How to Get Recruited and Live Your Dream of Playing College Sports

January 6, 2013 | Lee Gordon

Must See College Recruiting Videos

No one could have ever imagined how much the recruiting process would evolve over the past decade. When I first started writing for Rivals.com in 2003, there were no websites that actually told you how to get recruited, and there was little or no video for potential recruits. Today, there are as many as 25 sites for getting recruited by big name schools, all with their own video crews to shoot video of every top athlete in the nation.

Five-star and four-star athletes may get bombarded by recruiters, but not every athlete spends a good portion of their day dodging calls. Many student-athletes would do cartwheels if just one college coach picked up the phone to call them. (See How to Proactively Recruit Yourself.)

Like a job interview, the key to getting recruiting is all about standing out in the crowd. It worked for Tom Brady, and it has worked for hundreds of others like him. Here's a scenario: you're a two- to three-star player with a slew of letters but no solid offers. It's not because you're not good enough. It's because getting recruited is a full-time job, and you have to work at it every day. Brady's father, unhappy that his son wasn't getting recruited, sent videotapes to over 50 colleges hoping to get an opportunity. Michigan came calling and the rest is history. Though you may not be Tom Brady, you deserve a chance to show what you're made of. Brady's and his father's persistence is what hundreds, even thousands, of other kids did not have.

Former Sports Illustrated editor Don Yaeger spent countless hours with Brady, writing stories and studying his dedication to the game. According to Yaeger, the college recruiting process that Brady put himself through constitutes a teachable lesson for all student-athletes coming out of high school. He said, "The greatest athletes in the world hate losing more than they like winning. Brady wasn't going to let a recruiting service determine his future. He was going to create his own path and was persistent enough to get Michigan to watch the video and offer him a scholarship. I think it worked out for him."

A school film crew films every game, but if that video isn't on a recruiting service website, create your own video. With all the smart phone video cameras out there today, making a recruiting video is easy. Or if you can afford it, pay a professional to do it.

No matter how it's created, here is what your video should have on it:

  • Slate that has your name, school, year of graduation, height, weight, position and 40 time
  • Second slate with any highlights you want coaches to see
  • Three to four minutes of great highlights. If you were on television, put it on. Add anything that showcases what you can do
  • Interview: this is extremely important, because college coaches want to go beyond your talent on the field. What is it about you that stands out. Why should a coach care?

Yaeger said, "Your personal brand is not only important in professional football, it's even more important when you are trying to get recruited. Think of it as your first business card. You have the opportunity to sell yourself, and at the end of the day that is what recruiting is all about—the ability to sell yourself in a crowded space."

It doesn't matter whether you are a quarterback or an offensive lineman. A video is the only way to sell yourself. If you don't feel like you have enough highlights from your school, go to a local facility and run through drills. Show college coaches that you have what it takes to get a shot, because that's all you need is a shot. Once you get it, make sure you do everything you can to catch the eye of the coaches.

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,265,894
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 197,143
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 396,957
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,189
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,354,155
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,209
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,894
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,134,125

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

3 Tips for Writing a Strong College Recruiting Mission Statement

College coaches are brilliant recruiters and look for key components when evaluating prospects. Firstly, they look for strong students who meet and...

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Meet the A to Z Basketball Insiders

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

Basketball Recruits: What You Should Do in November

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

The Best (and Worst) Part of Choosing a School

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

Tennis Recruiting: Making a Decision

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

The 50 Best D-II and D-III Colleges for Athletes

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Basketball Recruiting: It's Never Too Late

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

Demystifying the College Athletic Recruiting Process

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

How a Bad Game Affects Your Recruiting Status

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

14-Year-Old Quarterback Verbally Commits to LSU

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

College Baseball Recruiting: How to Control Your Own Destiny

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

The Best Men's College Basketball Programs

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

Recruiting: You Need to Score, But Your Coach Won't Let You?

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

5 Things to Know About Football Recruiting

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

The Tennis College Recruiting Summer Checklist

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

The Best Women's College Basketball Programs

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

5 Essential Steps for College Recruits

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

Volleyball Recruiting: Searching for More Than Talent

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

College Recruiting FAQ: How Does National Signing Day Work?

Showcase Your Talent to Get Recruited to Play College Basketball

Showcase Your Talent to Get Recruited to Play College Basketball

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

What is a Parent's Role in Recruiting?

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

What the New SAT Means for Student-Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Athletes

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

4 Key Steps When Contacting College Coaches

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

Volleyball Recruiting: Why Hasn't the Coach Called Me?

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

Do Athletes Make Better Students?

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

How to Create a Recruiting Video That Coaches Will Watch

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

7 Bad Behaviors That Will Help You Play College Sports

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Female Athletes

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

3 Ways to Trust Your Gut During the College Recruiting Process

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

New NCAA Rules on Junior College Football Recruiting Explained

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

Why You Should Consider Post-Grad Prep School for Football

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

College Recruiting FAQ: Early Action vs. Early Decision

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Featured STACKlete: Reagan Rogers

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

Why You Should Play Small-School Sports

The Best College Football Programs

The Best College Football Programs

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

The 50 Best Colleges for Male Athletes

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

College Recruiting Evaluations: A Different Perspective

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

3 Ways to Climb the Recruiting Ladder

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

STACK Recruiting Guide 2014: Victor Cruz and the 'It' Factor

YardBarker