If you don't compile a highlight tape to give coaches, then you don't have a chance. You need to spark interest in the coaches who don't know you. To create that interest, you need something that is going to impress them right off the bat. It only takes a few impressive plays to show someone that you are quick and can outrun people.
There is a kid from Arkansas named Broderick Green. He transferred to Pulaski Academy in Little Rock before his junior year. Nobody in the recruiting industry or college coaching knew who Broderick was or where he was from. After his junior season, his coach made a professional highlight film and sent it to 20 schools across the country. Within three days, Broderick had 20 offers. He committed to USC on National Signing Day. He's what I call a five-clip kid. On the first five plays of the tape, he's breaking away for 75-yard touchdowns. A coach will watch five plays like that, then turn off the tape, find the kid's info and offer him a scholarship on the spot. Obviously, not all highlight tapes are that powerful, but there would never have been an offer without that tape.
Sometimes a player wants to make a highlight tape, but his high school coaches don't have quality film, or they just don't want to help the kid. If this is your situation, call the opponents from your big games and ask to buy their films; sometimes they'll just give it to you to use. Many scholarships have been offered off opponents' tapes. You can get around bad footage or a lazy coach.
Some college coaches like to see an entire game film, because they like to see how you react when the ball or play isn't headed your way. For linemen, it's a good idea to send a game film. But for skill guys, coaches would rather see a highlight tape.
The perfect tape includes a quick personal introduction by the player, 10 to 15 highlight clips and a game film at the end. If a coach wants to take time to watch a full game film, it's available. Include an explanation of what's on the tape and where on the tape it is located, so the coach can fast forward to watch what he wants.
Max Emfinger has been helping high school football players get scholarships for 27 years. He runs combines across the country and rates, ranks and writes about players on his recruiting website, maxemfinger.org.
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