5 Tips For Getting An NCAA Football Scholarship

Chris Orlando
August 20, 2022

What would you say if I told you it takes more than just talent to get an NCAA Football Scholarship? Just because you may be one of the best players on your team does not guarantee that you will continue to lace up your cleats at the next level. In fact, the chances of playing college football aren’t the greatest if you look at the numbers.

According to a study conducted by the NCAA in 2020, they estimated approximately 1,006,013 high school athletes competed in high school football. Of those 1 million, about 73,715 athletes participated in NCAA football. If you are a high school athlete looking to receive an NCAA scholarship, you are looking at a 7.3% chance of that happening, and the number decreases when you include community college transfers!

With such a saturated market, you need something that will help you stand out amongst the crowd! That is where the team at Athlogic can help. Here are our top 5 tips for getting an NCAA football scholarship.

  1. Hone Your Skills

It’s true that it takes more than just talent to get an NCAA football scholarship, but you have to have the talent to get coaches’ attention. You can be good, but you must be great to play in college. Every athlete on the field was once the best player on their high school team; what sets you apart?

Getting a scholarship is a big deal. This means you have impressed someone so much that they are literally going to give you thousands of dollars to get a free education just to play the sport you love, so don’t take this lightly and put in the work to separate yourself from your peers.

When you practice, give it your all. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the weight room, conditioning, or just going through a walk-through at practice; you never know when coaches are watching. You want to ensure that you are all in—100% of the time.

Even if you have an off day, that will not make or break your chances of playing college ball. Worry about what you can control, your attitude! Coaches will assess your mental toughness and resilience. So while you work on your skills on the field, don't neglect your skills off the field.  

  1. Do Your Homework

Your football homework, that is! Sometimes we need an honest broker to give it to us straight so that we can give ourselves the best shot at getting a scholarship. We are not all Archie Manning and have every college football coach in America knocking at our door.

Get with someone you trust and have them give you an honest assessment of your talent. That same NCAA study found that roughly 2.9% of that 1 million athletes go on to play Division 1 football.

In our experience, we have found that it’s D1 or nothing for some athletes. That is okay, but you must remember that D1 is the best of the best. These are elite athletes, so if you don’t fall under the elite category, that is okay too, and it doesn’t shut the door on getting an NCAA football scholarship.

Many players have successful careers at the DII and DIII levels. Many players also go the NAIA or community college route to get a little more seasoned on the field and then move on to NCAA scholarships. Everyone's journey is different, so we recommend you don’t box yourself into an all-or-nothing mentality.

  1. Make a Highlight Tape

One of the best ways to get your name out there is by making a highlight tape. Not every great athlete comes from a big market or a nationally ranked high school. It is a lot easier for players to get noticed when they play in a bigger market like Texas or California.

Coaches are constantly making their rounds to more prominent schools with proven track records of producing college-level athletes, making their lives much easier. For those that do not have that luxury, a highlight tape is your way of getting noticed.

Here are some tips for producing a good highlight tape that coaches will pay attention to.

  1. This isn’t Hollywood

No coach cares about your intro or pump-up music throughout the highlight tape. This is one of the quickest ways to lose a coach’s interest. Get straight to the point, and provide your stats. Let the game footage do the talking for you.

  1. Lead with Your Best Plays First

You want to get a college coach's attention early. You have to remember that a million high school athletes are trying to get a scholarship. Coaches literally go through thousands of highlights, so you've already lost if you don't capture their attention within the first two plays.

  1. Use Varsity Game Tapes

College is a compilation of the best players on every high school team in America playing against each other. College coaches want to see how you compete against the best; they don’t care about how you did on Freshman or JV. If you don’t have enough Varsity footage, you may want to reevaluate if you’re ready to submit a highlight tape to any school.

  1. Keep Your Grades Up

In addition to doing your football homework, you need to do your actual homework too! This is one of the most important things you can do if you’re looking to get a college scholarship!

You can be the most talented athlete in America and go nowhere if you don't have the grades. One of the biggest limiting factors to athletes getting scholarships is not getting accepted into the school.

If you struggle in school, you may consider getting a tutor or asking your teacher for extra practice to help you maintain eligibility. If you allow your grades to slip, all your hard work to get to this point would be meaningless.

  1. Reach Out to Schools

Your current coach can help you reach out to schools and build relationships with college coaches. With such a competitive market to get a football scholarship, you can waste a lot of time if you don’t take the initiative and reach out to the schools you’re interested in.

We recommend sending an email with a link to your highlight tape and some key stats from the season. This is the easiest way to make contact, and often it is extremely easy to find a point of contact on any school’s athletics page.

If you do gain some interest, make sure that you maintain contact. Respond to all correspondence in a timely fashion. This can come in several forms like e-mail, letters, or even direct social media messages.

Once you’ve established contact, make sure you periodically follow up with them. Continue to send updated states, highlights, and even invite them out to watch you play. Getting a coach’s attention is one thing; keeping it is a different story.


Getting an NCAA football scholarship is not easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things you can do. Don’t let that deter you; just because it’s hard doesn’t make it impossible. If you can maintain your grades and consistently perform at a high level, you significantly raise your chances of getting a scholarship.

At the end of the day, it comes down to how bad do you want it? If you are willing to put in the work, you significantly raise your chances of fulfilling your dreams. Remember, hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.  

If you would like more information on college football scholarships or would like information on how the Athlogic software can help in the process, the team at Athlogic is happy to help.

Related Blogs