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Recruiting: Expert says he will give realities

Scholarships are out there, but parents might have to swallow some pride

Posted: August 19, 2010 10:15 p.m.
Updated: August 20, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Local high school athletes and their parents could get a reality check Monday night at West Ranch High School.

Jack Renkens, founder and president of Recruiting Realities, plans to speak at the West Ranch High School theater at 7 p.m. about the truths and myths about colleges recruiting student-athletes.

Renkens’ goal is to help athletes playing any sport at any level get into college with at least partial scholarships, even if that means moving out of state or attending a lower division school.

“It’s primarily geared toward getting parents to be realistic about their kids’ abilities,” Renkens said of his upcoming speech.

The biggest barrier to high school athletes advancing their educations, he said, can often be the lack of willingness to swallow their pride and play sports at smaller, less prestigious programs. Most kids don’t know how to “play the game,” Renkens explained, and market themselves to colleges looking to recruit.

Recruiting Realities is a company based out of Scottsdale, Ariz. and its purpose is to raise awareness for high school athletes, parents and school counselors about the facts of college recruiting. Renkens speaks at about 170 events a year and spreads the company’s message at high schools and athletic clinics all around the country.

West Ranch athletic director Dody Garcia heard about Renkens through a speech he gave at a California athletic director’s conference. She felt he touched on big issues that face high schools kids and decided to invite him to speak in Santa Clarita.

“I thought he was a very informative, dynamic speaker with a very good message,” Garcia said.

The guest speaker’s purpose will be to inform both parents and students about the best path to take to get the most affordable education, she said. It’s not going to be about trying to get athletes to play on the big stage.

“He’s not here to get people to sign up for his recruiting business,” Garcia said. “He doesn’t have a recruiting business.”

Before starting Recruiting Realities, Renkens coached basketball at both the high school and college level, primarily in Arizona. He also served as an NCAA representative and athletic director for Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.

After spending time on both sides of the recruiting process, Renkens brings plenty of expertise to the table and promises to provide attendees with information that tends to be overlooked.

“There are opportunities out there, but you're not going to pick the school. They’re going to pick you,” he said. “It’s a business. College recruiting is a business.”

With California kids, it’s especially hard to get them to look at colleges out of state or out of the realm of Division I athletics, Renkens said. California and Florida are the most competitive states in the U.S. when it comes to high school recruiting.

“Colleges recruit the world,” he said. “They don’t just recruit their own nook.”

The event is free and will be open to all student-athletes and their families. Renkens will hold a question and answer session after the speech.


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