This is a common question athletes have when they finish high school and they are thinking about their future with college football. A JUCO is short for junior college, this is the most common option I feel for guys who did not receive a scholarship after their senior year. A Prep school or “post grad” is a school like IMG academy. You essentially reclassify and enter college the following year. IMG has multiple football teams but they do have a post graduate team. We are going to talk about the positives and negatives of each option and hopefully help you make a decision! I hope this can help.
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Ok so I will start with a JUCO. Junior college football is a lower tier of college football obviously, but it is still college football. The 2 years (maximum, 1 year minimum) you spend at a JUCO playing football will count towards your NCAA eligibility. You can red shirt or grey shirt at a JUCO to get that extra year of time, but let’s say you play there for 2 years- when you transfer to a bigger school you only have 2 more years of NCAA eligibility to play. The positives of this are that you can graduate faster, develop and it is a much cheaper alternative than walking on to a 4 year college. The negatives are obviously that you lose eligibility.
A post grad or prep school, most common on the east coast, is essentially an extra year of high school. You take an extra year or two to develop, play football and you get to keep your NCAA eligibility. SEC schools love recruiting kids out of those prep schools because they are honestly full grown men by the time they get to college. You figure they are entering their freshman year at 20-21 years old while a regular kid might be entering it at 17-19. Those extra years are huge for development. I personally think the prep school is the best option IF you can afford it. It’s probably going to be around 30-50k a year for tuition. So that’s the drawback- it isn’t cheap. If you can afford that, I highly recommend a prep school to develop after high school but JUCO is not a bad option either- you just lose eligibility.
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