4-C’s toward successful recruiting process

College Football ScholarshipsGuest blogger
Jeff Duva- Founder, PrepStar Recruiting

Every year more than one million student athletes participate in high school football. Many of these young athletes are hopeful of one day receiving a college football scholarship!

Receiving an athletic scholarship and participating in the exciting world of college football is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The competition is fierce among high school athletes as tens of thousands of student athletes are vying for a limited number of scholarship opportunities on the collegiate level.

Annually, there are approximately 12,000 new opportunities for entering college freshmen to make it onto a 4-year or 2-year college roster. That means less than 5% of graduating high school senior football players will make it to the next level.

Division I is the highest level of college football and are comprised of schools that include the major collegiate powers in the U.S. To be eligible as an NCAA D-1 football program the university must sponsor a minimum of 14 different NCAA championship sports. D-I schools include the major collegiate athletic powers, with larger budgets, more elaborate facilities, and more athletic scholarships than Divisions II and III as well as many smaller schools committed to the highest level of intercollegiate competition.

In 1978 Division I was subdivided into Division I-A and Division I-AA. In 2006, Division I-A and I-AA were renamed FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) and FCS (Football Championship Subdivision).

FBS teams are allowed a maximum of 85 players receiving athletically-based aid per year, with each player allowed to receive up to a full scholarship; FCS teams have the same 85-player limit as FBS teams, but are only allowed to give aid equivalent to 63 full scholarships. FCS teams are allowed to award partial scholarships, a practice technically allowed but essentially never used at the FBS level. FBS teams also have to meet minimum attendance requirements (average 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game), while FCS teams do not need to meet minimum attendance requirements.

In total, there are 252 teams that comprise FBS (128) and FCS (124) football programs. Division II schools that participate in college football total 171 and Division III schools total 237. There are another 75 college football programs on the NAIA level.

FBS football programs may have a total scholarship limit if 85. For FCS programs the number is 63. For Division II the number is 36.

Division III programs do not offer athletic scholarship but may offer financial aid based on academic merit and financial need basis. NAIA schools may offer a total of 24 full-ride scholarship per team and these scholarship may be divided up between multiple players in order to meet the 24 scholarship total.

If your goal is to play college football, win an athletic scholarship and receive a rewarding college degree, then it is of vital importance that you create a winning game plan to make this dream a reality! Here are some steps you need to be taking during your high school career:

The first and foremost area of importance is academics. Without the proper academic qualifications you will not be recruited for a college football scholarship. Here is a quick review of Division I Academic Standards…

To be eligible to practice, compete and receive athletics scholarships in your first full-time year at a Division I school, you must graduate from high school and meet ALL the following requirements:

1. Complete a total of 16 NCAA core courses in the following areas:

  • 4 years of English.
  • 3 years of math (Algebra 1 or higher).
  • 2 years of natural/physical science (including one year of lab science if offered).
  • 2 years of social science.
  • 1 additional year of English, math or natural/physical science.
  • 4 additional years of English, math, natural/physical science, social science, foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy.

2. Complete 10 of your 16 core courses, including seven in English, math or natural/physical science, before the start of your seventh semester. Once you begin your seventh semester, you must have more than 10 core courses completed to be able to repeat or replace any of the 10 courses used to meet the 10/7 requirement. Students whose academic credentials are solely international (including Canada) are not required to meet the 10/7 requirement.

3. Earn an SAT combined score or ACT sum score that matches your core-course GPA (minimum 2.300) on the Division I sliding scale. SAT scores earned on or after March 2016 will be evaluated based on concordance tables established by the College Board.

In one of our earlier blogs we talked about steps you need to take to receive an athletic scholarship for college. Here is a quick review of our 4-C’s toward success…

  • Character
  • Courage
  • Commitment
  • Championship Mindset

CHARACTER: Make sure you maintain the highest level of CHARACTER and citizenship at all times, not just when people are watching.

COURAGE: Don’t be a crowd follower but instead be a leader with impeccable character and the COURAGE when you have to make the hard decision amongst your peers when you know it is the right decision for you!

COMMITMENT: To be successful in anything you do in life you will need to have the proper COMMITMENT and determination to succeed at what you are doing. Most great athletes have an unwavering commitment and determination to go past fear and doubt, propelling you toward your determined goal.

CHAMPIONSHIP: This leads us into having a CHAMPIONSHIP mindset. Champions aren’t born they are made! Set your goals high and if you put into action your action the proper commitment, courage and character you will be well on your way to high school and collegiate success.

Now that you have created your game plan for the next-level, there is one vital and necessary step you need to take to ensure you reach your college goals of obtaining an athletic scholarship. That step is EXPOSURE! Many great and highly qualified and deserving student-athletes go unnoticed in the recruiting process every year due to a lack of exposure. With the digital age upon us, social media outlets, online profiles, videos and much more, are a necessary part of the recruiting game.

There are companies in the world hyper space that will offer student-athletes web platforms to self promote themselves to college coaches nationwide. These types of services can be helpful but more times than not college coaches find these types of services that you may be familiar with, cluttered with non-prospects who have no chance of playing beyond the high school level. Many of these sites even promote themselves are being the best because they are the biggest, with tens of thousands of athlete profiles.

PrepStar offers a much different solution than these other companies by focusing on qualified, verified next-level prospects. Because PrepStar works with a select group of no more than 360 athletes per year, we can choose the very best that have the academic and athletic qualifications for college. As a result of this much more refined and “rifle” approach to college recruiting, PrepStar delivers the result families are looking for by helping their athletes reach their college goals. If you would like to see if you qualify as an elite PrepStar 360 prospect, please take a moment of your time to create your athletic resume by clicking on the link below.

After we receive your personal information you will be contacted by a PrepStar Scouting Coordinator to setup a personal scholarship evaluation with one of our national Scouting Directors!

Create My Athletic Profile


2018 Early NLI Signing Dates 

The early National Letter of Intent signing day for 2018 commits in sport other than football is November 8-15. During this time early committed athletes can sign the formal agreement with the (NCAA or NAIA) university they have chosen to play for the 2018-19 season.  For those signing early, please text or tweet a picture of your signing ceremony to @MichaelWoosley.

Typically, the November NLI signing day is for athletes in Fall sports except football. In contrast the February and April signing dates are for athletes participating in Winter and Spring sports respectively.

Additionally, National letter of intent is a a binding contract between student athlete and university that guarantees academic and athletic aid so be sure all terms of the offer are agreeable upon signing.

There are a few interesting notes about NLI’s to know.

  • NLI’s can be signed without first getting admission to a college
  • Only 1 NLI can be signed within 1 academic year
  • NLI must include the NCAA ID. The NCAA ID
    will be available to the prospective studentathlete
    once registered with the NCAA
    Eligibility Center
  • NLI may not be signed prior to the signing dates for the applicable sport.
  • NLI must include a parent or legal guardian
    signature if the prospective student-athlete is
    under the age of 21.
  • Football (Early NLI Period) is December 20 – 22, 2017 (Division I)
  • A prospective student-athlete signs with an institution. If the coach leaves, the NLI signee is still bound by the provisions of the NLI.
  • Completing a playing season does not fulfill the NLI obligation. The entire academic year at the signing institution must be completed.
  • The NLI may be delivered by express mail, regular mail, email, fax, mobile applications or any other electronic means. Coaches and university reps can only be present if the signing takes place on the college campus.

More information and some informational videos can be found at the NLI website. http://www.nationalletter.org/

Softball Showcase Evaluations end in November 

Knowing your recruiting calendar can help you plan exposure opportunities to compete in from of college coaches. These events make up the Evaluation Period (see graphic below.

In October, the new changes to the D1 softball recruiting calendar really make an impact as the four showcase weekends allowed by the NCAA begin on the 14th.

  • October 14-15, 2017
  • October 21-22, 2017
  • October, 28-29, 2017
  • November 4-5, 2017
  • November, 11-12, 2017
  • November 18-19, 2017

Heads Up High School Seniors!  Secure student aid by filling out your FAFSA

Students planning on using financial aid to help pay for college must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. The 2018–19 FAFSA form is available on Oct. 1, 2017. You should fill it out as soon as possible on the official government site, fafsa.gov.

Start your FASFA form at https://fafsa.ed.gov/
Start your FASFA form at https://fafsa.ed.gov/


To make it easier to complete the FAFSA form it’s best to gather what you need ahead of time. Here is what you’ll need to fill out your FAFSA.

The 7 items you need to register for the FAFSA are:
1. Your FAFSA ID
2. Your Social Security number*
3. Your driver’s license number
4. Your 2016 tax records*
5. Records of your untaxed income*
6. Records of your assets (money)*
7. List of the school(s) you are interested in attending

It is best if the student athlete and parent(s) complete the FASFA together.

Find more information and step-by-step instructions at the Department of Education website: https://blog.ed.gov/2017/09/7-things-need-fill-2018-19-fafsa-form/ 

How to Use Social Media in Your Recruiting

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Social media is an excellent recruiting tool when used correctly. It can also be a detriment if used incorrectly. So before I give you a few tips on how to use social media to your advantage here are some important things to keep in mind.

  1. Anyone, anywhere can see your post
  2. Your post speaks for your personality and character
  3. Pictures speak for the company you keep.
  4. Posts are nearly impossible to erase once out in cyber-space

Over the years I’ve observed amazing uses of social media by student athletes. Essentially, many of these athletes created an organic media portals.  Used properly social media really can make a difference with your recruiting.

Here are a few tips to use social media to your advantage. 
1. Designate social media outlets. For example, use Twitter for sports and SnapChat for selfies. Avoid mixing the two.
2. Show the things that you value. For example, hard work, commitment, family, faith
3. Share your experiences. Post where your playing and camps your attending. Share pics of team functions and events.
4. Share gratitude.  It is okay to thank coaches with whom you’ve had conversations for conversations or invitations to camps, events or for attending games
5. Always be positive. Never post online a complaint or grip about another player or coach. And, don’t repost the negativity of others.

Tips on registering with the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center

In the highly competitive world of college athletics where the hope of scholarships covering significant amounts of tuition athletes and parents need to realize the importance of academics. The impact of grades and college entry exam scores are perhaps most overlooked because parents and athletes don’t understand the ins and outs.  So here are tips to a few of the most common questions regarding the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center and Clearninghouse ID.

To begin, since a significant amount of scholarship money is only the line athletes must verify their grades and college prep test scores. It makes sense that the NCAA, as well as the college recruiting you, assures that recruits do have the grades to play!

The Process Begins

The verification process begins with the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center. Student-athletes need to register and recieve a Certification Account. This account is linked to the NCAA ID (also referred to as the Clearninghouse ID). Take note that a Certification Account is necessary before taking official visits to D1 or D2 schools. More importantly, a student-athlete must has a NCAA Certification Account before signing a National Letter of Intent.

Students enrolling at an NCAA Division I or II institutions for the first time need to also complete the amateurism questionnaire through the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center Web site. Lastly, Students need to request final amateurism certification prior to enrollment.

Some Guidance is Needed

During the verification process, high school athletes will also need the help of the school Guidance counselor. It is wise to discuss your college plans with the Guidance Counselor so that they can help make the process as seamless as possible.

When to Get Started

I advise my athletes to start the process at the beginning of their Junior year. This is a great time to meet with a guidance counselor and start taking the college entry exams. I also advise that athletes take both the SAT and ACT early in Junior year. Furthermore, SAT and ACT scores must be reported directly to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency.  The NCAA will not accept scores from transcript copies.

But, you may be asking, “What if I didn’t do these things my Junior year? Am I too late?” If you are a Senior and have not already begun the eligibility process, don’t panic, there is still time but you do need to be intentional. First, arrange to meet with your guidance counselor then immediately get started with the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center.

D3? No Need

Lastly, athletes who plan to play at the Division III level are not required to register with the NCAA Academic Eligibility Center. However, student-athletes must meet the eligibility requirements set by both the specific institution and the athletic conference it participates (NCAA.org).  Finally, athletes that find NAIA school a better fit need to register with the NAIA. The process is very similar to the NCAA.  Start the same registration process with the NAIA at the  NAIA Eligibility Center.

If you have questions more questions about the NCAA or NAIA Eligibility Center you can message them to me at @michaelwoosley on Twitter.

Be committed, get committed.

Coach Mike

Parents, a recruiting tip. Free isn’t always quality.

For this week’s tip, I’d like to share some thoughts from one parent to another.

Everyday I hear and see so much false information and fictitious myths about recruiting that I feel its important to warn you about it. Honestly, I get upset by the ridiculous misinformation people tell me and the perpetual lies I see online. These hucksters are so blinded by dollar signs $$ that don’t actually take into the consideration the fact that that the futures’ of young women and men.

So here’s my tip this week. Parents, you are the first line of defense to protect your student-athlete so be please aware of false information!

  1. Be cautious of the “free” information you find online
  2. Be cautious of “free” services

We all know that everything we see on the Internet isn’t true and that there is no such thing as free. In fact, it takes years of successful results to build the reputation and expertise necessary to be considered by college coaches as a credible recruiting resource.  

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Like you, I love my kids. I have three. However, my daughter is a Sophomore softball player. Without a doubt her collegiate recruiting is very important to me. So, like you, I understand the severity that the choices I make today can cost her tomorrow.


As a PrepStar 360 athlete, I’m glad she can benefit from the recruiting exposure provided by  PrepStar’s 36 years of working relationships with college coaches. This kind of backing is invaluable in the recruiting process. The assistance families get throughout the recruiting process is second to none! Plus its hard to ignore the highest success rate in the scouting and recruiting industry.

So, parents, be cautious when relying solely on information from Internet searches and people who have no vested interest in your athlete. How is someone working for free supposed to guide you through the recruiting process?  Most recruiting services only have computer programers on staff! (text “CoachMike” to find out which ones).


In my office I have a sign that says, “My job is to connect with people and solve interesting problems!” It’s a reminder to me that every athlete, and their recruiting process, is unique. So my job is to be there to help them solve the problems and clear the way for their success.

Perhaps it would better to have someone like me? A trusted resource and real expert- who is also the parent of a college bound athlete- to walk along with your family?

Call me today to take the first step in the right recruiting direction. Together, we’ll set the course of success for your athlete.

Coach Mike Woosley

“To get committed, you got to be committed.”