Why wait for colleges to come to you?
Is the shoebox devoid of college letters and the last time a university coach called it was a wrong number.
For outstanding prep athletes, it can be frustrating waiting for college recruiters to take notice.
But why wait?
Matt Williams of West Coast Sports Recruiting in Fair Oaks, Calif., is bringing talented high school athletes in remote areas to coaches’ attention throughout the country. As a result, some of Williams’ clients are receiving athletic scholarships they never thought possible.
“That’s the beauty of it,” said Williams, a former TV sportscaster. “The elite athletes don’t need any help, but I’m helping the guys and girls who are all-league but maybe not Stanford or Reno material. There are plenty of college scholarships that these kids don’t know about and I do.”
Yes, he does.
Until Brandon McManigal invested $1,500 in Williams’ company, no colleges were interested in his soccer skills. Now, the Sheldon High junior in Elk Grove, Calif., has 40 colleges who have written him.
“It’s unbelievable how things have changed,” said McManigal, who was one vote shy of making all-league this season. “Soccer isn’t as big on the West Coast and programs don’t have as much money. They can’t spend as money on recruiting. This gets your name out there and lets the coaches know who you are. This helps so much that it’s irreplaceable.”
Williams’ 2-year-old business has access to 1,700 colleges and by inundating these schools with resumes and statistical updates his clients are rewarded with scholarships or financial assistance.
“I’m sending out resumes to schools they’ve never heard of. If I know they’re not Division I material, I don’t waste the Division I schools’ time,” Williams said. “Kids just don’t know you’ve got to promote yourself, and I’m here to promote them. The kids are thinking because I’m all league, where’s my scholarship?”
Williams’ business has helped prep athletes in California, Oregon and Alaska. In the brief time he’s been assisting college prospects, 100 have received scholarships.
“A lot of it is word of mouth,” Williams said. “Once they start getting mail, they tell a teammate or friends, and it sort of snowballs.”
The light bulb for West Coast Sports Recruiting went off in his brain after learning that his cousin – an all-state football player in Alaska – hadn’t received any scholarship offers.
“Nobody was recruiting an all-state wide receiver and return specialist. How was that possible?” Williams said.
Eighteen months ago, all-league softball player Kara Dixon of Morro Bay, Calif., looked like another standout pitcher whose career wouldn’t go beyond high school. Despite a .11 earned run average as a senior and four consecutive all-league seasons, Dixon was only receiving lukewarm interest.
However, when Williams came aboard he began helping Dixon reach her dream of playing on the East Coast.
“When you have all the letters coming in, you know what you’ve worked for has finally come true. He’s the one who got me there,” said Dixon, a senior, who will visit Queens, Albany and Clarion colleges next week.
With his business growing, Williams now his eyes set on furthering the athletic careers of Northern Nevada prepsters.
“I definitely want to make a strong push regionally in Northern California and Northern Nevada,” he said.
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