On February 1 of every year, thousands of high school football athletes decide on which school they will continue their careers. Some players choose schools based off the prestige of the school, past success on the field, and sometimes the style of the jerseys. College coaches around the country have made promises to nearly every player and there is no way they can keep every promise that they have made. I will explain what a high school football prospect should consider when making his college football choice.
• First, a prospect should consider whether the school of his choice gives him a full ride scholarship. Financial aid is very important when considering a school. College is not cheap, even for a lesser-known school. A lot of universities’ tuitions are $10,000 or more a year, and not many people simply have thousands of dollars at their disposal.
• Furthermore, will this school help athletes reach their end goal? A player must do his research on the school, the coach, and the conference he will be playing in. He should know what percentage of players from this team, conference, and coach go off into the NFL and succeed. On the other hand, what percentage of former players, who did not go to the NFL, make it in their profession.
• A player should also consider playing time. many players in high school are considered the best at their school, and they do not know what sitting on the bench is like. Coaches promise players opportunities to start right away, but with so many players being told the same promise, someone must sit and wait his turn. As a player, he must sit down with his self and ask the question “will I start here?” Year after year, players transfer from one school because they did not get the chance to play, but in all actuality, they were not good enough to get on the field.
• The player should know what they are getting into. Each player should consider his own expectations for the school he is committing to. If a player is committing to Duke University, his expectation should be to win a conference title by the end of his college football career; he should not expect them to win a national title anytime soon. Some players’ expectations are too high for their school to achieve. Players need to have an open mind when it comes to their team winning “the big one.” If the player’s team has not won a conference title in over 50 years, what makes him think that they will break the trend when he is there. Be realistic.
• Lastly, a player should want to compete. On average, college football teams add about 25 new players each year to their rosters. Most will be on scholarship, while others will be walking onto the team fighting for a spot. High school players must know that the game has changed and they will need to keep up or fall behind. Some high school players come into college wide eyed and unsure about the decision they made, while their counterparts come in ready to compete. Make sure you are one of those players ready to compete at the highest level.
Even with these tips, players will continue to make the wrong choice about their football futures because of what a team has offered them. Players need to consider their future based off academic success, playing time, and the schools’ abilities to get them to where they want to be after school is over. It does not matter if the coach or school breaks their promises because the school and coach will be secure in the end, and the player could be taken advantage of. If I were a player, I would consider only myself in all aspects of choosing a school to attend, and disregard others’ opinion. At the end of the day, it will be my future on the line, and not theirs.