Who has a better chance of helping your get a football scholarship, your travel or 7v7 coach or high school football coach?

For the past couple of decades, high school football has largely been shielded from the damaging effects of “club” or “travel” teams that have plagued other sports and rendered playing for the hometown team nearly meaningless.

There was an intrinsic protective layer that football had unlike other sports, because there’s simply no way to mimic the actual game without throwing on pads and helmets and lining up 11 guys to go against 11 other guys.

Until now, that is.

No, nobody is playing full-contact football games in spring. Yes, the best way for college coaches to evaluate players still remains watching their game films from fall. But things are definitely changing.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Nomoredrama

    Well, I think there are a lot of variables involved. Specifically, the school you play for. Do you attend a school that gets a lot of exposure to college recruiters? If not, maybe the 7 on 7 is the route to take. Does your high school coach have a rapport with any specific colleges? Are those colleges the right fit for you both academically and athletically? And on and on…..
    Now, I don’t see how playing for a travel/club team renders playing for the hometown team meaningless. I have attended many CIF football games, including playoffs, state championshps and those kids are playing with lots of heart and guts. Friday night lights are still exciting and full of great action!
    Are you saying that kids who play travel/club ball don’t play or don’t play all out for the hometown teams? I don’t believe that to be true. My daughter and many of her team mates at West Covina High played travel ball and played for West Co. with true passion. A true athlete has a passion for their sport, no matter what team they are playing on.

    • FredJ

      Nomoredrama, you nailed it with your last point. “A true athlete has a passion for their sport, no matter what team they are playing on.”

      You don’t know how many times I hear club parents or players, particularly in softball or soccer, say high school is just for fun, it’s not serious, that you earn your scholarships in club and the level is so much better.

      While the level is better, if you’re a competitive athlete and care about teammates, then you take any team you’re on with competitive seriousness. How many times have you heard the great ones say I don’t like to lose in anything, be it ping pong or pool.

      That’s what separates the primadonna athletes from the ones with passion.

      • MonkeyWrench

        Dez companies are not getting kidz schollies or exposure. Dez kids be gettin dez companies schollies and exposure. What BBT and others be doing is heavly recruit D1 scholarship guys to play on theier 7 on 7 teams fo free so the can charge high premiums to da the kids who have dreams that will never be realized. You be thinking a 6’4 starting QB from Santa Margaritia Trinity League needed BBT…funny stuff. That QB hasn’t paid a dime to BBT. On da otha hand has da Gomez QB from WestCo paid…. of course he has. This is a business built on exploiting kidz there aint not value added service and introduce imporoper teaching from unqualified people. Next thing you you know these companies will be preying on da elderly….oh wait BBT does that to.

      • saints Fan

        Sorry, Fred, maybe I took this too narrowly from a Football perspective since you put in the title 7v7 which is Football specific. I will tell you from first hand experience, when you come to Baseball, Basketball, Softball and Soccer, HS is far less meaningful to the college coaches and their recruitment process. I am not saying useless, but far less useful. In all 3 of those sports, the recruiting budgets of Colleges even at the D1 level is miniscule compared to Football. They do not have huge budgets to fly around and see all the talent separately. In those sports, they want to go to 1 Place and see ALL THE BEST compete against each other. This is where the birthplace of all the Showcase events popped up. The college coaches all head to one location, see the top talent and find the majority of their recruits. These 7v7 guy’s are taking their recent cue from these events with the Las Vegas events and what the guy’s at B2G are pumping. So again, I will throw out the DEPENDS phrase…. Football still has a significant HS component left in it, maybe it is the last frontier until these 7v7 genius’s throw pads on the kids and start running 11v11 full on travel schedules in the offseason. Oh crap, you know that is coming but something tells me the HS Coaches will put the squeeze on that one. For most of the other sports with limited budgets to recruit, they have long ago slipped away from the HS season other than to come out and shake hands and keep contact with players they found somewhere else.

  • Run-n-Gun

    When colleges come to campus they ask for certain things. #1 is always an updated transcript. This is key to figuring out if they have the GPA and the core classes to even get into school. #2 they always look at film. #3 they always ask about their workout habits, character, and how they prepare during the season. I had this very conversation with more than one college recruiter this week. They shook their heads at the idea of evaluating based on 7on7. They acknowledged that it is a good supplement in the off season, but nothing compares to seeing a kid play in pads and contact. With regards to getting scholarships they all said that the sentiment that a certain guy can get you a scholarship over another because they know someone is crazy. On coach described it this way ” We keep our jobs based on how well we do, we recruit the best players and regardless of where they play we know about the top level guys. Im not risking my job because some guy says he has a great player and I’m not recruiting a player from someone becasue I may have played college or HS ball with him.” The topic of transfers came up as well. The consensus was that is speaks to the character of the player and that it seems selfish. Players leaving for personal gain, leaving their friends, their teammates, their school. They said it showed a lack of loyalty and it was a red flag. While they said they would still recruit them and evaluate them, it gave them reservations. They mentioned all the Upland transfers, Scoby, Noodles, Reyna, Peyton, Brodus, Geirhart. The sense I came away from my time with them is if you are good enough to be a D1 guy, it doesn’t where you play, you will be found because social media makes it hard to not get recognized.

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      That is true. But I’m sure he reads the Rivals, etc. write ups on these kids to help him narrow down his talent.

  • Gridiron 65

    College coaches don’t pay a lick of attention to these 7on 7 leagues.College coaches are going to schools now to see players in spring practice not the 7on7 leagues. What matters to them is what the kid’s game film looks like, how the kid did during their time at the University’s summer camp and/or Jr. day. Then the coaches make there way to the schools in the spring to watch spring practice talk to the schools football coaches about grades, family situation and the question we are getting more and more is about the young mans character. How has he done day in and day out on campus and in the community. As a current coach who has coached H.S. 27 years in the valley. I can tell you kids get scholarships the same way they always have process has not changed, however with social and sports media(Twitter, Scout, Under the radar ect.) it is even easier for a kid to get exposure now, with out having to pay some one. These 7on7 “coaches” would like you to believe that it is different because thats how they make their money. Its about money to them, it’s a business, its not about education, developing responsible young men, its about money and they pray on the hopes and dreams of players and parents.

    Now is there a place for these guys in off season training, speed development?Sure, but don’t by into the “Where else can someone go from being nobody to all of a sudden being one of the top prospects in the state of California and getting recognized or I just got of the phone with a college coach and wants me to bring the kids to Alabama mentality. It easy to say those things because there are no checks and balances and these 7on7 guys know it. It is just not true, its about money and business period. Parents save your money go meet with your sons head football coach, he will give you an honest evaluation of your sons ability and IF your son is one the few kids that may have the ability to get a scholarship then your sons coach will outline the path and set a plan for it to happen. I guarantee if you son has scholarship ability it will happen with out you having to pay the price.

    • Valley411

      Great points you make. I do however have to say that some of these coaches want nothing to do with trying to get some of their kids to the next level. When I say the next level, that means any D1, D2, D3 schools or NAIA schools. They either lack the motivation, or just flat out dont care about these kids. All they want is that title of HC. Its sad, but this is very common amongst coaches. Its too far and few between coaches who will do anything they can to help a kid achieve more and give him opportunities. I must say “great job” to the HC at El Rancho for getting his kids exposure and rides to New Mexico Highlands. That must be a dream come true for these kids to play football at the next level. I’m sure that coach busted his a$$ to make that happen.

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      You make several good points and several more the require disagreement.

      Kids involved in 7 on 7 learn several things that transition into their games in the fall. Kids can even earn offers, but those offers are translated by their film or depending on the strength of the 7 on 7 coaches trust factor with the school making the offer.

      I’m not completely sold on the merits of every 7 on 7 club, but some do a great deal of prepping of their kids and scheduling them against the best competition. Frat Boyz in Riverside, by Chris Claiborne is one of those organizations that physically train their kids, work on plays, and he’s always talking to them about the importance of maintaining their grades and getting their education. There are several others that I’m aware of that do the same, if not better training for their players, B2G in Los Angeles and Ground Zero in Rancho Cucamonga.

      As for high school coaches, not every coach puts forth the effort to help their players get recruited. I’ve heard horror story after horror story about coaches that didn’t lift a finger to help their players. It ended up being the parents and the players themselves that pushed that cart down the road. Unfortunately that coach reaps the benefit of his player getting a chance to play college football whether it’s D1, D2 or DIII.

      One thing I will say 7 on 7 is not the enemy of high school programs. Kids that participate in that program generally come out much better than when they went in. If more coaches worked with them, instead of against them, helped them develop standardized rules and such, it would be a much better product and process for everyone.

  • HSFootballFan

    I just had a conversation with a college coach this week about this topic. He said 7 on 7 is not real football and a waste of time. Sure its a good way to stay into shape. However, they recruit players based on game film, what they do at their recruiting camps, and grades. I’m sure the parents would like to believe different, but this is the reality. Of course these 7 on 7 coaches aren’t going to say anything while they are cashing the parents checks. The bottom line is if you are good enough to play at the next level the college recruiters will find you. Also playing in a competitive league on a prestigious football program helps receive exposure too. The cream always rises to the top.

    • sir lancelot

      On point! What parents need to do is let their kid ball out, get good grades 3.5 or above and they will find you. Most important the kid needs to have heart for the sport and athletic ability to compete. Parents shouldn’t fool themselves with paying these 7 on 7 guys in hopes in getting a scholarship

    • Not So Fast My Friend

      I’ve talked to more than a dozen college coaches and I’ve never heard one of them say that. Most embrace it because the 7 on 7 kids compete against the best talent in whatever region they’re competing in. The 7 on and the reports that come out of it, via Rivals, Scouts, ESPN, 24/7, is one of several filters they use to identify kids they may be interested in.

  • South of covina

    Charter Oak baseball coach is a joke, a true travel ball coach has connections That’s what separates the primadonna coaches from the ones with passion.

  • South of covina

    Charter Oak baseball coach is a joke, a true travel ball coach has connections That’s what separates the primadonna coaches from the ones with passion.


    It’s an interesting topic. When I scouted in 2008, 2009 in the valley, I never recommended any coach to offer a kid based on 7 on 7 competition. What I did was, if there was a kid that caught my eye that I had not seen before, I would go home that day and see if there was any highlight tapes of the kid online. If there was I would watch it. If I liked what I saw, I then went to the game tape. If the game tape matched up, then I would do some investigative work with coaches that played against the kid and see what they thought of him. I would also call the head coach (or I would make an arrangement to see the kid workout in the weight room) and get his thoughts. If everything passed muster, then I would send the film out and make the college coaches aware of the kid.

    To think that a kid is going to get offered based on 7 on 7 travel ball is heading down a road that is not very good. College coaches will want to look at the game film and then there are the character checks that coaches make as well as checking the transcript to make sure the kid qualifies academically.

    What the 7 on 7 competition is good for is getting kids mentally ready for the upcoming season. The player can also work on his fundamentals and techniques. Most of the 7 on 7 teams have coaches that know what they are doing. I see it as practice before spring ball starts. Now, I can safely tell you that when Keyshawn Johnson and Brian Kelly ran the 1924 team in the San Fernando Valley, he never charged a kid a penny to being on the team. But, who wouldn’t want to get some coaching from someone like him. I visited one of his practices and he worked just as hard as any HS coach I’ve seen.

    If 7 on 7 teams are charging an arm and a leg, then that is wrong! They want your money and are not concerned about the welfare of your kid.

    That is my feeling on the situation, I hope you took something out of it!!

  • Rugby Guy

    Leaving aside recruiting and connections, I’m sure that 7 on 7 is reasonably useful for QB, DBs, and receivers. It’s not “real football”, but it’s still valuable to get practice reading and completing passes against a motivated defense.

    That said, I find it remarkable that more football coaches aren’t pushing their other kids into playing rugby in the off-season. It’s a great way to get running backs more carries and improve their vision, to get linebackers lots of practice making open field tackles, and to make linemen run. Not to mention that a season of running and tackling without pads will pay off in all sorts of ways for a football player when he gets to play behind a facemask again.

    It’s certainly a better way to train in the off-season than playing baseball.

  • saints Fan

    Interesting Topic, but Fred you are Making it too General. Some 7v7 guy’s are working it hard for the kids, some are working it hard for themselves to either promote their bottom line on training revenue, etc. Some HS Coaches work it to get their kids to the next level, some are just working it for themselves be top dog HC. Bottom Line, if a Kid has D1 Skills, it is going to show up whether it is on 7v7 or on Friday Nights. 7on7 may get a kid some attention, but tell you what, without Friday Night Film to back it up a player isn’t going to get a darn thing. QB’s can look like superstars in 7v7 with no one rushing at them, no lineman to look over, etc… we all know some of those. Another answer is it DEPENDS…. Well, I know for a Fact of a few players who are going to play at the next level because of the work of their 7v7 Coaches. But also know for a fact those College Coaches still wanted to see Friday Night Film. Then you have the Long Snapper from Damien who has his ride because of a Specialized Position Coach. Then there are 2 Kids from San Dimas — yep never reported, that the SD Assistant Coach sent out their highlight films, worked his rear off for them and both of them are going to play at the next level ON SCHOLARSHIP. So that HS Coach get’s all the Cred ! Feel D1 is a different story all together, always has been always will. DII & NAIA your HS Coach if he cares enough can make a HUGE contribution. In the end, The KIDS have to work the class room, work the football field and work life regardless of whether it is their HS coach or the 7v7 guy “repping” them.