player; considered one of the elite prospects in the country, generally among the nation’s top 25 players overall; deemed to have excellent pro potential; high-major prospect

6.0-5.8 All-American Candidate; high-major prospect; considered one of the nation’s top 300 prospects; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.7-5.5 All-Region Selection; considered among the region’s top prospects and among the top 750 or so prospects in the country; high-to-mid-major prospect; deemed to have pro potential and ability to make an impact on college team

5.4-5.0 Division I prospect; considered a mid-major prospect; deemed to have limited pro potential but definite Division I prospect; may be more of a role player

4.9 Sleeper; no expert knew much, if anything, about this player; a prospect that only a college coach really knew about is proud to present the most advanced database system ever created and the most advanced rating system around. If you have any questions about the database or rankings contact

 How recruiting works

Questionnaires-what does it mean?

Once you enter your first year of high school, college coaches are allowed to send you material about their school and sports program. While they may not be able to speak with you just yet, receiving information in the mail is just the first step in the recruiting process. But it is a step that requires a response. Getting information from a college coach does not guarantee that they will start recruiting you. It is merely an invitation to express your interest in the school if you have any.

Yes, college coaches are sending these recruiting questionnaires to hundreds of Potential Student-Athletes (PSA). But that is part of funneling in the recruiting process. By sending them to hundreds of athletes, they are hoping for a few dozen interested recruits.

Letters –what does it mean?

Just getting a letter from a college coach does not mean you are being seriously recruited. Some programs send out thousands of letters to a mailing list of student athletes just to see who is interested. That said, if you are receiving specific kinds of letters it could mean you are being seriously recruited and you need to move quickly. Here is a breakdown of the different letter types, what they mean and what you should do if you are receiving them.

  • General letters about the school – These types of letters are non-personalized generic letters about the school and program. They are not signs of serious recruitment and are usually sent to hundreds if not thousands of recruits. You should respond to the letter with your own letter, email or phone call if you are interested in the school, but don’t think this means the coach is watching you. You should still be sending them film, stats and attempting to talk to a coach directly.
  • Typed personalized letters asking you to contact them – These letters are usually sent after a college coach has made an initial evaluation of you (usually online or at a tournament or showcase). This means the coach likes what they saw athletically, and wants to move forward with the recruiting process. Coaches will send out letters like this to 50-200 athletes in order to find out who is serious and begin reducing their list of recruits to the most qualified athletes. It is critical you follow up in a timely manner to ensure the coach knows you are interested ahead of other athletes.
  • Hand written letters letting you know they will be at your games – If a coach has indicated they are watching your games and evaluating you in person, it is a clear sign they are very interested. It doesn’t guarantee a scholarship yet, but means you have a better chance than most. At this point you should be scheduling regular contact (either on the phone or email) and trying to decide if this is the type of school you want to attend.

The one phone call

Telephone calls are the source of a great deal of stress for coaches because their frequency is strictly limited and they start relatively late in the recruiting process. That is one big reason for the large number of violations that occur regarding recruiting phone calls.

Generally, coaches may not call recruits until July 1 between their junior and senior year in high school. After that, coaches may normally call prospects once per week. A few sports have a different starting date:

  • Football: One call is allowed between April 15 and May 31 of a prospect’s junior year in high school. After that, calls may start again September 1 of a prospect’s senior year in high school.

Spring recruiting (evaluation)

  • The second evaluation window is fast approaching. It is the spring evaluation period. NCAA rules allow a six-week window from April 15 through May 31. Each school must select four of those six weeks and seven coaches are allowed on the road to evaluate prospects during six days of each week (excluding Sundays). Each school is allowed to view practices, off-season workouts, and talk to coaches and counselors. They are not allowed to have direct face-to-face contact with junior prospects. Each school gets to make two evaluations per prospect, one of which has to occur on the high school campus. College coaches can also utilize track meets and baseball games for this second evaluation or they can come back to the high school a second time. If a player wasn’t offered a scholarship on the basis of his junior tapes, he might be during this period, if he favorably impresses the college staff.

September first recruiting starts

  • The third evaluation window is summer camps and the the fourth and final window is senior game tape. Regardless of whether you have been offered a scholarship or not, you should be making plans to attend college summer camps.
  • Academic evaluation is vitally important also and prospects should give themselves every opportunity to be thoroughly evaluated. Make sure you sign up with the NCAA Clearinghouse this spring. Make sure you sign a transcript release and leave it with your counselor, so college coaches can obtain unofficial copies of your transcript when they visit your school in the spring. And by all means, MAKE SURE YOU TAKE AN SAT OR ACT TEST THIS SPRING. Don’t roll the dice on taking your test for the first time next fall. Most of these tests are given on Saturday morning and there is a pretty good chance that you will have either played a football game on Friday night (think being tired with a potential headache) or Saturday (think being distracted by the upcoming game). You may still wind up taking a test in the fall, but don’t make it your first attempt. By having a test score and knowing what your core grade point average is, helps you to determine where you rank on the NCAA Sliding Scale, giving you some insight on whether you need to improve your performance in the fall or perhaps by taking some summer school courses.
  • Remember prospects and parents, you are not in control of this phase of the recruiting process, so all the stats and honors you accumulate are not going to get you a Division I scholarship. Being academically eligible to be recruited is the starting point. Then it is up to the colleges to judge your performance against the needs and expectations of their program and make their own selections

what is evaluation period

During an evaluation period a college coach may watch college-bound student-athletes compete, visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents. However, a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents off the college’s campus during an evaluation period.

Contact period

During a contact period a college coach may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, watch student-athletes compete and visit their high schools, and write or telephone student-athletes or their parents.

what is Dead period

During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools. Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.

What is the difference between an official visit and an unofficial visit?

Any visit to a college campus by a college-bound student-athlete or his or her parents paid for by the college is an official visit. Visits paid for by college-bound student-athletes or their parents are unofficial visits.

During an official visit the college can pay for transportation to and from the college for the prospect, lodging and three meals per day for both the prospect and the parent or guardian, as well as reasonable entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sports event.

The only expenses a college-bound student-athlete may receive from a college during an unofficial visit are three tickets to a home sports event.

What is a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent is signed by a college-bound student-athlete when the student-athlete agrees to attend a Division I or II college or university for one academic year. Participating institutions agree to provide financial aid for one academic year to the student-athlete as long as the student-athlete is admitted to the school and is eligible for financial aid under NCAA rules. Other forms of financial aid do not guarantee the student-athlete financial aid.

The National Letter of Intent is voluntary and not required for a student-athlete to receive financial aid or participate in sports.

Signing an National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.

A student-athlete who has signed a National Letter of Intent may request a release from his or her contract with the school. If a student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent with one school but attends a different school, he or she will lose one full year of eligibility and must complete a full academic year at their new school before being eligible to compete.

On campus contact

  • Be prepared for unannounced visits
  • Greetings (hand shake)
  • Interview- have organized and prepared questions
    • Do you offer my major?
    • Academic requirement?
    • Job placement?
    • Internship opportunities?
    • Master degree opportunity?
    • Offered classes in my major and time they are offered? (years to graduate)
    • Are you offering me an official visit?
    • How many returning players at my position?
    • How many scholarships will be offered at my position?
    • Have you offered a scholarship to another player in my position?
    • What is your style of offense or defense?
    • How do you see me fitting into your system?


Some Questions to Ask College Recruiters Regarding Athletic Scholarships

During your junior and/or senior year in high school, you may have a chance to speak with college coaches on the phone or in person or you may have the opportunity to visit a college campus. When the coach takes time to talk to you and to introduce the school, program, and playing opportunity, you have the chance to ask questions that will help you make your decision, and, at the same time, help you and the coach decide if the school and playing opportunity is a good match for your interests and for the team needs. If it turns out that there is a good match, you’re having asked these questions will help the coach feel confident that you are serious about the opportunity.

About the School

1. Is the school public or private? Church affiliated?
2. Where is the school located, a small town, or in an urban area?
3. What is the campus like, academically, socially?
4. How large is the school, what is the undergraduate enrollment?
5. What are the strongest degree programs offered, and which are the best academic departments?
6. Do most students live on campus or in off-campus apartments? What is the student housing like?
7. Do the members of the team room together?
8. What is the academic calendar – quarters, semesters, trimesters?
9. What computing resources and library services are available to students?
10. What academic assistance programs are available to athletes?

About the Sport Program and the Team

1. In what division does the school play? (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA)
2. What conference does the team/school play in?
3. Can you provide a schedule for next fall?
4. What was the team’s conference and overall record this year?
5. How many players will there be on the roster next year?
6. How many will travel with the team?
7. What is the off-season training program like? What is the pre-season schedule like?
8. Including meetings, training, travel, and matches, how much time is required per week?
9. What are your goals for the team?
10. How many seniors are graduating? How many scholarship athletes are you recruiting?
11. How much playing time should I expect as a freshman?
12. How many other players are playing that position?

How to Go Forward

1. Where am I on your board at this time?
2. Have you seen me play?
3. Which tournaments/events will you be attending to recruit/evaluate?
4. Have you talked with my high school coaches?
5. Do you have a copy of my playing resume, references, hi-lite video?
6. What’s the next step? What else can I do? Do you see me as a serious possibility?

Things to consider when picking a school

  • Academic program
  • Location of university
  • Financial Aid package
  • Population and size
  • Teacher to student ratio
  • Football program
  • Offense and defensive of scheme
  • Position depth
  • Current Player response to program and coaches
  • Don’t select school because of the recruiting coach
  • If you where injured or cut from program, would you stay and graduate?


How Can I Walk On

  • Recruited walk-on
  • Priority walk-on
  • First day of school walk-on
  • Spring walk-on



Basically a grayshirt is when an athlete delays his enrollment at his future college so that his eligibility clock will not start ticking until he arrives on campus during the second semester of the year. Football is the only sport that I am aware of that uses grayshirts but it could be used by other fall sports and possibly spring sports as well.

Here is how it would be used. If you were an athlete who signed a National Letter of Intent last week for football, you would be reporting to the school in early August to start the football season. Your eligibility clock of four playing seasons in five total years would start ticking. If you are currently 18, even if you redshirted and played the next four years, you would finish your playing career around the age of 22 or 23 (Depending on birthday and such).

If you decided to grayshirt, what you would do that first semester would be go to a local Junior College and attend classes. The reason you may go to a JC near home is to save money over another, more expensive school. What you would have to do is make sure that you are not taking a full load. If a full load of classes is considering 12 class hours, you would just need to make sure you are taking less than that. As a grayshirt, you would not get to practice with the team, workout with the team, or even eat at team meals. During the first semester, you are not a part of the team.


Each student-athlete is eligible for four years of competition in each of their chosen sports. If a qualified incoming student-athlete is “redshirted” his or her freshman year (i.e., practices but does not compete), four full years of eligibility still remain. An extra year of eligibility can also be granted via a “hardship waiver” if a student-athlete suffers an incapacitating injury or illness in the course of a season. The injury must occur during the first half of the season and the student-athlete, in Divisions I and II, must not have participated in more than two contests or 20% of the school’s completed contests, whichever is greater. In Division III, the threshhold is three contests or 33% of completed contests, whichever is greater. For more information on redshirt eligibility, access the NCAA website.

Injury redshirt or medical hardship

In athletics, injuries and illnesses are matter of when and to whom, not if. When injuries occur, the media and supporters of a college program often discuss the consequences of that injury and speculate about a student-athlete’s recourses. Phrases such as “medical hardship” and “extension of the five-year clock” (i.e., extension of eligibility, clock extension, etc.) are commonly heard or seen in newspaper articles or other forums. However, they are not the same; medical hardships and extensions of the five-year clock are two distinct concepts and qualifying for and applying for one entails a process and issues different from the other. This session of Compliance 101 will focus on medical hardships.

To understand medical hardships and extensions of the five-year clock, the following knowledge is prerequisite: on the Division I level of the NCAA, student-athletes have five years within which to participate in four seasons of competition (i.e., a five year clock). Any amount of participation in a competition will trigger the use of a season of competition. If a student-athlete redshirts (i.e., does not compete), but is healthy then that is a year charged against the studentathlete’s five-year clock but not a season of competition.

Similarly, if a student-athlete participates in only one contest near the end of the season, but was healthy for the entire year, that student-athlete has used one season of competition and one year of his or her five-year clock (the five-year clock begins once the student-athlete enrolls full-time in a two- or four-year institution and is tolled only in cases of U.S, military service, church missions and other specifically designated forms of service). But what if over the next two years the student-athlete successively incurs season-ending injuries? Does the student-athlete qualify for a medical hardship and/or an extension of his eligibility? As for a medical hardship, the answer depends on the circumstances, but, as for an extension, that is the subject of the next session.

A medical hardship is a form of relief that a university’s student-athlete will receive after a university’s application to the conference only if: • the student-athlete’s injury or illness was incapacitating;

  • the student-athlete’s incapacitating injury or illness occurred during the first half of the season and before competition in more then two contests or 20% of the season’s scheduled contests (whichever is greater); and
  • the injury or illness is supported by contemporaneous medical documentation.

If 20% of a season is a fraction (2.4), the fraction is rounded up to the next whole number. If successful, the effect of the medical hardship is that the student-athlete’s participation does not result in the use of a season of competition; nevertheless, the year that has passed does count against the student-athlete’s five-year clock.




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