Franklin Regional senior combines recruiting process, entrepreneurial spirit

Saturday, October 6, 2018 | 7:21 PM

Jake Williams took his first step into the recruiting process with curiosity and wonder.

He had a basic idea of how it worked, understanding the premise colleges didn’t come to you — you have to go to them.

The senior baseball player at Franklin Regional decided to get crafty when it came to promoting himself to potential suitors. He had an idea to create his own personalized sport resume to make it easier to connect with college coaches. With the help of his father, Russell, he created a web platform to connect with colleges that had it all: background, academic information, “measurables” like 60-yard dash and velocity times, photos and even highlight videos.

After sending his sport resume out to several schools and receiving positive feedback, Jake realized the resume idea-builder, which he and his father decided to call and register as “ ,” had room to stretch out.

It could be a valuable tool for others, not just for Jake, a talented shortstop. That’s when the Williamses decided to form a nonprofit organization to help other student-athletes set up their own sport resumes.

The feature they really believe sent it out of the park is this: it’s all free.

The site is user-friendly, packed with detail and makes the process easier for the recruit and the recruiter.

Anyone can view the resumes once they are posted.

“One of the first things we learned (with recruiting) is that you have to be proactive,” Russell Williams said.

This unique recruiting go-between gained momentum as father and son sought out professional web design and launched the venture at the end of last school year.

Still in its early stages, the Williamses hope to generate interest in the site to help athletes get organized as they begin their journey toward college athletics.

And again, no charge. Recruiting services usually ask for start-up or monthly fees.

“It can help a lot of kids,” Jake said. “You can email the link to college coaches and everything is there, all in one place. And it’s not all cluttered with ads.”

Think of it as one-stop shopping for a college coach or recruiter. The latter doesn’t even have to sign up to see profiles or resumes. They can get to know more about a prospect in a few clicks.

“It’s unlike anything out there,” Franklin Regional baseball coach Bobby Saddler said. “It allows the athlete to take control of his or her recruiting process.”

Athletes can update their resume in seconds, even on their cellphones, to show improvements in speed times and other areas.

“It can be challenging and time-consuming to have to search all over the internet to find out information on a (potential recruit),” Russell Williams said. “The idea here is simplicity. This gives the kid tall he tools.”

In addition to the basics, the site also has a place to display links to media such as newspaper articles and releases from other outlets such as Perfect Game.

And it isn’t just for baseball. The site has seven varsity sports but plans to expand. The idea of football and basketball recruits using the tool intrigues the founders.

“It’d be nice to see it take off,” Jake said.

Each profile can accommodate up to four sports per athlete. Viewers can toggle between them.

The site also will offer a database of schools – some 1,100 in the NCAA – with plans to add contact information for coaches.

“I think the most unique features are that the student-athlete can target specific schools and coaches,” Franklin Regional athletic director Zach Kessler said. “And the fact that it is a free service.”

Jake said he plans to get some help from members of Franklin Regional’s National Honor Society — fitting some volunteer-work requirements — to fill out the coaches information in the lengthy database. He is the vice president of the NHS.

A few athletes from Franklin Regional have signed up to use the site. Williams, obviously, has used it and said some colleges responded to him, proof they viewed his resume — before he even played a game his junior season.

Russell Williams said Google search engines are “optimized,” meaning when someone who fills out a resume with the site has their name searched, the first item to pop up should be their sport resume.

“Your name is your brand,” the site says.

Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at or via Twitter @BillBeckner.


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