If it looks like a football player and it looks like a football player that looks like a football player then it’s a football player. That’s not exactly how that saying goes in the rest of the World but it does hold some truth in the world of college football recruiting. Allow me to show you.
The eyes are a powerful thing. Even before you can touch or smell something, the eyes are at work making 1,000’s of computations about a person, a place or a thing. It’s why most believe that the sense of sight is the most powerful sense of all. In that vain the first assessment a college football coach will make about you upon seeing you is whether or not, through his eyes, you look like a football player. You may have grown up on the old adage never judge a book by it’s cover, nobody told a college football coach that.
The major reason why this is so is because college football coaches and staffs have an overwhelming amount of confidence in their ability to teach you what you know. While this confidence should also extend to the abilities of the team’s strength and conditioning coach, it is not the strength and conditioning coach that’s out on the recruiting trail. Quite frankly, no college coach really wants to make the guess nor wants to calculate the time it may take for you to get a college football ready body. Now, this doesn’t mean that they won’t take a chance on you if your muscle tone is not up to par but it’s far better to have the armor already on when the generals coming looking for soldiers.
Adding muscle and getting stronger is one of the key attributes to your success on the football field and it’s also one of the attributes that you have great control over. You can’t make yourself taller than your genetic code calls for and acquiring speed can involve some tricky formulas. Getting stronger and adding muscle is a little more of a simple equation. Eat more + lift more = stronger / bigger. It doesn’t get more simple than that. There is also the added benefit that getting stronger can also aid you in getting faster if combined with the proper speed development program. Getting bigger and stronger also gives you more confidence out on the field which in turn just makes you a better overall football player.
When a college coach sees you at camp or comes onto your campus to visit you in school or out at practice, a well put together body sends off an important signal. It is a big indication to that coach that you are a hard worker. If you’ve read my popular article You Thought You Loved Football Then They Gave You A Scholarship then you have an idea of how much hard work must get put in as a college football player. Nothing says you may be up for the challenge more than a coach seeing you chiseled up in your polo during a school visit or busting out of your team issued practice jersey. It sends off the same signals white teeth give off when that chic you’ve been eyeballing smiles at you or the chiseled up teammate standing next to you.
Many a college football prospect has gotten the eyes turned to him at a recruiting camp just by looking the part. Of course, you still need to be a player (for the most part) but when there are 300, 400, 500 guys at a camp, it’s nice to start the attention machine when you are at the check in table.
So how are we going to get bigger and stronger? Here are 3 quick ways that I have observed having major success
(1) Don’t Miss Workouts
While you are striving for that scholarship offer, working out is life. You don’t skip a day of eating right? Well don’t skip a day of lifting. Make it your lifestyle. First of all, make it to all of your team’s scheduled workouts. If missing was unavoidable, don’t just call it a day off. Get the workout out in later and if that is not possible at school then give your best simulation at home. Pushups, situps, pull ups and lunges have built many a durable body.
(2) Eat, Eat, Eat
If you are getting regular meals at home because your mom or dad or grandma can throw down in the kitchen like a 5 star chef then cool. If your home situation is a little hectic then it is in your best interest to learn how to cook. Skipping meals is a surefire way to get nothing out of a workout. The muscles that you breakdown in the weightroom need to be built back up to grow with food. There is no excuse for not learning how to cook. There’s the Food Network on TV (where I learned how to cook) and that wonderful invention called YouTube. You don’t need to be a chef. You can learn to cook simple meals with the required protein, fats and carbohydrates to sustain your growth project. You can also learn how to create meals with a small budget if finances are an issue. Don’t let not knowing how to cook be an excuse.
(3) Protein, Protein, Protein
Your growing body needs this essential element. Muscle Milk is a great addition to your diet when you are a potential college football prospect. If not Muscle Milk then there are tons of other protein powders on the market. If you don’t have the money, find a way. Call one of those family members that will be sitting on the couch on draft day and tell them what you need. The best way to see results fast from your dedicated workout regimen is by adding protein shakes to your regular daily meals.
College football is all about standing out in a crowd. Perhaps you are best with some other attributes that college coaches like but like I said getting bigger and stronger are definitely in your control. When that coach comes to meet you and starts the college scout pat down on your arms and shoulders, make sure he’s feeling something screams D1.
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 most recently for 5-A State of Florida Champs American Heritage. He runs All Eyes DB Camp a defensive back training company located in South Florida IG: @alleyesdbcamp. Wilson’s oldest son Quincy plays in the NFL for the New York Jets and his younger son plays cornerback for the University of Florida