September 27, 2022

It is not impossible to focus on recruiting athletes from small towns. Heck, Zion Williamson was the most famous high school athlete in the country while playing in a city of about 35,000 people.

It is not impossible. But even if you are good enough, it is often difficult to find the right people.

Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway got his break because a man he knew was in the game that won the Mount Vernon High School title in the year in the South Dakota nine-man football high school championship game. John LaFleur, whose kids played in Iowa, reached out to Kirk Ferentz, the Hawks’ head coach, and said his team needed to see Greenway. This was the only division of the first round of the future that I offer

The rest is history for Greenway, who became an All-American in Iowa and twice a pro bowler in the NFL. But one of his first influences when joining hockey was: in high school he played with other athletes who could compete in Division I football but didn’t get the chance.

“The guy who blew me up, the guy, fell through the cracks because that guy didn’t have a game when he was watching,” Greenway said.

With the advent of YouTube and social media, it has become easier to attract the attention of top athletes since Greenway graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 2001. But the biggest challenges remain: recruitment trips, verifying data sent by athletes, finding out the truth about parsing through videos, repetitive talents against reels that are basically highlight clips. Hard to find diamonds in the rough, especially for sports without an extensive database like 247Sports.

Recruitment platform Signing Day Sports, which was launched in late 2020 and partnered with Greenway, aims to make it easier for athletes to access coach radar and provide employers with more efficient ways to parse through athlete information. The program hopes to stand out from other platforms and video services by offering a wide range of advanced video, metric and filtration features.

One of the most interesting elements is the ability of coaches to filter information based on specific needs. If a football team is looking for a fast lineman, recruiters can combine height and speed metrics. A baseball recruiter who wants a pitcher with a good fastball-slider combo can filter by velocity, cut, and other metrics.

“Think like Jillo. If you’re looking for a home, and you’re writing down your parameters – exactly how many bedrooms, location, no zip code, square footage, price range, all of these – college coach recruiter / player staff coordinator, they’re doing exactly the same thing, “says Signing. John Dorsey, CEO of Day Sports. “They know () the exact physical characteristics of the person that are going to fit.”

Along with that there is side by side video feature. A coach can compare multiple players running a drill or compare the form of one player against him or himself in different situations. Videos can be played simultaneously, overloaded and played slow-mo.

Site data verification ensures that metrics are accurate and kept up to date. An athlete who grew up not having to wait for the next camp for recruiters to see the difference in height, speed and strength when the signing day sports account page can be updated and verified.

With a hub for video and a way to easily filter instructors, players are able to easily get on the coach’s radar without having to attend expensive camps, transfer school, or be identified by the right person.

“It’s an industry that’s flawed – to be good about it – (and) it needs to be disrupted,” Dorsey said. “There is no current integrated system where every child has an equal opportunity to see. That is the purpose of our platform. “

The site currently provides football, baseball and softball services, along with other sports in development. As of April 11, Div has profiles of over 125,000 athletes and over 1,000 high school and club coaches and 600 college / university programs. Schools I, II, III, NAIA and JuCo are on the platform

Basic plans for individual athletes are free but more limited in allowances than paid packages, ranging from about $ 20- $ 30 per month. The program is working with state clubs and high school associations in Texas, Minnesota and North Carolina in an effort to change future pricing models.

The recruitment industry was forced to change drastically during the coronavirus height when much more processes became virtual. While this created a litany of challenges, the door to innovation was open against the rules: how much data and insights could be gathered without hiring a trip? How much money can be saved by removing the initial interview and more information at the beginning of the validation process instead of booking a full trip?

This is a huge task in football, but more than a dozen other games that must be completed on a small budget. Many of those games will be part of the platform down the road.

“You’ve made the job of a college football coach so cheap, on a small budget it’s actually so easy to identify and find these kids,” Greenway said. “It’s not that they don’t want to find kids – they can’t afford it, and I think it depends on what you actually have for the recruitment budget, how much time and energy you spend.”

To increase the likelihood of signing day sports, coaches must believe that there are enough athletes on the platform who would otherwise ignore their notice of being eligible to sign up. Athletes must believe that this is a more effective alternative to the radar than the traditional method. This must comply with the growing NIL sphere, an area that has not yet been integrated into the platform due to questions and uncertainties about its guidelines, which differ by state.

As Signing Day Sports continues to grow, it can increase exposure to athletes in a way that can help a child who can’t afford camp or an athlete like Greenway who doesn’t need to know someone who knows what a person can do. . Reach the next step.

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