Varsity Advice

“Empowering The High School Student Athlete”

National Letter of Intent March 26, 2009

Filed under: NCAA Info — Varsity Mentoring @ 11:35 am







The National Letter of Intent is a letter that you sign to commit to an institution for an academic year in return for an athletic scholarship or other financial aid. It marks the end of the recruiting process and prevents other schools from contacting you. Although these letters can be signed at any time during a signing period, many are finalized on National Signing Day in February. Signing periods vary based on the sport. National Signing Day celebrates new recruits in many major collegiate sports, including: football, field hockey, soccer, and water polo.

Basic Information

  • The institution offering you the athletic scholarship will mail, email or fax you two copies of the letter to be signed.
  • Sign both copies, sending one back to the insitution and keep the other for your records.
  • If you verbally committed to one institution, you are allowed to sign a letter of intent with a different school.
  • You only sign a letter of intent once, although it is renewed annually.
  • If you are under the age of 21, you need a parent to sign the letter of intent to make it legally binding.
  • Your potential coach may not be present during the signing of your letter in accordance with NCAA rules.
  • You may sign the letter even if you have yet to qualify with the NCAA Clearinghouse. If you are not cleared, the letter is nullified.

Signing the letter of intent is usually a happy time. It marks the end of the recruiting process. Pending acceptance to the university, you can rest easy knowing where you are going to school next year. It is important to understand that simply signing with a team does not guarantee playing time. You still have a lot of hard work ahead of you both in the classroom and on the field to earn playing time. Athletic scholarships are the result of a lot of hard work. When you sign your Letter of Intent, you should be proud of how far you’ve come and excited about where you are going! 


Got what it takes? March 24, 2009

Filed under: Scholarship Tips — Varsity Mentoring @ 3:50 am



Varsity Mentoring

Varsity Mentoring







Playing sports in college is one level of competition. Landing  sports scholarships is in a whole other league.

Athletic awards are made through colleges and applying for one is like marketing yourself as the lead role for a film.

If you are interested in winning an athletic scholarship go to theNCAA website  and read up on their regulations and policies. You’ll need to apply with NCAA Eligibility Center.

According to the NCAA, athletic scholarships for undergraduate student-athletes at Division I and Division II schools are partially funded through the NCAA membership revenue distribution. These scholarships are awarded directly by each college and not the NCAA. About $1 billion in athletic scholarships are awarded each year and over 126,000 student-athletes receive either a partial or full athletic scholarship. Division III schools offer only academic scholarships and not offer athletic scholarships.

If you enroll in a Division I college before August 1, 2009, and want to participate in athletics or receive an athletics scholarship during your first year, you have to graduate from high school and complete these 14 core courses:  

  • 4 years of English
  • 2 years of math (algebra 1 or higher)
  •  2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science if offered by your high school)
  • 1 extra year of English, math or natural or physical science
  •  2 years of social science
  •  3 years of extra core courses (from any category above, or foreign language, nondoctrinal religion or philosophy)

You’ll also need to earn a minimum required grade-point average in your core courses and get a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches your core course grade-point average on the test score sliding scale.

You’ll also want to contact the financial aid office of the school you hope to attend. They should have lots of information about available awards.

Make yourself known to coaches. While the actual athletic scholarship is awarded through the college’s financial aid office, it’s the coaches who decide who get the cash. You can go visit the coaches if that’s possible or send them a video of you playing sports, and doing drills, along with a personalized letter.

So you’ve definitely got your work cut out for you if you want to compete for athletic scholarships. But you already like competition, don’t you?


First Impressions Can Create Unrealistic Expectations for Recruits March 17, 2009

Filed under: News — Varsity Mentoring @ 6:06 pm



 The expectations surrounding Kendall Marshall grew more quickly than his legs. Six years ago, when he was 5 feet 2 inches and 90 pounds, he was rated the No. 1 sixth-grade basketball prospect in the country by the recruiting analyst Clark Francis.

Anne Sherwood for The New York Times

Kendall Marshall said being rated the No. 1 sixth grader in the country six years ago fueled jealousy and started rivalries.

Stuart Villanueva/The Eagle

Jon Allen received a recruiting letter from U.C.L.A. when he was a 6-foot-2 seventh grader. Now in high school, he is the same height.

Readers’ Comments

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Marshall said jealousy over that ranking ended friendships and started unusual rivalries.

“Some people despised me because of it,” Marshall said. “And there were people who thought I should dominate every game.”

Marshall is now a 6-3, 175-pound junior guard here at Bishop O’Connell High School, and he dominates often. He is no longer the top-ranked player in the class of 2010, but he is among the top 30 and has committed to play for North Carolina.

Marshall sprouted more than a foot after sixth grade. He maintained a work ethic that included daily 5:30 a.m. ball-handling sessions in his family’s garage. He was not bothered by hype.

But he might be an anomaly. Amid the clamor to find the next basketball wunderkind, the evaluation of sixth graders remains an uncertain pursuit. Francis, who runs the Hoop Scoop recruiting service, said the process involved much guesswork.

The players can stop improving, stop caring or stop growing. They can become irrelevant as college prospects before they reach high school, raising questions of whether they should be rated at all.

“To rank a boy at that age sets up a dynamic of possible failure,” said Dr. Ellen Braaten, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. “I think it’s a tremendous amount of pressure to put on a child. Some are resilient, but there’s definitely the potential for others to develop depression or anxiety disorders.”

Four years ago, Hoop Scoop rated Jon Allen of College Station, Tex., the second-best sixth grader in the country.

He was a 6-2 center who wore size 12 ½ sneakers and was unstoppable in the post. During several A.A.U. tournaments, parents of opponents asked to see his birth certificate.

Allen said he received a recruiting letter from U.C.L.A. when he was in seventh grade. But then his growth spurt sputtered.

“At some point we realized he wasn’t going to become a 7-footer,” Allen’s father, Jud, said. “His friends still call him Big Jon, but now he’s pretty much a normal-size kid out there.”

Allen is now 16 years old, still 6-2, and his awkward transition from center to shooting guard has gone mostly unnoticed by college basketball coaches and recruiting services. There have been no more letters from U.C.L.A.

“The thing can turn into a tragedy because these rankings give kids false hopes,” said Tony Squire, an A.A.U. coach in Virginia who coached Kevin Garnett and Amar’e Stoudemire. “A few of the kids pan out, but most of them you don’t hear anything about.”

Francis, who charges $499 a year for a subscription to his recruiting service, said he would rather not rank sixth graders, but since he was one of the few analysts who did, it made his business stand out.

He said it was not his job to determine which players could be negatively affected by his reports. He does not scour elementary schools, but when a sixth grader attends an A.A.U. tournament or a showcase camp, Francis considers him eligible to be ranked.

“A lot of people are horrified that we watch players at such an early age,” Francis said.

“But plenty of college coaches want to know.”

They might want to know about Perry Dozier Jr.

Last summer, Perry Dozier Sr. was sitting in the bleachers at the Adidas Jr. Phenom Camp in San Diego when one recruiting analyst after another told him his son would be the top-ranked player in the class of 2015.

Dozier Jr. is a 5-6 sixth grader at E. L. Wright Middle School in Columbia, S.C. He signed his first autograph when he was in fourth grade. He has a Web site,, that displays his highlight videos.

Last month, Dozier was selected to play for the junior N.B.A. national team in an exhibition during All-Star weekend in Phoenix. He stayed in the same hotel as Oscar Robertson, Julius Erving and Dominique Wilkins, and when he met the former stars they told him humility would be his greatest asset.

Dozier Sr. wonders if the rankings and the spotlight are creating an impossible standard for his son.

“There might be expectations that are unreachable, or there are worries about getting injured or anything that could possibly take this game away,” said the 6-11 Dozier Sr., a former South Carolina center. “But he’s a very mature young man.”

Dozier could thrive like Marshall, or he could be burdened by heavy expectations like Allen. Whatever happens, it will not be because of a lack of exposure.

For the next six years, the rankings and ratings will follow him to tournaments and games and camps.

Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt would rather not hear about players like Dozier until they are a few years older.

Each year, Hewitt saves lists of top-ranked high school seniors so he can check how many became stars. He is always struck by how many did not.

Hewitt said that if those projections could be so off-base, projections of elementary and middle school students should never be made. He said young players should develop at their own pace, without expectations.

But he knows his sentiment is not shared by all.

“Ranking these kids has become a sport of its own,” Hewitt said. “And let’s face it, it sells.”

In January, the N.C.A.A. lowered the school year a basketball player was considered a prospect from ninth grade to seventh grade.

Though the change seemed curious, it closed a loophole that had allowed college coaches to gain a recruiting edge by inviting middle school players to private camps. Those middle school prospects are now protected by the N.C.A.A. the same way as high school recruits.

For now, elementary school students are not included in this new rule. An associate commissioner of the Big East, Joseph D’Antonio, the chairman of the N.C.A.A.’s legislative council, hopes there is no need to change that.

“I think the seventh- and eighth-grade endpoint is a place to begin, because that’s where the problem has been identified,” D’Antonio said. “Whether or not we see bylaws in the future that lower the age even further is going to be driven by what the coaching involvement is.” March 15, 2009

Filed under: Scholarship Tips — Varsity Mentoring @ 1:13 am



As one of the larger websites that cover preps, has a database that includes some of the best athletes throughout the country in a number of different sports.  And while it is not the only site doing this, college coaches do look at the database and may use it to find names to add to their prospective recruiting list.

While it is not a make or break in the recruiting process, it is a nice addition to your recruiting portfolio to have your profile in that top prospect database.  At the very least, it is not going to hurt anything if you submit proper information and keep them updated.  But the question is how do you get a Recruiting Profile?


Let me mention that before you try this, I would recommend having some solid stats and Division I interest to back up your claim of how good of a player you are.  Chances are that if you should be listed in that database, then you definitely should have at least a minor amount of interest from schools at the Division I level.

The first place I would recommend is find a contact page for the staff of their national recruiting site.  That is usually the first and best way to find someone who has access to adding and updating players in the database.  When doing this, you will need to be patient because these analysts do get a lot of similar requests from other athletes.  And if you wait a week and don’t hear back/are not listed in the database, then it is time to move on to someone else.

If you have the Division I attention and the stats, you might as well keep emailing them until someone responds to you.  Again, there is no reason not to get listed in this database because it will help you with colleges and potential articles from in the future.



Scout Media Email Phone
Scott Kennedy, Director of Scouting 404-421-5883

National Football Recruiting Email Phone
Allen Wallace, National Editor 949-376-2900

Southeast Football Recruiting Email Phone
Burke Hayes, Regional Manager 770-324-9162
Andrew Bone, Asst. Regional Manager 256-490-2436
Mike Bakas, Florida 386-795-1852
Sonny Shipp, Louisiana 225-936-0538
Yancy Porter, Mississippi 662-236-5055
Steve Robertson, Mississippi 225-803-7197

Southwest Football Recruiting Email Phone
Allen Zepeda, Texas 713-201-1349
Jason Jewell, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico 602-361-6345

East Football Recruiting Email Phone
Bob Lichtenfels, Regional Manager 724-840-3985
Matt Alkire, Recruiting Analyst 610-812-8329

Midwest Football Recruiting Email Phone
Bob Lichtenfels, Regional Manager 724-840-3985
Allen Trieu, Recruiting Analyst 616-566-7088
Matt Alkire, Recruiting Analyst 610-812-8329

Midland Football Recruiting
Baron Flenory, Regional Manager 724-469-0831
Andrew Bone, Kansas, Nebraska 256-490-2436

West Football Recruiting Email Phone
Brandon Huffman, Regional Manager 253-266-1024
Chris Fetters, Northwest 206-618-6246
Johnny Curren, West Coast Video

Junior-College Football Recruiting Email Phone
Kevin Lustgarten, National Editor 425-637-1518

Are you a basketball player interested in getting added to the database as well?  Click here for the bio page or contact one of these four experts:

National Recruiting Director
Dave Telep –

Recruiting Analyst 
Evan Daniels –

West Coast 
Greg Hicks –

East Coast 
Mike Sullivan –

One last final note.  Please do not contact multiple people on this list asking them to add you.  Find one that would be considered in your area and write an email introducing yourself.  You may also want to include your recruiting profile as well.


Partner Profile: Active Recruiting March 14, 2009

Filed under: Partners — Varsity Mentoring @ 12:54 am






Active Recruiting is one of our newest partners but they sure are not rookies when it comes to Recruiting.Active Recruiting began as to improve the chances of Michael Husted getting visibility as an NFL kicker…it worked. Now Active Recruiting helps athletes gain maximum exposure by efficiently providing recruiters immediate access to a nationwide pool of athletic talent. Our tools have been trusted by student athletes and recruiters for over 5 years.The profiles are free and you can add unlimited videos for only $29.95.

Whats makes Active Recruiting different that some of the other recruiting sites? The Video Player for one thing, Coaches and Recruiters can freeze,zoom and advance each frame of the video that you upload ! !

Also Active Recruiting is part of the Active network and Partnered with is the leading on-line community for people who want to discover, learn about, share, register for and ultimately participate in activities about which they are passionate. Millions of active individuals visit each month to search and register on-line for races, team sports and recreational activities; interact with others who have similar interests; start on-line training programs; and access nutrition, fitness and training tips.

Get Noticed with Active Recruiting and Varsity Mentoring.


Second Chance to play College Football March 9, 2009

Filed under: News — Varsity Mentoring @ 6:43 am

Just a quick note to say, Thank You to All players, Coaches and Speakers who attended the 3/7/09 CDFL clinic in New Windsor , New York.  We will be updating the player performance list during this week.  Outstanding  results were achieved by many of the players who attended. Great players make for a great league!  Coach Barry Chait spoke to the preseason training needs of the players in preperation for the july 6, 2009 start.  Gus Ornstein gave a motivational talk on his experiences in getting to the NFL, followed by an introduction to the CDFL passing game.  A special CDFL thanks to site owner, Mr. John Alva, for allowing for extended time in his facility and being a great host. Get ready for the CDFL 7-on-7 clinic and Lineman Challenge in late April. The CDFL experience, BE PARTOF IT in 2009 !!!!!!!


NCAA Ruling regarding Social Wesbites like Facebook & MySpace March 6, 2009

Filed under: News — Varsity Mentoring @ 3:32 pm






We get questions regarding if it is OK for a College Coach to contact a prospect via a Social Networking site.

This is a repost from the NCAA regarding this subject.

NCAA Division I institutions should note that pursuant to NCAA Division I Bylaw an institution may send electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete beginning September 1 at the beginning of the prospective student-athlete’s junior year in high school. Further, electronically transmitted correspondence that may be sent to a prospective student-athlete is limited to electronic mail (e-mail) and facsimiles until after the calendar day on which a prospective student-athlete signs a National Letter of Intent. All other forms of electronically transmitted correspondence (e.g., Instant Messenger, text messaging) are prohibited.

Institutions should note that e-mail is not limited to a traditional e-mail service provided by an institution, Web site or Internet service provider. Therefore, it is permissible for an athletics department staff member to send electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete using a social networking Web site’s (e.g., MySpace, Facebook) e-mail feature. All other electronically transmitted correspondence including, but not limited to, text messaging, Instant Messenger, chat rooms or message boards (e.g., a user’s wall) within a social networking Web site or through other services or applications remain impermissible.

For example, a coaching staff member with a MySpace or Facebook account may send electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete’s MySpace or Facebook account using the e-mail inbox feature located on that user’s profile page. However, a coaching member may not send electronic correspondence to a prospective student-athlete via the comments feature on MySpace or the wall-to-wall feature on Facebook.

Institutions should also note that in accordance with Bylaw 13.10.2, before the signing of a prospective student-athlete to a National Letter of Intent or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, a member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete. The institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team; further, the institution is precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete’s signing with that institution.

Accordingly, it is permissible for a prospective student-athlete’s name and/or picture to appear on an athletics department staff member’s profile page of a social networking Web site to identify the prospective student-athlete as a “friend” of the athletics department staff member. Institutions should note that the identification of the prospective student-athlete as a “friend” on an athletics staff members profile page confirms only the institution’s potential recruitment of that individual. However, institutions are reminded they may not make any public comments about the prospective student-athlete’s ability, the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team or the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete’s signing with that institution.