Some of the NFL’s brightest stars recall important factors that led them to their respective college decisions, which can help you in your personal research.
Jared Allen: Level of Competition
It worked out great for me to be a big fish in a smaller pond. I had a blast at Idaho State; [I] made the best of it and was still able to accomplish my goal of playing in the NFL.
Matt Ryan: Academics
In case football didn’t work out, I wanted to do something with my life with the degree that I was going to have from that school.
Albert Haynesworth: Coaching Staff
Get familiar with the coach you’re going to be with the next three to five years. Look at his background and see if the school is changing coaches a lot or see how the athletic director is. [Check out] their graduation rate—are a lot of student-athletes graduating? Don’t get sucked in by the hype—like if the team went to the National Championship or whatever. Make sure it’s a great fit for you. Doing your homework on the current roster and the rest of your recruiting class can save you the trouble of transferring, like NY Giants RB Brandon Jacobs had to do.
“[At Auburn] there were a lot of people at my position [Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown],” Jacobs says. “So I couldn’t stay there and decided to transfer to Southern Illinois. I’m glad that I did it, and it showed that you don’t need a big school to put yourself where you want to be.”