The NCAA Football Contact Period
The NCAA contact period for football scholarship recruiting started yesterday and high school athletes should use this time to amp up their recruiting. Whether your high school team is wrapping up their season or looking for post-season success, the contact period for football is an open window for your communication with college coaches.
During a contact period, almost all types of communication are allowed. This includes unofficial visits, official visits, calls, emails, and social media. Senior athletes are allowed off campus visits too, so college coaches are able to come to your house or see you play in a game. The contact period is really where a lot of the discussions between a potential student-athlete and a college coach can occur legally and be most productive.
Official and Unofficial Visits During a Contact Period
High school seniors can take up to five official visits to schools who invite them to come. Not only is an official visit a good sign of a coach’s interest in you, it also gives you a glimpse into the college experience. An athlete’s travel, food, and lodging during an official visit, plus any reasonable entertainment cost (i.e. tickets to a home game). But official visits are important to really get a feel for the program and get your questions answered directly from the coaches. Make sure to be prepared for your official visit.
Unofficial visits are trips to the campus paid for entirely by the student’s family. The school can provide up to three tickets to a home game, but that is it. But recruits can make as many unofficial visits as they want to each school, which provides opportunity to see more programs than you would be able to just with official visits. Unofficial visits provide roughly the same experience and allow a recruit to get to know the coach and ask them questions about their future there.
Not Able to go on Official Visits within a Contact Period?
While making visits to the school is the best way to get to see a program from an athlete’s eyes, it is not the end-all for recruiting during a contact period. There are several other methods to communicate with college coaches during a football contact period so if you can’t see them in person, make sure to utilize your other options! Calls and emails are the best way to contact college coaches, but check out these methods as well:
- Online Profiles: if you don’t already have an online college football recruiting profile, you need one! College football coaches use these specifically to search for athletes and keep tabs on the ones they are interested in. Online profiles help increase your exposure to the college coach network.
- Recruiting Questionnaires: These online forms can be found on the college team website and are easy to fill out. They are often overlooked as a recruiting tool but they offer direct access to the team’s recruit system and allows the coach to keep your information on file.
- Social Media: By following a team or coach on Facebook and Twitter, not only will you get constant updates about the team, but you can show your interest in their school by asking questions, and sending encouraging messages.