Every year at about this time, I tell football recruits and parents that football recruiting is a business, sometimes an ugly business. I tell them to believe half of what they hear. Of course, I get the "smile," or the "look," indicating that McCallister is old school and has not a clue about the reality of football recruiting. Maybe they are correct, but my experience with recruiting is not too bad. Football recruiting can be some of the most fun times of a recruit's life. But please keep all of the "brown sugar" (BS) to a minimum.
I have emails, phone calls, and a personal letter asking me if I can offer any suggestions as to what to do next. Sometimes seniors are not the only ones getting in contact with me. The prospects in the Class of 2013 are starting to experience "junior days." I realize that it is human nature to get excited about your son getting some love from college recruiters, but please do not forget that it is a business. Coaches at the college level almost need to be better recruiters than position coaches.
Some thoughts for underclassmen.
Keep "junior days" what they are. That is, college coaches get to "eyeball" recruits. They get to visit with them, but spend more time with the ones whom they have alot of interest. A prospect should spend some meeting other recruits. Really use the time to evaluate the college coaches. Form your own opinion about the coaches recruiting you.
Early offers are sometimes over-rated. Supposedly one school has offered 43 prospects in Ohio. Still do not believe it, but that is what is out there. Also if one school offers a prospect, other schools that are located near will offer, just for PR reasons. Getting that first offer is really exciting and more should follow. Be patient and if that "top 25" school does not early offer, do not get discouraged. An excellent senior camp day could bring an offer. Happens alot.
A high school coach asked me last month what else he could do for his QB. He took him to a camp in Arizona over Christmas break. He was going to sign him up with a QB coach who charges $1500. Hopefully, he did not do that. My answer was to schedule some days this spring when his QB was throwing. Tell the college coaches the days, so that they can come to watch him throw. Also pick out the college camps that you really want to attend. College coaches are who you have to impress, not an "Elite Eleven" staff.
Beaware of combines out there. How much money is involved. Who is evaluating. Be sure that the times and measurements are correct. For example, a group ran a combine in the Cleveland area. Alot of 4.5 or better times. Come to find out the 40 yards was only 37 yards. When prospects ran the pro shuttle they did not have to touch the lines.
I direct three combines in March. They are supported by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. One of the most important things that college coaches want are accurate height and weight. Our combines are as much educational as anything else. Prospects have a choice as to whether they want their results posted.
Keep player rankings fun. Try not to take them seriously. Rankings bring readers to recruiting sites and also provide message board stuff. One site, on their early rankings had QB Mitch Trubisky from Mentor as the 61st rated prospect in Ohio and the 7th rated QB in the Class of 2013. Now, I am not that good at evaluating talent to rank players, but Mitch might be a little better than the 7th QB in his Class of 2013.
Finally, do not believe everything that you read in the newspaper or on internet media sites. Their job is to get you to visit the site. Most of the stories are about the higher profile recruits. Those are the prospects recruiting fans want to read about and that is what brings them to the site.
Football recruiting goes fast in a young prospect's life. You will meet a lot of coaches and visit alot of programs. Summer one-days will be fun. The recognition for being a good prospect will be fun. Enjoy the time. But remember recruiting is a business. Nationally, there is one scholarship for every 209 players.