Jack Elway on Understanding College Recruitment Letters

Every year, a buzz of excitement sweeps the country on September 1st. This is when the college recruitment process starts to bein and tens of thousands of young people become hopeful. It is on the 1st of September that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) starts to send out recruitment letters to high school juniors. Jack Elway has been involved in this process for many years and he understands how exciting and scary these times can be for kids and parents alike.

Jack Elway Explains College Recruitment Letters

Those first letters sent out basically express an interest that a college has in a certain person. They may also include questionnaires in their letters. If a child receives that questionnaire, it is essential that they complete it, because the information included in it will for a large part determine whether the college wants to continue or not. It is a method for coaches to start evaluating and is therefore very important.

When someone receives such a letter, they can be truly proud of themselves. It means that they have done really well. Well enough, in fact, to have grabbed national attention. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the child will grow up to be a professional player. Rather, it means that their speed, strength, weight, and/or size is good enough to be of interest. Unfortunately for them, thousands of others are good enough as well, at each college.

Unfortunately, receiving this letter and questionnaire means little else. Essentially, it signifies that the child is on a mailing list. It does not mean that they will definitely be recruited, or even that an interested scout will take a closer look at them. In fact, the college may never want to hear from them again. However, what it does mean is that there is a chance, and certainly a bigger chance than those who do not receive the letter have. It also means that parents should encourage their children to perform as well as they possibly can at school – both academically and athletically. Because based on the questionnaire, the college may become more interested, in which case they will start sending scouts and recruiters out. And the child may not even be aware of the fact that they have grabbed the attention of the school after they have returned their questionnaire.

Receiving an official letter from a college is exciting. It means there is a chance a young person will be able to go to college, perhaps on a full scholarship. And yes, it means there is a chance that they can become professional players at some point. But what is the most important thing is that it can become a motivator for young people to do well at school and to be the best they can be. If they focus on that and then don’t get selected for college football, they won’t have made their efforts in vain. Rather, it means that they have set themselves up for life, focusing on their education, skills, and overall behavior.