How to get noticed

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I received an e-mail from the father of 6-3, 225-pound senior linebacker J.C. Barchard of Crystal Lake South. By all accounts, he is a very good high school football player. All of which makes his father wonder why his son isn't attracting more attention from college programs. It is a dilemma that many fathers face.

"He is still being recruited by several schools," Dean Barchard's e-mail stated. "Some of the schools that have shown recent interest are Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota State, Illinois State, Northern Illinois and Buffalo University. But no offers yet. Many schools are asking: 'Who do you have offers form so far?' as though they would offer if someone else had offered. Just haven't gotten that first one yet."

This is a familiar story.

It is so late in the recruiting process. Colleges are working on juniors, not seniors. But there still are a lot of scholarships available.

What this case tells you that the college coach doesn't have confidence in his own evaluating ability. At least half of the college programs don't have enough confidence in their own evaluating skills to offer a kid who doesn't have any offers. They want to play it safe mainly because of the pressure the head coach puts on his assistants to bring in bonafide players. He figures if other colleges haven't offered, there must be a reason.

But there are so many examples of big-time players who were overlooked in high school, emerged in college once they got an opportunity and now are standouts in the NFL. Jim Leonard, from Wausau, Wis., was a walkon at Wisconsin, became an All-Big 10 selection and now plays for the Baltimore Ravens.

We've mentioned Barry Sanders, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees in the past. Sanders was rejected by Northwestern. Oklahoma State finally took him only because they lost every other prospect on their list.

What should Barchard and other seniors who believe they have been overlooked do to attract some interest?

Put together a highlight film. The parent should work with the high school coach. Have your high school coach send the film with a letter of recommendation to college coaches and ask them for their opinion and evaluation. Can he play for them? Where can he play? Ask the college coach to call the high school coach back. A college coach will always return a call to a high school coach because he may have players they want in the next year or two. They wouldn't risk closing a door to a high school.

And send me a copy of the film. I annually evaluate hundreds of highlight films of blue-chip players and kids who end up playing in Division II or III. If a kid is good enough to play in Division I, I'll recommend him to coaches. I've been doing it for 30 years, free of charge. It's what I do.

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8 Comments

JIMMY. GAROPPOLO.

Check him out, should be playing in the Big Ten next fall.
Thanks Mr. Lemming

Mr. Lemming have seen Darryl Johnson # 18 from Proviso West i think he can play division 1. he doesn't have any
offers, but is talking to MAC schools. He plays DB/WR.
How do i send you a tape?

I want to recommend myself because i feel i have the skill set and determination to go D 1 so if you can , can u help me out with getiing noticed in anyway possible. I am DeVontre spears the starting running back#2 for morgan park highschool

we had a great experience with Ivy League coaches and some life lessons too after sending our son's highlights DVD to Yale, Harvard, Brown, Columbia, etc. in winter prior to his senior season. during spring we visited the schools. he passed the eye test they said. he was invited to summer camps. he went to yale's.

he was a hard-nosed lead blocker with D-1 size at 6 - 240lbs and enough speed to run over linebackers in public league and catch passes out of backfield in the flat. in short a good fit for the ivy league (33 on the ACT). the coaches responded immediately to the highlights dvd showing pancake block after pancake block set to fast paced edgy music. it was full of medium shots of bone crunching blocks (not long shots from the press box which diminish the impact). our highlights DVD also included two full games (from the press box distance) on the menu showing our son at linebacker and long snapper as well.

the result: an offer from Yale prior to senior season followed by offers from Penn and Columbia. Yale pulled back in November of senior year when our son's team was undefeated and all was going along great. their coach was calling every wednesday night to keep the dialogue fresh. we were stunned when he told our son the bad news. they pressured our son to commit verbally in June at their camp and then rescinded their offer at the end of his senior season saying it was not going to be possible to get him through admissions due to his grades - grades which they had in their possession all along and said not to worry. (he had B average and 33 on ACT). Other friends told of similar stories having nothing to do with grades, just options on other players.

so suddenly we had to jump back into full blown recruiting process in november and we got immediate responses from Columbia, Penn and Brown and U of Wisconsin which had him in their data base but didn't pursue because he never showed interest. when they saw highlights they came calling and so did Mich State.

well, Bielema and recruiting coordinator came to our house and our son was totally smitten. we were too. his mom is an alum of Wisconsin. we all love the school and our son chose Fullback U over the ivy options, even though he was going to become a walk-on at the big school. the point is, even november is not too late if you have a strong highlight film and are willing to work hard getting it to schools where your son may fit into the program. things change in November, December, and even january when schools lose some of their prospects. you gotta have the goods on film and be prepared to market your son.

i understand know how i can be able to get noticed and be a athlete which can stand out as a player.

My son is a Senior long-snapper that has been told to "get his films out" because "he's one of the best long-snappers they've seen come out of High School in awhile." Anyway, we plan on doing that, but this Season he also played Tight End. Do we add those plays/games to his highlight DVD also?
Thanks!

Thank you for you comments and analysis on Rolling Meadows QB Jim Garoppolo. He is getting more well-deserved attention and I'm glad you got to see him play at Fremd at the tough 20-21 loss. It would be a shame if Garoppolo doesn't get an offer from a high-major DI school.

Tonight RM vs. LZ at home...Gonna be awesome. Winner in semi-finals vs. GBW? Quarter finals for sure against Prospect it would seem. Jimmy can lead like the best of them.

Hey Kurt,
You might want to take a little closer look at Crystal Lake South before you insert any other team in your equation. LZ is an 11 seed and Prospect is a 10 seed. South has pitched 5 shutouts this season and had it not been for several blowouts and the second team making an appearance, it might have been 7 or 8 shutouts. If South doesn't end up playing GBW, I will be extremely surprised. Size, speed and power are South's calling cards and just to add a little about Mr. Barchard, he is the real deal. His "little" brother ain't bad either. Here's a link to their roster. Read em and weep.
http://www.athletics2000.com/cls/Sport.aspx?nav=r
Our starting running backs both go 215. Offensive line avg's 254 and defensive line averages 267. We literally wear people out. Just ask GBN.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on October 22, 2009 2:28 PM.

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