The recruiting process can be a confusing thing to a young student athlete who doesn't know anyone who's gone through it before. If you are feeling totally lost like I was in high school, here are 3 simple steps to get your recruiting journey on its way.
Where do you want to play? Everyone has their dream program where they've wanted to play ever since they started playing football. But you've got to leave yourself open to other options because life doesn't always work out the way you planned. Make a list of the top five schools you want to play for (for most people these are the big name Division 1 schools). Then make a list of about ten to fifteen other schools that may not be your all time favorite but that you would like to play for. Then pick around twenty to twenty five programs that are schools where you would like to play for because of varied reasons like their geographic location or maybe have an education program that you are interested in i.e. you want to be a writer and they have an excellent journalism school. Don't just limit yourself to Division 1 schools either. Of course they are going to be on the top of your list but you should also include Division IAA schools, Division II and III as well as Junior Colleges and NIAA's. To increase your odds you should be contacting anywhere from close to 50-100 coaches.
Write your Educational and Athletic Cover Letter and post it. This is usually a document that is no longer than one page with all of your important school and football information on it. You'll have things like your name and contact information, GPA, Class Rank, as well as your ACT and SAT scores if you have taken them at that point, and any extracurricular activities. You will also have things like your height, weight, position, maybe any accurate combine numbers, your statistics by year and any honors you have received like All Conference. Also include references like your high school coaches phone and e-mail number. This should be brief and to the point. If you think some information is not important, then don't include it, because coaches see tons of these things all the time and only look for certain things. Now start posting this on online recruiting sites, as well as mailing or e-mailing it to coaches. Do not mass email your Cover Letter to coaches without first taking the time to personalize it, like putting Dear, (Coaches Name), and writing a few lines about why you want to play for their program. If you don't do this it makes you look lazy. If you don't take the time to personalize it, the coach probably won't take the time to look at it. If you need more help you can always Google search "Athletic Cover letter" or "Athletic Resume".
Create a Highlight video. Back when was in high school (wow that makes me feel old) most of the games were filmed on VHS and you had to get two VCR's to edit your highlight tape. Now it is much easier to upload your video to a computer edit it and then post it online, so a coach can watch it over the internet. This makes things a lot cheaper. Coaches usually want to see a highlight tape and then a film of a full game if they are interested in you. When it comes to your highlight tape, don't worry about cool effects or good music. The coach will most likely just mute the video and you don't want silly effects distracting from what's really important, you making plays. On your highlight tape try and put all your better plays towards the front because coaches don't have much time to be watching your video all day. When you send your video to the coach make sure you also attach your Cover Letter.
The key to getting recruited is to keep your options open, stay positive, and persistent, and it should pay off in the end.