Hundreds of football players sign up with local and national recruiting services in hopes of attracting exposure and scholarships. But many still don't receive a single offer. What does that mean?
It means there a lot of businesses out there but, in my opinion, only the Chicago-based National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) does a great job and has the ability and support elements to provide the most opportunities--and the best opportunity--for a young athlete to get financial aid at the college level, in football, basketball and other sports.
NCSA has exploded nationally in the last five years. I've known Chris Krause, the founder and director of the organization, for a long time, since he was a linebacker at North Chicago and was looking for a way to play in college, any college.
Krause wasn't a star. But he went through the recruiting process and came to understand it. Now he is putting his knowledge to work.
There are a lot of imitations, recruiting services that charge a lot of money and promise to do a lot of things but don't do anything. NCSA has connections all over the country, not just football but other sports for boys and girls.
The truth is a majority of high school athletes can obtain financial aid to Division II or III schools if they are starters. The 500 football players in the nation don't need help from NCSA or anyone else. There are 3,000 kids who receive full scholarships annually. Division II and III coaches don't have big recruiting budgets. So they have to rely on NCSA and other services to find athletes to fill their rosters.
Normally, if an athlete doesn't receive any offers from Division I, II or III schools by July prior to his or her senior year, the handwriting is on the wall. It means you aren't very good and you should change your occupation and dreams quickly.
With what is available to you, NCSA and so many other services, you aren't being overlooked. You just aren't good enough. But you have to be sure that you have been exposed to one and all.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, kids who are overlooked by some schools. Take Sean Cotton of Walther Lutheran, for example. He is a defensive back who received only one offer, from Northwestern. He accepted it faster than you can say: "Which way to Evanston?"
In my view, it says some other schools missed the boat because Northwestern does a great job of evaluating talent. It doesn't figure that coach Pat Fitzgerald and his staff would make a bad choice this early. Cotton has to be much better than most people think. He and Jarrell Williams of Richards, another defensive back who committed to Northwestern, have to be very good players that other schools made mistakes on by not offering.