Being a college football player is a goal that a lot of young men have . My sons happen to be 2 of these young men , or maybe you are a parent wondering
“How to get son recruited for college football ?”
Playing football at a division 1 school on full scholarship is their goal to be more exact . D1 football is where the big boys play . The guys who get to be on TV . I think thats most young men goals , if they’re a high school or younger football player, is to play division 1 football . So this list isn’t an end all be all and its definitely not a finished list . This is just what has seemed to help me with my sons along their way , so far . So with that being said here are 7 tips on how to get a division 1 football scholarship .
7 Tips on How To Get a Division 1 Football Scholarship (2018) – How to get recruited for football
Let’s get into it .
Actually be GOOD at football .
You would think this would be a given , but its definitely not the case . Not to say that you or if you’re a parent your son isn’t good , but division 1 football good is a different type of good. D1 athletes in general are some of the best athletes on the planet , a lot of them after college go on to play in some form of professional league . In football that could be NFL , CFL ,and (even if you don’t want to count it lol ) arena league . Its one thing to “think” you are pretty good , its a whole other thing to show you are.
One college coach explained it really well he said ,
” Most division 1 football players have been the best on every team they have been on from age 7 all the way through high school “
When its put that way , it thins the herd a whole lot . For those thats left , its not smooth sailing yet . Every Friday you have to be straight going off . A phrase I like to use is ” Full Breakfast ” , you need to go more than HAM . It has to be the ham , bacon , sausage , and grits ( yeah , I’m from the south lol ) .
Even on time off that means being all in , you never know who’s watching . When you’re at a 7 on 7 game go in , because the guy across from you may be a d1 football prospect already and if the right one sees that you can hold your own or even excel against him then that could be your foot in the door to get your recruiting poppin .
When training , go out and seek the best and train with them . Sure you “think” you’re the best , but see if you can hold up to training with the best and doing what they do . Some kids have came to the gym with my boys and end up leaving the gym from puking . Even then I have seen good relationships come out of stuff like this . You will be surprised what happens when you EARN , that simple word “respect” from a peer ,what it can do .
Someone who is on that next level can pull you up with them by saying ,
” I’m gonna hit up Coach So and So and let him know he needs to give you an offer because I don’t want to go against you on the next level “
This is what being a division 1 football player is all about , now on to the next step .
Make a Football Highlight Video , Well More Like Videos .
Notice that I said highlight “videos” . making one every week can give you that much exposure and let coaches see how you are doing over the season . So your best bet is after those “Friday night lights ” is get with those “Saturday morning edits” . The more video that you have , the more exposure you can get and the more chances you have of someone seeing you , to recruit you .You will later need these to send to coaches . Also, you need video to get to the best invite only combines and showcases such as Army All American Combine , The Opening , Rivals , Under Armour All American .
Weekly Football Highlight Video
Your weekly highlight should show your strong points of that game and what colleges are looking for . If you want to show your speed show your long runs . Put your agility in there show you , “taking someones ankles ” . Even if your game was a grinder there are things you can show , good blocks . A 10 yard run where it took 5 guys to take you down shows power . Think about how you can help a team and show that . Every play is not a “highlight” , keep that in mind . Shoot for 3-5 minutes on all of your videos . People have other things to do besides see a 10 minute video . Here is one of my sons weekly videos . Notice its titled with what happened in the game and against who , not 3 fire emojis lol .
Mid-season Football Highlight Video
This one is more of a general update than anything . its going to end up being the same style as a full season highlight it just haves for combines and showcases that need take early . Some need take as early as October to even be considered . Normally during October most teams are still in their season . So this just checks that block and gives them more than a weekly .
Full Season Football Highlight Video
As I said earlier these you want to keep 3-5 minutes . Coaches have lots of kids to look at they don’t have all day for your slide show at the beginning . Maybe a picture some stats and get it poppin . Highlight yourself before the play starts . They want to see how you move , what you do etc . Don’t stop it mid play and highlight yourself . Bring it with the first clip . Front load your big play because there is no use saving a big play for the last clip they might not get that far into the video . Show that you’re well rounded , strength , agility , speed , team player , blocking , hands , long runs . It can be more than just big hits , and TDs . Once again name it something people can recognize . Here is an example of one my son did for his junior year .
Have the Measurables
To be a division 1 football player you have to have the size , strength , and speed to be able to deal with some guys that might be playing on Sundays . So if you’re missing any of these you need to work on getting them .
Credit : NCSA
Some of these are on a sliding scale , so if you’re missing something it helps to try to bring something else up really high to make up for it . If you’re a shorter wide receiver , you can make up for it by being faster (Tavon Austin ) or stronger (Steve Smith) , or have the hops to out jump the taller guys . So strength to out muscle them , or hell , speed to out run , since you don’t have the size to put up with the punishment they might dish out .
So things like training to get faster if you’re not fast enough for D1 football , training in the weight room to get stronger , and actually getting on a diet to get bigger if you’re under sized . A good achievable goal is half a pound to a pound a week depending on how small you are and how much training experience that you have . As you get bigger and get more experienced at training the “newbie” gains start to slow down . My oldest son went from 120 his sophomore year to 193 pounds his junior year . This was a growth spurt , him training , and eating to get big . That’s a consistent 1 pound every week for 52 weeks along with a few weeks of even more than that . Now hes over 200 pounds going into his senior year .
Be a Student
Even after you achieve your goal and check all the blocks , you still have to be able to get the d1 football requirements , and get accepted to the school like a “regular ” student . if you get an offer as a junior and as a senior you’re sitting on a 1.8 GPA . Your scholarship wont be there because you cant make admissions . That don,t meant just shoot for the 2.0 grade point average , for a division 1 football scholarship you need a 2.3 core GPA . That means go just as hard in the classroom as on the field , so that you have some wiggle room when it comes to entry and test scores for SAT and ACT .
Take the test and re-take the test .
They let you match your highest sections from your testing sessions . So if you do good on one section on one and do higher on another section , you can match your two highest to get your best total score . So its in your best interest to take the SAT and ACT more than once .
Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center .
You register with the NCAA Eligibility Center so that you are able to do official visits and they are the one who make sure that you are on track to even play D1 football from a grade and amateur standpoint . You have to have your transcripts sent in from every high school that you have attended . As well as test scores from ACT and SAT . They will also ask some questions to make sure you are still considered a amateur. To make sure you haven’t been paid to play sports .
Take the Right Classes .
It seems this guy is everywhere and gives the same speech , but he makes a lot of sense when he breaks it down . Ron Sigler always gives this example of how the NCAA only counts core courses in your GPA , so he gives an example of a football player who passed PE , ART , and computers and has a 3.2 , but those are removed and leave in just their core classes (English , Math , Science , History , and languages ) they end up with a 1.8 and aren’t eligible for a scholarship . Here is a link to what classes you have to have to cover your 16 core courses for your GPA and here is a sheet the NCAA has provide to calculate your NCAA core GPA .
Reach Out To Coaches
I used to wonder how stuff like ” 8th grader gets 3 scholarship offers ” happens . When the NCAA says they can’t contact him yet. He also hasn’t played a down of high school football yet .
6'4 286lbs BEAST!!?? GOING TO 8TH GRADE 3 OFFERS IN MY 1ST 3 CAMPS!!!! OLEMISS, MISSISSIPPISTATE, AND AL REMEMBER THE NAME JAHEIM OATIS!!!! pic.twitter.com/sda0A3lMIE
— Jaheim Oatis (@JaheimOatis) July 22, 2017
It goes back to what I said earlier about showing you’re a talented football player at the camps , showcases and combines . Also , it goes to “knowing” the rules . The rules say “they” ( the schools ) cant contact you early . It doesn’t say anything about you not being able to contact them .
A lot of players don’t realize that just about every college or university website has a athlete questionnaire . This is one of the easiest ways to get a school to know that you exist . Go to as many school sites as you can and fill them out . College football teams are always looking for players .
You can try and look up positional coaches , recruiting coordinators , head of player personnel . Twitter is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to do this .
Another one that can kind of fall into this group are talent evaluators . Your regional talent evaluators for Rivals and 247 Sports can really get the word out . Also general talent evaluators , they really have noting to gain and their reputation is on the line . So in most cases if they say you’re good , then “you’re good “
People like Larry Blustein have helped a lot by doing things like just sharing their highlights to his followers and getting the word out about him . Little things like this can be a game changer for a football player’s recruiting . There is normally someone like this in every state or region . You just need to find the one in your area .
2019 FLORIDA PROSPECT SPOTLIGHT: Darius Smith, RB/S, 5-10, 190,
Hudson. https://t.co/MBU9g9pDvo@DatBoiDarius31 @cobrafball2017 @FlaHSFootball
— Blustein Recruiting (@larryblustein) January 27, 2018
You can email coaches as well . I personally would do this after I have filled out a questionnaire or tried to reach out to them on social media . This will give you a good opening or ice breaker .
“Hello coach , I filled out your athlete questionnaire . I wanted to follow up in email to see if you were able to see my highlight video .”
Yup , who would have though that you can actually use your cell as (wait for it ) , a phone . Most school staff directories have the phone numbers of all coaches and football staff . This is one that seems to get big results , but its not for everyone . I know kids these days aren’t big for actually talking on the phone .
Unofficial and Official Visits
If you can pull it off unofficial trips can help out a lot because you can get to see more schools in person . You also can go as much as you want . You only get so many official visits , but since you are paying for your own expenses you can do as many unofficial visits as need . This means , look at schools in your area , or get another look at a school that your really liked .
Shout out to @TheLandanSalem for the #unofficial visit to @FAU_Football ???#GoOwls @cobrafball2017 @Cassidy_Rob @PascoCountyFB @BigCountyPreps1 @Corey_Bender @larryblustein pic.twitter.com/kFfP6q9J63
— Darius Smith (@DatBoiDarius31) March 20, 2018
Show People That You Are a Division 1 Level Football Player
You need to be getting out there and going to camps , combines and showcases . As far as combines go , 2 a year is enough to prove your point , unless you did bad or wanted to show some improvement .
As TJ LSU Dad says ,
“Go to the ones that have the bucket of stars.”
The ones that hold the ” bucket of stars” are sites like Rivals , 247 sports , Scout etc . I’m not going to say only go to the ones where these people are , but I’m going to say that these matter a lot . These goes back to the ” show people you can ball ” part . These are the people that can tell other colleges and evaluators that you’re good . Things like being at the right football camps , combines , and showcases can get you things like a rivals or 247 profile . They don’t just give those out to everyone .
- These are pretty much just athleticism . There is really no football involved .
- 40 yard dash , 5-10-5 , L drill , long jump , vertical jump
- Army All American , Rivals Adizero
- Might be some athletic test , but mostly centered around football skills.
- Indy , on air (routes , cones , etc), 1vs1 , 7vs7
- The opening , Rivals 3 Stripe , Under Armour All American Tour
- Can be at a university or coaching company . They can be used to evaluate and teach .
- Everything in the showcase plus some coaching and can include athletic test .
- Any college , university , or training company . FBU , USA Football
All of these different things can have college coaches or recruiting personnel there . Really the thing with these is that you don’t need to go to every one that sends you an invite . Anybody will call you “amazing” , just to get you to give them money .
Go to the ones that have your goals in mind . The “star” holders are there . Its a school where a coach invited you , because they maybe wanted see you do your thing in person . Maybe it will be one where the major talent evaluators will be . This leads me to another thing . Try to only go to college camps where you have got in touch with the coach . This will help you maybe be able to get time with the coach when you get there. You don’t want to just be one of 100 that show up .
It takes time for people to find the best football players among millions of football players . Even if you are the best football player , but you never leave , don’t email coaches , don’t have a highlight tape , no one will know you’re there .
From what ive seen with schools , hell , with life , no one wants to be first . It might take time but it only takes one to get the ball rolling . The first will come and remember ,
“show people you can ball”
share on your social media . Now others will see and competing schools might give an offer just to take you away from them .
Really , all this being said this is an ongoing experiment . My sons are currently a junior and a freshmen in high school . This could all be an unsuccessful experiment , but they seem to be going down the right path . Remember there is more than one way to do this . This is only “advise” .
Maybe i’ll do an update to this as they go through school . To up date you on the process or how things have changed from one son to the other . There is a 2 year difference so a lot can change in 2 years .
Well , I hope this helped someone . Let me know if this has helped you any in the comments below . Don’t forget to share it with anyone who you think it might help them out . Also , let me know if there is anything that I might have forgot about or missed that will help someone .
25 thoughts on “7 Tips on How To Get a Division 1 Football Scholarship (2022)”
whos the author
Me (Andre Smith) , I’m the owner of DaVinci Fitness and Performance
Thank you so much! I’ve already started this journey with my Freshman in HS, but you’ve provided a lot of very helpful info.
thanks im glad i could help
Our son is a 16 year old Australian cornerback. He represented our state at the U19 National Championships at age 15 earlier this year and was named to the U19 Australian National Selection squad for the World Championship, USA, 2020 at age 16. We have been preparing for a couple of years and are just getting ready to start reaching out to schools. As we are based in Australia, some of what you have suggested is logistically not possible for us to do. However, there is some great advice there that will definitely be really helpful. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Yeah, I can understand how the visit part can be hard if in another country, but I’m glad some of the other stuff helped
You mention that taking video, and of specific things you want recruiters to see. My son is only a freshman, but do we start taking video now? Or wait till his an upperclassman? We would love for him to get into collage with a football scholarship.
The video is normally handled by his team . Most teams do their film through HUDL he just has to go after the games and put together his highlights from each game and for the mid season and the year. It should be varsity film as well most coaches dont look at film unless its on the varsity level.
Hi I’m 5’5, 162 pounds and I’m 12 my whole life I have wanted to play d1 but I live in Canada do you have any tips. Btw I’m tight end
for the most part if you pretty much stick to all the tips in the video and article it should get you on the right track.
I’m 14, 6’6″ 275lbs Varsity Starter DE. I’m shooting for D1, and I just need some tips, like what I should put in the email, what types of coaches to email etc.
Start with the questionaires. Then use those as a icebreaker in your emails. I think I went over this in the video.
do i have to do very good my freshman year to go D1 football becuase i had a hamstring problem my freshman year and did not play or can i still have a chance my sohpmore year and go on
You don’t have to be good your freshmen year. It just helps to be good early so that you can get on schools radar early
I am half way through my junior year and I’m wondering if it’s simply too late to want to go D1 and if not what should I do
Its never too late its just with less time it makes it harder. Just do what’s in the video its just it has to more condensed . More emails, calls, camps , questionnaires , training etc because now you dont have time to relax
Very helpful thanks! I have a 6’0” Jr DE/RG and was wondering what food will put weight on him. He eats a lot but not gaining. Should be be in the weight room more or what? Over the summer he lost like 25 lbs but has gotten faster and he’s in better shape. Open to any advice from anyone looking.
“Good” weight takes time. That’s why you saw i try to keep the standard with my athletes if 1 pound a week. Then i know its good weight and not fat . You only can gain so much muscle so fast and the rest is probably fat or water weight. High protein , healthy carbs( rice , potatoes , pasta) , green vegetables thats the easiest place to start. Its easier to do frequency than amount (7 small instead of 3 huge meals ) to get callores in. Its about a balance of calories in and calories out as well . If all he does is train and PS5 he may need 3500 , but if he trains and has a lawn maintenance summer job he may need 4500 because of all the extra work he is doing .
Just curious if you had some advice, suggestions, etc……..my son, 17, a Junior quit football after his freshman year. Coach told him he was on his way to a D! scholarship & he was all excited. Then a couple of weeks later, was saying “what if I work this hard and don[t make it to the NFL…..then, on the flip side, he said a couple weeks later….”why should I play High School football if I don’t want to play college. He did not play Sophomore or this year…..He watches football videos constantly on his phone & plays flag football, and knows all about each player on our school football team…..We have tried in many ways, encouraging him then it got to the point where he didn’t want to hear about it. So we have not brought the subject up in awhile. Recently his sister asked him if he was going to play football his senior year and he said he didn’t know yet. He has had former coaches, refs, parents, strangers, come up to him after he plays flag and comment on what a phenomenal player he is. He stands out in the crowd and I had a former college coach see his flag game this past year that commented on his playing, saying he had huge potential to go places with his God given talent…Ever since he was 7, playing in the Popwarner leagues, he was always the MVP. I know it’s got to be his thing not mine, but I hate to see his extreme talent of a gift to go to waste. He says he loves playing the game but dislikes practices. Recently, since July he has started working out and has gained 38 lbs….He is 6’4 and has the size no doubt…He also is in the rigorous academic program at school and makes straight A’s, so that is double the scholarship…..
one of the biggest things i tell parents is “they have to want it for themselves”. When athletes come to join my program i “interview” them to ask “why are you doing this?” if they don’t have that answer, i don’t except them in and recommend another program. Everything comes with its highs and lows. If at the high school level he doesn’t know if he wants to do it or doesn’t want to practice it might not be for him unfortunately because at each level more will be asked of him because more is expected. They dont give scholarships to not practice and work , but they are other avenues if he wants to play ball , but doesnt want the school part. If its for the love of the gamer semi-pro and arena may be a good option for him , but the pay isn’t enough to live on you have to love the game at that level.
What do I do because of covid most of the schools are shutdown and I am a freshmen looking to go to D1.
nothing has changed from the article and video, continue to work , reach out , excel in school , etc
How much do I have to weight to be a Tight end?
its not a “have to” but its in the article a chart for what the average height and weight is for each position at each level
I never knew that football recruiting focuses on the potential of a player. My younger cousin, who is an athlete, said to me last night that he wants to continue his football career and asked if I knew of any programs that grant scholarships. Thank you for your informative article, and I’ll be sure to tell him that it will be much better if we consult a reputable football scholarship program, as they will be able to answer all of our questions.