Arch Manning’s recruiting has just begun, but he’s learned a few things from his famous relatives along the way.
As I write this, Arch Manning is considered the top football recruit in the nation. As the grandson of NFL legend Archie Manning and the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, Arch Manning would get plenty of recruiting attention on his name alone. But Arch Manning has shown his potential as a can’t miss high school quarterback since age 14 and plenty of big-name football programs have been lining up at Manning’s door ever since.
Given that he has the benefit of knowing before his junior season that he has a full-ride football scholarship waiting for him at the college of his choice, Arch Manning’s recruiting process is different from many high school athletes. And, while your own experience may lack the certainty and media attention of Manning’s, by following his approach, your football recruiting process could be equally as successful.
In every meeting with college coaches, Arch Manning takes notes. It’s a habit he shares with his Uncle Peyton. While his notes include information gleaned from coaches, Manning also takes care to write down the names of coaches, their titles, their tenures at their school, and their coaching philosophies. He also includes a program’s mission statement and cultural guiding principles. He asks questions and makes note of the coaches’ answers.
While Manning says his note-taking helps him learn more about each coach’s offensive system and style, those notes will also be a valuable reference point when he makes his college decision. And, if you’re not already taking notes on the coaches you’re meeting and the colleges you’re considering, start doing so. Remember that coaches are evaluating you as much as you’re sizing up their program, and the thoughtfulness and care you put into your time with college coaches can go a long way toward determining what scholarship offers you might receive. Be curious. Ask questions. Note the answers you’re given. Do your own homework on each school, coach, and program. Then, when you narrow down the list of schools on your target list, the notes you take can help you find the school that fits you.
Get To Know Coaches
Given his talent, pretty much every college football coach in the land is working hard to be a friend of Arch Manning and his family. But Manning has also said the relationships he’s established with coaches will go a long way toward helping him make his college choice. Remember that it takes two to build a relationship, and coaches will notice if your attitude toward them doesn’t reflect the interest they show in you. Even if you’re not interested in a given program, the courtesy you show a coach and the time you invest in interacting and building a relationship with them will always be an asset in your favor, today and four years from now.
Ask Your High School Coach To Help
Given the attention he’s drawing, the Manning family has asked Arch’s coach at Newman School in New Orleans to serve as his gatekeeper. In Manning’s case, his high school coach is the one fielding calls from college coaches and scheduling Zoom calls with those schools that he might be interested in. Now, while you may not need them to screen your calls, your high school coaches can still help you get recruited. Ask your coaches to help determine where you might fit best in college. Ask them for help with your highlight reel. And, since most high school coaches have their own network with college football coaches, you can even ask them for help getting you on a college coach’s radar.
Make Time For Other Pursuits
As a high school football recruit, the other thing you have in common with Arch Manning is that the whole process can be overwhelming. To alleviate that and help Arch to still enjoy the life of a high schooler, the Manning family limits the time coaches can visit with him to two, one-hour windows a day. And, they say he’ll make his decision by the end of his junior season so that he can enjoy his senior year.
Regardless of how your recruiting process plays out, the lesson you can learn from Arch Manning is that you should still make time to enjoy your life as a teenager. Working hard to earn a scholarship and making a college choice can be stressful, but don’t let it swallow up your whole life. It’s fine to have a dream school on your list, but if things don’t work out, it shouldn’t turn your life into a nightmare. Be prepared for what comes. Be flexible. Have a Plan B (and maybe even and Plan C or D) and make the choice that’s right for you and only you. In the big picture, your high school and college years will go by in a flash. Make the recruiting process an enjoyable part of your life, not a source of stress that affects your whole life.
You may not be receiving the same level of interest from college coaches as Arch Manning, but you can still follow his approach and achieve the same goals. So, regardless of where you stand as a football recruit, be thoughtful, build relationships, lean on your coaches, and make time for other things besides recruiting. That way, just like Arch Manning, you can enjoy being in high school while giving yourself everything you need to make the college choice that’s right for you.
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