App helps Valley student-athletes go to college

Posted at 11:18 PM, Dec 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-07 01:18:05-05

If you have a student-athlete in the family, you know firsthand that getting your son or daughter noticed by colleges in hopes of receiving a scholarship can be incredibly stressful.

Well, now there's a Valley-based business using technology to revolutionize the recruiting process.

"The difference between today and 30 years ago, you can't wait back and hope that college coaches are going to contact your son or daughter," said Kyle Stanley, owner and founder of Reel Recruits.

Stanley brought a fresh idea to the Valley in 2012. Since then, Reel Recruits has helped over 100 Arizona athletes earn nearly $4 million worth of scholarship money.

"Our vision for it is to have the app nationwide in as many hands for high school athletes as possible," Stanley said.

That vision has even garnered attention from the popular TV show "Shark Tank."

The idea is simple, yet innovative: It's an app where student-athletes can upload an unlimited amount of game video, create a full statistical profile, and send it to any college coach in the country, from the NCAAs down to the junior college level.

"One of the things that we always get the question of is, 'Are college coaches getting bombarded with emails?' And the fact is, yes, but the other fact is that's exactly how you have to get yourself noticed," Stanley said.

Take Andrews Chavers, for example. He's a football player for Millennium High School in Goodyear who was sidelined his entire junior season with an ACL tear.

Despite missing a crucial year in his high school career, coaches came calling.

"It was like taking bricks off of my shoulders," said Andrew's mother, Rukiya Chavers. "Just knowing how much work goes into trying -- because people don't come out and scout anymore at the schools like they used to."

"You're talking about the baby boomer generation right now that didn't have to go through technology and sending videos," Stanley said. "If they were good, they were getting recruited. That's not the way it works today."

Nowadays, student-athletes need all the help they can get for that leg up on the competition.

"He got offers from Yale, Brown, some of the Ivy Leagues," said Rukiya Chavers. "And some of those are a lot harder to get a hold of.

"It took a lot of stress off of us as parents trying to get our child the exposure that they needed."