September 22, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
56°F
test

Dan Coughlin: Web site helps athletes get recruited

Having coached high school and college football for 10 years before spending another 25 years as a sports agent, Vern Sharbaugh saw too many good high school athletes fall between the cracks.
He knew how and why that happened so he decided to seal the cracks.
You will find his solution at www.mygamefilm.com, a Web site that will help your son or daughter get a college scholarship or at least a partial ride.
If your son has received a personal phone call from Jim Tressel or Charlie Weis, you don’t need Sharbaugh’s Web site. All the colleges know the big high school stars, especially in football, basketball and track.
Don’t be misled if you receive a letter of interest from a major football school, Sharbaugh cautions. Letters are mass mailings.
“They might send out 2,000 letters,” he said. “Until they invite you for an official visit, they’re not recruiting you.”
There are other boys and girls in other sports who are good enough to play in D-IAA or D-II, where scholarship money is available, but two things happen.
The smaller schools don’t know about them because they don’t have the recruiting budgets, and neither the kids nor their parents know how to market them.
Major football programs have huge recruiting budgets for travel and research and they subscribe to independent recruiting services, such as the highly regarded Terry Forbes report and the McCallister report.
Their reports often are the first “heads up” to colleges, who then send out their own scouts.
Ohio State and Notre Dame recruit nationally. Ashland and Youngstown State recruit in their neighborhoods.
Somebody’s got to get the word out.
“Coaches don’t have the time,” says Sharbaugh. “They’ve got the next game to get ready for. They’ve got a full teaching load. They’ve got their own families to take care of. Who’s most interested in a kid? The parents. What do they do? When it comes to recruiting, they sit and wait.”
The waiting is over. Dial up Sharbaugh’s Web site — once again, it’s mygamefilm.com.
Follow the instructions on the Web site and it will help you sort through potential colleges with scholarship money to dole out — maybe not full scholarships, but enough to make the effort worthwhile.
You will include your own personal information plus your personal highlight reel as an attachment.
“There are instructions for editing your highlight reel,” Sharbaugh explains. “Parents probably can’t do this, but their kids can. Borrow the coach’s video and put together your highlights. Kids might be able to do it in their own computer lab during study hall. Microsoft has an editing program called Movie Maker. Apple has iMovie.”
Not all sports are videotaped. Soccer, volleyball, field hockey, etc., often are played in anonymity. Parents often shoot their own video. Get that video. Beg or borrow it from other parents.
“When it’s put together, press send and it goes out as an e-mail to all the schools on your list. If you don’t hear from them, you can check back and see if they opened your highlight reel. If they didn’t, send it out again.”
OK, so Ohio State and Penn State aren’t interested in you. Maybe Lee Owens at Ashland is. Maybe Youngstown State has a scholarship for you. Maybe Bucknell, Furman, Colgate or Elon will respond. Sharbaugh has a daughter at Elon, in North Carolina.
There is a fee. It costs $199. There are alternatives. There are individuals in the business who will promote your kid for $1,000. You never know how hard they work at it after your check clears. Maybe they hustle. Maybe it’s worth it. You take their word. If you do it yourself, you know if a coach opened your highlight reel and how many times.
On mygamefilm.com, you know exactly how hard somebody is trying because that somebody is you.
Dan Coughlin is a columnist for The Chronicle-Telegram and a sportscaster for Channel 8. Contact him at ctsports@chroniclet.com.