Early Signing Period for 2019 Football

December 19, 2018 kicks off the second early signing period for college football.  During this short three day time period many early commits will be signing to play collegiate football. To that select group, I say congratulations! However, many more high school student athletes have yet to sign. In fact, most high school seniors will sign between February 6 and April 1. So this short blog is for them. Those that are still teetering in the process. Many have offers while others are still hoping to find a good fit.  Here are a two helpful tips.

First, do not be discouraged. It is important for 2019 football players is to stay the course with their recruiting. A lot of recruiting is still taking place. College coaches continue to look to fill  roster spots with qualified, committed and eligible athletes.  A lot can happen between December and  April so stay focused and be proactive!

At this time it is tremendously important for student-athletes to continue to keep their grades up and if possible improve their overall GPA. At this time of year, it is tempting for Seniors to think its okay to coast. But, actually its time to buckle-down. Every academic point, GPA, ACT or SAT will equate to additional money in college. academic and athletic scholarship. In contrast, every point that is rendered results in additional college tuition cost.

For many 2019 prospective student athletes have investing years of hard work and dedication. The end is near. And with the right attitude and focus the end will not be the end at all, but a beginning of a new chapter filled with amazing opportunities and exciting experiences. Good luck to the class of 2019!

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

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SIGNING THE NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT IN THE MIDST OF COACHING CHANGES: What to know

Photo Credit: https://forums.operationsports.com

Any attentive college sports fan has noticed the recent hiring, firing or retiring of many college coaches. Usually, the coaching carousel that follows perennial collegiate football programs probably gets the most media attention. Yet, firings, hirings and retirements are prevalent at every collegiate level and in every collegiate sport.

Every year, there are athletes who suffer the effects of the coaching carousel so the purpose of this article is to inform the athlete who is committment to a college team without a coach. Its important to know the options available and most importantly, the questions that should be asked to help prevent this becoming a painful situation.

To begin, once a student signs the NLI he/she is contractually bound to a one year committment to that college. Its important to note that in the eyes of the NCAA the committment is to the college, not to the coach. Unfortunately, this leaves out the human element of relationships. So, a problem arises when the coach that recruits an athlete moves on and no longer coaches at the college. Often, that recruiting coach is a very influential factor in the college selection process. So when he/she moves on athletes often feel duped, then want to decommit.  But its not that simple because once the NLI is signed the NCAA does not allow transfer without penalty.

Without question NLI’s are water tight. The NCAA uses this language in the NLI document to assure the binding agreement is to the college.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/coachingChange.html)

No doubt about it, to get out of an NLI is an arduous process. However, in rare cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI.  Again, it’s a long process that first is reviewed by the NLI Appeals Committee a on a case by case basis (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/releaseRequest.html).

So, to help avoid this situation here are a few good questions to ask the recruiting coach throughout the recruiting process and before the dotted line is signed.

  • Does the coach have a history of staying with programs long term?
  • Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school?
  • Lastly, if you are skeptical, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI?

The take home is not to be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to this coach. It would be a shame to sacrifice a year of eligibility to a coach who won’t stay put.

Communicating with Coaches during the Fall

Often I compare the recruiting process to a roller-coaster. The speed of the cart is determined by the track. How the track is designed involves many twists and turns as well as places where the pace becomes so slow that it seems to stop. Like a roller-coaster, and depending on the sport, recruiting in the Fall can simultaneously cause both excitement and anxiety so here a few tips to as you buckle-in for the ride.
During the Fall, and after the window of the contact period closes, it is very important to know what contact period of your sport and the communication regulations that accompany them. This information is easy to locate within the NCAA and NAIA regulations on their respective websites. This information can also be accessed  in your Prepstar profile.
Now, be aware that all divisions (D1, D2, D3, etc) have similar, but different, communication rules. For example, D2 coaches have much more leniency  with communications in comparison to D1 coaches.  Additionally, in football, FBS schools (those that go to bowl games) have similar contact periods but different number of evaluation opportunities.

The key to communicating in the Fall is to be proactive! Throughout the year, and at any time, athletes are permitted to contact coaches. This means that to communicate with college coach outside of designated contact periods, student-athletes have to be the one to initiate contact. Additionally, this rule also applies to underclassmen (Freshman and Sophomores). Again, no matter what time of year and no matter the contact period, college coaches are permitted to talk with prospects as long as the prospect makes the first move to contact them.

So, I highly recommend that student-athletes take the initiative to reach out to coaches with emails, texts and voicemails.  Don’t ever wait for them to call you, instead you call them.

To wrap up, it is an understatement to say that recruiting is a year round process. There is no downtime because college coaches are always recruiting. So use the latter part of year to your advantage. For Fall sports this is a great time of year to get aquatinted with coaches, take visits and build that ever important recruiting relationship. Likewise, student-athletes that play winter or spring sports can use the Fall to as a great opportunity to get on the radar and generate interest from coaches for the upcoming seasons.

Good luck!

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR

Signing the National Letter of Intent: What it means

Each year I have athletes that commit and sign during the early signing period so I want to make sure to pass along some important information about the meaning of signing the National Letter of Intent (NLI). To review, early signing dates for 2019 student-athletes are November 14-21 for all sports except football and December 19-21 for football only.

Once a student signs the NLI that student is bound to a one year committment to that college. Take note, the committment is to the college, not to the coach. So keep this in mind when making your final decision.

To make this concept concrete, the NCAA uses this language within the NLI to assure the binding agreement is to the college not the coach.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/coachingChange.html
Now, should a coaching change occur, or if the student-athlete has a change of heart, it will be a very difficult to get out of a binding NLI agreement. However, in very few cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI. But the process is long and has to be reviewed by the NCAA on a case by case basis by the NLI AppealsCommittee. (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/releaseRequest.html)

So, before committing research the coaching history and tenure of the coach. Does he/she have a history of staying with programs long term? Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school.

Lastly, if you are uncertain, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to the college but not necessarily the coach.

Signing the National Letter of Intent:  What it means

Each year I have athletes that commit and sign during the early signing period so I want to make sure to pass along some important information about the meaning of signing the National Letter of Intent (NLI). To review, early signing dates for 2019 student-athletes are November 14-21 for all sports except football and December 19-21 for football only.

Once a student signs the NLI that student is bound to a one year committment to that college. Take note, the committment is to the college, not to the coach. So keep this in mind when making your final decision.

To make this concept concrete, the NCAA uses this language within the NLI to assure the binding agreement is to the college not the coach.

“I understand I have signed this NLI with the institution and not for a particular sport or coach. If a coach leaves the institution or the sports program (e.g., not retained, resigns), I remain bound by the provisions of this NLI. I understand it is not uncommon for a coach to leave his or her coaching position.” (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/coachingChange.html

Now, should a coaching change occur, or if the student-athlete has a change of heart, it will be a very difficult to get out of a binding NLI agreement. However, in very few cases the NCAA does allow students to be let out of their NLI. But the process is long and has to be reviewed by the NCAA on a case by case basis by the NLI AppealsCommittee. (http://www.nationalletter.org/nliProvisions/releaseRequest.html)

So, before committing research the coaching history and tenure of the coach. Does he/she have a history of staying with programs long term? Also, when you interviewing with a prospective coach ask about how long he/she intends to stay at the school. Lastly, if you are uncertain, ask if its okay that you commit to the college but not sign the NLI.  Finally, don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. After-all, the next 4 years of your life are potentially tied to the college but not necessarily the coach.

What is an official visit?

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Since many athletes are being offered opportunities to visit college campuses I thought it good to share a few helpful tips about official visits. In most recruiting situations official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Frequently, college  coaches reserve official visits to make offers, but it is not uncommon to get a verbal offer outside of an official visit.

By definition, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound prospective student-athlete and his or her parents that is paid for by the college. This includes transportation, lodging, entertainment, food and as many as 3 tickets to a game.. Conversely, campus visits paid for by the parents of the student-athlete is deemed and unofficial visit.

Traditionally, official visits have been reserved for Seniors only. However, since April 2018 new recruiting regulations have been implemented for sports such as baseball and softball, permitting  Junior and Senior student-athletes to take official visits. In contrast, in most other sports, such as footballonly Senior student-athletes are permitted to take official visits. 

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. You should also be aware that D3 and NAIA schools have no limit on official visits a student-athlete can take. Additionally, D3 and NAIA regulations are similar those governing the recruiting process of D1 and D2 schools where the prospective student-athlete is allowed 1 official visit per school.

Lastly, recruiting is a process. Always keep this in mind. Many student-athletes and parents let their minds run wild with negative assumptions especially when an official visit is not offered right away.  To reiterate, recruiting is a process and every coach has his or her method of recruiting. So, with this in mind  I recommend to keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Relax, stay calm, and enjoy the process.

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Also, if you need help preparing I’m glad to schedule some time to help prepare for your official visit. Just send me a text or email at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com.

Tips for making an impressive highlight videos

Highlight videos are an essential part of the recruiting process. Now, with the help of the Internet, the massive amount of video available has made it convenient for college coaches to recruiting players on a national level from the comfort of their offices. Personally, I have watched thousands of recruiting videos. Some are so impressive that I actually take the time to watch it again. Others, well, lets just say that they have been so mediocre I am left shaking my head in disbelief. Simply put, a well made highlight video will prove beneficial towards positively advancing the recruiting process. So here are a few quick tips on making highlight videos.

First, know that coaches want to be impressed right from the start. So give the coach a reason to keep watching. Start your highlight reel with scoring plays. Then follow up with big plays by order of impressiveness.

A common mistakes is that many athletes create highlights by the game clock timeline. This is not helpful. Instead, put big plays at the front of the highlight reel even if they occurred late in the game.

Most importantly, when making highlight video, keep in mind that the goal is not to make ESPN highlight segment for Sports Center. The purpose is not to show  the top plays as the game unfolded. Instead, the goals show be to have a video tell the story of why you are a legit prospect. This is done putting in center-focus the highlight plays showcasing best position specific skills and athleticism.

So here are 5 tips for assembling a solid recruiting video.

  1. Always make sure the video is appropriately timed. Typically, a good video is between 4 and 5 minutes long. Even though you may have 20 minutes of season highlights, pick the best footage. College coaches have limited time to view video so impress them with the best.
  2. Next, make sure that your best plays are in the first 60 seconds. Think about it like how social media is viewed. If a picture or post catches your attention then your more likely to click to find out more. The opposite is also true. If the post doesn’t hold your attention then you move on to the next.
  3. Then make sure to highlight position specific skills. For example, in football,  running backs are designed to get in the end zone and out-run defenders. Running backs then should highlight touchdown runs and speed separation. Defensive lineman, are supposed to wreak havoc at the up and down the line of scrimmage as well as in the opponents backfield so show sacks and quarterback hurries.
  4. Most importantly, highlight videos need to feature you, not other players. I’ve heard stories of coaches finding an recruit while viewing the footage of a teammate. This happens frequently.
  5. Lastly, know the difference between a clean hit and a cheap shot. Coaches want aggressive players not dirty players.  Because cheap shots cause penalties, penalties cost yardage, and lost yards can ultimately be the difference in winning or losing a game.

Because highlight videos carry a lot of significance in your recruiting I’m glad to review your highlight videos before you send them to a coach or post them online. Just email or text them over to me at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com.

 

 

Coach Mike oversees the the recruiting of talented next-level athletes to develop a recruiting strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited.  As a coach with over 20 years of experience, and a as former college athlete, Mike now mentors families through the academic, athletic and financial aspects of college recruiting.  

Coach Mike – Email: mwoosley@csaprepstar.com   Office: 805-622-STAR