Most of us that are college football fans have dreamed of making the game winning touchdown pass or the game saving interception in front of 70,000 + fans in the stadium and millions more perhaps on television. Maybe we pictured ourselves running out of the tunnel before the game at our favorite teams stadium while the crowd is screaming so loud it is deafening. Very exciting stuff for sure. But for those very reasons and more, they are the toughest opportunities to come by.
The highest level of college football is referred to as Division I - Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). These are the schools that most of us probably grew up watching and are a part of conferences like the SEC, ACC, Big Ten etc. They generally have the largest alumni and fan support and generate large sums of money in the form of donations and income from networks like ESPN among other things. They also tend to have the largest stadiums and nicest facilities. Each team can have a maximum of 85 FULL scholarships at one time and are not able to give partials as with DI-FCS, D2, and NAIA. So for this reason, along with the reasons mentioned above these rosters spots are in high demand.
To put this in perspective. Lets say your son is a high school QB. Arguably the most scrutinized position in football. His dream is to play at the FBS level. In 2017 there were 130 FBS teams. That means out of all the high school QB's in the country in any given year, there will only be approx 130 or so high schools seniors that receive a college scholarship to play QB. Slightly more than two per state on average! That number will vary from year to year based on a teams needs but generally each team takes one QB per year. So as you can see, the odds are not in your favor.
The players receiving scholarships at this level tend to not only be good athletes but either currently have all the measurables (height, weight, speed) and/or show the most potential. You may be a great right tackle at 6'1" 220 pounds. Maybe even better than the 6'5 280 pound left tackle on your team that can dunk a basketball. But take a guess on who Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma or USC is coming after. It's a hard reality to face and even harder discussion sometimes to have with your son. But being realistic is important. Not everyone can play at the level plus there is some very good football and some amazing schools at levels other than FBS. It's best to be honest with yourself or your son as to what is realistic. Get input from people you trust that have experience in this area. Due some research on your own. Go to an FBS college camp and see the types of athletes that are there and ask your self this question honestly. Can I play at this level?
Also, has I mentioned in creating a plan, figure out whats most important in your journey. Maybe ask your self the following questions; Do I want to play early? Am I willing to wait a few years and develop to hopefully have a shot later? Do I just want the big football school experience and am OK with never seeing the field? Answering these may help determine what level may provide the best opportunity to reach your goals.