There are circumlocutory views on 7-on-7 football which at tournaments are contests that are 20 minutes of seven players on each side of the football. These series of contests begin at each team’s 40-yard line and there is no tackling, there are no linemen, and the players dress in skintight shirts and shorts or tights and sometimes soft-shell branded headgear. Quarterbacks have only four seconds to throw to a offensive player, while defenders match up with pass-catchers in coverage, putting each athlete to the test in one-on-one scenarios.
So why the ban on all 7-on-7?
The involvement of apparel companies and other brands wanting rights to see rising stars in their gear which is largely unregulated. In addition there are fast talking street agents whom have become more involved in selling athletes and parents the opportunity for players to increase their chances of earning scholarship offers. So parents are becoming easy targets to open their wallet as college tuition is North of $30K per year. So $2500-4,000 seems like a good gamble but Power 5 coaches say otherwise:
Stanford’s David Shaw is among the college coaches who have spoken out publicly against it. In 2016, Shaw said a player’s performance in 7-on-7 means nothing to him.
“I will also never ever, ever have a recruiting conversation with a 7-on-7 coach,” Shaw said. “I talk to high school coaches, counselors and parents.”
Heard David Shaw (Stanford HFC) talk this weekend. He is NOT a big fan of 7v7 in terms of recruiting… pic.twitter.com/PdCTA6hGE5
— Coach Haugh (@CoachKHaugh) March 6, 2016
Clemson Dabo Swinney ACC Dabo Swinney June 13
Dabo: “You’re not going to last very long if you’re making evaluations from a 7-on-7 tape or combine stuff. You better see who can play between the lines” (Forward to 13:01 for comments on 7 on 7)
An FBI probe into recruits receiving money and other benefits disallowed under NCAA rules plagued AAU basketball and now this exhibition circuit called 7-on-7 football is under scrutiny. The same observations in travel sports namely basketball has shifted by coaches to warn parents and athletes that combines and 7-on-7 football is NOT in their best interests. “…The combine mess and recruiting rankings (Chuckles Swinney) at the end of the day you gotta be a football player” Clemson HC Dabo Swinney.
The momentum of combines and 7-on-7 football is to make money off of naive parents and players. Every year there are parents with a lack of experience in how to be recruited. Often they are sold a service that could have been done on their own but fall victim to what is easy or a good sales pitch by a street hustler whom mentions he has an influence with college coaches. Even to the point where social media postings and highlight videos are posted to Twitter throughout the day.
Many high school coaches have made it easier for players to access video for college coaches to watch high school game footage which means that players don’t need 7-on-7 to attract recruiting attention. Instead they need to be participating in team activities as opposed to me, me, me events that are self serving and unregulated.
Louisiana’s is voting next January on a proposed ban on all 7-on-7 competitions. In addition many coaches in Texas has been vocal and this sums it up best: “There are too many people out there with ulterior motives, and we are trying to keep that element out,” said Rockwall (Texas) Coach Rodney Webb. “The issue is that college coaches and high school coaches have to work together, and if college coaches are going to give 7-on-7 coaches a microphone and a platform, then heaven help us.”
Some of these guys try to legitimize themselves by taking photos with coaches like last December at Texas A&M with Coach Fisher and again months later with Texas Coach Tom Herman. In the end some high school coaches are disappointed in the stuggle as parents expectations exceed their true abilities.
"Sometimes poeple have a lot of measurables but they are not good football players, said Clemson HC Dabo Swinney".
So you might remember that the next time you open up the checkbook or miss a teams OTA. Also remember David Shaw said. “I talk to high school coaches, counselors and parents.” This is usually the sentiment of most college recruiting coaches during their evaluation periods. One thing that is for sure, a high GPA and college board exam in the ACT and SAT will garner college admissions and academic monies.
Be wise and be educated to avoid the wise guys trying to pry your wallet open and remember, If its FREE its me. While 7-on-7 football and combines gain popularity there are some good outfits that love the game and will roll up the sleeves to help you succeed and do it for FREE. Treat 7-on-7 football as a learning tool that helps in one-on-one scenarios. It has little value in recruiting other than you can pass or catch a ball. Save your hard earned monies to travel to college campus events in front of coaches that are decision makers and not some third party handler.
We look forward to the day when corporate sponsored events allow players to train or participate for FREE and the elements of monies do not cloud the judgements of others like many subscription based business’ and handlers tend to do.
Until next year and the vote to ban 7-on-7 just remember every college coach watches varsity video, so make sure the goal is to get noticed on game day by working hard in the offseason with the coach that will be entertaining these college coaches during the season or submitting your profile for review. Its the high school coaches, counselors and academics that should matter most in the world or recruiting.