How To Get Recruited For College Football Division 1 Raising a Jock

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Raising a Jock

Remember the original “Friday Night Lights”? High school football back in the day…those cool football games when we were in school? Popcorn, cheerleaders, the biggest guys with shoulder pads, giant hats and cheery, if muddy, smiles. Win or lose, we always met after the game for burgers and our carefree high school life continued. Granted, high school sports in the Midwest were a little cooler than here in Florida, but still pretty much the same.

Fast forward to 2009, Florida high school football. Those carefree memories are a ridiculous novelty for a high school freshman. Playing football today is a very serious and often expensive activity for thousands of young athletes.

According to the online publication ESPN Rise: “Many people clearly believe that Florida is the best state for high school football.” Lake Mary, Florida grad, USC All-American linebacker and first round pick Keith Rivers of the Cincinnati Bengals is the perfect example of a “local kid makes good on his dream” story.

But athletic success doesn’t come easily or cheaply for most young people in high school sports today, even in Florida. Doug Peters, athletic director at Lake Mary High School, tells me that his school alone averages 800 student-athletes each year, and only about 15 of those go on to college on athletic scholarships each year after graduation.

Although his parents don’t know it yet, these young football players already know that they need real marketing: professionally produced videos, personal trainers and even a “scout” who contacts several schools on the player’s behalf. playing college football. The commitment required of high school athletes is very different because it involves a greater emotional, personal and financial investment by the entire family.

Take 16-year-old Trevor Alfredson (full disclosure: my teenage athlete son), who has been playing soccer since he was six and loves it. “I’ve wanted to play Division 1 football for as long as I can remember,” says Trevor. And as a sophomore varsity player, Trev’s season also included hiring a company to create a highlight video, discussions with two different recruiting services firms, training with former NFL player Dana Sanders and attending something called a “combine.”

For those unfamiliar with today’s “jock” lingo: high school football officially tests athletes on a range of physical skills, such as speed, agility and strength, while various college coaches look on. The pressure to follow is overwhelming for these boys at the age of 14! The cost of second-year football alone, considering playing “division 1 football”, can be as much as $5,500.

The pressure and problems of “compromise” are not unique to football. Lee Morgan of Lake Mary is a junior who plays two types of soccer (Club Soccer and Varsity Soccer) AND soccer, so he will have his best shot at playing college sports at a good school. A talented player and first-string football player, Lee has already emailed a number of college coaches (part of his personal marketing plan) and heard from some Florida college coaches. For the money, Lee is invited to summer football camps to get up close and personal with the coaches.

As competitive as college sports are today for young athletes, Lee tells us, “I’ve been playing football since I was 7 years old, and now I want to keep all my options open.” His teacher father, Walt, says that “part of the added pressure today is that the cost of college has also gone up, which can put more pressure on athletic scholarships.”

Chip Humble works for CSA Prep Stars in Florida and he scouts players for numerous schools. Chip says most parents need help understanding how engagement really works. And with the exception of those very rare “blue chip players” like Keith Rivers, “a lot of good athletes go unnoticed and unrecognized because they’re not properly marketed.”

Knowledgeable experts say that the main reason boys are not involved is that no one knows about them. As Chip reminds parents of his sports list: “just because your child was good at Little League or excelled at school, that doesn’t mean they’re the ‘blue chip’ that all American athletes are.” are college coaches.”

Raising a profile currently means a personal profile with a website; following coaches on Twitter, game checking and stats, and that premium quality video seen by hundreds of college coaches. Dreams aren’t cheap these days, even in high school!

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