Category Archives: Recruiting

#GonzoWatchList player Hayden Isenhart commits to @MSUBobcatsFB

RECRUITING COLORADO HITS 11 D1

July is usually a dead month when many college coaches go dark until the tail end of the month in preparation for their seasons. Some action occurs in the last few days of July and It also marks when many recruits want to make committable offers become verbal for signing day. December 19-21, 2019 will be the time frame early verbal commitments become viable. In Colorado we saw a social media post for the eleventh athlete from Grandview HS.

Hayden Isenhart is a #GWL #GonzoWatchList player and had his first offer during the spring evaluation period.


In addition a few IVY offer like PENN, Columbia and Dartmouth College. In the hunt were Eastern Washington University, University of South Dakota and locally the University of Northern Colorado. After speaking with Isenhart Tuesday he stated his reasons on Montana State to pursue Engineering and the good fit.

It felt like home to me. The people up there are exactly who I feel I should represent and who should represent me. Also the program itself is amazing and is only getting better.

The 6’4″ 230lbs TE/DE is very proud of his GPA and college board exams. Here is a peak at his video highlights:
Hayden Isenhart also played 7on7 with a FREE club team called Full Gorilla and got much needed reps as a receiver in the spring. The team won a local tournament in Colorado and featured some very talented class of 2019 athletes in addition to some underclassmen. More to follow as the season moves forward in August.

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If you are looking to catch Hayden Isenhart and his team the Grandview Wolves  we have circled week 8 on a Thursday night October 11th. The contest features the former Valor HC now of Arapahoe that lost its undefeated season in the playoffs to Grandview in 2017. Also 4 seasons ago Arapahoe knocked off Grandview 17-14 in their miracle season. The Warriors are coming off two terrible seasons of 3-7 and 5-5 with a talented bunch of 2019 neighborhood kids. Meanwhile Grandview has won the underclassmen freshmen and junior varsity contest the past 3 seasons. This should be a good one as the final 5 games are conference contests that include arguably one of the best conferences that feauture Arapahoe, Cherokee Trail, Cherry Creek, Eaglecrest, Grandview and Overland. All teams that should make the 2018 playoff format of 24 teams.

Meanwhile sit back and enjoy the final days of summer as the season is less than 6 weeks away.

Marcus Miller 2019 WR 5’8″ 160 Greenwood Village, CO Air Force
Alec Pell 2019 ATH 6’4″ 220 Greenwood Village, CO Boise St
Ty Evans 2019 QB 6’2″ 185 Monument, CO Colorado
Joshia Davis 2019 WR 5’10” 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Austin Johnson 2019 OL 6’4″ 265 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Jake Wiley 2019 OL 6’6″ 260 Centennial, CO Colorado
Alex Padilla 2019 QB 6’2″ 195 Greenwood Village, CO Iowa
Hayden Isenhart 2019 DE 6’4″ 235 Aurora, CO Montana State
Luke McCaffrey 2019 ATH 6’2″ 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Nebraska
Isaac Townsend 2019 DE 6’7″ 235 Arvado, CO Oregon
Billy Pospisil 2019 WR 5’11” 190 Arvada, CO Washington St.

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College football recruiting websites will NOT survive!?

About two decades ago the world wide web changed how college sports fans gained their news. Local newspapers did an okay job covering colleges, but the professional teams were their focus and both college and high schools coverage was always a day late and a bit lacking in some areas. (History is repeating itself)
20 years ago Rivals captured a niche market early on prior to the current internet we know as die hard fans wanted to know about the latest and greatest prospects their schools are recruiting. After about 3 years and the acquisition of AllianceSports, the umbrella company of Rivals Network was about to cease operations in 2001 and give way to Scout.com. However executives from AllianceSports purchased the Rivals.com assets and subsequently relaunched the website that it would sell 5 years later to Yahoo. At one point, some key employees from Rivals and Scout worked together as one operation in the original Rival Networks offices until the network was resurrected from potential bankrupt in 2001 during the dotcom bust by venture capital funding. Scout Media was started in 2001, with a couple dozen Rivals employees. Eventually Fox purchased Scout for $60 million in August 2005.
Thus many of the same people have been using the same style to buy and obtain Email and client lists to sell consumers recruiting information that is obsolete in many circles. Especially the star system that has been flawed for nearly over a decade as new algorithms have replaced stars. In addition the emphasis on college camps rather than corporate sponsored underwear olympics have made it more realistic for the athletes that are being evaluated. College coaches rather than journalists are doing the real ratings and rankings that often are not shared and are proprietary. The fear has been that some coaches do all the work to offer an athlete while other colleges just follow another schools lead in hopes that player will attend their camp for in depth analysis. It is not uncommon for an athlete to use social media to state an offer and a few days later have another team within the conference also make a blind offer based on the original schools determination to extend an offer.
Today any social media APP or account has the same information for FREE! So we are seeing another shift in media and a decrease in both paid subscription fees and local FREE content as consolidation of newspapers again are at the mercy of venture capitalists out to make a profit. Adverting pays the bills but the content has to have value otherwise a loss in subscriptions causes a dip in revenue and budget cuts or consolidation as we have seen again in recent years.

Initially Rivals revenue was solely from advertising, Rivals.com later employed a subscription fee of $10.00 per month to users for access to the latest recruiting news and to participate in various message boards dedicated to schools covered by the network. The media market shift gave way to competition and an online advertiser buying the site.

Today’s world of college football recruiting has shifted dramatically as some recruits think star rankings determined by online subscription services such as ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports really matters. The truth is all these websites are selling space and stories to hard-core fans  of individual high school or college teams to make a buck. Rivals built the first monetized reporting on college and high school recruiting by hiring contract Web operators and reporters with a huge alumni bases that got massive hits, now called “Clicks”. Rivals was an online product launched in 1998 and was later sold to employees out of near bankruptcy. Rivals 2.0 was born and short lived as the dot com Yahoo seeking to enter the market bailed out Rivals again for a reported $100 Million.

"Their hope: revive the Rivals.com concept in a sleeker, more profitable format. Call it Rivals.com, version two. After all, if Rivals.com couldn't make it work with more than $70 million in venture capital dollars funding, why would anyone think it might work now for $100 Million?

Rivals for a decade operated like a cable network in that they have two revenue streams in advertising and the subscription model. Advertising was NOT a strong suit for Rivals 1.0 or Rivals 2.0 and Yahoo had a strong footprint in the advertising space thus the buyout to avoid replicating team websites with 200-700 local journalists in each of the markets is what Yahoo coveted. Yahoo launched Rivals 3.0 in an attempt to eliminate a competitor and replicating the same business model. Also Yahoo projected an annual $20 million dollar cash flow to its bottom line to appease uneasy stock holders. The Rivals acquisition gave Yahoo a larger audience than ESPN. and Scout.com as it entered the sports publishing Membership Group arena. Eventually the media group Fox bought Scout, only to be later acquired by CBS in February 2017 out of bankrupt. Scout was rebranded under the CBS interactive umbrella but has given way to its other property247Sports.com. CBS now owns Rivals main competitors in, 247Sports.com, Scout.com and MaxPreps. Each division has over 300 web sites that publish inside and exclusive content for a subscription fee that focuses on high school and college Sports while CBS focus’ on Fantasy Sports. Yahoo might have paid a premium years ago but everyone remembers number one in Rivals.com. Since the rollercoaster of 1998 to current and in 20 years CBS might have been the last one to the party, but they accumulated Rivals.com’s main competitors in Maxpreps, 247Sports.com and in 2017 Scout.com. So the consolidation continues as the landscape of media has changed. In 2017 Scout.com was basically dormant and forwards to 247Sports.com’s website. Meanwhile ESPN too has had their own recruiting network and is often forgotten as the focus into the college sports/recruiting space was clouded by both Rivals and Scout fighting legal battles and affiliates jumping ship to ensure publishing revenues. The $10 a month fee or annual $100 if paid in advance website business models stayed intact as anyone with a laptop could earn monies to write stories as journalists over night became talent evaluators. However, ESPN took a different approach than the other sites. It did not employ anyone with a microphone recording device and an area footprint. ESPN originally went to regional coverage via their college game day reporters and eventually partnered via a sponsorship with (UA) Under Armour to provide a high school game and camp series to rival the former US Army high school game and its camp kids.

(On a side note the US Army is no longer the title sponsor in 2019) The two remaining games are being called the All American Bowl and All American Game to both be played in January 2019. Rumor is UA will be pulling out after a dismal couple of years in the apparel business. In addition the inaugural early signing period in December 2017 has diminished the once popular high school games where high school players announced their verbal commitments prior to NLI or better known as National signing day on the first Wednesday in February.

In 2006 ESPN began a Recruiting Database and used its college football on-air talents on September 8, 2006 to debut, ESPNU Recruiting Insider that formed the ESPN150 rankings. Eventually these would become the ESPN300 after working closely with a marketing company that secured annual corporate sponsorships. A  few different corporate names sponsored and paid for the rights to be the title sponsor of the High School Showcase in 2005 which featured high school football and high school basketball games generally on a Friday night on the newly created ESPNU channel. ESPNU in late 2006 switched to cover college basketball limiting the channel’s opportunities to cover high school contests and ESPN switched the high school content to the online streaming service broadcast known as ESPN3. The same network that streams lower level college contests late at night.

So Life was good 20 years ago but everyone clambering for college football recruiting information should know these companies are based on generating revenue! Well a noble idea to expand the lack of coverage in rural areas but just remember Rivals almost went defunct in 2001 during the collapse of the dot-com era. So for all the athletes but mostly parents focused on these websites that report or use stars for college football recruiting you now understand how stars and ranking are created. They are based on hundreds of content and subscription based websites that attend a few area camps to gain potential clients information to sell them a subscriptions. Now in lean times they have to try to justify their content with composite scores after players make commitments if (VIP) stories do not lure fans via “Click Bait”. What many are unaware of is Rivals almost went defunct in 2001 during the collapse of the dot-com era and gave birth to Scout.com that went belly up. In the end some say stars are a way to reward online publication  subscribers for paying annual fees or attending their apparel sponsored event to take a snap shot of an athlete and target him or her on social media to view the story. Now adding the video concept from fans is a sleeker, more profitable format. Call it a pipe dream but anything might work now as people are willing to pay for stars!
Tension between Rivals, ESPN and CBS will continue as Recruiting is more accepted as part of college football, but paid subscriptions have to subsidize advertising revenues as paid content may become a dinosaur like 900 numbers and pagers of 30 years ago. Nielsen/ Net Ratings have given way to “Clicks” and in todays marketplace cord cutting is on the rise limiting access to cable channels ESPN and CBS in favor of online content and APPS. While the future of rating players will continue to be college coaches at their institutions, the remaining media and Recruiting focused websites will have to be creative to retain subscribers.

www.cofridaynightlights.com/

Serious conversations with media executives about televising high school games on the company’s regional networks domains or APPs is a must. Discussing various models ranging from regional game-of-the-week telecasts to airing showcase games and the state playoffs is the only way many will survive reporting on high school recruiting and perhaps college. The final three media outlets did not purchase the competition to be status quo. They did this to put their TV money behind it and make money. Syndication is not dead just in a new format that includes social media platforms like Facebook LIVE, Twitter via Periscope and YouTube that has been a leader in video content and owned by Google. YouTube earns advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. Remember Rivals original platform and its competitors has been to sell advertising to pay the bills. Similar to newspapers back in the day that now complain about loosing revenue and have shifted to online subscriptions to compete with APPs and the world wide web.

The future is now and survival of the fittest.So enjoy the remaining three conglomerates but let us hope they enhance the excitement and experience of high school and college reporting. For now many will hope they give us our monies worth if they continue to charge a fee for something that should be FREE. Just like the old days content should be paid for by corporate sponsorships so we can sit back and relax and enjoy our teams success stories and daily trends.
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#GONZOWATCHLIST to be featured in August Football magazine. List prepared for Spring evaluations.

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Recruiting Colorado hits 10 D1

July 1 usually is when many college coaches go dark until the tail end of the month in preparation for their seasons. It also marks when many recruits want to make committable offers become verbal for signing day. December 19-21, 2019 will be the time frame early verbal commitments become viable. In Colorado we saw a social media post for the tenth athlete.


The Following list are the players that made verbal commitments:

Marcus Miller 2019 WR 5’8″ 160 Greenwood Village, CO Air Force
Alec Pell 2019 ATH 6’4″ 220 Greenwood Village, CO Boise St
Ty Evans 2019 QB 6’2″ 185 Monument, CO Colorado
Joshia Davis 2019 WR 5’10” 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Austin Johnson 2019 OL 6’4″ 265 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Jake Wiley 2019 OL 6’6″ 260 Centennial, CO Colorado
Alex Padilla 2019 QB 6’2″ 195 Greenwood Village, CO Iowa
Luke McCaffrey 2019 ATH 6’2″ 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Nebraska
Isaac Townsend 2019 DE 6’7″ 235 Arvado, CO Oregon
Billy Pospisil 2019 WR 5’11” 190 Arvada, CO Washington St.

Meanwhile sit back and enjoy the 4th of July holiday as the season is less than 8 weeks away. Until then give us a follow on our social media platforms.

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2 Verbals & an offer

The football world is heating up Nationally but locally we had some action. #RecruitingColorado offered up the #GonzoWatchList 2021 QB Jake Rubley in Boulder today.


A few hours later Alex Padilla, QB CCHS made his Verbal


In the early evening Ralston Valleys Isaac Townsend made his verbal and became the 8th Colorado player to make a verbal commitment

8 Colorado athletes have made verbal commitments with CU having 3 and Camp season is heating up.

NAME YEAR POS HT WT HOMETOWN SCHOOL
Alec Pell 2019 ATH 6’4″ 220 Greenwood Village, CO Boise St
Ty Evans 2019 QB 6’2″ 185 Monument, CO Colorado
Joshia Davis 2019 WR 5’10” 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Austin Johnson 2019 OL 6’4″ 265 Highlands Ranch, CO Colorado
Alex Padilla 2019 QB 6’1″ 191 Greenwood Village, CO Iowa
Luke McCaffrey 2019 ATH 6’2″ 180 Highlands Ranch, CO Nebraska
Isaac Townsend 2019 DE 6’7″ 235 Arvado, CO Oregon
Billy Pospisil 2019 WR 5’11” 190 Arvada, CO Washington St.

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May Day

The month of May is at the midpoint and we have seen spring football, OTAs and recruiting for June college camps. May is when many high school students graduate and head off to their commitments. Late May becomes all about the Juniors and the class of 2019. Since April 15 many college coaches are identifying student athletes that they are interested in inviting to camp. Their list of athletes might be based on position of need or simply guys that pass the infamous eye test. Regardless, everyone has heard player XYZ has been offered and assume that is a guarantee for next level. The fact is that is a falsehood as it just means one of many coaches would like to see your cleats on their campus running their drills and being evaluated by the total group of coaches that have invited players on their trips to be assessed in their home state or city.
Yes it seems a bit confusing but why a plan of action needs to be in place for many families as there is NO guarantee in life or in recruiting until the NLI is signed by both parties to seal the offer.
Now that we know what transpires in late April and May lets talk about all these writers that sell subscriptions. Yes these are the guys interested in the sports world but for a fee. The $10 a month is incentive to write more about the subscription based parents athlete or school. Now more than ever gyms, trainers and subscription based entities troll social media trying to sell you hope, hype and a bid to a fee based all star game. It is time to wake up and smell the roses and Don’t believe the hype!
Too much Hype can lead to disappointment so just earn it and do the work by being a good teammate and show up to earn 100% attendance at you high school coaches activities. After all that is the place where college coaches roam the hallways during evaluations and grab your film. So May Day is more of an awareness period for many to be proactive. Especially those that did not gain an offer or have been posting many but do not realize they are not committable upon receipt. May is a preparation period for June and possibly July. So develop your plan of action Don’t believe the hype! Create your destiny. In addition to the “Eye Test” camp invites bring copies or email ACT/SAT scores to college coaches along with your senior year schedule so they know how and when to contact you. A complete package makes the evaluation go smooth as no one has time to research all this information come August or September.
Dream Big but do the work and do NOT buy into the HYPE machine that many continue to do on a daily basis to take from your wallet!
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While many writers will spit out stats rather than watch the film or attend games thus we will rely on MaxPreps to record numbers while we tell you whom to watch during the season. 
The Gonzo Watch List is prepared based on watching numerous games and how the players stack up statewide. Often we will retweet the players posts on offers and special awards. As we approach the 2018 season. A special Thank You to players that participated in the photo shoot and flashed the 303 in photos used with our media partners and are available for purchase.
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Colorado produces D1 talent

May is upon us and high school graduations. As announcements go out in the mail to tell family members and friends about post secondary education, here is the list of players that stated their landing spot during both the December early signing period and familiar first Wednesday in February. The following listing of 53 players is self reported and has not been confirmed via the colleges.

NAME SCHOOL POS. HT. COLLEGE DIVISION SPORT
Blake Carette Arapahoe OL 6-3 Air Force Division I (FBS) Football
Jalen Mergerson Eaglecrest QB/CB 5-11 Air Force Division I (FBS) Football
Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl Fairview Air Force Division I (FBS) Football
T.J. Love Kent Denver DE 6-5 Air Force Division I (FCS) Football
Jaylen Thomas Vista Ridge RB/CB Air Force Division I (FBS) Football
Spencer Lovell Rocky Mountain G 6-7 Arizona State Division I (FBS) Football
Issac Power Ponderosa P/K 6-2 Baylor Division I (FBS) Football
Dimitri Stanley Cherry Creek WR 6-0 Colorado Division I (FBS) Football
Dustin Johnson Cherry Creek Colorado Division I (FBS) WO Football
Evan Price Evergreen K Colorado Division I (FBS) WO Football
Ethan Villarreal Fairview  S  6-0 Colorado Division I (FBS) WO Football
Ray Robinson Highlands Ranch 6-2 Colorado Division I (FBS) Football
Clayton Baca Rocky Mountain Colorado Division I (FBS) WO Football
Blake Stenstrom Valor Christian QB 6-3 Colorado Division I (FBS) Football
Jacob Wilton Brighton OL 6-3 Colorado State Division I (FBS) WO Football
Jacob Stanton Chaparral LB 6-2 Colorado State Division I (FBS) Football
Trey McBride Fort Morgan TE 6-4 Colorado State Division I (FBS) Football
A’Jon Vivens Mullen ATH Colorado State Division I (FBS) Football
Florian McCann Mullen OL 6-5 Colorado State Division I (FBS) Football
Thomas Pannunzio Pueblo South Colorado State Division I (FBS) WO Football
Jon Engle Fort Collins Drake (Iowa) Division I (FCS) Football
Justin Lamb Regis Jesuit QB 6-6 Drake (Iowa) Division I (FCS) Football
Ryan Barkley Durango OL/DL 6-5 Montana State Division I (FCS) WO Football
Tate Wildeman Legend DE 6-6 Nebraska Division I (FBS) Football
Chris Ditzenberger Cherry Creek Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Gunnar Garcia Cherry Creek Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Shamauri Rivera Cheyenne Mountain Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Noah Sarria Clear Creek WR/FS Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Joe Golden Doherty Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Gavin Green Fountain-Fort Carson RB/OLB Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Aaron Harris Grandview CB 6-0 Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
KP Werner Northridge Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Santos Maguina Pomona DB 5-11 Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Mason Knighton Ponderosa OL/DL 6-4 Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Max Bruner Ponderosa Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Keion Cross Rampart Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Ezekiel Creps Skyview Northern Colorado Division I (FCS) Football
Willy Boatman Kent Denver OL 6-2 Northwestern Division I (FBS) Football
Adrian Jackson Mullen LB Oregon Division I (FBS) Football
Jake Heimlicher Regis Jesuit LB/DE 6-4 Penn Division I (FCS) Football
Chad Dines D’Evelyn Rhode Islande Division I (FCS) Football
Koby Soden Fairview San Diegio Division I (FCS)
Max Borghi Pomona RB 5-10 Washington State Division I (FBS) Football
Trevor Szilagyi Valor Christian OL/DL Weber State (Utah) Division I (FCS) Football
Tristan Dietz Chaparral Wyoming Division I (FBS) Football
Gunner Gentry Grandview WR 6-3 Wyoming Division I (FBS) Football
Chad Muma Legend DB 6-3 Wyoming Division I (FBS) Football
Tristen Lee Mead Wyoming Division I (FBS) WO Football
Bryce Levinson Mountain Range S 6-1 Wyoming Division I (FBS) WO Football
Cameron Murray Overland S 6-1 Wyoming Division I (FBS) Football
Ryan Marquez Pomona QB Wyoming Division I (FBS) WO Football
Zach Watts Windsor DT/T 6-5 Wyoming Division I (FBS) Football
Garry Raymond Cheyenne Mountain TE/WR/DE 6-6 Yale Division I (FCS) Football

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If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the 303Gonzo.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

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Panicking parents

In my day the path to success was always a prep school education or curriculum that led to a solid GPA and a favorable ACT or SAT score. However, in recent years a few things changed like a 2200 SAT score that has circled around to a 1600. Meanwhile the sports induced parents are now up in arms as their focus has turned from academia to extra training or year around sports travel that may include hitting every camp or event under the sun. Lost in all this panic to shine is what it takes to obtain qualifying offers. It surely is not attending one or multiple events to wear a t-shirt and post social media pictures or paying a subscription based media and marketing company to get a star rating or write articles on athletes to satisfy advertisers.

What needs to happen is a discussion about college choice, tests (ACT/SAT), finance, the application process, the admission decision, and other concerns. The reality is the numbers are against families to obtain that glorious educational and athletic scholarship. In Colorado many high schools offer a computer based program via the school guidance office that lays out the path to success for each college and university. The admission process is not much different than years past but may be more competitive and is obviously more expensive. An annual tuition at Metro State is roughly $7,000 while DU is $65,000. These are fact finding figures you can obtain if you tour the schools or at your finger tips by signing on to your guidance office computer profile.

So why are there so many panicking parents? It is simple, a lack of knowledge and the perception carried over from little league and elementary school of keeping up with the Jones’. In an affluent state like Colorado with two dominating counties in Arapahoe and Douglas it is all about the money honey! Yes the honey pot is thick in a state that only has 4 division one football schools and little hope of gaining a football roster spot and if you are a baseball player than good luck as arguably the top University in Boulder does not field a team. As for football many will argue the PAC12 is currently the worst of the power 5 divisions and does not develop quarterbacks very well and often are blown out in bowl games. Heck, even many schools will say the PAC12 does not recruit their home states very well as they will take chances on “B-” players from top 8 states.

So with all that in mind you might thinks of heading East to cast a wider net and visit schools that are more manageable financially as there is more concentration and opportunity. For example Texas, a state that thinks they invented football, has a large population and a number of colleges to choose from but also hosts many events that college coaches set up and attend. The key again is “events that college coaches set up and attend,” NOT some marketing managed event that sells your name and information to attend more events or wear an apparel sponsored t-shirt you post on social media for brand awareness. Again many of these coaches will invite athletes if they pass the “Eye Test” which can be seen in the chart above.

Lost in the shuffle of trying to claim stars or be seen at multiple events is Making the grade! While getting lucky on the field or court is nice, what about the part of the evaluation called your CORE GPA. Yes it is that thing you earn while attending classes 5 days a week for 4 years. Also the work many admissions departments are looking at to see if you are worth the gamble. Obviously there is less risk on a student with a GPA North of 3.5 to the point some colleges and universities will not look at GPAs South of 3.2. Unless you are a freak athlete or tested well on an ACT, like a 27 or an SAT of 1340, than chances are you are not a qualifying athlete.

Recruiting is more than just attending some camp or participating in some specialty camp or gym. It is about the complete package of Academics, character, college board exams and on field performance. So before you panic make sure you know your facts! No college coach subscribes to many of the parent portal fee based websites as those are marketed to parents to sell hope. If you are seeking an evaluation than attend a few college camps to get noticed. The influence to get noticed or on the radar as a 3rd grader or high school freshmen is because companies make money off uneducated families. The numbers are on a sliding scale as participation is high early in life but as a child enters their Junior year the numbers thin out. So attending a Junior Day hosted by a college as a sophomore or Junior is a good idea but not an excuse to go to 40 a year. Be selective and do not waste the time of coaches if you have no desire to attend that school. Many will attend IVY league and Military institutions just to say, ” I was there” or post a social media picture in the FOMO world we currently live in.

When the “Panicking parents” know their role than the potential student athlete will know their stats. In case you were not paying attention here are the cliff notes:
Academics,
Character,
College board exams (ACT/SAT)
GPA
The on field or court performance will be seen on game days or via video you most likely have focused on more than the above four evaluation pieces.

Again do not panic other parents about being noticed as the NCAA prefers NO CONTACT prior to September 1st of the student athletes Junior year. So once again stirring the pot to be noticed or have an offer or attend an event or train with XYZ is not in the best interests of many. The pure choice is academia FIRST and than a real hard look at what colleges evaluate on year after year of Academics, GPA, College board exams (ACT/SAT) and Character. Oh and if the film looks good you might turn that offer into a scholarship as the “Eye Test” gets you in the door but the rest of the puzzle gets you a Yes or No for a 4-5 year education that lasts 55-60 years beyond athletics. In the end the goal is to gain a post secondary education. So save some of the monies spent chasing stars or attending camps, combines or showcases so you can pay for college to be a walk on or flat out be a college student seeking a career post athletics. The priority of a teenager should be the 55-60 years after high school. Having a positive outlook on academia will be a challenge when you receive letters in the mail or see social media postings inviting you to an event, especially the pay to play events. However, crush it in the classroom and make some noise on game days where coaches and evaluators are watching you.

http://www.303gonzo.com/
@303Gonzo has made it easier for all to remember how to access the High School insider. www.303gonzo.com

Please update your bookmarks to include The website, Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Instagram and SnapChat. We have reactivated 303Gonzo YouTube


Please follow me and subscribe ⤵
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp04pccXBAn2kzyIjBft3Fw

If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the 303Gonzo.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

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Camp Kids EXPOSED

In the past decade quantity over quality is often used when organizers invite parents or kids to camp. Yes it is fact many of the media and marketing arms have EXPOSED many communities by selling hope and your profile. While many camps, combines and showcases are FREE, one would have to wonder how can it be FREE? The answer is simple, advertising sponsors want to build their brand and say they are in the community. So the apparel is donated or traded out to gain valuable information. That information is similar to what is on that black stripe on the back of your credit card or ATM card and even your grocery rewards card. The next time you fill out a form just think about when they ask about your shoe size and t-shirt size or game brand of jersey worn on game day. All marketing information to sell the school or booster clubs new gear. In addition the applicant surrendered home email and physical addresses so now the marketing company can sell your information and photos to companies seeking or targeting football families. So your household is EXPOSED. Meanwhile many will continue to spend lots of money chasing stars, hype and official electronic times to post on social media.

One thing many families fail to realize is the numbers do not lie just like game film. A gander at the above chart will show how top tier NFL drafter players faired at their combine that featured electronic numbers. Electronic times are NOT offered at many camps, combines and showcase as hand timing is cheaper. Again a reason to do your research prior to signing up for an event that has little to no merit unless the athlete has performed well in their own back yard and needs electronic times for confirmation to colleges. However, if the goal is to update film highlight profile pages for college coaches, why not attend one of their camps to show off your height, weight and skills. After all not many coaches attend if any the over hyped and over EXPOSED wallet events selling hope and your personal data.
Yes your personal data will be sold to recruiting houses seeking and promising you next level advice for a fee that is NOT FREE. Also numerous trainers, training tools and catalogs will be hitting your mailbox because you agreed when you submitted an online application. Again when you see FREE, grab your wallet and run! Nothing in life is FREE so try not to be EXPOSED every time a letter or email hits your in box as it is marketing tools to have you spend your hard earned monies.
In the recent NFL draft previews and 3 day live event even the commentators scoffed at kids or families raised as “Camp Kids” or even “Camp QBs” as they referred to camps over selling talents of sub par athletes. A few even said, “We did not hear much about this player because they were not brought up in the camp systems.” This referring to the handlers that often spam many college coaches or talent evaluators.
Many will heed this advice while others will buy into the hype and chase offers rather than working on their craft to be noticed on game days.
Since 2004 many college coaches have reached out to us to send athletes to their camp to be evaluated and those that had talents were offered and some even signed after watching games. Nothing has really changed in the past 14 or 40 years other than changes to NCAA rules or policies. Satellite camps have been restructured as has the date of official and unofficial dates to be seen on campus. Recruiting is at an all time high as coaches need to make the right fit work, otherwise they may be left seeking new employment. We were reminded of changes recently:

Again the focus will be September 1st of the athletes Junior year so anything prior is mostly a money grab. Do not create bad habits by listening to others and do your research to be proactive and closing up gaps in your progress and path to success. One of the biggest issues on signing day on athletes with good film is academics.
2.3 might be the minimum GPA per the NCAA but the reality is many recruiting coaches want a GPA north of 3.2 to secure their future. It is not uncommon on (NLI) National Letter of Intent day to see athletes not commit or have guidelines prior to graduating to have certain classes completed or the GPA required by that College or University.

Achieve the goals most coaches will ask you upon visitations and do not cheat the system. Take ownership of you actions. Do not say you are 6-foot-3 when you are 6-foot-1 with cleats on as you will be EXPOSED at a college visit or camp.
As for you “Camp Kids” keep posting your FOMO events as it EXPOSES you when the official times do not sync up with your online profile. Especially the 4.62 40 yard times and your official electronic time shows a 5.11. Yes those in the know or providing evaluations to others pay attention to detail. Especially those claiming to measure north of 6-foot-3. Even the linemen claiming to be north of 250 lbs. Remember to be truthful as its your word vesus fact when you get EXPOSED at any camp, combine, showcase or visitation to a college campus event.

In the end the goal is to gain a post secondary education. So save some of the monies spent chasing stars or attending camps, combines or showcases so you can pay for college to be a walk on or flat out be a college student seeking a career post athletics. The priority of a teenager should be the 55-60 years after high school. Having a positive outlook on academia will be a challenge when you receive letters in the mail or see social media postings inviting you to an event, especially the pay to play events. However, crush it in the classroom and make some noise on game days where coaches and evaluators are watching you.

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If you have been a long time follower you will know to attend all local college events for FREE and put your cleats on college campus events. The only paid ones are listed on the 303Gonzo.com website and will be updated as information becomes available.

Until the season starts best wishes to all in the off season and we will see you on the field or on Twitter As always we will post #BreakingNews on @303Gonzo twitter and facebook.A few dates to circle on the calendar:
May 1, 2018 access to 8th graders into OTAs
August 6, 2018 Start to 2018 Colorado football day 1 practice (No Contact or Pads)
August 23-25, 2018 Week 1 start to 2018 Colorado football season formerly zero week now called week one.

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Recruiting Colorado 4 Rugby a success

January is usually the time many college fans are awaiting for the first Wednesday in February and National Signing Day (NSD) which had an inaugural early period December 20-22, 2017. In the past this was like a holiday for college football fans as they took a glimpse into the future. What was learned from the early signing period is athletes and parents did not want to wait until February as nearly 75% of the division one athletes inked their Letter of intent (NLI). Now fast forward to January 20, 2018 and the College Rugby Seminar & Fair in downtown Denver. A cold overcast winter day was a success for underclassmen Ruggers from the 2017 State Title Arapahoe Warriors led by coach Darryl Lane. The Rugby Club out of Littleton had 3 players present to an invite only event that featured nearly 30 top colleges and university rugby recruiting coaches. This was a regional event that had athletes and parents from the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Texas all seeking to inquire about next level playing opportunities. The event was well planed as upon check in all athletes were given a name tag and a package titled “The college pathway” describing some of the materials needed to build a rugby resume and dates for both of the college board exams of ACT and SAT. 

The event was moderated by a local Colorado resident that featured a 4 person panel made up of current coaches seeking athletes to learn and listen prior to meeting them one on one. The coaches’ panel make up was a diverse group in Army West PointKutztown University, Penn State University and Life University.  While the overview was about the three divisions or types of programs most of the chatter was how the landscape of recruiting works. It was a question and answer moderated event that featured some great answers for all to hear. Much like football and other sports many of the coaches want to know about you, the athlete and see if you are a good fit for their program. While many think the process is as easy as one email the statement was made several times that in the last 5 years recruiting has become competitive and more selective. Also if a coach invites you to an on campus camp it most likely means they have interests in you and that is a part of the evaluation process to make sure you are the type of athlete they want on their campus and team.

Everyone is always watching you! Coaches, referees, team mates, the opposition and Rugby ambassadors.

As for the Coaches Panel, many questions were asked to the audience and the coaches on hand were making notes during each question. One resounding statement was “The better the grades the better the opportunities.” After about 90 minutes it was interesting as a bystander to see the 25-30 onlookers from colleges trying to identify with potential recruits. The list of schools were as follows:

Army West Point Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
University of Arizona Men’s & Women’s
American International College Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
University of Colorado, Boulder Men’s & Women’s
Colorado State University Men’s Rugby
Davenport University Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
University of Denver Men’s
University of Kansas Men’s
Kutztown University Varsity Club Men’s & Varsity Club Women’s
Long Island University, Post Varsity Women’s
Marywood University Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
Miami University Men’s
Mount St. Mary’s University Men’s & Varsity Women’s
New England College Varsity Men’s
University of New Mexico Men’s
Notre Dame Men’s
Norwich University Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
University of Notre Dame Men’s & Women’s
Penn State University Varsity Club Men’s & Varsity Club Women’s
Regis University Men’s & Women’s
St. Bonaventure University Varsity Club Men’s
University of Utah Men’s
Queens University of Charlotte Varsity Men’s & Varsity Women’s
Wayne State College Men’s & Women’s
University of Wyoming Men’s & Women’s
Yale University Men’s & Women’s
A very impressive list but what was most noticeable were the coaches seeking out players based on their answers during the 90 minute panel. In addition there was a high urgency for players that were forwards that play the positions 1,2 or 3.
The front row players in the scrum are known as a 1-loosehead prop, 2-hooker and 3-tighthead prop. For those familiar with football or the movie the blindside the 3 in rugby is like a left tackle in the NFL as explained to us by Coach Tom of the Ohio State University that was in town on a recruiting visit and in the lobby of the hotel viewing players coming and going. Coach Tom was alerted by the 5785 rugby club that there were some “scrum heads” he should visit. While the event was an invite only there were some players that benefited from the online questionnaire from a week ago. The profiles were forwarded to a plethora of coaches seeking to immediately recruit ruggers and a few for a fast track to August or September recruiting. One such player was Zach Gonzales a current Junior of Arapahoe high school that plays for the Littleton club called the Arapahoe Warriors and the select team based out of Colorado Springs called 5785. The club teams play February through May while the select or all star teams play late May through July and can travel outside the United States. As the players starting leaving the event it was interesting as the coach from Ohio State was examining the players as they exited the ballroom and then boom, there was his guy, Zach Gonzales. You could see the coaches eyes light up as he shook the 16 year old Juniors hands and inspected or analyzed his frame with subtle hand movements. At this point he mentioned how a tighthead prop is well sought after and asked if he has ever been to Ohio. The young man said, “yes I was on the U-15 USA football team as a 12 year old and we visited Columbus on the way to Canton. I always wanted to go back.” Coach Tom said, “well son we would love to host you and see your film as you caught my eye and I was just passing through town. You should take my card and inform me of your games and tournament schedule as I think you could be a Buckeye.” Gonzales said, “Thank You. I am currently working with a football trainer 3 days a week in addition to the 3 days of rugby practice and an optional Sunday touch game so is that acceptable?” Coach responded, “Absolutely! The more you play the better you get and if you could play loosehead prop or hooker that would be nice to see on film.” “Well loosehead prop is my brothers position so we shall see but I can ask”, said Gonzales. Coach Tom said, “You have a brother? Where is he and how tall is he?” “He had to work but he is about 2 inches taller than I am and a little thinner but I will mention it to him,” Gonzales stated. (Zachary Gonzales listed on all 4 major football recruiting websites as 6″1′ and 285 pounds) In addition he played on the Arapahoe state title team and was listed at 265 but in September 305 on the football roster. Trainer Bruce Kiphardt of HogFarm in Littleton, CO confirmed Gonzales weighed in last Monday at 285 and was working on his footwork and dropping a few pounds to play in August at the 260-265 like one of his other clients Trevor Szilagyi of Valor Christian that is part of the group.

We had a Q & A with Zach Gonzales

Q: What did you learn from the event?

A: Well my dad was right. If you get the grades you can choose the school you want to attend. Notre Dame is wicked hard to gain admissions with a 33 ACT and Top 5% of your class being requested. I take the SAT in April so I will try and do my best. As for playing the sport I had no idea how being a forward namely a number 3 was such a prime position. So the interests from Kutztown, KU, DU, Penn State, Wyoming and several others was overwhelming. It seems like the Big 10 will be recruiting me.

Q: Any one school a favorite.

A: I would like to visit Notre Dame on my way to Ohio State but immediately I will be visiting DU. Being about 20-30 minutes from their campus is nice. I like how not only the coaches but the players embraced me immediately. Kutztown was aggressively pursuing me and it looks like an east coast trip is in my future. I was a little disappointed CU did not represent well for Mens but the women liked my size and attitude and answers to the crowd questions and earmarked me for their group. So I have a lot of options and will have more work to do on the pitch prior to hitting the camps or visitation requests. DU has my immediate attention since they want me in before February.

Q: Would you recommend this event?

A: Yes! 100% as I learned a lot and did not know what coaches were looking for at the college level. Also being a Junior I am lucky as some of the Seniors have not been proactive and I am lucky my father has provided me with good advice and only requests I attend valid events like this one. He often says take care of your grades and things will work out. Besides having a great work ethic or character they all stated grades was a big part of the recruiting trail. So YES it was worthwhile.

Q: They mentioned 2 sport athletes are attractive so how do you fell about that aspect and do you play another sport?

A: Yes sir I am a contact guy so football has always been my sport since age 4 or 5. I have played for Arapahoe High School the past 3 seasons as a defensive player primarily but might have to go two ways this upcoming season. Also the rugby coaches suggested Center and long snapper to keep me focused on spinning the ball for rugby. I am familiar with the position but never had the opportunity to show I was a two way athlete or try out for being a kicker. Something I will share once we get a new head coach. Early on until high school I played hockey, baseball and basketball. I did take up golf and was a caddy the past two summers but have really gravitated to Rugby especially after winning the State Title and getting a ring. I might like football more in my final year if we have a brotherhood like rugby and we start winning. I have been humbled the past 3 seasons and am eager to contribute this year in my final high school season.

Q: Have you thought about a degree?

A: Yes but still undeclared. I always assumed CU Boulder was where I would attend and figure it out later but since last season I have had multiple football coaches and now rugby coaches emailing and texting me. So I have been told the first two years are manageable wherever I attend. So the emphasis now will be to keep the grades up and work hard for another State title in May. Perhaps if we plan accordingly my summer team will attend other states tournaments so I can see first hand what the other schools have to offer.

Q: Is it important for you to stay and play.

A: Ultimately it would be nice but I do not actively see the local schools recruiting me other than DU. I am sure if we knew one another it might be a different story. I have been fortunate to travel to other states and met with coaches that still have interests in me. I will remember those guys when it is May or June and they are still in contact with me. I could see making a decision by August as suggested by the rugby guys or December by the football coaches but well for now I am more focused on practices and the upcoming season. The rest will take care of itself. My SAT in April should help me identify schools as well as my work on the field to get some good film that all coaches are requesting.

Q: Anything else you would like to add?

A: Yes. Wear your school colors or club gear to these events. A coach stopped me to tell one of my teammates to give him a call. Then he proceeded to recruit me. While the process is arduous you just have to remember if it will be a good fit for me. I know guys go crazy on social media but that is not me. I want to make sure my choice is mine and not forced upon me like a car salesman. It takes time to visit and figure out the next 4 or 5 years after high school. Right now I want to enjoy the moments with my current friends and create others memories down the road.


Published on: Jan 22, 2018 @ 21:24

FOCO Gains another Mullen talent

CSU football landed a highly touted in-state wide receiver prospect to its 2018 recruiting class Tuesday, with A’Jon Vivens announcing his commitment to the green and gold on his Twitter.


Vivens is scheduled to join familiar faces in 2017 Mullen graduates and teammates Christian Cumber (defensive back), Marcus McElroy and preferred walk-on linebacker Tanner Clem all in camp as of Monday June 12th.

Published on: Jun 14, 2017 @ 01:17