ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local sports recruiter is offering free help to student-athletes in the state who are struggling to get scholarships, after almost a year of no school sports. With Albuquerque Public Schools deciding not to go to hybrid, athletes still can’t compete, and what many thought would be their last chance to play is gone.
“Obviously, the senior year is vital for exposure and we need the film to send off to colleges if we do want to play at the next level,” Connor Baca said, an Eldorado High School senior. Baca and classmate, Omar El Shanawy, say they’ve been using Twitter to talk to college football coaches around the country and have sent videos of them working out.
Back in January, they started practicing in pods with their football teammates to help them stay in shape. Following APS’s decision on Wednesday to vote down hybrid learning, one local recruiter is now offering to help senior athletes for free.
“I know with my knowledge and expertise in the recruiting arena that there’s still something we can do to try to help out and give these kids a glimmer of hope,” Matt Martinez of Zam Recruiting in Albuquerque said.
Martinez said he’s helped more than 300 New Mexico student-athletes get scholarships over the past seven years. He added that he will use all of his resources, contacts, and knowledge to help any student-athlete who reaches out to him. Martinez says New Mexico players have to get creative to stand out, considering fall athletes missed their most recent season and spring sports missed two.
“It’s a unique situation where we need to get creative and athletes need to go and they need to make videos, be it in their backyard, throwing, passing with their friends. Just make random videos that shows their ability that we can pass on to coaches,” Martinez said. “They might not have had a season this year but maybe they’ll get a chance to move on to the next level and still get a chance to keep playing to fulfill their dreams of getting a college education.”
Martinez has already heard back from about 20 families with students playing all sports, looking for opportunities around the country. “I want them to know there’s people here still fighting for them,” Martinez said.
Interested families can email Martinez at email@example.com. Meanwhile, Baca said he has received a couple of scholarship offers and plans to make his decision in the next couple of weeks.