Minnesota prep football players have a new tool to get noticed

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Excelling in football at tiny Mount Vernon High School in southeastern South Dakota didn’t generate much interest in college recruiting Chad Greenway.

In fact, the future NFL first-round draft pick only received one offer from a Division IA (now Football Bowl Subdivision) program. The unheralded Greenway became a standout in Iowa and later in the NFL for the Vikings.

Now well-known, Greenway serves as an ambassador for a digital recruiting platform set up to give aspiring college football players a more direct line of communication with college coaching staffs. Signing Day Sports, backed by a large group of Minnesota high school coaches, is designed to raise the profile of future Chad Greenways by helping high school football players avoid falling through the cracks and into obscurity.

“This platform puts you in control of some of your own future,” Greenway said. “Maybe your high school team wasn’t that strong. Maybe you were a latecomer. You need a way to get your name out there.”

The Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA), an organization of high school coaches who have served for 65 years, recently announced a partnership to make Signing Day Sports the exclusive recruiting platform for its more than 355 high school programs.

The partnership with the MFCA creates “a vehicle to build trust,” Greenway said. Over the past year, Signing Day Sports has also signed exclusive partnerships with the Texas High School Coaches Association and the North Carolina Coaches Association. Arizona-based Signing Day Sports operates in 25 states.

The decision allows Minnesota high school coaches to manage rosters and depth charts, communicate internally with players and staff, stay on top of recruiting communications and advocate for their athletes.

Ron Stolski, the MFCA executive director who retired from coaching in 2020 after 58 seasons (the last 45 at Brainerd), called Signing Day Sports “an innovative resource that will ensure players maximize their college exposure and universities and provide them with a clearer path.”

Signing Day Sports CEO John Dorsey described the platform as the next complementary step for hugely popular video site Hudl. Hudl offers game video analysis; Signing Day Sports allows uploading video-verified measurables, official fundamental and drill records, game schedules and statistics. Recorded interview questions give athletes the opportunity to reveal their personality.

Making inroads in Minnesota, Signing Day Sports had a representative at last Saturday’s Third Annual Training HAUS High School Football Meeting. A total of 238 high school football players competed in drills such as the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap at TCO Sports Garden in Vadnais Heights. Events like these allow players to record their performances to share with university programs.

More than 220 colleges and universities across the country connected to Signing Day Sports can identify potential candidates for their recruiting classes. Division II and III schools with smaller recruiting budgets benefit the most, but Signing Day Sports can also help Division I top prospects and programs.

Denzel Burke, a four-star prospect from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, said that through Signing Day Sports he got the university’s attention. He eventually signed with Ohio State and last season, as a freshman cornerback, was a third-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches.

“Players can market themselves and for college coaches; it’s like Zillow. They can seek a more exact fit for their systems,” said Dorsey, himself a former up-and-coming football player at Bourgade Catholic High School. of Phoenix who did not have the signing Day recruiting network The sport aims to provide and never played in college.

A basic subscription is free and allows players to create their profiles and list their measurable and academic information. Downloading the video requires payment. Subscriptions cost $29.99 per month, $149.99 for six months, and $249.99 per year.

Dorsey said that makes the program more cost effective for families than driving or flying to camps across the country where players exhibit the same attributes they can put on video. He said 110,000 athletes are on the platform and 30,000 are paid subscribers. The sports represented go beyond football, baseball and softball, with soccer coming soon.

Greenway said he is considering Signing Day Sports to serve potential athletes and interested college coaches. In high school, there are, he said, “different levels of interest from coaches to help with the recruiting process for their players. This makes it easier for the coach and puts a little pressure on all coaches to help create opportunities for their kids.

At the other end of the process, Greenway said “for [college] programs that don’t have huge recruiting budgets, Signing Day Sports is a chance for college coaches to learn so much more without a seven-hour drive.”

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