Sharp Performance Combine helps high school football players with recruiting during pandemic
WICHITA, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - High school student-athletes have felt the repercussions of COVID-19 in many ways: sports seasons canceled, fans prohibited at games and reduced recruiting efforts.
But one event Saturday gave high school football players an opportunity to perform in front of college coaches that they did have this year.
Five hundred high school football players showed up at Salina Central on Saturday to participate in the Sharp Performance Combine.
“These athletes are performing well today and getting those guys out in front of college coaches is why we’re doing it,” said Sharp Performance owner Jake Sharp.
Sharp performance has organized this combine series for athletes to potentially boost their recruiting resume.
“There’s really no way to get noticed,” said Sharp. “And especially right now in the landscape, you have to put yourself out there, you have to look at any avenues to get exposure.”
“Just with COVID, the whole recruiting process has been a lot different than how it usually is,” said Hutchinson High School sophomore Noah Khokhar. “Coaches aren’t able to go visit players and stuff. It’s definitely been difficult but definitely thankful for all this to get experience.”
From this combine, Khokhar is already on the radar of some D1 college coaches, just like Hays High School junior Jaren Kanak.
“Before the combine, I had no offers, no interest or anything and I came and put some good numbers on the board and kind of got my name out there and all it took was that first offer,” said Kanak. “A couple more schools started noticing and here we are now around nine FBS offers.”
Maize sophomore, Bryce Cohoon, said he felt bad for the seniors on his team that didn’t have as many recruiting opportunities last year as they could have because of COVID limitations.
“I think this is just a good way to showcase your talents that some coaches might not know you have, just to get it out there,” said Cohoon.
Kanak said, “With everything being shut down and all that, it’s harder to get out and get to something where you can put those numbers up in an official setting like this.”
“Obviously with games being disrupted, fans not being able to come, it’s been a tough year,” said Sharp. “It’s a tough year to even earn those scholarships because of what happened with the NCAA and not so many available.”
Thanks to social media, players and coaches have been able to connect with larger audiences in order to boost recruiting interest, all while still respecting COVID limitations.
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