There's no doubt many college football recruiters prefer high school athletes who play multiple sports. Now there's concrete evidence proving that multi-sport athletes have a significantly better chance than their single-sport counterparts of eventually making it to the NFL.
According to TrackingFootball.com, a website that compiles multi-sport participation data on high school and college football players, 88.5 percent of the players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft were multi-sport athletes in high school.
— Tracking Football ® (@TrckFootball) May 1, 2016
The three most popular sports among the draftees were track & field, basketball and baseball, with participation rates of 58.5, 45.1 and 11.1 percent, respectively.
The benefits of being a multi-sport athlete are immense. Playing different sports teaches your body to move in different ways and reinforces competitiveness. When Arizona Cardinals All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell spoke to STACK about this topic, he outlined why he believes playing multiple sports helped him become a better football player.
"Playing multiple sports 100 percent made me a better athlete," Campbell said. "When you play different sports, you're forced to do different things. I learned quick-twitch stuff from basketball. Track and field, I learned about my stride, my jumping, my hip thrust. I actually even wrestled for a while, and that helped me learn leverage and momentum. It all transfers over and develops different muscle groups."
If you're a high school athlete who's currently specializing in a single sport, it will be worth your while to expand your horizons. Not only will you become a better overall athlete, you'll also attract more attention from college recruiters.
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