I started off my coaching career in the youth leagues. Coaching the young group is fun. You have a chance to paint a blank canvas. You have a chance to make a positive impact early on in a child’s life and assist the parents in laying the ground work for a solid human being. However, anyone who has coached youth football knows that one of the drawbacks is dealing with unrealistic parents.
The story doesn’t change when you get to high school and when it comes to the college football recruiting game. Just as a large portion of the parents on the youth football team feel that their son is the star running back, many parents involved in their son’s high school football career feel that junior is a Division I football player. Many parents have this feeling with little to no information as to how college football recruiting works and what colleges are actually looking for. All they know is they love their kid and as such, their kid should be considered the best. Unfortunately, they think the best only means becoming a Division I football player who plays on national TV every week. Or check that, is on a team that plays on national TV every week.
Who is capitalizing the most off of this train of thought? Recruiting services. Now, don’t get me wrong, some recruiting services, like GridironStuds.com (shameless plug!) are in it for the right reasons and will handle a prospect with the proper care. Several others have honed in on the fact that there are a lot of parents out there with an unrealistic view of their child and will pay a lot of money to make that view a reality.
So how does this happen? Joe Dad, for example, feels that Joseph Jr. is a Division I prospect. However, Joseph Jr. may display measurables and a skill level that is more suited for Division IAA, Division II or even Division III. This does not mean that Joseph Jr. is not a good football player, it simply means that Joseph Jr. is going to get a better opportunity to display his talent at a Division IAA-III school. However, saying my son plays football at Wisconsin-Whitewater does not have quite the ring that saying he plays for the Badgers of Wisconsin does when hanging around the cubicle at work. With this being the case, Joe Dad will open his wallet to ABC Recruiting Service to make his dream of Joseph Jr. being a Wisconsin Badger a reality. ABC recruiting service approached you at one of those camps you went to that advertised that they were going to send all of your son’s information to college coaches. All 400 kids’ information was going to go to Urban Meyer. Yep even little Tommy who tripped and fell four times will doing carioca. ABC Recruiting Service is all too eager to tell Joe Dad what he wants to hear, take his money and never approach a Division I school about Joseph Jr.
Here’s what really happens. Joe Dad will eagerly pay the fee. In his mind, Joseph Jr. is the next Rose Bowl MVP and ABC Recruiting Service agrees. Since ABC recruiting service agrees, I am going to pay them the $1,000 or $2,000. Basically, Joe Dad is paying to be lied to. What’s worse is, Joe Dad paying that large sum makes it easier for him to pay for additional services from ABC Recruiting because he has already invested so much to make it happen. This makes it easier for ABC to convince Joe Dad that this additional service is needed.
In the process, Joe Dad is approached by a reputable recruiting service like GridironStuds.com (shameless plug #2) who’s aim is to extend Joseph Jr.’s playing career as well as give him the best opportunity to actually “play” college football but Joe Dad doesn’t want to hear it. First of all, Joseph Jr. is a future Wisconsin Badger so I don’t want to hear anything about Division II or III and Joe Dad has invested too much with ABC to start all over with a reputable company. So, Joseph Jr. is not going to get that Wisconsin offer. ABC Recruiting Service is not known for attracting Division I type players so they don’t communicate with Division I schools and have very little means of helping Joseph Jr. get a FBS scholarship even if he was a FBS caliber player.
The Division I or bust mentality ends like this every recruiting cycle. By January of February of Joseph Jr.’s senior year, the gig is up. Signing day is one or two weeks away and the only interest Joseph Jr. has received was from, well…. Wisconsin Whitewater, which Joe and Joseph Jr. ignored. 14 days away from the National Signing Day Ceremony and Joseph Jr. does not have a pot to piss in nor a PVC pipe to pour it out in. Thousands of dollars spent and you got nothing. The next thing you hear is “recruiting services are such a rip-off”.
Despite that thought, there’s one more desperate move Joe Dad’s going to make……
“Hello is this GridironStuds? Hey I wanted to talk to you about getting Joey a preferred walk on at Notre Dame.”
Are you a youth or high school football player or the parent of a youth or high school football player? Contact me now for an evaluation of your talent and skill level. Plus get tips on how to improve your play, strengthen your skills and give yourself the best opportunity to play college football. I will tell you what you NEED to hear. Email me now: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.