Website easing recruiting process for local schoolsPublished 7:26pm Thursday, May 29, 2014
Football is known for having quirky trends that come and go, but websites revolutionizing the high school recruiting process are likely here to stay.
For years, high school coaches had to copy tapes or burn DVDs to send colleges video of their top athletes. The difficulty of the process and the time it took to create, transport and evaluate film often forced the recruiting process to move at a snail’s pace.
With the advancement of technology, that’s no longer the case. One popular website, Hudl.com, allows coaches to upload game video, post individual highlights and streamlines the recruiting process where colleges coaches can see a team’s entire roster and each player’s highlights all on one page.
High schools in Dallas County have caught on, with Selma High School leading the way. The Saints’ La’Chavious Simmons was offered a scholarship by Alabama A&M earlier this week, becoming the fourth Selma rising junior or senior to receive a Division I scholarship offer.
Selma head coach Leroy Miles said Hudl is one of the main reasons why his team is seeing an influx of collegiate offers.
“It gives our kids a lot more exposure,” Miles said. “A coach from Middle Tennessee came down a few years ago and said I was doing my kids a disservice by not having Hudl, because [coaches] did not have time to watch DVDs anymore.”
Miles points to the numbers when discusisng how much Hudl has helped his program. The first year Selma used the website, two players signed letters of intent to play college football. The last two seasons, four players have signed each year, and now at least four more appear to be on their way to playing college football at the Division I FBS or FCS level.
“We have four athletes that have been offered scholarships as juniors and we had four kids receive scholarships last year. It’s all because our kids are getting exposure,” Miles said. “It’s not that our kids are better athletes than anybody else. It’s that they are getting that exposure.”
Selma’s recent success has other schools in the area taking notice. Southside head football coach Daniel Flowers said he is working with the school to try to get Hudl for the football program this year, but he also believes winning helps athletes get noticed as well.
“Recruiting is a lot about wins and losses too,” Flowers said. “Selma won seven games this past year [and when you win] people flock to you. Unless you win ball games, Hudl doesn’t mean anything; Scout doesn’t mean anything.”
Flowers said Southside has struggled to find the funds needed to finance a year of Hudl, which starts at $800 for one sport.
The packages range all the way up to $9,000, depending on how many sports a school uses the website for and how many features they need.
All packages allow the upload of unlimited amounts of game video, video exchange, and unlimited player and coach accounts, along with several other features.
Locally, Hudl and other websites have not taken off in other sports just yet.
Dallas County athletic director and head basketball coach Willie Moore said basketball is a little different than football, because a lot of the top athletes are noticed during camps in the offseason.
“Basketball is more of a game where you have to see them in person and see how they perform on the big stage against the better athletes in the country,” Moore said. “Most of the basketball coaches that I deal with do not use Hudl.”