5 Ways Freshmen Can Help Themselves Get Recruited to Play College Football

By: Chad Wilson
Twitter: @GridironStuds

We are in the midst of wild times when it comes to college football recruiting.  Over the last 5-6 years we have witnessed more changes than perhaps all the years that existed before it.  With the rapid onset of more freedom for college football players,  the unintended and probably unforeseen victims have been high school football players.  If you want to put yourself in the proper position to secure a scholarship when you are senior,  it’s best to make the right moves as a freshman.  In this article, I discuss the five important moves you need to make.

Along with the changes in college football,  prospects are facing increasing pressure to be noticed sooner in the recruiting process.  The early signing period has ramped up the need for colleges to identify potential signees earlier in their high school career so that the relationship building can start.  I have received more questions lately about how to get recruited as a freshman than I have ever before.  Getting offers as a freshman are not always something that you can control but I can tell you how to put yourself in the best position possible to get offers when they count.  Let’s look at the 5 best ways to help yourself when you are in your first year of high school. 

1. Run Track

Yes,  you read it right.  You secret to becoming the prospect that schools focus their eyes on is by getting on that 400m oval and learning how to run.  Guess what you do in football from the moment that ball is snapped until the time that whistle blows?  Run.  If you can’t run,  you can’t play.  I recommend that all players at all positions run track as freshman.  Yes,  that includes you offensive linemen too.  Start your athletic base off with a solid foundation on running.  If you are an offensive lineman,  you may not be able to run track when you hit your junior and senior year but you can benefit from getting it in at least in your freshman year.  Athletic linemen are recruited linemen.

If you are playing the other positions,  you want to stay on that track for as long as you can.  If you are really good in another sport that conflicts with track then I understand but if there isn’t another sport then do yourself a favor,  put the track spikes on.  Colleges recruit speed almost as much as they recruit height.  One of those things you control and that is speed.  You can find it training and competing in track.  For those of you who say,  I’ll just go to a speed trainer my answer is no unless your school has no track program or it’s really deficient.  The weekly track meets will stir up the competitor in you.  It will push you beyond on your limits and make you faster than the best trainer will. 

2. Get Serious About the Weight Room

Along with being fast in football,  you will need to be strong.  Don’t wait till your junior and senior year to start lifting seriously.  Whether you like it or not,  colleges recruit body types.  If you don’t look the part,  it’s really difficult for them to make an investment in you.  Many prospects will careless approach the weight room as 9th graders.  They give up an entire year of development physically only to wish they had an extra year at the end.  Don’t let that be you.  Start learning how lift weights the right way.  Start consistently building up your strength and your frame.  Who knows,  if you throw on size fast,  you may get a school to throw an early offer your way.  You’ll have to continue to develop to keep the offer but it’s good to have that early interest. 

3. Buckle Down on Your Technique

Speed is good,  size and strength is great but technique wins most of the time in this game.  Learn the ins and outs of your position.  Determine the techniques that it takes for you to defeat your opponent and dedicate yourself to mastering them.  I am not big on having a trainer prior to turning 13 unless you are a quarterback but once you hit high school you should be soaking up all the knowledge you can from your coaches.  If additional training is needed to hone your skills then by all means,  go get it.  There’s nothing more delighting to a coaching watching film of a prospect or observing him at camp than when he demonstrates the proper way to block, tackle, run routes, etc.  Be a master of technique. 

4. Guard Your GPA Like Your Life

Ask any senior what it’s like trying to raise his GPA and he will tell you it’s like trying to live on the Sun.  The real trick to graduating with the GPA you need is by kicking off your high school career the right way in the classroom. Once you have started accumulating semesters,  it is difficult to change the score as you go down the road.  So starting off with a high GPA is to your advantage.  Besides,  the distractions will be plenty if you start accomplishing all of these other goals and begin to get recruited. You will have coaches calling you,  trips to take and you will suddenly become more attractive to your female classmates.  Try improving a GPA once that starts!  So while you are a little nobody,  build the GPA of a king.  Rank out those A’s with a passion. 

5. Collect the Email Addresses of Coaches & Join the GridironStuds App

One of the best pieces of advice you will get out of this article is this one.  As a freshman,  build a spreadsheet and in it,  you start adding coaches.  Next to their names add their meal address, Twitter handle and phone numbers.  You will continue to add onto this document every year but start it now.  That list will be as powerful as anything else you could have if you want to be a recruited high school football player.  On that list you will want to have the head coach,  the coach for your position and the recruiting coordinator.  Use that list to follow them on Twitter.  Once you get on the field and start making plays you will be able to contact them with info about you. 

In addition,  every high school football player should be using the GridironStuds App.  Building a profile as a freshman allows you to show your progress through the years. So when a coach begins recruiting you he can see your history of development and get a better idea of who you are.  It makes it easier to recruit you.  The later you pop up on the app,  the more competition you are going to have trying to grab a coach’s attention.  Download it and build your profile today.  Click here to download.

So there you are.  As you can see there is quite the investment you need to make if you want to have a chance at getting college football scholarship offers. It’s why only a handful of the 1 million plus high school football players each year are able to sign on the dotted line.  If you start early and take these steps you give yourself the head start that makes you a winner on national signing day your senior year.  It’s tough to look into the future when you are 14 years old but the smartest freshman know that the future depends on what you do now.

Why Is He a 5-Star? Malachi Nelson

By: Chad Wilson
Twitter: @GridironStuds

We are all keenly aware of how recruiting works by now.  The players play.  The schools hand out the offers and the writers issue the stars.  We are also aware that every year there is a debate over whether a star really deserves the rating.  Today we are going to take a look at the 2nd overall rated quarterback in the 2023 class in Malachi Nelson out of Los Alamitos High School in California.

With all of the talk going on right now about whether the number one guy with the famous last name,  Arch Manning,  should hold that top spot or should even be a 5-star,  Malachi Nelson is quietly showing his worth.  I had a chance to watch the tape on the young gun slinger and here is what I observed.

Easy Thrower

Some quarterback have to put a lot of effort into their throws.  I am sure you have seen that type.  Any time they have to launch one deep or throw to the sidelines,  it seems their whole body has to go into the throw.  Worse yet,  some guys have to wind up to make such a toss.  This is most definitely not the case for Nelson.  Whether he’s fitting the ball into the seam between defenders,  going up top on the secondary or hitting a guy out of his break on a deep out,  it’s just a flick of the wrist for Nelson.  The kid is what I call an easy thrower.  We see this from guys like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.  There’s little effort to make a throw and there are definitely all types of advantages to that.  Nelson can make all the throws and do so from many different positions.  On top of that,  he has the confidence in his arm that all big time quarterbacks have.  Can it get him trouble?  Sure but we haven’t seen that yet.

Great Ball Placement

Accuracy is up there for me when it comes to evaluating a quarterback.  If you can’t hit your mark,  what are you anyway?  Having a gun and the intelligence is great but at the end of the day,  you have to hit the guy between the numbers to make it happen.  Nelson is that guy.  Not only can he let it fly but he can put it where he wants to.  He’s especially accurate on deep throws where he shows a proficiency for dropping it in-stride to wide outs and often times to the proper shoulder to keep it away from defenders.  Some quarterbacks work their whole lives to obtain this important skill,  Nelson seems to have been born with it.

Pocket Awareness

With all of the focus on defense these days being on rushing the passer,  it is key to have a QB that can feel the rush,  get to an open area and get the ball downfield.  What is typical for high school quarterbacks when pressured is to abandon the play and look to run for as many yards as they can.  That’s not the case with this prospect.  Nelson knows when to step out,  under or pedal out of trouble.  This often comes with him staying behind the line of scrimmage with his eyes downfield so that he can locate one of his playermakers in the open.  Wide receivers love this as they know that the pocket collapsing doesn’t automatically mean that they are now running a dummy route.  Nelson makes a ton of big plays by extending plays with his pocket mobility.  That’s going to be a plus at the next level.

Athleticism

When all else fails and it’s time to take matters into this own hands,  Nelson can do that too.  We have all seen how athletic the quarterback position has become over the years.  Nelson fits right into this trend.  As such,  the playbook does not become limited with him calling the signals.  The RPOs and QB designed runs are still on the table as Nelson can execute them for big yardage.  Is he Michael Vick or Lamar Jackson,  no but he’s athletic enough.  Combine that with his throwing ability and he’s a bonafide problem on every play on every Friday Night.

Polished

While I am expounding on his athletic gifts,  I would be remised if I did not point out that it seems Nelson has received some pretty solid coaching and or training as he has come up in the ranks.  He shows a solid mastery of the necessary skills to be at the top of the high school football game.  To get there he had to be coachable by somebody.  This is a comfort to schools that are interested in him because a player’s true attitude is hard to forecast.  Watching Nelson’s skill level and attention to detail shows that he’s capable of watching and learning from somebody.  Few things are more important than that for a college football player and most notably quarterbacks.

So as I tour through the class of 2023 wondering about the 5-stars,  I need not do that about this prospect anymore.  Turn the tape on and you’ll realize quickly why Nelson is highly regarded, committed to USC and being pursued by a host of others from coast to coast.

Check out Malachi Nelson’s junior year highlights:

College Football is a Mess and it’s Not the Coaches’ Fault

By: Chad Wilson _ Editor GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @gridironstuds

College football has always been more about the coaches than the players. Those players are in and out of there in 3, 4 or 5 years. Coaches were the figure heads of programs for years Osborne, Switzer, Schembechler, Hayes, Bowden, Frye, Stoops.

At some point winning your conference or going to a bowl was no longer enough. You had to be in and win the championship game or you weren’t squat.  With that came relentless pressure to win it all but only one team can raise that trophy each year. If it wasn’t you then the fans and the media designated you for the hot seat.  Suddenly every program adopted this standard of “we compete for championships every year.”  You better keep repeating the company line at every press conference or here’s your blindfold and your cigarette.

No one wants to get fired and since this is the career a man has chosen he has to play the game. That’s when the lies get told.  Coach can’t tell the recruit the truth because a) he doesn’t want to hear it and b) he won’t sign with his school.  Coach can’t tell the media the truth because they’ll make sure they don’t have a job around the same time Saint Nick starts shimmying down your fireplace.

No recruit wants to hear that he might redshirt and no beat reporter wants to hear that we might have a hard time winning seven games this season. Nobody wants to wait for success they need it now or holy pink slip.

Armed with these facts, college coaches must skirt the truth and always have an exit plan. Few of them feel safe. So the moment they reach success they MUST consider their options.  You heard me right. Winning brings anxiety and starts the college coach on his way to getting fired.  That’s it,  that’s the prize.

Signed a top 10 class? It better not be #22 next year. Played for the conference championship last year? You better not lose four games this year.  Had a Heisman candidate at QB this season? The blue chipper you just signed better be the deal or you know what time it is.

Everyone’s on the coach’s head for lying and leaving but he’s not necessarily chasing a pay check. He’s chasing security. He’d love for his son and daughter to graduate from the same high school but you see that’s not how this thing works.  I’ve watched the masses blame everything we have going on in college football on the coaches. They’re blaming it on the guy that works 20 hour days, has estranged relationships with his family while devoting his life to someone else’s kids. They’re blaming the guy answering texts for an entire Christmas Day because God forbid if you don’t tell that 5-star Merry Christmas and your rival does.  Activate the the notes app on the iphone and draft that tweet….. “please respect my decision.”

Ten years for $9.5 million means no one is going to feel sorry for that guy.  All those who don’t have that kind of household revenue think they’d do anything to get it so coach should just shut up and take his medicine.  You haven’t walked in those shoes.  I think if you asked the coaches,  a majority of them would tell you that they would take half of what they make to just have a semi normal life and some job security.  They’d like to be able to park their car in the same driveway long enough to stain the brick pavers.  Hell,  they don’t have time to spend the money anyway.

You finger pointers in the fanbase, in the media , on the board of trustees and at the recruiting table,  check yourselves. Guess who needs to absorb a major part of the blame? Yea that’s right,  it’s you.  At this point,  college coaches are nothing more than frogs on lily pads simply looking for a safe place to land.

Committing to the Uncommitted in College Football

By: Chad Wilson
Twitter: @gridironstuds

Two days ago I had a vision of Brian Kelly doing an in home visit for LSU watching Notre Dame play a college football playoff game with a recruit and his family.  Soon thereafter he fields a question from the recruit’s mom…. “do you plan on staying at LSU?”  Sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit but that’s actually real life in 2021.

That vision is not what lead me to writing this article.  It was a question I was asked on Twitter by a follower:

The tweet was in response to a comment I made on the following tweet

It’s a really good question and I will share my thoughts on it in this post.  If you have followed me at all on the tweety bird app you have seen my recent obsession with impatience of fanbases and the weak administrations that give way to their carefree whims.  Social media and Twitter in particular,  is a space where anything can and will be said.  As such,  fans say a bunch of things and they say it a lot.  The stadium boos and yells at the TV have been replaced with endless tweets on a Saturday evening as the sting of a loss and missed expectations start settling in.  Who’s expectations were these?

These annual expectations are hatched in the minds of people who work a 9-5 doing something that’s not football.  For certain their 9 to 5 does not put them in the building or practice fields of their beloved football programs.  So on top of not having the general knowledge they don’t have the functional knowledge of what’s going on in the football department.   All they see is what they get on their streaming device on Saturday afternoon.  The real ones know that there’s a lot that goes into the product on your screen.

Over emotional college football fans should not be the lynch pin for what direction an athletic department heads in.  The adults in charge have the ability to ignore the average fan protruding his anger through aggressive screen taps on a social app.  However,  our traditional media have increasingly shown an inability to ignore the circling buzzards and deliver the madness to the feet of the admin at press conferences.  Far be it for me to try and reverse this current trend developed by the fans and the media.  Believe me,  I’ve tried and they just have too much invested in it.   I don’t have an in to the athletic directors and presidents at these esteemed universities so I have to craft my message to you,  the recruits and parents of the recruited.

There was much to consider when my two sons were going through the process.  They both did so within the last decade just to give you some perspective.  Crazy as it sounds,  neither came up in the world of the transfer portal,  NIL and rampant coach ejections.  Sure,  coaches were getting fired during their time but that rate has seemingly doubled since my last faxed in his national letter of intent.  So,  whether or not a coach was going to get fired was on the list but not high up on the list of things to consider.

If they were to enter into the process today,  potential coach firing would be much higher on the things to consider list.  Coaching turnover is an important factor in choosing a school.  There was a time when the biggest worry is that a guy would have success and leave for a bigger job at a bigger school or the NFL.   However,  Nick Saban’s dominance has benefitted Alabama and U-Haul,  everyone else,  not so much.  Coaches are being given very little time to equal the success that Saban has taken a lifetime to build.  Yes,  Saban has been at Alabama for 15 years but to discount what he learned in his journey leading up to Tuscaloosa would be foolhardy.

Fanbases are convinced that Saban has the secret recipe that calls for a sprinkle of this and a splash of that.  If their recent hire by their school does not have that recipe and bake that pie in 2.5 years,  out come the pitchforks.  Some schools like Oklahoma St., Iowa, TCU, Utah and Northwestern don’t pay attention to the crusaders.  Other places like Texas, Florida, Florida St., USC and Miami are virtual voodoo dolls for their Twitter fans.

My strategy to you as the recruit and family getting ready to open the doors to the theater of the insane is to find a quiet seat in the corner. Make it a pledge to survey the landscape and pay attention to the history of the universities in question.  Are they helter skelter and run guys out of town quickly?  Better to avoid them.  There’s one way to make schools behave in college football and that is through the actions of recruits.  Start rewarding the programs that provide the stability for the players that you would desire for yourself or sons.  There’s a logo on that letter of intent but let’s be real,  you are signing it because of what a man told you.   When he leaves,  most of it is null and void.

When that next coach shows up on campus you are at his mercy.  You are at the mercy of his system,  his personality and the promises he makes out on the recruiting trail as he attempts to impress his new boss.  None of that is what you committed to when you fed those papers through the fax machine on an early December of February morning.  Maybe you’ll get a like-minded guy to the one who left but I doubt it.  After all,  they fired that guy remember?

I applaud Penn St. and Michigan St. for recently making long term commitments to their head coaches with 10 year contracts.  That makes it a little harder to dispose of the program leader like an ink pen that deared to not produce a quality stain when used.  Sometimes you gotta give it another try or shake it a little bit.  We teach our young men very little about handling adversity when a 7-6 season following a 10-2 one means you don’t get to finish out the season.  How dare you look at them with squinted eyes when they hit the transfer portal.  It seemed crazy when Jimbo Fisher inked the first 10 year deal for a coach at Texas A&M.   Jimbo’s bringing in a top class to College Station.  Tucker and Franklin’s deals no doubt spearheaded the similar ones given to Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly.   We can argue about the absurdity of paying a coach $100 million but for now,  I take my hat off to the only resemblance of commitment that this game can produce for us at the current moment.

Speaking of commitment,  carefully consider yours when it comes down to it.  At the end of the day,  a life lesson learned now or in the future will be a commitment to the uncommitted typical ends in broken dreams and resentment.  Do it enough and it will drive you crazy and get you committed.

Big Name College Football Programs vs. Long Time Coaches – Who’s Fearing Better?

As we head towards the end of another college football season we are of course embroiled in another daily discussion of who’s going to get fired next and who is going to take the current jobs that opened up.  It’s a cycle that is inevitable and continues to repeat itself each year.  Some schools are repeat offenders when it comes to firing and hiring coaches.  However,  how successful are these programs when they are matched up against other programs that have made extended commitments to their coaches.

First,  let’s start with who are the repeat offenders.  While I am not using all of the programs that have cycled out more than two coaches over a decade long period,  I am using five of the most popular and celebrated programs in college football.  For the purpose of this article,  I am looking at the records for Florida St., Miami, Florida, Texas and USC.  All five of these programs have won championships in the last 20 years and all have had three or more coaches over the last decade.  I will match them up against five other Power 5 programs that are not quite as celebrated but have kept the same head coach over that period of time.  Who those schools are I will discuss in a moment.  First let’s take a look at how the celebrated programs have done over the last decade.

School (record)Bowl recordNumber of coaches
FSU (85-41)(5-3)3 coaches
Florida (79-45)(5-2)3 coaches
USC (77-43)(3-4)3 coaches

Miami (76-49)(1-7)3 coaches
Texas (69-55)(5-2)4 coaches

Note:  Those late to the game would be surprised to see Florida St. with the best record out of all on this list given their recent struggles but believe it or not,  FSU won a title not too long ago.  This joyous accomplishment meant that it would soon by uncool to have Jimbo Fisher leading your football program.

Keeping the above records in mind,  let’s have a look at some far less celebrated college football programs operating in the same conferences as these giants.  These programs have elected to weather some storms with their coaches and keep them in place during the same time the celebrated schools rinsed and repeated their fire then hire cycles.   The schools we’ll look at are Oklahoma St.,  Iowa, Utah, TCU and Northwestern.  These are all worthy programs for sure but certainly not ever mentioned in the same breath as the others I previously mentioned.

SchoolCoachRecordBowl Record
Oklahoma St.Mike Gundy(88-38)(6-3)
IowaKirk Ferentz(81-42)(3-4)
UtahKyle Whittingham(76-44)(4-2)
TCUGary Patterson(72-49)(4-2)
NorthwesternPat Fitzgerald(69-53)(5-1)

At the end of the day,  here’s our full tally as we take a look at the celebrated schools that like to fire coaches vs. the non celebrated schools that hold onto their coaches.

 CelebratedNon Celebrated
Record386-233 (62%)386-222 (63%)
Bowls19-18 (51.3%)22-12 (64.7%)
# of coaches165

Before you start thinking that those programs have kept their coaches in place for that long because they’ve been consistent winners,  let me hit you with this.  Oklahoma St.’s Mike Gundy has had five seasons where he had less than 9 wins and until his win last week he was on a streak of three straight seasons of 8 wins or less.  Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz had a losing season during this time period and like Mike Gundy had five seasons of less than 9 wins.  He also had a 12 win season which is better than all except Florida St. in our celebrated group.  That 12 win season for Ferentz came one year after being 7-6.   Utah’s Kyle Whittingham opened up this 10 year period with back to back losing seasons (2012 & 2013).  He then followed that up with 9 win and 10 win seasons.  Utah was later rewarded for their confidence in Whittingham when he went 11-3 in 2019.  Utah right now is headed to the Pac-12 championship game this season. TCU’s Gary Patterson,  who recently stepped down,  had three losing seasons before this one (2013, 2016 & 2019).  He also produced three 10+ win seasons (2014, 2015 and 2017).  After four straight seasons of less than double digit wins,  Patterson himself came to the conclusion that it was time to go.   Finally Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald has had four losing seasons including this current one.  However,  he has also had two double digit win seasons (2015 & 2017).  This is more double digit win seasons than both Miami and Texas.

Another thing to take a look at is how did the career of the non-celebrated group begin.  Mike Gundy started his Oklahoma St. coaching career by going 18-19 in his first three seasons.  Pat Fitzgerald started off by going 19-18 in his first three years.  Kirk Ferentz was 11-24 at the end of year 3.  Gary Patterson took over a very successful Dennis Franchione when he took the TCU job.  I am sure that played a big part in him opening up his TCU career with a 27-10 record over the first three years.  Kyle Whittingam inherited a program that was previously run by Urban Meyer.  He parlayed that into a 24-14 record after his first three years at Utah.  All five of these coaches were first time head coaches when they started.  Gundy, Fitzgerald and Ferentz were allowed to “figure it out” and their programs got rewarded with many solid years of performance and stability at the head of their program.

Here’s another tally.  The five celebrated programs have had an absurd 16 different coaches lead their program.  What is happening here is a chasing of the wind it seems by these programs that had success pre the social media era.  While it is constantly preached that social media is not real life,  it seems athletic directors and decision makers have not received the memo.  The fanbases,  media and leaders of the celebrated programs can’t seem to handle adversity.  Everyone of these programs has either fired a coach who had a winning record at the time,  had at least once had a double digit win season,  in the middle of the season or did all three of those things.   All the while,  the non celebrated programs have had coaches with seasons that would be fire worthy at the big time programs and have waited to allow the coach to battle back from the adversity with great results.

With the recent signing of 10 year contracts by Jimbo Fisher at Texas A&M,  James Franklin at Penn St. and Mel Tucker at Michigan St.,  it seems these universities have done the same research I have.  Cycling out your coaches in search of the magic formula that will catapult you to top of the hill is not the way to go.  Making a commitment to your head coach through thick and thin while providing him with the resources to go into battle is the true way to obtain consistent success.

 

5 Things Wide Receivers Need to Show on their Highlight Video

By: Chad Wilson 
Twitter: @GridironStuds

The scouting business is all about projections whether that be at the high school to college football level or the college to pro level.  A big part of the projection is size and speed but what should not be lost is the skill level that is needed to actually compete and win on the football field for your team.  When it comes to playing wide receiver there are definitely some skills that are going to need to be present if you are going to succeed at the next level.  With that in mind,  here are five things you would need to include on your highlight video to catch a college coach’s attention.

(1) Route Running Ability

What is route running if it’s not the ability to set up the defensive back,  defeat his leverage and get separation right before the ball is thrown?  It is the primary job 1A for a wide receiver in any offense that has a desire to throw the football.  Your highlight video should have a healthy display of clips where you demonstrate this ability.  All of the clips don’t even have to be of you getting the throw from the quarterback.  It is ok to show clips where you defeated the defensive back on the route but you were not targeted.  If you are in a run heavy offense like a wing-t or veer then you may be forced to include clips from 7on7 events.

(2) Ball skills

Job 1b for the wide receiver is to catch the football.  What good is getting open if you can’t complete the catch? You definitely want to show clips of you making some difficult catches.  In particular,  you will want to show plays where you were covered but made the catch anyway.  The coverage at the next level is going to be tighter.  If you have to be wide open to make a reception then that’s bad news for you.  Show college recruiters that you can win a 50/50 ball when you need to .  Another thing that you will want to display is your ability to catch in traffic.  If you have plays where you made a catch over the middle,  definitely include those as they show your toughness and reliability in tough situations.

(3) Speed

There is no more desired trait in football than speed and no place is that more wanted than at wide receiver.  Not every receiver has speed but if you have it,  definitely show it and do so early in your highlight video.  Nothing excites a recruiter more than a guy that can blow by a defensive back either during the route or after the catch.  Did you have a long touchdown pass where you ran past the defensive back?  Did you turn a short route into a long touchdown by out running the entire defense?  Put that on display on your highlight video and strongly consider making it the first play on your highlight video.

(4) Run after the Catch

Speaking of running away from defensive backs,  having the ability to run after the catch is a highly desired trait.  Doing this does not always require elite speed.  Sometimes a combination of quickness and vision can give you what you need to bake the defense to a golden crust on your way to pay dirt.  If you have clips where you caught a ball and made defenders miss for a long gain,  that’s valuable content on your highlight video.  You can also display this ability as a return man.  So if you are your team’s punt returner and or kick off returner include some of your good returns early on in your highlight video.  The trick is to show all of your capabilities within the first minute or two of your video.

(5) Blocking Ability

Finally,  football is indeed a team game.  It’s great when you score but it’s also great when you help a teammate find the end zone.  A receiver that blocks with pride and full effort shows that he’s a team player who has a keen interest in winning.  If you are not a great blocker then I suggest you work on it.  If you are and have some solid clips of you man handling a defender to help a ball carrier,  don’t leave that out of your highlight video.  This is another way to show your toughness as well as your character.  You don’t need to go overboard with blocking clips but definitely show that it’s a part of your game.

A healthy mixture of these elements in your highlight video is sure to catch the attention of the right people when you start doing a little self promotion.  If you are an underclassman and are missing any of these elements from your current highlight video then it’s time to start working on it.  Better to be a complete wide receiver as it will attract the attention of more schools.  As with anything in life,  the more options you have the better.  Happy filmmaking.