College football is known for its hard hits and high injury rate. Athletes and players train
hard to help prevent injury while also being able to be successful on the field. Football also has a lot of specialized positions that require training and practice. That is why the depth of talent on football teams has become so critical.
College football coaches obviously look to recruit the strongest players they can, and who will make the most difference for their team. Because of the size of college football teams, there will be a number of different athletes who can accomplish this. For many freshman recruits, they will have to wait in line behind the older more experienced athletes. This can frustrate athletes but patience will pay off. College coaches count on backups to fill in and help get the job done whenever they’re called on.
Gary Patterson, head coach of the TCU Horned Frogs football team, believes that backups are crucial to the strength of any college football program. “If you want a successful program, I’ve always said it’s about the twos and threes,” Gary stated in a recent interview. Gary talks about how when a player gets injured, “the next guy has to be able to step up.” This is where strength and character will pay off in the end, and that’s what college coaches look for in their recruits. They want to be able to count on any of their athletes at any time.
So while you may not be first in line for your position as a recruit, understand that you still play a crucial role as a backup. You need to support your fellow teammates and train just as hard as the guy in front of you. You need to be flexible, positive, and dedicated to your sport if you want to be successful. If a player gets injured, you may be called on to take their place and you have to be ready to step up and keep the team moving forward. When you talk to college coaches about your position and your role as a player, make sure you acknowledge what the coach is saying about your opportunities with their program and determine if you can fill the role they need you to. Whether it earns you a football scholarship or not, you still can be an important part of a college football team, which is a great experience in and of itself.