When it came to college planning my senior year of high school, I didn’t really have a “plan” as much as I had a wish that just had to happen. I’d just migrated to River Edge, New Jersey from Kingston, Jamaica 3 weeks before the start of my senior year. This meant that I had only a few months to run faster, jump farther, get better SAT scores, get recruited and secure a full scholarship to college so my single parent wouldn't have to pay a dime.
Here was my college "plan"
1. Run faster and jump farther by the middle of outdoor season
2. Get discovered by division I college coaches
3. Get a bunch of full scholarship offers
4. Only take the schools with football teams and huge campuses seriously. To be honest, I didn’t know much about football besides what I’d seen on TV from Jamaica. I’d really thought that if you didn’t have a football team then you weren’t a real division I college. 5. Accept a full scholarship offer, go to college, go to the football games and have the time of my life – for FREE
Go ahead, ask me if I’ve been to a single college football game years later. Ask me.
Here’s what actually happened…
1. I did wait months for college coaches to discover me
2. I did not run much faster or jump much farther
3. I did not get recruited on a full athletic scholarship
4. I did not go to the school with the huge campus and football team
5. I did not actually ever attend a college football game. (Of course, nobody thought to tell the young Jamaican girl football games happened during the coldest parts of the year)
6. I did eventually get recruited by a division I college with a 100k offer over 4 years (After a mini intervention staged by my guidance counselor and track coach. They got me to realize that my original “plan” was going to leave me with $0.00 in scholarship offers and unrecruited.)
And finally …
7. I did start my recruitment prep company and help my first “client” get recruited on a 95% scholarship before I secured my own offer.
How did I go from waiting unsuccessfully for offers to getting recruited by a division I college and securing an offer worth $100k for myself and for another overlooked athlete?
Here’s how it happened: (If you want a step by step walkthrough on how you can do the same, watch my free class here)
After the intervention (February or March of that year), my mom, guidance counselor, track coach and I got really proactive and actually started being strategic with trying to secure an offer. During this time, I’d also started my recruitment prep company for overlooked, under recruited and slept on student-athletes, College Pro Academy.
I personally didn’t have much of a strategy beyond calling every head, assistant and volunteer track coach on this list of division I and II universities I found on the internet. There had to be a scholarship offer out there somewhere and I wasn't going to stop calling until I found one for myself and my new "clients". I also searched for schools that still had money to recruit kids that needed full rides but weren’t stand-out athletes. Between trying to secure my own offers and offers for my new “clients”, I was calling at least 50+ college coaches a week searching for offers.
Here’s what you can learn from my ordeal.
1. A full athletic scholarship is not the only way to go to college for free
When I’d made up my mind to secure an offer for myself and my "clients", I didn’t yet understand how college coaches chose to give scholarships. Like I said earlier, I didn’t have much of a strategy by which I chose schools either. I found a website that listed all division I colleges and called those schools in alphabetical order if they had track teams. (Please don’t do this) I’d call coaches and when they’d pick up, I’d ask if they still had scholarships available and if they were still recruiting for the Fall. They would either say yes or no. I would ask if they still have scholarship money available. They’d either say “yes” or “no”. Then I’d ask if they were looking for athletes with either my stats or the stats of the athletes I was working with at the time. No coaches would ever actually say “yes” or “no” to this question. Instead they’d say something like … “Well I can give those times maybe a 40% scholarship at best” or “I can offer a walk-on position”. We needed full scholarships. I’d tell them thanks but no thanks and keep moving down the list. Pro tip: Not being able to get a full athletic scholarship from a school is not a good enough reason to cross them off your list. If you’re an overlooked or under-recruited athlete, consider looking for schools that will offer athletic and academic aid. While a full athletic scholarship may not always be possible, going to school for free is still achievable. 2. You don’t actually have to wait for college coaches to discover you
Not sure if I might have mentioned this but I was calling 50+ colleges coaches a week! Looking back, I wish I had started earlier. The reason why I’d played the waiting game for so long is because I thought I had to. Through calling and eventually emailing college coaches I learned that they’re not as elusive I thought. College coaches actually are on some level relatively easy to reach. I will admit, reaching them is the easier part. Convincing them to give you the offer you need is where it gets to be a little more difficult. Bonus: Here’s the million dollar template that’s helped my athletes get responses from coaches within hours and secure over $3 Million Dollars in offers. Download Here Through the work I do with overlooked athletes today, I’ve come to realize this isn’t such an uncommon belief. Parents and athletes alike are really shocked when we get to the lesson in my recruitment prep program where athletes are actually taught how to choose the schools that will make them offers and how to make these calls themselves. You don't need to have "connections" to these schools to get in front of a college coach. You can be your own scout. Pro Tip: If you’re afraid to pick up the phone and talk to college coaches, pretend to be someone else like your coach or your guidance counselor. It’ll help with the nerves just don’t get caught! 3. You have to treat getting recruited like a business transaction and not like a charity donation
I wasted a lot of time reaching out to colleges that were NOT looking to invest in an athlete with my stats. One of the very first coaches I’d called actually laughed at me a little when I told him what my stats and grades were. I didn’t have the grades that would get me admitted into his school nor did I have times that would contribute to his team. I was not the athlete that program needed. I learned then that you have to treat the recruitment process like a business transaction. By that I mean, you have to be able to prove to a college coach that you are worth the thousands of dollars you’re asking for RIGHT NOW. Before you approach a college coach, you have to be willing to put yourself in that coach’s shoes and ask yourself, “If I had only a limited amount of money to build a team so I wouldn’t get FIRED at the end of the season… how much would I invest in an athlete like me?” Pro Tip: To get the offer you want, you're going to have to go looking for the schools that need you on their roster equally as much you need to be on theirs.
Today, even though I’ve successfully been able to help overlooked athletes secure over $3 million dollars in offers to schools like Villanova, Florida State, Northwestern State, Towson University and Howard University without calling every single Division I or II coach, these lessons form the core foundation of my programs.
Whether you're an overlooked athlete or not, to secure the offer you truly deserve, you have to be willing to become your own scout, treat getting recruited like a business and find the programs that need you on their roster equally as much as you need to be on theirs.