High school football players who want to play for college are often faced with unfamiliar terms when engaging in the college football recruiting process. In particular, you will often hear of the “red jersey”, as well as the “gray jersey” and the “green jersey,” terms that refer to the player development and recruitment strategies that many universities use to recruit players for football.

The NCAA (National College Athletics Association) rules allow a college football player to complete his four seasons of eligibility over five years. That fifth year in which the player does not compete on the field, although he practices and receives his scholarship like any other player on a soccer scholarship, is called the redshirt year. New recruits typically wear red in their freshman year because they tend to take more time to develop as college players who can contribute to the success of the team. A freshman who plays in games during his freshman year on campus (does not have a red jersey) will have only three additional years to play, but a freshman who does not play during his freshman year in college (has a red jersey ) Yes, he will do it. I still have four more years of eligibility to play after that first year.

A high school player receives a green jersey or is “green jersey” when he graduates early from high school and therefore waives his spring semester there in order to enroll in college that semester. Almost unheard of until recent years, the greenshirt allows high school players to participate in spring practice with their varsity team, develop their soccer skills and understand the team system during spring and summer, and possibly begin playing. at the games the following fall. This system gives the player and varsity an early start in preparing to play college football, but comes at the cost of leaving high school early, which may or may not be the best long-term strategy for a student.

A player gets a gray jersey or is “gray jersey” when he signs a letter of intent on signing day in February, but does not enter college full time until the following spring rather than the following fall. You don’t receive a scholarship, practice with the team, or take a full-time college course load until your spring enrollment. Making a player a gray jersey allows a university to sign a player, but delay their game in games for another year. In effect, the gray jersey gives a player another year of practice before playing, as the five-year eligibility period required by the NCAA does not begin until the student enrolls full-time. College programs that have already awarded close to the maximum number allowed under NCAA rules are forced to sign a small recruiting class, and are more interested in players who are willing to play in gray jerseys.

The increasing use of these strategies is another indicator of the continuous changes in football recruitment in recent years. High school players, coaches, parents, and others should get to know them and know the options each offers for a soccer recruit.


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