You consider yourself a solid prospect. You’ve talked with more than a dozen schools, all of which have signed other kickers or don’t return your phone calls anymore. You had a great year, had great statistics and feel you will have no problem kicking off the ground. Your problem: You’re still seeking a scholarship. If this sounds like you, then welcome to the world of recruiting for football kickers and punters.
Around this time of the year (National Signing Day: Wednesday Feb. 4), I often get emails and phone calls about potential kickers and punters still looking for a playing home. It happens every year. Usually, players have waited too long hoping for a DI scholarship to come through; they failed to follow-up with some NAIA or DII schools that could have offered scholarship opportunities. Now, these coaches have found other kickers.
Don’t worry; there is time. Here are some good tips to help you find a college.
1) Drop your “ego.” If you think you’re that good, it doesn’t matter where you play. You can find yourself in the NFL realm regardless of the school you attend. For example, Adam Vintari came from South Dakota Sate University. If you’re willing to travel and play for smaller, not famous schools, you can open numerous doors for finding a scholarship. Just because you kicked a 52-yard field goal doesn’t mean your should play for Nebraska; there are hundreds of prospects who do that across the country.
2) Consider walk-on opportunities. Some coaches will ask you to walk-on at their school. If you decide this is route you want to take, you need to be ready to kick right away. It’s easy for a college football staff to offer a scholarship for the following year, so you need to prove to them you are more than ready. Think of it as an extended tryout!
3) Update your video. Add some footage of your recent kicking. If it’s been a few months since the season ended, you might be kicking further. Grab a few footballs, bring your digital video recorder and either ask a friend to record your kicks or hire a videographer like http://www.thesportstv.com. Edit the new footage it into your game film and resend it to your college list.
4) Community College. I have seen a number of times students play for a year or two at the JC level and receive full scholarships. It’s a great option if you are willing to wait a year or two before you step foot on a college campus.
5) Talk to an established kicking coach. Find a kicking coach who has placed athletes in college. He can give you an honest assessment of what level you should be playing at and may have some connections with coaches.
Lastly, don’t believe what everyone tells you. Kickers and punters often have a difficult time getting recruited. Even you own head coach will tell you that you’re the best kicker he’s seen in years and you should be playing for USC. Oftentimes, these same coaches have never seen or had a good kicker and they don’t know how to evaluate specialists. Talk with someone who has experience working with specialists.
Stay tuned for more from www.kickingsystem.com