Sports recruiting can be a complex, gut-based, interesting game. There is no clear-cut path to getting to the next level, especially for football. Many variables come into consideration when coaches and scouts are recruiting. Sometimes it isn’t even in the control of the player to be able to put their best foot forward. This is an aspect that the team at Signing Day Sports have experienced themselves and are changing. On the SDS platform, athletes can promote themselves.
Derek Rasmussen, the Director of Grassroots and Collegiate Relations at SDS, experienced issues in his recruitment process. He was listed as a punter in high school due to some accolades he got during his sophomore year. He switched to QB as a junior and it wasn’t until late in his senior year that the change was recognized in the Rivals database. Had he “been classified as a QB earlier on Rivals, [he] thinks [his] recruitment would’ve been different.”
Players should not have to ask to be classified as the true athlete that they are. They should have more influence over promoting and showcasing the best version of themselves. It is time for the game to change and Signing Day Sports wants to help write the new rules.
As exemplified through Rasmussen’s experience, athletes need a better way to promote themselves. The world has changed significantly since Rasmussen’s time in high school. The technology has advanced and allowed for an ever-growing relationship with social media and online profiles. High schoolers can easily capture and upload clips of their games to Hudl. They can create highlight reels of themselves and post to their YouTube channel. They can publicize how tall they are, how much they weigh, or how much they bench through Twitter or Instagram. But with our evolving digital age, we all know that sometimes things online are not always as they seem. Signing Day Sports allows athletes to create their trusted athletic profile.
Where SDS comes in
The team at SDS have created this ecosystem for a player to create a profile that is unique to them. A place where they state their measurables, verify them with videos. A place where they showcase their talents through their own personal Pro Day. There is a spot where they field and respond to interview questions. A place where they can get in touch with coaches.
How SDS works
To align perfectly with the younger generations, it is all done from a mobile device. And just like with other online profiles, the SDS app keeps athletes coming back, uploading new videos and updating tested skills and stats, because as we know in the world of sports, you can always get better, faster, stronger, and your dedication is part of who you are as an athlete.
On the opposite side the current recruiting landscape is not simple and straightforward for the coaches either, it is “literally insane” says Rasmussen. In order to scout athletes, coaches must travel to camps and games. Along with social media like Twitter plays a large role in the process, as athletes are creating hype videos and highlight reels and posting them to try and gain some traction. There are also platforms such as MaxPreps and Hudl that support the recruiting atmosphere, giving coaches even more additional avenues that they need to monitor in order to find “their guy.” While these are all important and valuable platforms in themselves, what is the ultimate result for the recruiting space? Well, a scattered process that is difficult to manage and consistently achieve great results in.
Coaches know what they want for their respective program. They know what type of player they need to fit with the system they’re trying to run. Whether that is a 6’ WR that can run a sub-4.6 40-yard dash, they want to find these players wherever they are. But it isn’t always easy to find them.
Coaches only travel to so many camps and games a year because they also having their own current roster of players to tend to. And so having a focused, clear, and direct path to finding the players they need is critical.
It’s easy to get lost in the mass of messages that a single coach receives in a day. A Division-II head coach can receive anywhere from 50 to 100 messages a day. Coaches also receive messages through a variety of platforms adding to the problem. What a coach needs, says Rasmussen, is a “static free environment” that is “football all the time.”
What Athletes need
Signing Day Sports provides a space where athletes can manage their communications. The SDS team wants to move aside distractions that lead to streamlined communications. Ultimately it boils down to giving “the power to the coaches to see more kids than they’ve ever been able to see before,” to trust what is being uploaded by athletes, to evaluate and plan, to communicate, and to “condense [that] process into a single platform,” reiterates Rasmussen.
For most of athletes that participate in high school and club, they dream of getting to the next level and playing in college. It is the natural progression of steps in the football world, but it is not always clear how to get there. Athletes that are at the top of their class but are in small environments, athletes that are in the top-tier leagues but are simply backups, athletes that don’t know that their raw talents belong better at a different position but that a coach can see it in them, no longer need to stay dreaming of the day they can continue their athletic careers on the next stage.
No longer is there a need to have kids traveling all over the country, spending time and money to attend as many camps as possible just to be noticed by as many coaches as possible. There is a world in which players who have the skillset, dedication, and love for the sport can set aside those factors they cannot control. Athletes can promote themselves for the athlete they have worked to become. In the closing words of Rasmussen, “we are on the precipice of the future of recruiting.”