3 Ways Analytics Is Helping HS Football Players Beat The Transfer Portal

Jacky Levi
August 20, 2022

Free agency is common in professional sports. It’s part of the business. Athletes often choose the new destination and team that can give them any number of attractive things their current team cannot, such as more money, familiar coaches, and a chance to win a Championship.

This is much less common in college sports, having emerged as recently as 2018. But it has become analogous to professional free agency in sports. Three of the reasons athletes use the transfer portal include: coaching departures, playing time, and Name, Image and Likeness (NIL)deals, which allow them to make money by playing for a particular program.

The transfer portal can be difficult to navigate for both athletes and families. Here are three ways analytics is helping athletes to beat the hassle of the transfer portal.

1. Background Data

Before a player can begin the process of transferring to a school, they need to enter their name into the portal. Then, after the player’s current school approves the request within 48 hours, background data will be sent to prospective coaches looking to acquire the player. Background data, is basic information, such as position information, height, weight, any previous schools, etc. This helps both prospective athletes and schools.Coaches can begin narrowing down their search to find exactly the kind of player they want to add to their program, and athletes can advertise themselves to prospective schools to initiate the process.

2. Video Integration

A company called SportSource analytics has also partnered with Pro Football Focus, one of, if not the premier football stat tracking websites online today. PFF’s role in the transfer portal navigation process is simple but necessary: Tape evaluation and video integration. Once background data is entered into the system, video data will also soon be available as it is entered into the PFF-powered part of the application. Videos will then be available in one easy place, which will save prospective coaches time having to search for film, and the prospective players will be able to have their best moments all online, and be able to showcase their talent.

3. Commitment Status

As the time comes for athletes to make their choice on whether to stay at their current school, they can make their status known through the system, such as whether they have publicly committed to a new school, or if they are fully off the transfer market. Even though this process can take a while, there are applications out there that are available for players to use to update their commitment status at the tap of a screen or button.

The transfer portal can be daunting for both athletes and their families. Futures are at stake. But data tracking plays a critical role in navigating the process, and can streamline going from one school to another, and help minimize stress for all involved.

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