One of the most popular recruiting misconceptions involves highlight videos. The utterly incorrect consensus is that “college coaches don’t like highlight videos” because well edited clips create an unrealistic glimpse at a kid. Even if that’s true, which is debatable (we know plenty of college coaches who believe they can tell a good player instantly based on a single play), the reality is that college coaches (particularly at division one schools) receive hundreds of random and unannounced packages in the mail from kids they’ve never heard of, and there literally aren’t enough hours in the day to adequately evaluate all full game films and follow through on every lead.
Not to mention, and this is critical to understand, it is a fact that at least 90% of the kids who send non-requested game film to division one schools are not good enough athletically to merit a division one scholarship. As such, college coaches are somewhat justifiably cynical about random leads and no college coaches consider an exhaustive film critique of a random lead to be a productive or wise use of their time.
Of course, a college coach certainly won’t offer a scholarship based on highlight clips alone, but often times, a coach will become intrigued by a player’s highlights and request full game film (if a coach requests full game film, the odds increase dramatically that he or she will actually make time to watch it) and/or invite that kid to an on-campus prospect camp and/or make plans to see that prospect play in person. A highlight tape is therefore the best way to pique a college coach’s interest who had previously never heard of you, and if a college coach requests full game film, or invites you to a camp, or makes specific plans to see you play live (either with your high school team, your club team, or at a showcase), you will have an incalculable advantage over the majority of kids who merely wish to be “discovered.”