(University of Alabama WR Devonta Smith, accepting the 2020 Heisman Trophy)
This past week, University of Alabama’s Devonta Smith was awarded the 2020 Heisman trophy. Smith became the second wide receiver since 1991 to win the award. A memorable quote from his speech was “to all the young kids out there that’s not the biggest, not the strongest, just keep pushing because I’m not the biggest.” Smith arrived on campus at 160 pounds. Which obviously didn’t make him the biggest, however his career impact has put him in the conversation as one the greatest Alabama wide receivers of all time. His speech highlights all the attributes he has in spite of his size and strength that got him the nation's top program and helped him win the nation's most coveted award. College recruiters are looking for players like Smith who can make a difference for their program. Here are three things that college coaches look for when searching for high school recruits;
1. Leaders: Good players are a dime a dozen, but a good leader is very rare to find. Every coach is in search of leaders to join their team. Being the best player on your team does not automatically make you a good leader. This is a common misconception. A leader must be able first lead by example. They must do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Leaders must be respected amongst their teammates and must have the courage to call out their peers when they are not working hard or performing to the team’s standard.
Qualities of a good leader:
2. Physicality and Playmaking Ability: As stated earlier you don’t have to be the biggest player to get recruited. However, you do need to play like the biggest player on the field. When coaches turn on your film, they are looking for two things; a physical football player and a playmaker with good instincts. When making your film make sure that these two traits are on full display. After coaches watch your film there should be no doubt in their mind that you are a playmaker. Coaches want to see if you stand out from your competition.
3. Grades: The first thing every coach will ask for before considering recruiting a player is “what are his grades?” Coaches are looking for student-athletes. There is a reason “student” comes first. Your education is your future. If coaches see that you don’t take your own future seriously then why would they expect you to value the team’s future seriously? How will they expect you to study your playbook? These are all questions that arise when coaches seek a player’s grades. Make your grades your priority.
These attributes must be developed and worked on daily. Take Devonta Smiths advice and “keep pushing.” Perfect Performance offers training to help athletes develop in these areas to become a better football player and increase your chances of being recruited.