Class of 2017: Your Journey Starts Now

Still second-guessing the path to success? Don’t. Your journey can start as soon as today.

Class of 2017: Your Journey Starts Now

Still second-guessing the path to success? Don’t. Your journey can start as soon as today.

With National Signing Day one full week behind us, it’s high time we start talking 2017. If you’re wondering how this year’s top recruits found themselves in the spotlight, it wasn’t by accident. From the day they decided they could and would play at the next level, the hard work hasn’t stopped. Now it’s the underclassmen’s turn to show up.

Still second-guessing the path to success? Don’t. Bearing in mind three simple to-dos, your journey can start as soon as today.

Create Highlights

This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of athlete profiles are sitting empty. No highlights have been tagged, no spot shadows have been added, and no season stats have been typed into a single title slide. If a recruiter can’t make the trip to see you in person, they’re going to look for video. Have it ready.

Creating a highlight isn’t hard. In fact, it’s probably easier than you think.

If you’re watching a game on your iPhone or iPad, you can double-tap the screen to save the current play as a highlight. On desktop, click the star to the left of that clip. That’s all it takes to create a game reel.

If you’re looking to combine plays from multiple games, create a custom reel – just make sure to put your all-time best plays first. As soon as a recruiter sits down to watch your tape, you have one minute to impress. If those first few clips don’t do it, they’re moving on.

That being said, the entire reel should be relatively short. Check Bishop Gorman (Nev.) QB Tate Martell. While his sophomore reel has the most views of any athlete set to graduate next spring, we’re more interested in Chasing Perfection.

It’s the first reel Tate created after committing to Texas A&M. All he needed was six minutes to remind people why the Aggies wanted him in the first place. The first title slide is nothing but facts – the numbers to prove what he’s capable of. From there, it’s shot after shot of his top moments through five games. Short, sweet and to the point. Don’t stress over hitting a certain length of time with your reel. Leave it to your best plays and the viewer will be plenty entertained.

Make Your Name Known

Disclaimer: If you haven’t created a highlight, this tip won’t do much good. Once the reel is ready to rock, hit social media hard. It’s how Fotu Leiato landed a spot on the roster of his dreams.

Going into his senior season, Fotu had zero offers, not just from Div. 1 schools, but across the board. That wasn’t due to a lack of skill. Fotu had been playing quality football for 10 years, but Steilacoom High (Wash.) wasn’t the hottest target for recruiters – they finished 4-7 his junior season.

Lucky for the linebacker, one of his coaches understood the power of social media, and made it his mission to get his players on the right radars.

Using the football team’s Twitter account, coaches got to work sharing Fotu’s highlights and stats, game by game. Come Week 5, he was visiting and being visited by major programs. The first offer rolled in from Wyoming. Then Idaho, Montana, Weber State and Eastern Washington.

When Washington State showed interest, a Cougars blog got wind of Fotu’s reel. Within three days, it was watched more than 100K times.

One year and 830K views later, Fotu is an Oregon Duck. His story is the perfect example of modern-day recruiting: With the right highlight and solid use of social media, the nation’s best kept secrets end up exactly where they should.

Own the Offseason

Don’t look at the offseason as a time to relax. If anything, it’s a time to work harder than you ever did in season. As you train, stay aware of these common mistakes. More specifically, make sure to track your progress.

With Hudl Combine, the tools to measure five key events make improvement a tangible thing. Record your 40-yard dash, vertical jump, agility shuttle, and Power Ball toss or bench press, then hit the gym. Come back to Combine for new measurements after a couple of weeks, and you’re likely to see the numbers increase. Better at one event than another? Focus on your Nike+ Football Rating. It checks every score plus your height and weight for an overall measurement of athleticism.

Just remember you won’t be the only one keeping tabs. In addition to verified scores appearing on your profile (for all recruiters to see), Hudl Combine features team and national leaderboards with the best numbers for every event, as well as Nike+ Football Ratings. During The Opening Regional circuit, we watch those leaderboards closely. Put up the right numbers, and you could earn an invite to the nearest regional. From there, The Opening is well within reach.

It all comes down to this: Your future is in your hands. Start training today for a better reel tomorrow. If you have questions, tips or other thoughts on where to go from here, hit us in the comments. We’re always here to help.

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