Spring Evaluation Period Starts April 15
If you are a high school football player in his junior year and you consider yourself a college prospect, your world is about to start spinning faster. NCAA rules on player evaluation allow college coaches to be on the road evaluating prospects starting April 15. . The NCAA mandates a six week window to be completed by May 31.
What are the rules? What can a college coach do during this period? It is called an “evaluation period”. Coaches are supposed to evaluate prospects. Coaches can visit high schools, talk to high school coaches, teachers, counselors, administrators, watch prospects workout, practice, and/or participate in athletic contests. Each university may also make one phone call during this entire period to each prospect. College coaches are not allowed to make personal contacts or have face-to-face conversations with prospects.
Each university staff may make two evaluations per prospect. One must be at the prospects campus. What will happen is that a college coach will come by the high school, visit with coaches, etc., pick up a transcript, and probably watch an off-season workout or practice session. That same coach or staff will be permitted to come back a second time during the month to watch a contest that may or may not be held at a different location. However this “contest” is limited to “regularly scheduled athletic events”, not private camps or combines.
How can you tell when someone is there? That is not hard! Each college coach will proudly wear his school’s colored golf shirt, blazer, hat, or some other recognizable logo item. This is called marketing. You and your teammates will easily recognize the scouts. He will be carrying his bag with school logo (perhaps a Bowl Logo if his team went). Most college coaches will station themselves prominently where players must pass, because they want you to see them and part of their job is to see you—the proverbial “eyeball test”.
If you are a prospect, what should you do?
1. Make sure you have signed a transcript release form with your counselor or Registrar. No college coach can pick up a copy of your grades without your permission. Making your grades inaccessible sometimes is interpreted as not having good grades.
2. Don’t miss school. Coaches want to see you work out.
3. Make sure you look good. This is like a job interview and you want to make a good impression. Wash those clothes that have been in your locker since Christmas.
4. Stay home at night. You don’t want to miss any phone calls. Besides final exams are coming up and the extra studying will do you good.
5. Keep track of the schools that come by your school and the coaches that call you. These should be the schools you will most likely select to go to their summer camp. Write down the name of the coach who calls you.
One of the keys for a successful college recruiter is to be thorough in his evaluation. These coaches will not be able to come back to your school until the fall and then each staff will have very limited live evaluation opportunities until December 1. It is a pretty exciting time, so enjoy it.