Recruiting – 5 Separating Factors

Recruiting for Kickers/Punters: 5 Separating Factors

Recruiting is a very difficult, yet extremely rewarding process to go through.  Throw in the fact that you are a kicker or punter, makes it that much challenging.  Let’s assume that your on the field talent is identical to the thousands of national prospects going through the same process as you (this happens ALL THE TIME).  College coaches will look for separating factors when making a decision worth thousands of dollars and 4 to 5 years of their time.   They are making an investment and they will do the proper research to find “their guy”.  No matter what level prospect you are, you are competing for a prized position on a football team that will help you earn a valuable degree. Take a look at 5 of the most important separating factors that may land you a big time scholarship or walk on opportunity. 

1. Grades and Test Scores
The prospect with the best grades and test scores (SAT & ACT) will jump out to a big lead.  A coach wants their kicker or punter to cause no problems with admissions and boost the GPA of the football team for years to come.  See you school counselor, understand the NCAA clearinghouse, and seek information for what it takes to get into every school in the country! 

2. Character
No off the field problems.  No problems with a football coach, teacher, etc.  Coaches want a leader.  When a college coach does his research, he will talk to your kicking coach, football coach, principal, teachers, counselors, etc.  The answers better come back clean and with key words such as: leader, punctual, hard working, coachable, etc.  Clean up your facebook, twitter, blog, myspace, etc. now.  It is your online application.

3. Extracurricular Activities
The more you do, the more valuable you are.  Anything you can list on your application such as school president, clubs, charity work, etc. will get you one step ahead.  Coaches love to see a wellounded student athlete. 

4. Combo Player
The more you can do on the field, the more recruitable you are.  If you are a kicker, the question, “Can he punt”?, will come up.  If you are a punter, the question, “Can he kick”?, will come up.  If the answer is yes, you have just taken a major lead in the recruiting game.  If your skill level shows starting ability at both positions, you save a team a scholarship.  If your skill level shows adequate ability, you can be counted to back up the starter on the road.  In college football, due to roster limits, this is HUGE! 

5. Relationship With The Coach
Coaches are recruiting YOU, not your parents.  If your parents annoy a coach, they will not recruit you.  So, you make the phone calls, answer the questions posed on trips and visits, and ultimately show the desire to play for that program.  Parents are encouraged to help you through the process, but coaches want to recruit a self-motivated athlete.   Get yourself in front of that coach as often as possible, make visits, get on the recruit list for games.  The more the coach gets to know you in a positive way, the better chance you have of being recruited.  They will go with who they are familiar with and who they “like” the most in the end.  They will spend every day with you for the next 4 to 5 years, think about it. 

Keep these 5 separating factors in mind and start setting your goals early on.  Everything you do from this day forward will ultimately effect your opportunity to play college football, where you play college football, and the degree you will earn and use for the rest of your life!

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