SDS adding a team member of Coach Heck’s stature has lent the company additional credibility in the recruiting space and altered the direction of the company in a major way. His knowledge and expertise in college football recruiting and the recruiting process in multiple other sports has allowed for the SDS team to update its strategy and provide a more hands-on experience for the student-athletes that use the app.
Coach Heck’s Background
Hecklinski joins Signing Day Sports with 25 years of coaching experience, 20 of which were at the D-I level. He is well-respected in the sport after spending time with some of the top schools around the country including San Diego State, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois, and more.
With more than two decades of college coaching experience, his recruiting abilities are second to none. But his experiences go deeper.
As a high school recruit, Hecklisnki excelled and was rated as one of the top three prospects in the country. He committed to the University of Illinois and ended up transferring to Western Illinois. He became only the second quarterback in school history to pass for more than 5,000 yards and ended up topping 6,000 by the time he graduated.
He would go on to play professionally in the Arena Football League. Suffice to say, he has experienced just about everything there is to experience regarding recruitment and collegiate success. And he’s excited to impart his wisdom on today’s generation of young athletes.
“Throughout my career as a coach and recruiter, I have seen firsthand the challenges that young athletes and their families face in navigating the college recruiting process,” said Hecklinski. “I am excited to bring my experience and expertise to this new role, and to help these young men and women position themselves for success in achieving their dreams of playing at the next level.”
Coach Heck’s Impact
Heck has already spearheaded partnerships that have pushed SDS to the forefront of collegiate football recruiting. The brand is becoming nationally recognizable, thanks in no small part to Heck’s vision.
Signing Day Sports’ app does its job, but without the proper guidance and foundation of understanding, recruits didn’t know how to properly utilize the app’s capabilities. It was after noticing this issue that Heck called on his connections in the college football world. Only months after his joining the team, the SDS team has entered into agreements with a handful of reputable recruiting brands such as the U.S. Army Bowl, Chris Hixson and QB Universe, the VTO combine events. He’s also created the SDS college exposure combines that are live streamed to college coaches around the country.
In doing so, hundreds of athletes have been onboarded and educated in the blink of an eye. This foundation has been a springboard for other users to come on the app and follow their peers and competitors on their recruiting journeys.
Participating in live events has allowed the SDS team to develop a model for seamless digital education. Learning the entirety of the app from the perspective of the athlete was imperative.
After spending the last few months on the road, the SDS team has learned what works and what doesn’t. They’ve been able to teach recruits the impact of our technology and allow the athletes and their families to take back control of their recruiting process. Heck plans to move to a digitally focused model in the near future.
As Heck likes to say, “It is time for the athletes to own their journey.”
Future of Signing Day Sports
With Heck’s team having already spent considerable time around the country at varying events, and more on the calendar, the goal is to move to a scalable, digital model.
It was necessary for Heck’s team to spend time in the field (no pun intended) in order to optimize their strategy communicating the app’s purpose, user interface, etc.
“Brands are built one person at a time, one day at a time, and one event at a time,” said Coach Heck. “Soon, the same methods will be applied digitally.”
Signing Day Sports will soon be rolling out a video catalog of educational videos called the Signing Day Sports University. Its content will include videos that discuss college recruiting in a broad sense such as the transfer portal, eligibility, and NIL. Also included will be more niche topics such as best practices for communicating with college coaches through personal twitter direct messages, text messages, responses to camp invitations and questions from coaches. The SDS University will also consist of in-app tutorials and explanations on how to navigate and own the recruiting journey.
This is where the in-person experience is so valuable for our team. Instead of communicating in real time with one person at a time, the video catalog can communicate the same information that recruits need to hear at the click of a button around the world.
“We are in the business of creating relationships and bringing coaches to players and players to coaches,” explained Heck.
With all the information they need at the tip of their fingers, student-athletes will be more inclined to take control of their recruitment from day one. No more waiting around.