Transitions for Which College Football Recruits Must Be Ready
As an athlete in high school, things are simple. You compete against average opponents, pass your classes and simply graduate. High school isn't easy, but it does have simplicity. For football players, things can be interesting once senior season rolls around.
Imagine a successful group of senior football players in high school. Their skill and dedication to the sport have earned them the right to advance to the next level. With all of the achievements earned and talent noticed, they will decide where they want to become college football players.
Being a freshman recruit, here are some transitions the players will go through when entering college football.
Football talents are great, but a college demands more than just an athlete in a pretty uniform.
As freshmen recruits they will be diving into a new world of education much more demanding and crucial for their future. Some students will have an easy time adapting to the school requirements, but there are always a few that struggle.
Incoming athletes will find out the hard way just how differently education works in college.
Like high school you must meet the educational requirements in order to compete—that may sound simple, but the grades will be more difficult to keep up.
As fans, we want to see these players be successful on the football field, but we can only hope they have the patience to maintain an acceptable GPA.
A large Little Caesar's pizza with a Mountain Dew may be alright for high school, but the athletic trainers in college would be devastated to see the athletes consuming this stuff. Being at the next level may require a little bit of diet adjustment.
Bulking up in size for college football has been popular for many programs, but the amount of food intake can be strict, as well as the type.
The trainers for college football programs have attended multiple nutrition courses and constantly discover new ways to improve bodily performance.
They conduct a series of different weight-training programs, workouts, dietary plans and sleeping requirements in order to keep the players on the field. The recruits must be prepared to adjust their lifestyles—otherwise, they will be in for a rough transition.
If you have ever watched a college football practice, you would have noticed the organization and urgency of the players performing their duties.
The coaching staff and trainers get together every day to plan out practice. The staff usually arrives at the coach’s office early in the morning to prepare the schedule.
The practices are based on time regulations mandated by the NCAA. In order to follow the rules and complete the schedule, the players must study the layout for practice before even taking the field.
Drilling sessions and team workouts are sequenced in a certain order to fit the required time limit. Most high school practices were not as organized, and this could be a big change to the incoming recruits. One player showing up unprepared can waste precious seconds of practice.
Most star athletes in high school had the choice to play wherever they decided to. The high school coaches may disagree with them, but you rarely see the talent being put in the wrong place.
When you enter college football, you are designated to the position that best suits your school's game plan.
These incoming freshmen players must be prepared to accept a position based on the coaches' choice. College coaches will not take the time to argue about who goes where, because they are coaches at this level for a reason.
Many athletes have missed out on opportunities to play based on position choice. The recruits must also be prepared to receive a redshirt and be patient—otherwise they could be looking at a transfer.
In high school, there are simple exercises performed daily for football players. Stretching, sprinting and weightlifting are just a few of the simple workout routines.
Being a high school football player with college-level talent, the exercises weren’t so bad. When recruits enter college, they can be in for a long season.
Winter workouts, spring practices and summer training can be grueling to these athletes, especially the newcomers. The actual football season can be a challenging time, especially mentally.
The coaching staff at these programs expects the freshmen players to be physically and mentally prepared for the next level. There’s no "dogging it" in college football, as the coaches say.
Being on your own sounds great at first, but all students realize the hardships of being independent at some point.
Some live on their own, others share a dorm room. These freshman football players will get the full-on experience of working for a living while maintaining education standards and playing their sport.
Money never comes easy and time is precious. These incoming recruits will have to learn to manage their day-to-day activities more appropriately, making sacrifices in order to improve as a football player and as a student. Scholarships do help, but living expenses can give headaches to all students attending college.
Most players entering college have experienced leading a team throughout their football career. They have been team captains, role models and stars. Some high school athletes have earned their respect by being the signal-caller, the position captain or a senior in general. All of these perks are great for a recruit, but things are different at the college level.
Being on a college football team provides new challenges for a player to gain respect. It takes a lot of bravery and dedication to become a great leader, especially when you are playing with athletes who have more experience than you.
There are a few players who become leaders right away, sometimes due to a lack of team leadership as they enter the program. Nevertheless, recruits should prepare themselves to do as they are told, and respect the veterans and listen to their wisdom.