Recently my son participated in his first ever combine. A combine is where you can obtain your measurables. They include, the 40-yard dash, agility (short shuttle), 3-cone drill (L-Cone drill), bench press or power ball (Used at Nike SPARQ Combines), and the vertical.

There are many another measurables but these are ones that you will typically see for high school combines. I felt as a rising 9th grader that Bryson needed to understand and evaluate himself from some sort of starting point. What were his measurables? Would he run fast enough?

Did he have the techniques down pat? All of these questions definitely made me nervous, because these measurable are part of what college coaches’ use to evaluate your athlete and used as part of the equation for a D1 football scholarship.

On several occasions my son had been hand timed by his trainers, but I felt he needed to experience first hand not only what it took to compete in a combine, but also a chance for him to measure himself against others, those that he eventually would be competing against for a D1 football scholarship.

I refer to DI scholarships because that is my son’s goal. There are plenty of other schools that include DI-AA, DII and NAIA that give football scholarship money. Be on the lookout for a future article, where I will be covering more about those various divisions and what type of scholarship money is available.

How important are measurables? The measuring an athlete’s measurables historically has been a part of one of the largest football organizations… the NFL. What’s known today as the NFL Scout Combine began in the 1980’s. The 40-yard dash is one of the most important aspects of the combine. Coaches use the 40-yard dash to determine not only speed, but also how explosive an athlete is. It’s not always the measurable that determines whether a college coach is interested in you as an athlete, but it always helps to have good numbers. Based on a study completed by NCSA Recruiting, there are ranges of measurables for each division that coaches are looking for. Their site shows how coaches measure for D I and D I-AA by division and position.

To Scratch or Not To Scratch? This is where I typically differ in opinion from many others. You will hear at a combine, “Can I scratch my 40?” Most combines will give you the option to scratch any results that you don’t want published online for the worldwide web to see. Yes, the majority of combines publish combine results online, making it easily accessible for coaches or scouting services to see your measurables.

Typically if you do not scratch, you don’t get the option to NOT publish your results all together. The first thing that comes to my mind is why did they scratch? Was their score that bad?, especially if both attempts are scratched. Some say that it’s better to scratch because you don’t want coaches seeing a result that might have been a bad day for you at the combine. It’s all a matter of preference and in my opinion what stage you are in the recruiting process.

Preparing for a combine is important and can help you on your college football-recruiting journey. But remember it’s only a part of the 360-degree evaluation that coaches do in their recruiting process.

Stay tuned for our next addition of “A College Football Recruiting Journey – The 360 Degree Evaluation: Character”

Notable Combines:

Nike SPARQ Combine (Free)

VTO Sports Combine

The Factory Atlanta

*Notable meaning that we have participated in these combines and they have been well organized and at a reasonable cost.