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Are college recruiting services worth the money?

(Updated 06-03-17)

If you search the internet for recruiting assistance, you will come to find almost as many recruiting services/websites as there are colleges offering scholarships.  Many promise they will help you find an athletic scholarship because they have access to people and information you don’t.  Others promise college scholarships based on relationships, online profiles and/or networks.  Playced.com was created to level the playing field in college recruiting and to offer an affordable alternative to well-meaning parents and trusting high school athletes looking for recruiting advice and counsel.

College recruiting can be an emotional process, to say the least. In fact, of all the experiences an athlete goes through in his or her playing career, college recruiting can be among the most stressful. Kind of like a buzzer-beater, only to be decided with the final shot! Unfortunately, there are recruiting services out there preying on that very emotion. They want to make you believe that college recruiting works in a way that it really does not. 

These services lead you to believe that assistance from one of their “college scouts” (“sales rep” would be a more appropriate term) is the only way for you to earn a roster spot. They claim the schools you dream of playing for are in their “coaching network”, actively searching their player database. Both are misleading and that is NOT how it works. This is the ugly side of college recruiting and again is the reason Playced was created.

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The ugly side of college recruiting starts with those companies and individuals that take advantage of parents and athletes, charge thousands of dollars and make false promises. Keep in mind that if you are being pressured and the price isn’t front and center, then you better plan to spend a lot more than is necessary.

We experienced the ugly side of college recruiting a few months ago. We had a parent ask a question on our weekly Periscope/Facebook Live broadcast. He asked if we thought it was a good idea to start a payment plan with a National Recruiting Service for his 7th grader. Yep, his 7th grader! He was obviously a well-meaning parent who would do anything to help his son realize his dream to play college football. He really couldn’t afford the total fee all at once, but he was being pressured to commit. Needless to say, our advice was to just enjoy his son’s athletic career and not to stress about college recruiting until he at least has taken a snap or two in high school.

Through my experiences, I am 100% positive that college coaches don’t want to hear from the aforementioned “college scouts” and I am equally as sure that where you play in college is a direct result of your individual, proactive, recruiting efforts. College coaches want student-athletes who want to be a part of their program! They want coachable players who can communicate with their own coaches, as well as college coaches.

Taking ownership of your recruiting process is the best way to secure a college scholarship, period.  Recently, we polled coaches from every college division in the country and 100% of the coaches polled said they would rather hear from a student-athlete, than a compensated “college scout”.  That is a very telling statistic!  College coaches want to communicate with you and your coaches, no one else.  We understand that you don’t want to say the wrong thing or make a costly mistake and that is why the Playced approach is so successful.  We believe our primary role is to help athletes determine which colleges are appropriate based on their abilities and then to act as an adviser, advocate and mentor throughout the recruiting process.  That said, we will do whatever is necessary to help Playced athletes realize their dreams and we have the results to prove it. 

In a college coach’s eyes if you hand off your recruiting process to a third party, you will appear lazy, entitled and/or disinterested.  Wouldn’t you rather do it yourself and be considered assertive, confident and/or motivated?  Think about it this way, at some point you will have to talk to the coaching staff at the colleges who are interested in you. It will make a much better impression if you took the initiative to make first contact.

Here’s the Deal

If you are going to spend money on a recruiting service, our method is the one preferred by college coaches. If a company requires a “scout” to run your recruiting process for you, costs big $$$ or makes you believe recruiting is something it is not, run for the hills! You need to know exactly what you are signing up for, before you sign up!