Upon my return from Hawaii, I was greeted with dozens of tapes from seniors who are overlooked and uncommitted and still hoping to earn a college scholarship. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do at this point. College recruiters are looking for juniors, not seniors. Most colleges have filled their needs as they await the February signing date.
I've been saying this for years but, sadly, the message seems to fall on deaf ears. Parents either aren't listening, aren't taking my advice seriously or are getting bad information from high school coaches or friends or other influence peddlers.
Trust me, this is the way it is:
A sophomore or junior who thinks he is a Division I prospect should send me a tape. I'll review it and give you an objective, honest opinion. I'll give it to colleges for free. I never, repeat never, charge a penny for evaluating a tape or recommending a player to a college.
What are your parents doing wrong? They aren't sending tapes early enough. I can't help a kid after his senior season because colleges are looking at juniors and baby-sitting the seniors who already are recruited and committed. Honestly, I don't know who they are getting advice from.
I can help them before their senior year begins. That's when I am important. I give information to colleges and make calls for free. I get their names out. But when I receive senior tapes in December and January, there isn't much I can do. Colleges are looking for juniors, not border-line seniors.
Why didn't they send tapes after their sophomore or junior years? I can only guess that parents aren't getting educated about the recruiting process and when it begins. My magazine comes out on Aug. 1 and contains information on the leading 1,500 senior prospects in the country before the season begins.
At the end of the football season, college coaches focus on juniors. There aren't many scholarships left for seniors in December. I suppose the problem is every year there is a different group of parents and they aren't up to speed on how the recruiting process works.
Surprisingly, a lot of high school coaches aren't, either. They must understand that if they have a Division I prospect, they should send tapes to me after or during a player's junior year. Then he will have an opportunity to get exposure to college recruiters.
I guarantee the kid won't be charged a penny. I won't charge him for my magazine, my time or exposure on the CBS College Sports network.
Some people claim I make money off the kids. Not true. Most people in this business do, however. They charge kids for Internet access. But kids get my 300-page magazine for free. I cover the entire country so some local coaches think I should call them. But I rely on my longtime connections and calls from coaches who I have relied on for years.
The bottom line? If you have a player, call me. But you have to let me know ahead of time. If I get the information early enough, I can bring the player to the attention of any college coach in the country...at a time when they are most interested.