It’s no secret that Texas has long been considered a hotbed for college recruiting. According to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine, the Lone Star state again led the nation in 2015 in the number of high school players who signed Football Bowl Subdivision letters of intent and total players signed.
Those numbers will continue to grow in all sports, not just football. And Liberty Christian wants its athletes to be a bigger part of that.
The school’s athletic department recently hired Ross Roby as its Athletic College Recruiting Advisor (ACRA). The position is the first of its kind at Liberty, and Roby’s job will be to create a one-stop shop for college recruiters while helping local athletes find the best fit for their academic and athletic futures.
“This is one of only a few positions like this in the United States,” Liberty Christian athletic director Zack Vest said in a press release. “By devoting the resources necessary to increase awareness of our student athletes, we hope those who have a desire to compete at the next level will have an increased opportunity to do so.”
Here’s how it works: Instead of waiting for college recruiters to find out on their own about top-rated Liberty Christian athletes, Roby will be proactive in developing relationships with key recruiters from around the nation, whether that be by email, phone, or traveling across the country for in-person visits. The goal would be to gain valuable insight into what they look for from student-athletes, while also making them aware of the talent right under their nose at Liberty.
Roby will also work one-on-one with the athletes and their parents to explain the recruiting process, set realistic goals, and develop a customized recruiting plan to better navigate the NCAA process.
Roby’s focus is on athletes in all sports at Liberty Christian.
“Liberty’s goal for our student-athletes is to receive as much exposure to university sports programs as the big public schools. We just want to help kids get to the next level,” Roby said. “I’m looking at everything from what type of film are they sending to recruiters to how we can help select better camps to attend. If you’re a shooting guard and your top school is Baylor, but I know Baylor just recruited five shooting guards last year, maybe you need to look at other options. It’s all about putting them in the best position.”
By developing those close relationships, the ACRA position automatically creates a streamlined process for when college recruiters do visit the school. Roby would meet with them, rather than needing the various coaches at the school to do so, and match kids with the right program.
Essentially, there would be no guesswork.
“Just because you play a sport doesn’t mean you are being noticed. You have to lay the groundwork,” Roby said. “This is a very time-consuming process. I’m making all sorts of calls to develop relationships.”
There are no guarantees that each athlete will get a college scholarship, but Liberty Christian wants to put its athletes in the best possible position to get there.