Weekly Recruiting Thoughts from Legendary Recruiting Coordinator Bob Chmiel
“Should I attend combines?”
For the past twelve years as I traveled about the country speaking to young men and their families, this is one of the most frequently asked questions. Basically, combines are a direct reflection of the NFL combine to which college athletes are invited. That combine is located in Indianapolis, attendance is based by invite-only, and every NFL team attends. A great performance at this combine can mean an individual can enhance his draft status. Like NFL combines, high school combines reflect the same testing stations: the forty-yard dash, a three cone drill, a bench press test, the vertical jump, the long jump, a shuttle run, and later position skill drills. Some combines may add events or eliminate some events, but generally speaking, this is the primary group. Your height and weight will also be recorded. Trust me when I say that the event is focused and can be very intense, as there is much at stake for NFL prospects.
Should you attend a combine? Absolutely! It is an opportunity to display your skills and to compare yourself to other people at your position or in your age group. My experience with high school combines has a history of over twelve years and stems from having attended David Schuman’s NUC Sports combines. If you’re looking for a good combine, check out his website – I know there will be an event somewhere near you.
At what age should you attend a combine? The answer is NOW. In this day and age in recruiting you need to have measurable evidence for college coaches right from the get-go. Remember though, if you are a freshmen or eighth grader, don’t become discouraged if your numbers do not reflect those of upperclassmen in attendance. Start by comparing yourself to others in your age bracket, then move on and work on improving.
Finally, remember this: “one combine does not a prospect make”. Take the numbers of your most recent combine and use those as your bottom line, then incorporate your training regimen to improve those numbers. When you are certain you are able to put up better numbers, attend another combine and do so. And when those numbers improve, make sure they get put in front of coaches – they will be impressed!
– Coach Bob Chmiel
About Coach Chmiel
Bob Chmiel is one of the most respected Recruiting Coordinators in the history of college football, having held the position at Northern Illinois University, Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Notre Dame. During his illustrious career, his teams appeared in fourteen college bowl games (including six Rose Bowls). He has over twenty-five years of experience working with football recruiting, and now, he serves as Dark Horse Sports Recruiting’s Director of Football Recruiting. For more information on Coach Chmiel, visit darkhorserecruits.com.