Building Your Talent
Choose a position and stick with it. The earlier you pick a specific position, the better your chances of mastering the little details of playing it well. When you play college ball, the little details are what helps you stand out.
Choose your coach carefully. If you have football talent, your parents can help you with this. Look for a coach that can help you market your talents to colleges. Examine the coach's history and how many players they've sent to college. Do they have connections? If not, consider transferring to a school that does.
Learn every detail you can about your position. The one area of sports you have complete control over is what goes on between your ears. Spend time learning about what makes a great player at your position and emulate that. Look at technique, footwork and body position.
Excel in the classroom. Without good grades, you have little chance of playing for a major college program. You need to be a good student and a standout athlete to truly be a five-star recruit.
Purchase and use a video camera to record every game. Have a family member or friend videotape you on every play. This will help you develop a video record of your talent to market later. If you can afford to hire a professional to tape you with top equipment, that can help, too.
Promoting Your Talents
Attend every football camp you can. In particular, focus on football camps at colleges run by coaches. These camps are a great way to get your name out there and build a following. Attend these early and often, if you're able. Knowing the coaching staff at a local college is a big advantage when it comes to recruiting. Perform to the best of your ability while there.
Build a recruiting profile. This is a simple "resume" of what you are looking for and who can provide it. Be honest with yourself. If you are more suited to a Division II school, don't waste time chasing Division I. Your recruiting profile should list all of your accomplishments and include a highlight package. Include all particulars such as where you're from, what position you play and even your grade point average. Make your profile as detailed as possible but easy and quick to read. College coaches have thousands to sift through.
Send your recruiting profile out to all the colleges you would like to attend. The more you send out, the better your odds of getting a reply. Make sure you personally address these to the school rather than just a mass mailing. A personal note stands out.
Build a website. Recruiting is tougher today overall; the Internet can give you advantages you never had. Create a website about your career to include highlights, quotes from coaches and fans and other pertinent information. Include the website address in all communications to your coaches and in your email account as a signature line to spread the word even more.
Engage every friend, family member and coach to help you with name recognition. If you get help from everyone, then you can reach a much larger group of schools. You never know when you will encounter an important connection, so don't be afraid to talk about your plans and aspirations.