3 Great Ways to Handle Disappointment in Recruiting

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

You work hard at this thing called football. You go hard in practice, you put in work on your days off and you do everything that need to do but still the offers aren’t coming. That’s the story for many high school football players across the country. You are not alone.

What happens to many in this situation is that they give up. Some do it abruptly, others will slowly do so over time. Giving up is not the answer. For many the problems lies in their expectations and the perception of themselves.

I have already informed many of you of the guidelines many top schools have in terms of measurables for their prospects. When coaches set out on the recruiting trail they are sent out with requirements as to what a recruit needs to have in terms of height, weight and speed at a position. I can’t tell you how many times I have received calls from college coaches saying “coach I need a 6’4″ defensive end” or “coach I am looking for 6′ cornerbacks.” That typically means, the coordinator or the head coach has told the position coach, go out and find me a guy with those requirements?

The fact that coaches are looking at you and not offering you does not mean that you are not a good football player. Most of the time it just means that you don’t fit the requirements that they are looking for. The coach out on the recruiting trail can not be told to go find a 6’4″ defensive end and come back to the recruiting meeting with one that is 6’1″. It’s like a wife telling her husband to go to the store to buy eggs and he comes back with butter. You can bet that there will be a fight coming up.

So what you need to do as a recruit is realize that it’s not always about you. Many times it has to do with what that school and coach need right now. So what do you do about it?

1) Don’t give up on your Division I dreams. If you are convinced that you are a division I football player, continue working your tail off and improving day by day. As much as you can seek out competition against those with division I offers and attention you need to do so. This is a way to improve your skills and stay on point.

2) Start paying attention to Division I-AA and Division II schools. This may seem like the opposite of #1 but it’s not. You don’t have to give up on your Division I dreams to pay attention and do research on 1-AA and II programs. If you do not get the Division I offer you are looking for, it would have been in your best interest to have had communication with 1-AA and II schools so that they know you. Ignoring schools at this level because you are D1 or bust is not a good strategy. It’s similar to not going to class in college because you are convinced that you are going to the NFL. We all know that’s not a good strategy.

3) Realize that Division I schools are not the only place where the NFL finds it’s talent. Do the research, many high quality NFL players made a name for themselves at smaller schools before getting their NFL opportunity. Why can’t this be you? Joe Flacco played at Delaware, Tony Romo at Eastern Illinois, Ravens WR Steve Smith started his college career at a junior college and Super Bowl XLIX hero, defensive back Malcom Butler played at West Alabama. What matters most is your perseverance, focus and determination. If you really want to make it to the NFL you will make it from anywhere. Just keep working hard, studying the game and doing your class work. You will be the next great story that will inspire young players who were once in your shoes. Think of all the attention you will get when it is learned that an All Pro like yourself made it from a small school.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of GridironStuds.com a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email: cwilson@gridironstuds.com.

Author: Chad Wilson

Chad Wilson is a college football recruiting expert and creator of the GridironStudsApp which allows high school football players to gain exposure to college football coaches and fans. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a former youth and high school football coach for over 15 years. Wilson’s older son Quincy plays in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts and his younger son plays cornerback for the University of Florida. Email: cwilson@gridironstuds.com.

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