Grosse Pointe South Blue Devils Football
Timeline for College Football
Info Compiled by Mark Fragel
So you want to play college football? If so, there are some important things to accomplish while you’re at GPS. Your first priority is to prepare YOURSELF physically and academically. Don’t wait! College football players must work for four years in the weight room, on their skills, and in the classroom.
Here is a look at the various levels of College Football:
Division I: There are 117 Division I Football Teams in the USA. Just over 2,000 D1 Scholarships were awarded in 2010 in the US. Florida, Texas and California EACH had over 300 young men receive D1 scholarships! So recruiters in FL, TX and CA have an easier task. In 2010 the State of Michigan had 65 young men received D1 Scholarships. This doesn’t mean that the players in Michigan don’t get the attention, we simply don’t have the numbers these states do. All D1 scholarships are 100% Full Rides –Tuition, Room/Board and Books are all paid for by the college.
Division I-AA: I’m not exactly sure how many colleges compete at the DI-AA level, but to give you an idea, the Ivy and Patriot Leagues are in this division (Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Colgate, Lehigh etc.) The Midwest doesn’t have many DI-AA schools (Michigan doesn’t have any). The nearest college in this division is Valparaiso. Varying by league, many division I-AA schools don’t give football scholarships.
Division II: We reside in one of the most populated and strongest DII states in the country. Many recruiters compare our DII competition to that of I-AA. We have GVSU, SVSU, Hillsdale, Wayne State, NMU, Michigan Tech and Ferris State all right here competing in the GLIAC Conference. Division II colleges can give up to 35 full scholarships. These are usually broken up amongst the 105 players on the roster. Example: You might get all your tuition, you might get all your books, or all of your room and board paid.
Division III: Like Division II, the State of Michigan has a good number of quality DIII schools to choose from. Schools like Hope, Alma, Adrian, & Albion are examples of Michigan colleges at this level. Division III colleges do not give any athletic scholarships. They do give grants and aid based on need.
NAIA: There is only one (brand new: Concordia College) NAIA College that offers football in Michigan. There are a few in Ohio, Illinois, and out west. NAIA colleges, like I-AA, may or may not give athletic scholarships. They also give grants and aid based on need.
Regardless of what level you wish to participate in, I highly recommend doing so, it will provide great memories and disciplines that will stay with you the rest of your life. Now, you have 3 years (yes, 3 not 4) to see where you can qualify and play. Here is an outline of what you should be doing to prepare yourself to play college football. Again, you should be constantly preparing yourself physically and academically.
Summer after Freshman Year *
If you think you have what it takes to play College Football at any level then you need to see how you measure up versus other players who have the same goal. Overnight football camps are the best measure. Not only do they give you an idea of your skill level, you’ll get specific position coaching from college coaches, get to stay in college dorms with roommates, and you’ll see what it’s like to be away from home, all good learning experiences to improve your skills and learn about college life. Go to one of the larger college programs summer Football Camp. UofM has the best camp for exposure, but all the Michigan DI colleges offer good exposure and skills camps. UofM brings their entire staff in to coach the athletes as well as 60-80 other coaches from all levels of colleges from the East Coast and the Midwest. You need to go online to register for this Camp in March by going on to http://michiganfootballcamp.com. Cost this year is $395.00
Sophomore Year *
I strongly suggest signing up for a reputable service like Rivals.com or Scout.com (the 2 best sites). Each costs about $10 per month to join. Surfing their sites (you can do some surfing for free), you’ll get a chance to review film, personal stats etc. of other high school players in your position from all over the country. This will give you an opportunity to see how you measure up to players that have committed to Division I programs. It’s another way to see where you’re at and what you need to improve on if you want to play at this level.
During and after your freshman year, you got involved at the entry level of our Strength Program. Now that you are a Sophomore, you should be making gains and developing strength and size that will get you closer to playing college football and excelling at the high school level. Don’t miss any weight lifting opportunities due to your participation in another sport.
Summer after Sophomore Year *
This is your most important summer to get exposure. Repeat the UofM camp and expand your camp exposure. There are some great one day camps not too far away. Northwestern University has 4-5 one day camps; Purdue has 2-3 one day camps. And another camp I highly recommend is the Sound Mind – Sound Body Camp at Wayne State University (June 17 – 18) http://www.smsbcamp.com – the best camp for your money, $199 for 2 overnight campers or $99 for non- overnight campers. Coaches from UofM, MSU, Ohio State, Purdue, Iowa, Syracuse, WMU, EMU, and GVSU will be attending this year. Also in attendance will be the key writers/scouts from Scout.com & Rivals.
*You must sign up with the NCAA Clearinghouse http://www.eligibilitycenter.org. The cost to sign up is $75. No athlete can play D1 or D2 athletics without being approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. This site also has important qualifying information regarding core classes. The NCAA only counts core classes GPA towards your qualification. Core courses (the web site shows you exactly what they are at GPS) are English, math, science, social studies/ history, and foreign languages, NOT gym, computer graphics, art etc.
Summer after Junior Year *
This is your last summer to prepare yourself for your senior year at GPS. It goes fast! The interest you have created in yourself with various colleges will direct your summer camp plans. You should narrow your focus to new camps at the schools that interest you. If you are a D1 candidate (and you’ll know because of the letters and contacts from D1 coaches, you may or may not need to camp. This can be discussed an determined on an individual basis.
I hope you’ve worked hard on your academics and strength training to fully enjoy your senior year at GPS! You should know where you’re at with the NCAA and their requirements, be sure to track your core classes. You should know where you’re heading to college by January of your senior year. Good luck to you!
Work closely with the Head Coach of the level you’ll be playing the following Fall while scheduling your camp schedule. He’ll have the GPS Football summer schedule, work together and try to avoid any scheduling issues in advance.
GPS has had and currently has alum playing at the next level. We have had 2 alums captain their teams in their senior years at Case Western and Hope College. We have had participants in the following programs: The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, University of Toledo, John Carroll University, Brown University, Grand Valley State University, Hillsdale, Hope, Adrian and Albion. We routinely have seniors who are getting interest from DI schools. Our stock is rising!