T Nation

Low Division College Football

Anyone ever play ‘small-time’ college football? I’m talking for like Frostburg State, or West Bum Falls College.

  1. What was your experience like?

  2. Would you go to a bigger/better school and not play football if you could do it over?

My neighbor’s son got accepted to the Univ. of MD but can’t decide between going there and to like, Beaver Falls where he can play football…

I played one year at Illinois College. Coming from Texas it was a step down from what it was like playing in high school. Not the same excitement. However, I learned more in that one year than I did my other 3 years of college. The small class sizes was priceless.

I want to know to. I got this division III school Methodist university’s coach calling me and we talk. I’m not sure if I should go there because I have the size and speed everything to play division II or I at certain positions. Plus even though I love to play football I always put academics first and I could always walk-on to the NC State’s football team and tryout since that school is my first choice.

My Ag. teacher know the professors and the main people there to get me in since I already have very good grades enough to get in. I’d also like to add to this thread, what are the chances of making it to the NFL from a division III school? how many NFL players have done it?

sed26, not many people, if any, have made it to the NFL via D3.

My brother is currently in talks with Benedictine, Albion, and a few other schools (I think one is Mount Union, but I’m not sure) about playing D3 college ball. Also, my high school D-coordinator played for Emery and Henry and said he loved it. My brother seems to think he’s going to enjoy it, and I think he will.

I’d recommend it to anyone. I even thought about transferring to wherever my bro went to play with him (we always had fun jacking O-Lines up during games), but I figure that since I enjoy my university and the education I’m getting, it’s not worth it.

Still, I say go for it, even if your chances of playing in the NFL are slim.

I didn’t go to a D-3 school (and obviously did not play at one) but I have good friends who did.

Pros - you get to play, alot, assuming you are reasonably good. I know a ton of people that would have gotten a great education and continued to play sports had they went to a smaller college. Could be worth it to be able to play.

Cons - the talent level is very uneven. O-Lines have all shapes and sizes, from 300 pound dumptrucks to short anvil types to medium-sized warm bodies that get plugged in because they aren’t very good at skill/big skill positions.

As Doogie alluded to, Texas high school football may be better, more consistent competition. Word from some of the folks I know that played at that level said the vast range of talent on the field really affected the game.

I would check into Maryland’s transfer policies, and see if he can’t enroll and play ball at the little school, and then transfer to Maryland once he’s had his fill of football.

Or he could look into walking on at Maryland, if he isn’t afraid of attempting D-1 ball.

I personally took Option 2 from your first post, and would make the same decision a second time. The opportunities I got from attending a large University outweighed the experience of playing ball at Podunk State.

Most of the people who suggest that he’ll regret it for life if he doesn’t pursue football to the bitter end are overly romanticizing the game.

[quote]tGunslinger wrote:
Or he could look into walking on at Maryland, if he isn’t afraid of attempting D-1 ball.[/quote]

Well, to be able to walk-on at D1, he has to be invited. So, first and foremost, he have to contact the coaching staff. Then he needs to submit game film or highlight film of him playing. After that, he may be invited. If not, it’s a no-go.

I miss football, yeah, but I don’t really regret skipping D3 in order to focus on my pursuit of a higher education. So far I’m liking it here at UCF, and I really wouldn’t change a thing. My brother, on the other hand, might be totally devastated if he can’t play D3.

fwiw the kid in question is MAYBE 5’8" and a meatball at 180lbs…he may weigh more…but…he’d get his head handed to him by a Division I monster…

[quote]sen say wrote:
fwiw the kid in question is MAYBE 5’8" and a meatball at 180lbs…he may weigh more…but…he’d get his head handed to him by a Division I monster…[/quote]

Hmm, well when I was playing high school football, I was 5’6-7" and between 180 and 190 playing offensive and defensive lines. The way I see it, if he’s serious about play D3, he’s going to need to put on some solid weight. What position does he play now?

[quote]Padilla7921 wrote:
What position does he play now?
[/quote]

I think he plays offensive and defensive line…and, from the highlight tape his dad sent me, not too well…

Remember, the chances of playing professional football coming out of a BCS university is slim. Unless the kid dreams of playing pro ball, his best choice is to seek out the place that gives him the best education. Some like small classes, others do well in a large university environment. I know this post is about football, but education should come first.

I got an offer to play at a D-3 school down in Virginia. Didn’t take up the offer, (and I LOVED football, ate, breathed and slept it) but regret that I never did. I should of played for at least a year. I’m an idiot and will regret it probably for the rest of my life. And if he’s 5’8" 180 and playing anything other than a skill position or some type of speed position, he’s most likely not suited for a D-1 school. He’ll probably get killed.

I played D3 ball for a year before transferring to Ohio State and hanging up the cleates…not much room for a 5’6" white guy in D1.

I’m not familiar with the schools you mention since they’re not exactly on ESPN, but my advice would be that if he has the size and isn’t afraid to utilize his ability to play multiple positions and just go with what the coaching staff needs/thinks he’s a good fit for, would be go D1 for sure.

If he were to make the decision to go D3 it definitely should only be for a championship caliber team so that if he has the goods for the next level there is a better chance he’ll get a look.

[quote]sen say wrote:
Padilla7921 wrote:
What position does he play now?

I think he plays offensive and defensive line…and, from the highlight tape his dad sent me, not too well…[/quote]

Ya, umm, now that I saw this post. NO WAY IN HELL would he make it at a D-1 school. Probably won’t even make it at a D-3 school unless he gains another 30 pounds and plays D-end or gains 50 pounds and plays center as a bowling ball. I played O-line in H.S. at 5’10" 215 at the Guard position. I ate those little 180 pounders that played the line because they couldn’t play anything else. Hell, I ate 300 pounders playing the D-tackle position, just didn’t have the extra size height or weight wise to make it into a better college program. If I was 6’2"-6’3", fucking right I would have though.

[quote]sen say wrote:
fwiw the kid in question is MAYBE 5’8" and a meatball at 180lbs…he may weigh more…but…he’d get his head handed to him by a Division I monster…

I think he plays offensive and defensive line…and, from the highlight tape his dad sent me, not too well…[/quote]

LOL, this changes the situation just a tad.

If the kid still has the itch to play, he can find an intramural team or some other competition. He should definitely be picking his school based on something other than football.

Just talked to his dad…he said he’s ‘listed’ as 5’10", 255lbs…in reality it’s about 5’8", 240 lbs…said he would kinda prefer the kid to go to UofMD, but wants to ‘reward’ him for getting a 3.8 throughout High School and being a great kid and so IF he wants to go the D3 football route, he supports it.

[quote]sen say wrote:
I think he plays offensive and defensive line…and, from the highlight tape his dad sent me, not too well…[/quote]

His best bet is to TRY to play D3. You say he doesn’t play too well, but that’s also subjective. I don’t know, I think it’s worth a shot sending tape in. He needs to start talking to coaches, both at this school and in college.

D1 is out of the question though. Hate to break it to him.

[quote]sen say wrote:
Just talked to his dad…he said he’s ‘listed’ as 5’10", 255lbs…in reality it’s about 5’8", 240 lbs…said he would kinda prefer the kid to go to UofMD, but wants to ‘reward’ him for getting a 3.8 throughout High School and being a great kid and so IF he wants to go the D3 football route, he supports it.[/quote]

Hmm, I thought you said he was smaller. Like…60lbs smaller. If he’s a good athlete (for his size) and his strong and game-smart, it’s definitely worth a shot at playing D3.

I played D3 ball in college. I was recruited by D2 and D3 schools and even one D1 school in NY. In the end I chose the best academic school and went with that. I never regretted it at all and would advise the same.

I enjoyed the academics and loved playing football. Played LB and got to run a little at FB too. Never would have happened at a bigger school.

D3 competition is pretty good. I was 6’1" in school at played outside LB at 235 ibs. Most of the line was a little taller and the smallest guy on the line was 265ibs. All in decent shape and knew the game.

A good friend was about the same size as me and played D1 ball. Started two years for his school. He was a step or two faster then me in the 40 which made the difference.

Funny story: I went to camp and met my roomate. We decided to hit the gym and we were bench pressing. One of the seniors came in and chatted us up. Said he was the strongest guy on the team and benched 295ibs. We looked at each other and pumped out reps of 315 why he watched. This was in 1980. We had a lot of looks at practice the next day. but they were 4 and 4 when I was a freshman and 7 and 1 when we were seniors.

he might as well try. if it doesn’t work out, he can always transfer to maryland after.

i played two years of baseball at junior college, then instead of accepting scholarships to play D2, D3 or NAIA ball, i decided that i had to play D1. i definitely have the talent but not the size to earn a D1 scholarship. i walked on at indiana university, and left the team the day before the team was picked because playing D1 wasn’t everything i thought it was. the program was a mess.

at any rate, i transferred back home and am going to play D3 ball. it’s a better fit, and i am much happier.

D1 is absolutely not everything.