Almost every college football program devotes the summer months to football camps. The purpose of these camps is twofold.
One, it makes money. Football players paying money to get instruction from college coaches is a profitable venture for any college. It's also extremely valuable to the campers, who will have a fun time and become better players in the process.
The second purpose? Recruiting. When the campers are in high school, the coaches start looking at them as not just campers, but potential prospects. Camps are an excellent chance to show your dedication to college coaches, and perhaps show your talent to those who pass out scholarships.
That same Division I coach mentioned earlier put on a camp at his campus, and noticed a small-town player throwing passes crisp and on target. A recruitment began, and that small-town kid ended up being a two-year starting quarterback for him.
Act now: Sign up for a football camp that's affiliated with a college you want to play for. Be extremely coachable at these camps, and show them what you're made of. Know that those coaches will notice if you're excelling.
Unofficial Recruiting Visits
College football coaches can pay to have you come to their campus and take a tour--known as an official visit--and these arrangement are generally done in December and January before signing day in February.
But unofficial visits are organized year-round.
The difference is, unofficial visits must be paid for by the recruit, and there typically isn't any organized schedule for the recruit that's set up by the football program (an exception might be Junior Day, which usually is put together in the spring of your junior year by many universities).
But if you give an advanced notice to the football office that you are touring the campus on an unofficial visit, they oftentimes are happy to at least meet you and tell you a little bit about the program.
If nothing else, those college coaches can shake your hand and get an up-close look at your physical attributes (size is a big part of recruiting for college coaches). You then can learn more about the program and get the communication rolling between you and the coach.
Todd Reesing, the former quarterback at the University of Kansas who led the Jayhawks to the Orange Bowl, went with his father on an unofficial recruiting tour through the Midwest. While he was visiting Kansas, he was offered a scholarship after former coach Mark Mangino watched his highlight tape.
Reesing ended up passing for 11,194 yards in his career at Kansas.
Act now: Get a list together of what schools you may be interested in attending, and go check out the campus. See if the football staff would be interested in meeting you while you're there.
It could be the first step toward earning a football scholarship.