High School Coaches, Camps, and 7 on 7 teams

Part 4 of 5

High School Coaches & Recruiting

The last piece for a college coach to identify potential prospects is the head coach of your high school.
A college coach will use a high school coach to ask about your son's character, work ethic and what he believes your son's level of play is.
Now don't get crazy on us here..
If your son doesn't have offers it is NOT your high school coach's fault. A lot of college coaches take what high school head coaches say with a grain of salt.
Remember, as we have been covering throughout this entire series, all these methods are simply tools to help a coach evaluate and find talent. A college coach, generally will never use any of these methods on its own.
The evaluation process takes a long time!
We recommend speaking with your high school coach. Your coach can help you understand where he thinks you stand as an athlete, and he can help you focus on what you need to improve on.
Just keep in mind, the things your son can do to have a high school coach sell him well are to be a great leader, perform in the classroom and continually grow on the football field.
College coaches hate to hear "my high school coach isn't selling me as he should" or that he does a poor job. It is something they hear often.

Camps & Combines

Urben Meyer

"Quit worrying about camps, quit worrying about combines, go be the best player on your high school team & it will take care of itself."

Ohio State Head Coach

There are a series of things you need to understand with camps before attending.
First, drop the wide spread idea that camps are a key resource for exposure.
College summer camps are mostly used to evaluate players already on the college coach's list.
On occasion, a good performance can get the attention of college coaches (mostly D2/D3).

Things to Consider Before Attending a Camp

  • 1

    Am I a Camp Player? 

    Do you excel in camp type drills? Do I fit the build of that Universities mold for my position? There are no pads in these camps, so you need to pass the "look test." If you are undersized, camps will not do much for you.

  • 2

    Does the Coaching Staff of that school know who I am? 

    College camps are primarily used to evaluate existing talent! Going to a camp where the staff is unaware of you is highly unlikely to result in increase exposure.

  • 3

    How much is the cost of attendance & travel? 

    If your cost is waived, then you are wanted there. If not, you are simply another portion of revenue.

  • 4

    Does a credible source feel like that is your division range? 


  • 5

    If it is not run by a college program, be careful!


The largest mistake you see from families is ignoring these questions. Resources and time spent at a camp could be spent somewhere else.

Another aspect that needs to be taken into account is that camps and combines can hurt you as an athlete.
Combines verify numbers.
The Open and Rivals have partnerships with Hudl and feed verified information into Hudl.
It is very situational & personal to advise someone to go to a camp or not.
In our program at AthleticOutlook, our athletes are advised on camp visits and personal outreach after our staff has seen his game film and understands his current situation. We built our evaluation sheet directly from college programs.

We give our athletes an evaluation to focus their offseason by highlighting areas to improve while also providing a roadmap for personal outreach to college coaches and attending camps.  


Giving athlete's projected divisions is no easy task and we do not take it lightly. Coaches normally have to watch three individual games in order to do so, we do not give project level of play off of highlight tapes or non varsity film. We also give a division range due to the fact that any coach, no matter how talented, can not predict a players level of growth. 

Personal Outreach 

Mass communication such as fliers and letters do not signify legitimate recruiting interest.
A more personal communication, such as a text invitation to the spring practice usually indicates that you are on their recruiting board. But, the recruiting board is likely ranked, and it does not mean that you are at the top of the rankings.
If the coaching staff is eager to spend personal time with you at the spring practice, that is a good sign.
We always tell athletes that the more time a coach spends, the better the indication is that they are going to extend an offer to you. Mass mailings require no time from the coach and are therefore not worth anything.
Texts at least take some time so they are worth more. Repeated phone calls and in-person visits by the coach are the best indicators that a program is genuinely interested in you.
Keep in mind this applies to camps, junior days & unofficial visits. The more personal the communication the more interested they are in you.

What about 7 on 7 Teams & Recruiting? 

7-on-7 leagues and tournaments are a new phenomenon taking the football community by storm. We have received numerous questions about whether participating in 7-on-7 is good for athletes.
In terms of exposure and recruiting, 7-on-7 really does not provide any substantial direct assistance.
College coaches generally do not actively attend 7-on-7 tournaments to evaluate athletes. College coaches want to see how an athlete performs in a football game with pads on.
However, there is one very clear benefit to 7-on-7 for all athletes. It can improve your game. More reps and more practice are always great! 7-on-7 is fundamentally different than real football, so certain positions benefit more than others. For WRs and DBs, the route running and coverage practice is great.
As with any contact sport, additional competitions mean incremental risk of injury.