Following next season Tim McAuliffe will have been a four-year starter, two-time MAC champion, all MAC selection, MAC offensive player of the week, and will hold two degrees from Bowling Green State. Coming out of high school Tim was only given two stars and was overlooked by every power-five program; despite having one of the better highlight tapes Lemming Prep Insider has seen. Tim received offers from the likes of Bowling Green State, Toledo, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Florida International, Ball State and North Dakota. We were fortunate enough to get the inside scoop on his recruiting process and his advice to those going through the recruiting now.
LPI: Tell our readers about yourself. Where did you go to school? How long have you been playing football?
I’ve been playing football for 11 years now. I grew up in Lemont, Illinois and played in the Lemont Hornets youth organization. I went on to play at Lemont high school and was a three-year starter there. Following my senior year, I chose to play at Bowling Green State University.
LPI: What was your recruiting experience like?
It was very stressful and time-consuming. I visited a lot of schools; ones that offered me and ones that didn’t. My dad and I drove across the Midwest looking at schools that showed interest. Being undersized added more stress to the process. Some coaches wrote me off because of my height. As a 17-year-old kid, I didn’t think it was fair because I’ve always felt like I could compete at the highest level.
LPI: You mentioned being undersized, how do you think that impacted your recruiting process?
Constantly, I saw kids who were bigger than me, but not better than me get more scholarships, which was frustrating. As I have experienced more and more football, I have seen how coaches evaluate high school prospects, and I was a classic case of a kid who was “too small” to play division one football. Being undersized allows you to zero in on the coaches who are genuinely interested in you.
LPI: Take us through the process of how you chose Bowling Green.
I went to many different MAC and Big Ten universities, and Bowling Green showed me the most interest. I felt like I had a realistic shot to play right away. I really believed in the coaching staff that recruited me, and I was right because we won a MAC championship my freshman season. My family was a big part of the decision, as they believed Bowling Green was the best fit for me as well.
LPI: What other advice would you give to high school recruits?
Focus on the schools that show the most interest in you. Do not fall in love with a school that is not going to give you a scholarship at the end of the day. You should set realistic expectations, not just based off your ability. Go to a school because you love the campus and the atmosphere, because at the end of the day football throws you curveballs, and you need to be comfortable with the place you surround yourself in. Do not be afraid to commit to a school early; nowadays verbal commits do not scare other coaches off.
LPI: What were the biggest things you did behind the scenes in high school or are doing now at Bowling Green State to help you improve as a player?
I put in the extra time in all facets of football. There are many different areas that you can improve yourself as a football player and do not short yourself in any of the various areas. Be your biggest critic in the film room and go the extra mile with your strength coach.
LPI: What life lessons would you say you have learned from college football whether it be on or off the field?
Hard work and teamwork are what will carry you through life. I’ve learned how hard it is to make it to the next level and that has opened my eyes to life after football. Education will be harder than football and much more rewarding. What you do on the field is awesome, but at the end of the day almost every job requires a college degree, even coaching. Don’t take any shortcuts and put in the extra time, because life moves quick, and before you know it your window of opportunity closes.