September 10, 2016

Self Recruiting Guide: Seniors

As a senior you should have already registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center. If not, do so now. Fill out as much information as possible. Here you will find all kinds of information. It is a very useful resource for you and your parents. It is extremely user friendly.

Again, meet with your counselor to make sure you are keeping up on your core classes (NCAA Certified Courses). If it looks like you will not be eligible for the NCAA you have other options. Please contact me as soon as possible so we can start the process now.

If you are eligible, there is no slowing down. Now it is time to grind.

Hopefully, you will be taking your SATs/ACTs for the second time. Make sure any practice test that you do online or in your school are the latest version. There are several places that you can take free online practice tests.

See 2016-2017 Dates Here. If it is your second or first time taking them do them as soon as possible to get them out of the way. Applying for colleges start in the fall of your senior year and it is critical to know what your SAT is.

When you register for the SAT or ACT, use the NCAA Eligibility Center code of 9999 so your scores are sent directly to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency. Test scores on transcripts will not be used in your academic certification.


If this will be your second year playing varsity then you know that the coaches want to see varsity game film. If this is your first year playing on varsity this year is extremely important and you will have to make every snap count. Only forward film to schools if it is from playing varsity. Please know that 80% of Division 1 (D1) of football players are discovered during their sophomore year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get there if this is your first year playing varsity just make it count. I strongly suggest that you work hard in the weight room, in workouts, on the field, and with a trainer (See suggested Certified Trainers in the DMV). If you want to be better than everyone else you have to work harder. There is no getting around it.

Highlight Film

Before you link your highlight film for everyone to see you must make sure it is optimized to help you. If you fail to have the right plays in the beginning of your film, the coach will stop the film and move on. Here are some tips for comparing your highlight film:

  • Work on your film as the year goes on. Don’t wait until the end of the year.
  • Point yourself out on the field before the ball is snapped, if possible, or as soon as you get into the frame.
  • Do not make it a long film. Keep it under 4 minutes.
  • Put ALL of your top plays up front and try to use film when you are playing against talent. The coaches can tell if it isn’t. 
    • You need 10 to 15 “WOW” plays if you only have 7 you probably aren’t an impact player.
    • Example: if you are a WR playing against a DB that already has an offer and you do well, you need to note your stats for that game and who the DB is.
  • You have 30 seconds to make an impression. 
  • Include a variety of different kind of plays and positions (if you play them) and put them up front. Do not go game by game.
  • Cut the play off as soon as you are no longer involved. (Don’t need to see the running back run for a 60 yard TD if you’re a lineman)
  • Show things on the film that can’t be coached.
  • Include your contact information on the film; post your GPA and SAT/ACT test scores in the introduction.
  • Position Tips:
    • Offensive Line: Make sure the film focus is you. Do not play the film while the running back is running 60 yards down the field. Show yourself getting off the ball making the block and finishing. Need to see those quick feet, hips and hands. Can you squat down with holding a broom stick over your head and keep your heels on the ground? After that go to the next play. Film from the end zone is best for linemen.
    • Defensive Line: Need to see your first steps. If they are slow the coach will move on to the next quick. Show how active you are throughout the play, aggressiveness, use of hands, and ability to stay low.
    • Wide receivers: Do not show lots of blocking. Focus on take offs on the line, show your speed, athleticism, different routes and hands.
    • Running backs: No short yardage gains. Not all long touchdown runs either. Coaches want to see speed, strength, balance and change of direction,
    • Quarterbacks: Show a variety of passes, able to scramble and throw on the run.
    • Tightends: Show blocking and catches. Need to see your take offs, show a number of different routes, and hands.
    • Linebackers: Can you fill a hole, track down a play, speed to get there, can you take on blocks and make tackles in space.
    • Defensive Backs: Need to see a lot of hip movement, track the ball and the receiver, speed, and make tackles in space.
  • If you would like DMV Recruiting to share/retweet your highlight film on our social media platform to get your views up, please tag us at @coachgugs for twitter or just post in DMV Football Recruiting on Facebook. From there we will personally share them.
  • We have highly qualified Coaches that evaluate film. These coaches will look over your film and provide you with tips on how to specifically get better and will place you at the appropriate college level from NCAA D1 to if you should go to a Junior College (JuCo) or Prep school (JuCo or Prep does not mean you cannot PLAY at the D1 or D2 level). This will allow you to be able to focus on what type of school you should be focusing on during your recruiting. Click Here For More information. The best source is your High School Coach. He is the one you need a close relationship with.
  • If you require additional editing and tips please contact me at


You have your varsity film ready. You have your DMV Recruiting profile up and running. Now you need to fill out the team’s athletic questionnaires. These are the questionnaires that are on the athletic sites of the school. They can be anywhere on the site but they are mostly under the “recruiting” or “prospect” tab on the website or you can just use google by typing the schools name, sport, and “questionnaire”. Before doing so make sure you have your coach’s information, the school’s information, and your measurable. Also, you will have to include phone and email and your high school address information.

Here is an example: 

Questionnaire Print Screen

You can find the football questionnaires for all the schools in the following states HERE:

  • Maryland
  • Washington DC
  • Virginia
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey

Additional states will be added soon.

You must fill out every questionnaire for all the schools in your home state and surrounding states. I also recommend filling out the questionnaire for your dream schools, and as many other schools as possible.

See this Website for Questionnaires


  • You need to have your full name. When/if a coach searches for you, he is not going to use your nick name.
  • You need to link your DMV Recruiting Profile in as your “Website.” Make sure you use the “About Me” tab as the link.
  • Your hudl or highlight film needs to be linked into your profile as your “pinned tweet.” Make sure it is set up correctly before you post.
  • Your bio should have your GPA, SAT/ACT Scores, Awards, and other athletic or academic accolades. There is limited space so please use it wisely.

Use your Twitter:

  • Post your highlight film.
  • Tag entire coaching staff.
    • You have to go to the athletic pages of the schools. Find school profiles here with links to the schools and the questionnaires that you need to fill out.
    • Make sure you tag coaches that they have listed as “Recruiting Coordinators,” “Operations,” and other support staff.
    • Tag the coaches who are involved with recruiting, either for your position or your area. If it doesn’t specify which coach it is, focus on your position coach and the coordinator.
    • Add a picture to the post to add visibility. You are not the only one tagging coaches to gain their attention.
      • Note: If you add a picture then you are limiting the number of coaches you can tag in the post. Use wisely.
    • The head coach isn’t necessarily going to be able to look at your film. It as a business and they are the CEO and they are managing all the parts. They hire the guys they feel can do the job.

Screenshot_2016-05-24-20-58-01 (1)


  • Your Instagram should have the same information in the bio field along with highlight film link.

Personal Emails to Coaches

Not all coaches are on Twitter and even if they are, not all of them are heavily involved so your tweet may go unnoticed. This is where the next stage comes into play. Email!

This is your chance to introduce yourself to them for the first time and you need to use it wisely. There is an example of an email “HERE”. If you are not a strong writer, you need to have someone help you.

Here are some tips in the email process:

  • Provide all your information
    • Full Name
    • Class
    • Positions (Specials and both sides of the ball)
    • School name with the city, state
    • Your coach’s name, email and phone (College Coaches will contact them for complete game film and talk to them about you. Your coach will not lie to them because his integrity is on the line.)
  • Other things you need to include
    • Academic Honors, GPA, and Test Scores
    • Highlight film
    • What camps you are attending
    • Social Media handles/tags

You need to personalize the email and make sure it doesn’t sound like the one you just sent the last school. Include specific things about the school that you like.

  • How can you add to the team?
  • What you like about the University/College?
  • What academic program do they have that you are interested in?
  • Ask for additional information about that program.

Lastly, thank them for taking the time to read the email and to check you out. They receive thousands of emails and the fact that they opened yours is a gift.

Calls to the Coaching Staffs

Before you call there are few things you need to take care of before doing so

  • Email them a week before you call. Use the email information above.
  • Have a pad of paper and something to write with and note the date, time and coach your are calling. Keep a record of everything and take notes.
  • Research the school, team and the coaches that you plan to contact.
  • Have prepared detailed questions about the academics and the team to ask the coach.
  • Be prepared for any questions they might ask you. GPA, Test Scores…

There are still a lot of coaches that love getting a personal phone call from the recruit. Cold calling a coach at any level can be intimidating. If you are nervous, practice the call with a friend, parent, or coach three or four times right before calling the coach. If you don’t have that use a mirror and practice with yourself. If you are on the phone with the coach and you freeze, just be honest that you are nervous but excited that he is taking time to talk to you.

What if you get a Voice Mail

Key points:

  • Use your full name
  • What School and the state that is is located
  • Position
  • How they can contact you back.

“Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening, Coach Smith, My name is John George and I’m calling you because of my interest in playing football at the University of Maryland. I am currently a Junior at Sally High School in Maryland and play Center. I’d love to speak with you further about the opportunity of playing for you. When you are free could you please call me back at 555-234-1234. Thank you very much for your time.”

What if he/she picks up the phone!?

  • Don’t be nervous! If you are let them know how excited you are. Practicing with someone or in the mirror can help.
  • Ask if they have time to talk. If it isn’t a good time to talk schedule a time that best fits their schedule and make time to talk to them.
  • If they can talk to you share with them the following information
    • School at Location
    • Position
    • Graduation Year
  • Ask them if they have seen your email and had the chance to evaluate you. If not, make sure you get his information so at the end of the call you can send it to him.
  • Ask the prepared questions about the school.
  • Ask about the next steps. What do you need to do next?

Your First Impression With A Coach

Keep in mind coaches can only talk to you during certain times in the calendar year, depending on the NCAA level. Make sure you know when those times are. Don’t get discouraged. See the NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 Calendar Here.


The REAL Camp season begins for your Student Athlete at the end of the sophomore year. But if you haven’t gone to any camps you still have the summer of your junior year to really impress upon coaches. This is where you go to the right camps to get looked at. Most of the time coaches at these camps already know who they are looking at and just want to see you up close. If a coach has asks you to come to his camp I strongly suggest that you go. It is great to hit camps early such as at the end of your freshman year to gain the experience. You only need to do a couple to gain the experience. After your sophomore and junior year, you need to go to as many camps as possible, as long as it doesn’t interfere with what your coach needs you to do. Check with your coach regarding your camp schedule to make sure it doesn’t conflict with the teams schedule. The team comes first! It could cost you scholarships if you are not a team player first. Your coach is a great source for camps in the area and recommending which ones to go to. He knows you best and will have your best intentions in mind.

To see our list of recommended camps and see our news feed. You can also follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook to get the latest camp updates.

In addition, if you have done the questionnaires the schools will also send you information.



By now you should have at least some schools showing interest in your abilities. You have done it all and you are in the final year. Your season needs to be a big one. Coaches are making the final decision on you before signing day. This is no time to relax or become complacent.


You need to keep those high grades that you have kept your entire high school career. You need to make that final check with your counselor to make sure you are keeping up on your classes and that you are taking NCAA Certified Courses.


Take the ACT or SAT again, if necessary, and submit your scores to the NCAA using code 9999. It doesn’t matter how many times you take it. Don’t let this year to be the only time you take it. You don’t want this shot to be your only shot.


Division 1 official visits can start opening day of the class your Senior year. You are only allowed to have 5 visits so choose them wisely if you are one of the few bless enough to be asked. Phone calls for Divison 1 teams can start September 1st but are limited once a week. Make sure to review your recruiting calendar for details.


Signing day is the first Wednesday in February which happens to be February 1st in 2017 through April 1st.


Complete all academic and amateurism questions in your NCAA Eligibility Center account at When you register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, you will be asked a series of questions about your sports participation to determine your amateur status. More than 90 percent of student-athletes who register are automatically certified. In some instances, the NCAA Eligibility Center staff may need to gather additional information to evaluate your amateur status. For details please click HERE

Once the NCAA Eligibility Center completes your academic and amateur certifications, you will receive an academic status for Division I, an academic status for Division II and an amateur status for each sport you selected.

After you graduate, ask your counselor to submit your final official transcript with proof of graduation to the NCAA Eligibility Center.

Initial-eligibility status terms



The NAIA Eligibility Center is responsible for determining the NAIA eligibility of first-time student-athletes.  Any student playing NAIA championship sports for the first time must meet the eligibility requirements. Students must have their eligibility determined by the NAIA Eligibility Center, and all NAIA schools are bound by the center’s decisions.

Who needs to register?

Every student interested in playing championship sports at NAIA colleges for the first time needs to register and receive an eligibility determination. This applies to:

High school seniors

Home schooled and GED students

• Current NAIA students who will play sports for the first time at an NAIA school

Transfers from two-year colleges

Transfers from four-year colleges

U.S. high school students who complete their junior year with an overall 3.00 GPA on a 4.00 scale (or who have at least a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale midway through senior year) and meet the NAIA’s minimum ACT or SAT test score requirements may receive an early eligibility decision. The student must 1) register with the NAIA Eligibility Center, 2) have his or her high school send an official transcript to the NAIA Eligibility Center and 3) contact ACT or SAT to have test scores sent to the NAIA electronically (Code: 9876).


Please use this Self Recruiting Guide as a “tool” to promote your own athletic and academic achievements. These are not the only resources available, but they are important to follow and to adhere to in order to succeed.

This is only a tool.

Hard workdedicationself-awareness, and patience are all keys. One of the biggest issues is that players and families aren’t realistic about their talents. Not all people are meant to play at the next level. That is Ok. You need to still use what you have learned and apply it to your own special talents. You will not get anywhere by not putting forth the effort. Height and speed matter. Hip flexibility matters. GRADES and TEST SCORES matter!