Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Football recruiting letters ... what they mean and don't mean

Receiving a letter from a nationally ranked college football program -- or almost any college football program, for that matter -- is good news that's tremendously exciting to players and their families. But those players and families should also understand what those recruiting letters are -- and what they are not.

Recruiting materials from college programs are usually form letters expressing the college's interest in the high school player. Questionnaires are usually included too. High school football athletes who hope to play football in college should always complete and return those questionnaires to ensure that college football coaches have as much information -- especially vitally important contact information -- as possible. Without that, college coaches won't have a needed starting point for taking a further look at a player and evaluate him.

If a player gets letters from a college, that's certainly a sure sign that he's of some interest, probably because he is performing well as a high school player, or has the size, weight, strength or speed to get that attention. But at least hundreds, and probably thousands, of other high school football players are also receiving those letters from that same college.

By itself, getting a form letter means simply that a player is on a college football program's mailing list. It doesn't mean that the player is being recruited, but only that the college probably wants to evaluate him to determine if he should be recruited to meet that team's needs. Hopefully, a college's interest in a player increases as he performs well throughout the season, and communications will become more personal, through telephone calls and electronic messages.


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