Story: FOCUS ON FOOTBALL

Performance, Not Potential, Counts Now

The 2006 football season is here with everybody in Texas starting practice by the 14th. It is a time when recruiting does and should take a back seat to practice.
While many players have already made verbal commitments and a like number have offers but haven’t decided, the majority of Texas high school players wanting to play college football are really up in the air. August is a time for players to refocus on their high school football careers. There aren’t any camps because the college coaches are back to work with their teams and there aren’t any combines because practice has started.
If you are a senior and have made a verbal commitment, congratulations! However realize that nothing is binding until National Signing Day in February. Some players see a verbal commitment as a time to relax and enjoy their senior season, but that is not synonymous with “taking it easy”. It is time to really go to work to prove that you deserve that Division I scholarship, because every player that lines up across from you wants to prove that he is better than you. Too many players have lousy senior years because they cease to compete and work as hard as they did to get that offer.
If you are a senior with one or more offers, make sure you know what your decision-making timetable is. You need to realize that you probably aren’t the only player at your position with an offer, so if you plan to wait until your season is over, take your recruiting trips, and then decide, realize that the spot you were planning on filling may have been taken by another player. You definitely need to firm up your status by the time phone calls are allowed on September 1st.
If you are senior without an offer, you need to play your fanny off in September, so that you have good early-season tape to show recruiters. There is no such thing as a senior “playing himself into shape”. You have to be able to play at a playoff level in Zero Week.
If you are a junior, you will be able to legally receive recruiting mail on September 1. Fill out all those questionnaires so schools have as much information on you as possible. But realize that just because you receive a recruiting letter, it doesn’t mean you are being recruited—only that you are on the mailing list. You won’t get recruited until a school has had a chance to evaluate you on tape, so you better play as well as you can on every play this fall. Your junior tape is the first evaluation window in the recruiting process.
For all players, playing in playoff games is more meaningful than anything else. College coaches realize that playoff games are against better competition than regular season, so they prefer to watch them. Helping your team play “deep into December” is the best way to maximize your recruiting process.