How to Get Recruited Guide

If You Only Focus on the Scholarship, You Might Not Pick the Right School

Welcome to Interview #105

“It is more important to pick the school based on is it the right school for you not just the right scholarship.” Coach Josh Kittell

I am pleased to share with you the wisdom of NAIA Football Coach of the University of Jamestown, Josh Kittell.

Coach Kittell has been at the University of Jamestown since 2015. Before coming to Jamestown, Kittell the offensive quality control assistant at North Dakota State.

What can or should high school athletes do from their end to get on your radar screen? If a football player personally contacts you by phone or email, what will you do next?

The best way to promote yourself is taking care of business in the classroom and on the field. The High School coaching staff are going to be great references as well. Your relationship with your coach, and their opinion of your character are things we look at. 

In my opinion I think players should reach out to school that they truly are interested in going to and also schools that recruit their region of the country. Look at the roster and see if that school looks at players from a certain area or do they recruit nationally. 

Another way is going to camps and being seen. It is good to make contact with certain coaches that will be at camps and let them know you will be there. Typically there are a lot of athletes at camps and you are wearing helmets so let the coach know you are going to be there and introduce yourself when you are at the camp. 

If you are going to reach out to a coach personally, proof read your e-mail. Make sure you are clear about your interest and leave contact information for the coach to get back to you. 

What advice do you have for high school athletes who dream of playing in college but are confused by the recruiting process?

Be realistic, if you don’t know where your fit is in college, ask your coach. On the same note don’t count any schools out; there are a lot of opportunities and levels to play college football out there so don’t close any doors. Be honest with coaches from the beginning, it will be appreciated.

Could you share, in whatever detail you are comfortable, what the athletic scholarship break down looks like on your roster and what is allowed by the NAIA?

We do offer scholarship, scholarships are based on ability, academics, and character/fit. A lot of conferences have different rules as it comes to scholarship, some can give up to tuition, others have ability to give full but there are roster limitations.

Should prospective athletes bring up scholarships with coaches or wait on the coach to initiate that discussion?

Every situation will be different. I think it is important to build a relationship with the coach and feel it out based on how your conversations go. In my opinion it is more important to pick the school based on is it the right school for you not just the right scholarship. If you pick a school solely based on the scholarship offer you might not enjoy the school/program/coaches once you get there.  

What do you think about recruiting services and their usefulness for a player to find the right college and to get an athletic scholarship?

Recruiting services can be good, but make sure the service is looking out for you best interest. Most college recruiters are going to recruit the players in their recruiting area first based off of performance, coach’s reference, and familiarity with the player.

Recruiting services are good for players who are outside of our recruiting area when we are looking to find a specific type of player that might be out of our area or to help us find more players if our main area doesn’t produce enough recruits in a class.

What are a few of the most common mistakes that prospective-student athletes make in the college recruiting process? 

Be upfront about your academics, we will find out. Remember you have to be accepted into school before you can play football.

Keep open lines of communication. Hear what every coach that is interested in you has to say, and make sure you respect their time. If you know you are not interested let the coach know; you won’t hurt our feelings. At the same time make sure the program you want to go to is as interested in you as you are them. 

What advice do you have for recruits on how to prepare for their freshmen year in a college football program?

Be in shape when you get there. Camp is no longer about getting in shape physically. You need to be conditioned physically when you show up. It is going to be tough, understand that. 

Make sure that the most important part about College Football is Football, not the recruiting process. Too many times guys fall in love with the recruiting process and forget that the school is making a commitment to you and you need to commit yourself to what the program is doing.

You can find out more about Coach Kittell and the University of Jamestown Football program by clicking here.


Next, check out: How Applying to College Will Increase Your Value as a Recruit


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