Valrico man helps high school athletes play college sports - WFLA News Channel 8

Valrico man helps high school athletes play college sports

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VALRICO, FL (WFLA) -

Finding a way to defray the cost of college is the goal of many parents.  And if your student is also an athlete, finding a school where they can play their chosen sport is often a top priority.    

The college recruiting process can be a full time job and that's why one Valrico man, Jim Delaney, is making a career out of helping parents find the right fit. "It doesn't happen overnight and it takes a lot of work," says Delaney.

Delaney is passionate about helping high school athletes realize their dreams of playing college level sports. That's why he traded in his old day job in sales and now works for Recruit Look as a scout.

Delaney's first recruiting class, the class of 2013, just graduated. He helped place nine Bay area athletes: three football, three basketball and three baseball players. That includes pitcher Jake Mielock from Countryside high school in Clearwater.

"I actually knew his travel ball coach, went to one of his tournaments and started marking things down.  He's got great size.  He can pitch.  He throws hard.  I knew right off the bat, I want to work with this kid," said Delaney.

With Delaney's help, Mielock landed on a roster not far from home playing for the number one division two baseball program in the country at the University of Tampa.

Delaney focuses not on big time Division one athletes, but high school students who might not be getting the attention of college coaches but are good enough to play at the Division two or Division three level.   Delaney says, "They have to be realistic. They have to know how good they are or really how good they aren't."

 And grades play a huge role. "You can't be a student athlete if you're not a student first.  There's a reason they are called student athletes and not athletes. The quote, unquote, 'full ride'  is not as widespread as many people think it is.  A lot of that full ride money is primarily academic money."

 

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