The ACES Nation Recruiting Series: Putting together the right highlight package

Landing a college scholarship can be a difficult journey. Grades and playing ability are just part of the equation. Exposure to college coaches can be another factor. This series, sponsored by ACES Nation, looks at different aspects of recruiting in various sports. Today, the focus is on putting together a football highlight package that will grab the attention of college coaches. 

For high school football players entering their junior and senior seasons, the summer often includes a whirlwind tour of camps to gain exposure from college coaches. 

It also is a time when players compile video highlights to send off to schools in hopes of getting noticed. 

So what are some tips when putting together a recruiting video? 

Rob Ianello, general manager of Kansas’ football program, weighed in on the subject. 

Instead of thinking about it more as a highlight package, consider the video as more of an audition. 

“They should think of it as an evaluation tape,” Ianello said. “Regardless of what position they play, they want to put the things on the tape that allow them to be evaluated.”

The Jayhawks are starting to put more emphasis on landing local prospects with Gibbs’ defensive lineman Marcus Calvin signing with the program as part of the 2023 class. 

Ianello has played a role thanks to his knowledge of the area. He recruited Tampa Bay as the head coach at Akron (2010-11) and as an assistant at Buffalo (2015-20).

Another tip Ianello suggested is not to feel as if everything needs to be condensed. 

“(The video) needs to be long enough,” Ianello said. 

The package should include not only the highlight but also the technique that went into making the play, Ianello said. This is partially important for offensive linemen. 

“If you’re an offensive lineman, then show run and pass blocking,” he said. “We want to see things athletically, such as moving your feet in space. Bending and striking, things like that.”