Find The Right Fit

A guide for high school athletes - make the right college decision by having the facts about all 755 NCAA and NAIA Football teams.

Good information is hard to find during the recruiting process. Being proactive and researching football programs can mean the difference between playing in college for four years or finding a poor fit (or no roster spot at all). Don't waste the time and money you will spend on campus visits and summer camps by targeting teams that are a poor fit. Research better opportunities.

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Lateral College Football Guide


1,556 pages covering every NCAA football program: 755 teams, 75,000+ players, 72 conferences. All in one place to reference during your college search.

What's in the Guide?

The Guide presents a 2-page profile for each NCAA team, as well as aggregated analysis organizing all NCAA teams by state, conference, win percentage, and by how many upperclassmen vs. underclassmen they have in each position group. Here is what you will find:

  1. Team-by-Team Recruiting Footprints: 664 maps show the hometown states of every player on a roster. Learn the historical recruiting patterns of any team. Use this information to determine whether a school's coaching staff typically keeps tabs on your city or if you'll need to be more proactive to reach them.
  2. Team-by-Team Position vs. Class Year Grid: Analyze the needs of each team by position. Which schools will be graduating players at your position soon, and which teams appear to have immediate playing time opportunities?
  3. Nationwide Position vs. Class Year Grid All teams in one table showing you which programs have the greatest gaps between number of upperclassmen and underclassmen. Rank the relative likelihood of school's having opportunties at your position. 10 position groups and all 664 teams ranked.
  4. Recent Win-Loss Records and Head Coaches: Who are the Oregon's, Alabama's, and Boise State's of D1-FCS, DII, and DIII? View Division-wide rankings based on 5-year win percentages to learn the recent state of any program.
  5. Every Roster: Team profiles include the team roster, with player positions, height, weight, hometowns, and year. Links to all 664 official athletic websites also included to make it easy to continue your research and dig deeper into a given player or program.
  6. Search by State, Conference: The downloadable pdf version allows quickly finding teams by state or by conference to help you get a comprehensive view of all teams in a geographic region or conference of your interest.


  • Th 46266 bfe5f7876f9af03486fb4637bea427ce3692d00e1a78d090b8d8d7d09df113df Recruiting Footprint - University of Pittsburgh: Strong PA and OH recruiting presence, few west coast pipelines, but more nationwide reach than some (see Baylor below).
  • Th 28090 8bdebabfb32ae87b2a4afc7261d146f4c3a4454e66629600349d659b29e44059 Recruiting Footprint - Baylor: Good information to know if you want to play at Baylor but live outside of Texas. Don't expect them to be scouring your city.
  • Top qb pos year ca54b65690a687c59d721a078a4f047e87ae1b3fea5607be09650e48a9e4590a

    Above: largest pending QB gaps. Below: most underclassmen-heavy at QB.

    Bottom qb pos year d5b292e00903cd74ce3fdbedd84570ab490e710961e173987e749c7471716578 Nationwide Position vs. Year Grid for Quarterbacks: This example shows number of QBs carried on each roster by class year and sorted by the largest difference between upper and underclassmen. It can give some insight into teams looking to fill voids in coming years. All teams and position groups included.
  • San diego pos matrix 8808674fd1ba1d4913f96e073bab6a1f32e8ed3ba5e848a5b90eab506778f515 Sample of Team-by-Team Position vs. Year Grid - Univ of San Diego: Graduating 1/3 of WR's, young at O-Line. Appears that underclassmen (or transfer) Tight Ends will get the playing time next year. Are those numbers at K/P normal? Relative to other programs, that is more kickers and punters than average, and younger... something you would only be able to know with all team data in hand, which the College Guide gives you. Included in their team profile is a link to the USD official site so you can dig deeper into the player bio's and stats of each player where interested.


The story of the Lateral College Guide

When I was researching colleges as a Senior in high school, there were several key things about the school I chose, Cornell, that ended up having a huge impact on my athletic experience there.

Most of the research I did was the manual process many of you are going through looking at team rosters and coaches on athletic websites, combing through lists of schools and wondering "could I play there?"

I was a 5'9" wide receiver from Boise, Idaho, and I wasn't recruited by Cornell. But there were several reasons I left Boise confident it was the ideal fit. In the end, that calculation came to fruition: I ended up playing in every game as a true freshman and graduated four years later as a team captain. Here are several things I saw while researching Cornell that made it a great fit, along with ways you can now do similar research on every NCAA school using the Lateral College Guide:

Position Group / Class Year makeup: Cornell had only 4 returning WR's on the roster when I was coming out of high school - a more typical number for a college roster is 10-14, so I knew it was a place where underclassmen and newcomers would have a chance to contribute.

Recruiting Footprint: Cornell didn't send a coach to Boise to recruit me. I initiated the contact to let them know I wanted to walk-on. Having seen the experience of my older brother who also traveled across the country to play football (at Delaware), and having learned about athletic department budgets and recruiting practices from my father who has been a collegiate athletic director for 34 years, I knew in this specific situation it was not something to be discouraged about. Coaching staffs have limited time, resources, and connections - and they end up focusing their efforts in predictable regions each year. Researching where Cornell players came from proved that their historical recruiting footprint was almost nonexistent in Idaho, so having to be proactive was not a sign to give up on them.

Players From Your City / State: My brother was four years older playing at Delaware, another FCS school, so I was fortunate to be able to compare his path as a player who went from our high school and Boise compeition to excelling at the FCS level. This helped my confidence that I might have a chance on an FCS team.

The Guide aims to help you quickly identify which teams have players from your state so that you can look into how their experiences have played out.

Head Coach and Recent Win/Loss history: Jim Knowles had just finished his first year as head coach, during which he led Cornell to one of the largest turnarounds in Ivy League history. It looked like a program heading in a positive direction. This also played out in actuality as our class had one of the better four year runs in the last decade at Cornell, with just one losing season in our time there.

Roster Makeup: The prior year, the two leading receivers at Cornell were similar style receivers, both 5'9", so I knew they ran a system that utilized smaller slot receivers, and I was comfortable I wouldn't be overlooked based on size alone.

The ideal fit made Cornell a place that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I graduated four years later with an engineering degree. That led to grad school at Stanford where I was in the engineering school and led a team to programmatically gather, clean, and organize data on every college athlete in the country. This Guide stems from that 3-year data gathering effort, with a goal to aid your college research process by making data gathering and analysis of every school across metrics like those listed above possible.

The cost of going through this process blind can be high. Of the 9 high school classmates of mine that joined a college roster, 2 of us found a team where we stayed for four years. I saw what happens with many athletes who end up landing at a school that is convenient (but not ideal) simply because they didn't have enough information to know what else was out there.

Transferring can cost several semester's worth of tuition, finding a team that needs or wants you can mean the difference between a scholarship or not, and knowing the right teams to target (and whether those coaches typically recruit your city) during your search can save you thousands in determining which campus visits you take and which summer camps you attend.

Our goal for you is long term: to help you find a college where you will enjoy your four years and graduate. Providing real information to you during the notoriously confusing recruiting process is our way of helping you along that path.

- Tom Bleymaier