In the US, recruiting occurs when college football coaches include possible high school athletes to their list. Most of the time, college coaches offer an athletic scholarship to a high school football player. For smaller universities, coaches cannot offer scholarships and players pay for their own tuition and expenses.
High schools must comply with the underlying principles of integrity and fairness as set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association before their players can be included in the recruiting process. The guidelines of the NCAA include who can take part in recruiting when recruiting can occur, and the conduct of the recruiting process.
The General Recruiting Process for College Varsity Football
An American high school football player can be a prospect if the college varsity representative or college coach approaches him to participate in the athletic program. The manner of conversation can be through telephone calls, letters, and person-to-person meetings. But, such conversations have dates and frequency set by the NCAA guidelines.
Also, the college coach or representative assesses the playing abilities and academic qualifications of the high school football player. He can contact the athlete while on the college campus. For off-campus recruitment, the recruiter can only contact the high school standout through letters and phone calls.
The prospective football player makes an official visit to the school. The college pays for the player’s expenses. Both the college and prospective athlete abide by the stringent rules of the NCAA.
Why Recruiting Top High School Football Player is Important
If a college is able to win a football championship, it will accept more donations and have more undergraduate admissions. Recruiters highlight the athletic accomplishment of the college.
Winning championships is an effective way of advertising the college and secures additional funding. To ensure successful seasons continuously, recruiters must be able to sign up highly-talented and academically-eligible high school football players.
Perks of a College Football Recruit
In the US, college football enjoys a large following, especially in Division I of the Football Bowl Subdivision. A football recruit in one of the first-tier of the Division I universities can enjoy full scholarship.
The NCAA guidelines allow college varsity football teams to have at most 85 scholars in one academic year. However, they limit college scholarships in the second-tier to 63 full scholarships. But, second-tier universities offer partial scholarships. In Division II, colleges can only provide 36 full scholarships.
During the summer, high school football players attend college camps. The recruiters of the colleges assess the players’ athleticism like the agility shuttle, bench press repetitions, vertical jump, and the 40-yard dash. If the athlete receives an offer, he may commit verbally, although the agreement is non-binding.
Highly-talented high school football players commit late, usually within 30 days of National Signing Day. They sign the letter of intent to play football for their chosen college. Players, who do not have many offers, often commit earlier. The letter of intent binds the college and player for a full academic year.