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Pick Your College as a Top HS Football Prospect (1 Viewer)

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Imagine yourself today as a HS football athlete. You are doing well and have national attention for recruiting. You can literally pick your college at this point. Which school do you pick and why?
 
18 year-old me would have chosen the University of Maryland, College Park. I grew up maybe a mile from the football stadium and had many memories of the campus. I would have wanted to stay close to home.

18 year-old football star me, who would have gotten royal treatment as a top prospect hopefully would have had the sense to pick a school where I would have been starting sooner rather than later, big fish in a small pond if you will. As for academics, I wasn't much of an academic to would worry about a specific degree or field of study and would have found something that interested me.
 
Depends on my family's financial position and also the position I play.

Stanford if I needed to pave my own way after football and I was an NFL first rounder longshot.

Texas if I needed immediate NIL money and I was an NIL type of recruit.

Texas if I was a surefire NFL first rounder....the lady situation there is unrivaled...and it's a great school.
 
Very position dependent for me and it would probably be somewhere that I likely play right out of the gate. I wouldn't mind the competition per se but wouldn't want to have it be too crowded.
 
An anonymous 5/4-star football recruit poll from The Athletic showed they weight schools by:
1) Development (100% votes)
2) Culture
3) NIL $
 
Are you going for academics or athletics?

If academics, I'd aim for Stanford
You tell me... what do YOU make YOUR decision on?
if you are going pro (or realistically aspiring), i would have to think colleges such as Ohio state, LSU, Clemson, OSU have to be high on the list depending on position and system for that position.

Academics: Stanford or ivy league would carry more weight in most other realms.
 
As much as I’d like to say Michigan I’d probably lean towards a top SEC school (UGA, LSU) or like USC even though you probably won’t win anything there
 
As others have said, depends on position. With the goal being the NFL:

If I’m a QB, Ohio State, Bama, or USC.
If I’m a RB, Bama or UGA.
WR, tOSU without question.
OL- Wisconsin, or one of the other upper Midwest schools
Interior D Line- Bama
DE- tOSU
Secondary- Bama
 
USC

Academics and athletics
Tradition
About to head into a big time conference
Great coach
Should be in the hunt/playoffs
Good NIL prospects
Great location (not immediate surroundings, but close to beach, desert, mountains)
Strong alumni network
Los Angeles is a great location to build network/connections
It’s a fun school to attend (my kid goes there)
 
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Yes, for many of the reasons I mentioned upthread. Also, the campus and surrounding area is beautiful. But playing in a football stadium 45 minutes from campus would be a bit of a drag I would think.
 
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The instant favorite for me would be ND. I am a fan and it is a great school so if football doesn't pan out I am still positioned well and you can't match the tradition of the school. It would be hard for me to imagine another offer that would end up making me switch away from it but I would go into the process with as open a mind as I could. The coaching staff would be an important part of that process for me and their scheme.
 
USC

Academics and athletics
Tradition
About to head into a big time conference
Great coach
Should be in the hunt/playoffs
Good NIL prospects
Great location (not immediate surroundings, but close to beach, desert, mountains)
Los Angeles is a great location to build network/connections
It’s a fun school to attend (my kid goes there)
They haven’t been in the hunt for about 15 years and their coach isn’t close to great. Great school and all, but not near a top football school.
 
USC

Academics and athletics
Tradition
About to head into a big time conference
Great coach
Should be in the hunt/playoffs
Good NIL prospects
Great location (not immediate surroundings, but close to beach, desert, mountains)
Los Angeles is a great location to build network/connections
It’s a fun school to attend (my kid goes there)
They haven’t been in the hunt for about 15 years and their coach isn’t close to great. Great school and all, but not near a top football school.

I’m not picking my school in the past 15 years. I’m picking my school today. And IMO they’ll be in the hunt for the playoffs in the next several years (though it does remain to be seen how they will fare when they play nine games yearly in the Big 10). For now, SI preseason power rankings have them at no. 7. They killed in recruiting/transfer portal last year and are looking to do extremely well again this year. If a bunch of top prospects are choosing USC, I don’t know why I wouldn’t. And starting in 2024, you get to live in California AND play in a bunch of huge high profile games (9 Big 10 games plus LSU and Notre Dame)? Sign me up! As for Riley, I guess we’ll have to see. But he took a 4-8 USC team to 11-1 in his first year. Not too shabby (though dropping the PAC-12 championship was a disappointment, even with a gimpy Williams). In any event, lots of publications have him in the top 10 coaches in college football. “Not close to great” might be a little strong. But I agree he has something to prove.
 
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Most likely my career won't work out.

I want a school where I get excellent coaching, some TV, high visibility for NFL scouts, and a powerful alumni network for me to network and lean on if things don't work out.

Notre Dame or Stanford for me, I think.
 
Depends on my family's financial position and also the position I play.

Stanford if I needed to pave my own way after football and I was an NFL first rounder longshot.

Texas if I needed immediate NIL money and I was an NIL type of recruit.

Texas if I was a surefire NFL first rounder....the lady situation there is unrivaled...and it's a great school.

I don't think there has been a power program that has ruined more 5-star recruits than Texas over the last 15 years. They have a dismal record of player development.
 
As much as it pains me to say this.....

UW. There is NOTHING in the country cooler than taking a party boat to the stadium to play football. The area of Seattle where UW is is spectacular. The academics - while not Cal or UCLA - are still elite. It's a hard school to get into so an education there is terrific. Plus, you've got a ton of $$$$$ up there to help with post sports career networking.

Legal weed, great beer, liberal politics, tame weather, sensational food.....sign me up to wear purple and gold.

Especially if I were a DB. They churn out a ton of NFL DBs.
 
In this hypothetical, I’m back in HS and living in Michigan. No doubt I’d have gone to Ann Arbor. That might still be the answer today. Elite program, looks like they’re back among the best now.

If instead, in this hypothetical I just switch places with my HS son and live here, I’m playing for Saban in Tuscaloosa.

Either one gets me a good chance at playing in the NFL and having a great college career. Michigan far better academically but if you’re a successful player in Alabama you’ll still have plenty of opportunities.
 
Academics are important to me, even if I was trying to be an early 1st round pick. I would probably narrow it down to these 4 schools:

Stanford
Michigan
UCLA
USC

I don't have any particular interest in living in California, and wish Rutgers was better because I'd prefer to stay near NYC, but I think those 3 schools offer that combination of academics, path to the NFL, and campus life I like. In the end I might choose Michigan, though.
 
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Some of it depends on position. I think in general, I lean Michigan because I grew up on Michigan football. However, if I was a QB or WR, I am not sure that's the choice I would make. Also, I am not sure how I would feel about Harbaugh- though I guess the same is true for most coaches. I like the idea of South Carolina- in the SEC, getting great competition and attention but there's more room to get early playing time than a Bama or Georgia.

If I played TE, Iowa obviously.
 
As much as it pains me to say this.....

UW. There is NOTHING in the country cooler than taking a party boat to the stadium to play football. The area of Seattle where UW is is spectacular. The academics - while not Cal or UCLA - are still elite. It's a hard school to get into so an education there is terrific. Plus, you've got a ton of $$$$$ up there to help with post sports career networking.

Legal weed, great beer, liberal politics, tame weather, sensational food.....sign me up to wear purple and gold.

Especially if I were a DB. They churn out a ton of NFL DBs.
All true but if you are playing, you can't be on a party boat. You won't be old enough to buy legal weed. Most colleges have liberal politics. But yeah I get you are also talking about life after footall. UW would be pretty high on my list.
 
I would want to play for Deion.
If you're a DB for sure.
The over/under is 2 years for his tenure at Colorado. But that was my first pick in this year's draft of season tickets for Oregon games. Cannot wait to see this play out live.
Yeah, you guys think Colorado is his final destination?? ACC at worst by 2026
I would want to play for Deion.
If you're a DB for sure.
The over/under is 2 years for his tenure at Colorado. But that was my first pick in this year's draft of season tickets for Oregon games. Cannot wait to see this play out live.
Yeah, you guys think Colorado is his final destination?? ACC at worst by 2026
Have no idea how long he stays but if he's winning why leave? Right now he has king status around here. I'm obviously biased since I live about 20 minutes away from where Deion just bought his new home but the Boulder area/Colorado in general is a awesome place to live. Lots of former pro athletes who played here choose to live here after their careers are over.
 
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With the recent transfer portal, you can easily switch schools if you don't like what is going on unlike past times it was difficult and with penalties.
 
Probably Clemson. Good Weather. Winning Programming. And Sweeney seems like the type of coach I'd want to play for.
What about Dabo do you like?
Ya know, just someone that coaches with a lot of energy and positivity. Those were always my favorite coaches to play for provided we were winning of course. Never cared for the guys that were too uptight or that were too rigid. So all else being equal, if I could play for a Saban or a Sweeney, I'd choose a Sweeney any day. Someone like a Pete Carroll is another coach that comes to mind that I'd like to play for.
 
Some of it depends on position. I think in general, I lean Michigan because I grew up on Michigan football. However, if I was a QB or WR, I am not sure that's the choice I would make. Also, I am not sure how I would feel about Harbaugh- though I guess the same is true for most coaches. I like the idea of South Carolina- in the SEC, getting great competition and attention but there's more room to get early playing time than a Bama or Georgia.

If I played TE, Iowa obviously.
Interesting that you bring up your position influencing your choice perhaps even over your favorite school. With that in mind, would you consider a rival of UM, like OSU because of their recent success with QB’s? Doesn’t have to be OSU or QB but a rival school you typically disliked.

I respect and appreciate the recent turn at UM and kind of like Harbaugh overall but even if I was a better fit at UM position wise and coaching wise, I don’t think I could go there because of my fandom. Maybe another school other than OSU but not a current rival.
 
Probably Clemson. Good Weather. Winning Programming. And Sweeney seems like the type of coach I'd want to play for.
What about Dabo do you like?
Ya know, just someone that coaches with a lot of energy and positivity. Those were always my favorite coaches to play for provided we were winning of course. Never cared for the guys that were too uptight or that were too rigid. So all else being equal, if I could play for a Saban or a Sweeney, I'd choose a Sweeney any day. Someone like a Pete Carroll is another coach that comes to mind that I'd like to play for.
Fair. His comments about the kids getting paid while he's making a fortune rubbed me the wrong way but can't knock his success or deny his energy.
 
Some of it depends on position. I think in general, I lean Michigan because I grew up on Michigan football. However, if I was a QB or WR, I am not sure that's the choice I would make. Also, I am not sure how I would feel about Harbaugh- though I guess the same is true for most coaches. I like the idea of South Carolina- in the SEC, getting great competition and attention but there's more room to get early playing time than a Bama or Georgia.

If I played TE, Iowa obviously.
Interesting that you bring up your position influencing your choice perhaps even over your favorite school. With that in mind, would you consider a rival of UM, like OSU because of their recent success with QB’s? Doesn’t have to be OSU or QB but a rival school you typically disliked.

I respect and appreciate the recent turn at UM and kind of like Harbaugh overall but even if I was a better fit at UM position wise and coaching wise, I don’t think I could go there because of my fandom. Maybe another school other than OSU but not a current rival.
Hmmm...Ohio State would be a tough sell and I don't feel like Ryan Day would win me over but I think I would prioritize my football career over any childhood loyalties so it's not totally out of the question. OSU, ND, MSU would just be starting from a hole and have to really be extra impressive.
 
Have no idea how long he stays but if he's winning why leave? Right now he has king status around here. I'm obviously biased since I live about 20 minutes away from where Deion just bought his new home but the Boulder area/Colorado in general is an awesome place to live. Lots of former pro athletes who played here choose to live here after their careers are over.
It’s a great place to live, I agree. Colorado in general offers a ton. Does Deion do much hiking or kayaking with his golden retriever in tow? Because if someone isn't Johnny Outdoors, the best things about Colorado are lost on them.

But really, it's not about that. He's a huge celebrity, and he will want to compete with the best, and many people will tell him he'll get a bigger stage, more NIL money, and more TV elsewhere.

Hope I am wrong, would love to see Colorado become huge again. Shoutout Kanavis McGee and Alfred WIlliams
vais
 
Have no idea how long he stays but if he's winning why leave? Right now he has king status around here. I'm obviously biased since I live about 20 minutes away from where Deion just bought his new home but the Boulder area/Colorado in general is an awesome place to live. Lots of former pro athletes who played here choose to live here after their careers are over.
It’s a great place to live, I agree. Colorado in general offers a ton. Does Deion do much hiking or kayaking with his golden retriever in tow? Because if someone isn't Johnny Outdoors, the best things about Colorado are lost on them.

But really, it's not about that. He's a huge celebrity, and he will want to compete with the best, and many people will tell him he'll get a bigger stage, more NIL money, and more TV elsewhere.

Hope I am wrong, would love to see Colorado become huge again. Shoutout Kanavis McGee and Alfred WIlliams
vais
Hope you're wrong to. The energy for the Buffs is through the roof here. At least the hiring of Coach Sanders has gotten CU to move past the Gary Barnett era where the Katie Hnida and the hookers for recruites scandals that pretty much killed the program for the last 20 years.
 
Stanford is objectively the right answer.
Why? They aren't very good right now and have seen their track record of producing NFL players slow down. I assume you are just looking at the quality of the education and location?
Not only that, but if you have the talent you clearly do have an NFL path. Their track record has slowed down because their recruiting is worse not because of development.
 
Stanford is objectively the right answer.
Why? They aren't very good right now and have seen their track record of producing NFL players slow down. I assume you are just looking at the quality of the education and location?
Not only that, but if you have the talent you clearly do have an NFL path. Their track record has slowed down because their recruiting is worse not because of development.
Their new coach has no real background for getting players to the NFL. Being talented out of HS is one thing, there’s thousands every year who fit that bill. Most never sniff an NFL field.
 

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