The Basics

Part 1 of 5

There are three core aspects that govern playing at the next level and maximizing a high schooler's football career.

  • 1

    Development

    Training & Performing  

  • 2

    Understanding

    How the Recruiting Process Works

  • 3

    Action

    Required to be Recruited

First and foremost is development; training and performing at a level required to compete at the college level.
In this series you will learn why this is the most fundamental aspect of a successful career. All other steps are irrelevant if this this is not the main focus. This is often lost. As a parent, just know you can never go wrong with investing in development.

Second is understand how the recruiting process works.
Understanding how the recruiting process works does two core things for you.
One, it ensures you are doing what you need to in order to maximize your sons chances of playing at the next level or having the best options when his high school career is over. As we will teach you, proper exposure comes from understanding where your sons information needs to be and how to best sell himself.
Secondly, it allows you to navigate this market. A parent who is well educated on how things work and the why behind them, is a parent who will invest his or her money properly, avoid scams, and do what is best for their son.
As mentioned previously, we see a lot of companies taking advantage of parents who simply want what is best for their son.

Lastly, are the actions required for you to take as a family in order to continue your son's career for as long as possible.
These range from running a proper Hudl profile, to having a well organized highlight tape, to becoming NCAA eligible and much more.
We will cover each step in great detail. For now we wanted to give a high level overview. These are important to lay out to provide a framework to keep the process manageable and concise.

This is also the foundation in which we built our program on at AthleticOutlook. Our goal is to address these three areas catered to your personal situation from a coach who has handed out hundreds of scholarships.
Now that we have a good framework for maximizing your sons career with a timeline. Lets jump into the fundamentals of understanding recruiting and the different divisions an athlete can continue his career at.

You are not in the recruiting process until you have varsity film. 
This series will still be valuable if your son is not on varsity. It will teach you how the process works and allow you to take action when his time comes!

A large mis-conception we see in the recruiting process is Sophomores, Freshman, even youth athletes looking for exposure or to get their name out there.
Focus should remain on development and understanding rather than action at this age.

Understanding the Different Divisions

Click the different divisions to see the differences.

Division 1 FBS

85 scholarships per team20k - 115k Stadium Attendance1 in 100 Recruiting Selectivity129 Teams

1
2
3
4
1

D1-FBS

D1-FCS

D2

D3

The key things to understand here.
D1 & D2 offer scholarships, D3 schools do not. You can obtain financial aid at D3 though.
D1 - FBS offers full rides and are made up of schools you probably are most aware of; Alabama, Oregon, Clemson.
D1 - FCS is the D1 subdivision. They offer full rides and partial scholarships. They have 63 scholarships compared to 85 scholarships D1 - FBS schools hold. That is why it is a huge deal when an FBS team loses to an FCS team. Teams that are FBS you may know are Eastern Washington or North Dakota State.
D2 is great football, a lot of times great academics and do offer scholarships. They tend to offer more partial because they have less to go around.
D3 does not offer scholarships but can grant financial aid. Generally speaking, the better your grades are the more money they can offer you.
NAIA isnt included above but is fairly similar to D3 competition wise. They also differ from D3 by offering 12 scholarships per team. I believe there are over 300 NAIA football teams.  

Understanding when schools recruit will help you see where you stand and should also clarify that your recruiting window may still be open in other divisions.

Different divisions recruit and offer at different times. The higher the division the earlier they are offering athletes.

It's never too late to get your first big time school offer. However, 95% of athletes that do get offers from major D1 conference schools will have their first offer before the end of the summer between their Junior and Senior years.
A large thing we see among high school athletes and parents is panic if there son is a JR without an offer. Very few athletes are offered by that age.

 We hope this timeline can convey that there is still a lot of opportunity.
Also, not shown here is Junior College. JC is a phenomenal route to continue to improve and re-open recruitment.

Regardless of all the divisions, at the end of your High School career, the most important thing is to have options. 

Now with a great framework in place, an understanding of when the recruiting process is for your son and the different divisions there are we can dive into the fun stuff!
In the next lesson we will start to cover how a college coach identifies potential prospects and the steps you should take to best sell yourself.