Sonny Vaccaro changed the name of the game for athletes with NIL. He was an advocate for the Underdog.

Sparking change and disrupting the traditional way of business is never easy. After over 12 years working in the sports business, this still rings true in our industry today. Two weeks ago, I watched the new movie Air, which got me thinking about Sonny Vaccaro and his vision for NIL decades before we had language for it. Sonny’s deal with Michael Jordan was a first-of-its-kind and it laid the groundwork for the legalization of NIL today. Vaccaro did many remarkable things in his career, but one thing rings true: he was an advocate for the underdog. 

After watching the film, I wondered two things: 

  1. Would student-athletes have been able to achieve Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) without him as a champion for the change?
  2. Can only people with power and resources make major changes occur?

I don’t know the answer, but I sure like to pull for the underdog. As I’ve learned more about Sonny Vaccaro, I read he reached out to players for over 15 years to be the plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the NCAA for players to be compensated for their name, image and likeness. This was long time to remain committed and fight for change. A lot of players declined over the years, because going up against a powerhouse like the NCAA feels like a losing battle, but in 2009 he got a yes from Ed O’Bannon. This act of courage of O’Bannon and the perseverance of Vaccaro set into motion the passing of the NIL legislation in 2020. Pursuing change can be a lonely path with a lot more second guessers than supporters. Let’s not forget the history of NIL or those that championed the cause.

At scoutSMART we value academic success among all students and champion the opportunity to celebrate alongside our athletes. We partnered with High School Football America again to power the expansive list for the top academic prospects across the country. 

To make the cut, student-athletes must be an active participant on their varsity football team and maintain the 3.7 GPA or higher. This year over 2,050 athletes were selected from all 50 states to be on the 2022 High School Football America All-Academic Team.

To view the complete list of these athletes: Go to the High School Football America Website or if you’re a college coach check out the NEW All-American Academic Team Community on scoutSMART.  

HSFA 2022 All-Academic Team Community

Login to your scoutSMART account to browse the top academic prospects of the year!

Congrats boys! Keep up the good work! 

National Signing Day is made to be a day of celebration for all signing athletes across the country. Their hard work, perseverance and skill have gotten them a spot at the next level. At scoutSMART we are honored to help so many players along the way and today we are going to highlight the ones who are members of our communities. 

Compete24- Chris Bonner

Recruit High SchoolCommiting to
Jelani Lovett (RB)Chapel Hill High SchoolRhodes University 
JJ Callip (RB) Olentangy Orange High SchoolCentral Michigan University 
Briyar Powers (WR/ATH)Pebblebrook High SchoolCarson-Newman University 
Owen Davis (LB)North Union High SchoolPurdue University 
Noah Claxton (DE)Lovett High SchoolMercer University 
Khayru Mapson (OL)Lithia Springs High SchoolWofford College 
Khamari Small (OL)Archer High SchoolAnderson University 

Florida High School 7v7 Association (FHS7v7A)- Will Dettor 

Andre Gilbert (DB)Jesuit High SchoolUnited States Naval Academy 
Blake Boda (QB)Cocoa Beach High SchoolCoastal Carolina University 
Eddie Combs III (WR)Satellite High SchoolUniversity of Rhode Island 
Gabriel Garmon Jr. (WR)Edward H. White High SchoolTuskegee University 
Michael Leonard (LB)Bishop Kenny High SchoolDavidson College 
Jackson Burnett (WR)Bishop Kenny High SchoolArmy West Point
Alan Bailey Jr. (RB)Cocoa Beach High SchoolAnna Maria College 
Jawarren Corbin (LB)South Sumter High SchoolIowa Central Community College
Gage Hiers (OL) Dunnellon High SchoolWarner University 

High School Blitz- Charles Sutton and Veronica Frierson

Jonah Noris (RB)Lexington High SchoolNewberry College
Omari Jenkins (LB)Timberland High SchoolCharleston Southern College
Derrick Thompson Jr. (OL)Spring Valley High SchoolAnderson University
Logan S. Coldren (RB/WR)Hillcrest High SchoolLimestone University
Aaron Bowens (DB)Mauldin High SchoolSouth Carolina State University
Ja’Khaydin “K9” Kinard (WR)Airport High SchoolErskine College

Kickers Zone- Marc Nolan

Ripp Perez (Punter/TE) Marist High School United States Air Force Academy 
Bryson Hosea (Kicker/Punter)Blessed TrinityArmy West Point
Ryan Snipes (DT/DE) Blessed Trinity Army West Point 

Recruit Route- Brian Bedford 

Blake Meek (LB/TE)Crossing Christian High SchoolOklahoma Baptist University
Easton Rodgers (LB)Lincoln Christian SchoolEmporia State University 
Cam Dooley (WR)Lincoln Christian SchoolEmporia State University 
Cade Waggle (RB/WR)Fort Gibson High SchoolSouthwest Baptist University
Taylor Heim (LB)Bethany High SchoolUniversity of Oklahoma 

Congratulations to all of these athletes and all other scoutSMART recruits that signed last Wednesday! We are excited to watch you play in college and see where your football talent takes you in this world.

To learn more about scoutSMART communities check out: https://scoutsmartrecruiting.com/communities/

scoutSMART is based in Georgia, a state with an abundance of outstanding football recruits. In the early days of scoutSMART’s journey, I heard from college coaches that wanted recruits who were strong on the field and in the classroom. We started the scoutSMART Georgia High School Football Daily All-Academic team in 2017 and the candidates for this team continue to inspire me.

We are honored to celebrate the accomplishments of these student-athletes and we wish them the best as they get ready for college. scoutSMART helps college football coaches find recruits that fit their program. scoutSMART has more than 75,000 recruit profiles with more than 20,000 GPAs. Visit https://scoutsmartrecruiting.com/ for more information.

Offense

Dalton BradleyJohnson CountyQB
Kaden SchlegelLee CountyOL
Jacob BenjaminCherokee BluffOL
Jep HudspethSavannah ChristianOL
Bryson PhippsWhitewater High SchoolOL
Andrew CliettPeach CountyOL
Aiden RuckhNorth ForsythWR
Cole WeaverBlessed TrinityWR
Andersen CardozaStarr’s MillRB
Kellon MiddletonBrantley CountyRB
Jackson HughesMaristFB
Josh PhiferStarr’s MillTE

Defense

Brandon AlfordMary PersonsLB
Mavrick TorricoBlessed TrinityLB
William ChristmasSouth EffinghamLB
Josh TaylorJohnson CountyLB
Jonorian FootsSwainsboro High SchoolLB
Daniel GeilChristian HeritageDL
Mason DailySt Francis SchoolDL
Noah ClaxtonThe Lovett SchoolDL
Kason HooksLee CountyDB
Stacy AdamsTreutlen High SchoolSS
William YarbroughStarr’s MillDB

Special Teams

Will SnellingsWhitewaterLong Snapper/LB
HB ToddBlessed TrinitySpecial Teams
Roswell BondMidtownKicker
Jonah BlumWoodward AcademyPunter

Congratulations to Chason Clark of Bradford High School for being voted the scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week for December 5-9th!

The 6-foot-3 linebacker has had an outstanding junior season. He totaled over 70 tackles, 11 TFL and 5 sacks. Clark was an integral key in Brandford’s 12-2 record this season and he was the team leader for both sacks and tackles per game and receiving yards per game. In September, Clark was selected as the Max Preps Defensive Player of the Game in the team’s game against Baldwin.

(image via Twitter @ChasonClark10)

Clark has a 3.3 GPA, and is actively being recruited by multiple D1 programs. He is an intuitive, competitive and skilled athlete, but it is his determination and drive that set him apart.

Bradford’s football season came to a close Friday Dec 2, 2022 when they lost in the State Semi Finals to the Cocoa Tigers, yet there is still time to watch Clark take the field this year. Clark was named a 2022 US Army Bowl All-American and is set to play in the bowl game on December 17, in Dallas, TX.

There are only a few more weeks to vote for the Florida Player of the week, so be sure to nominate and vote on the scoutSMART website to recognize your favorite athletes.

To view more of Clark’s highlights visit his scoutSMART profile online or on our free app, his Twitter, and hudl profile.

Congratulations to Kaleb Lampkins of The Bolles School for winning this week’s scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week for November 21-27th!

The sophomore wide receiver and kick and punt returner has been a playmaker this season.Lampkins totaled 233 all-purpose yards, 70 receiving yards with 1 TD, 117 kick-return yards and 49 punt-return yards. Lampkins is a quick, explosive and intuitive player who has made major plays all season long.

(Bob Self/Florida Times-Union)

During the off season, Lampkins is also a member of the track and field team. The young athlete is naturally gifted with his speed but it is his work ethic and determination that set him apart. It will be fun to see what the future has in store for him.

Kaleb Lampkin and the Bolles Bulldogs play at home this Friday, November 21, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. against Raines to see who will take home the Regional Championship Title and advance to the Final 4 of the 2M State Playoffs. This will be a close match-up so be sure to watch.

Kaleb Lampkin received 6,041 votes this week, make sure you keep voting for scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week to recognize your favorite players throughout the state playoffs!

To view more of Lampkin’s highlights visit his scoutSMART profile online or on our free app, his Twitter, and hudl profile.

Advanced Layout Editor

Congratulations to Deuntae Burgess of Mulberry High School for being voted the scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week for November 14-20th!

The senior running back has been an impact player this year and has really stepped up to help the Panther’s get to their 6-4 record. Burgess has over 400 yards, 7 touchdowns and 12 tackles this season. His drive, work-ethic and discipline showed up as he bounced back from an ankle injury earlier in the season.

(Photo via twitter @deuntae_burgess)

The 6-foot, 205 pound RB will be playing in the Blue-Grey All American Bowl on January 31st in Dallas, Texas. He plans on announcing his college decision after the showcase.

We are excited to see where football takes Burgess and will be tuning in January to see him take to the field in Texas!

Deutae Burgess received more than 1500 votes this week, make sure you keep voting for scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week to recognize your favorite players throughout the state playoffs!

To view more of Burgess’s highlights visit his scoutSMART profile online or on our free app, his Twitter, and hudl profile.

Congratulations to Jeremiah Rhem of Trinity Catholic High School for being voted the scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week for November 7-13th!

The junior 6-foot-2 linebacker from Ocala, FL has been on fire this season! He is an around impressive athlete who dominates both sides of the ball as a linebacker, strong safety and wide receiver. Rhem has 58 tackles and 11 sacks this season and has been integral to his team’s 6-2 record.

(Photo via Twitter @jayy_rhem)

On October 24th, Rhem was selected to the All-District team for District 7. Then in their game on Oct. 28th against P.K. Younge High School Rhem had a standout defensive performance with 3 sacks, 6 solo tackles and a TD reception. This secured the Celtics a 51-7 win, the district championship title and a seat in the state playoffs.

Rhem is a dynamic and skillful player who is making a major positive impact for the Celtics football program. Be sure to watch their first playoff game vs Father Lopez High School of Daytona Beach on November 18, 2022 at 7 p.m.

In the scoutSMART HQ we are excited to see what is ahead for Jeremiah and the Celtics this playoff season!

Jeremiah received more than 2745 votes this week, make sure you continue to vote for scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week to recognize your favorite players as the season!

To view more of Rhem’s highlights visit his scoutSMART profile online or on our free app, his Twitter, and hudl profile.

When the news of Coach Vince Dooley’s death broke last Friday, I was struck with a great tinge of sadness. That was my coach. He valiantly led my beloved Georgia Bulldogs to the National Championship in 1980 and became a man I deeply admired. I realized that his passing is a loss for all of us and makes me wonder… How can a coach have such an impact on a community?

(Gene Blythe/AP)

During my days at Georgia, I remember seeing him riding around campus in his Lincoln Continental. He was vibrant, full-of-life and influential. He gained the respect of many through his humble presence and impeccable winning record. He was the embodiment of a Damn Good Dawg.

It was after my time at Georgia when I got the opportunity to both meet and learn about the man behind the legend. In addition to his remarkable coaching career and the hundreds of players’ lives he positively impacted, Dooley had the mind of a renaissance man. He was a master gardener, assisted in building soccer fields in Honduras and he was always available to attend and participate in events that recognized student-athletes. He lived a balanced life of service, purpose and generosity.

Vince Dooley’s life showcased how the influence of an effective coach is immeasurable. He was adored by his UGA family and respected by the entire football community. Dooley was more than a coach; he embodied integrity, hard-work and determination.

This is why supporting coaches at both the high school and collegiate level, through scoutSMART, is so important to me. I see how coaches and men like Vince Dooley inspire young-men and women to be forces of good in the world. I want to be a part of that too.

Congratulations to Evan Tempro of Westminster Academy for being voted the scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week for October 31- November 6!

The 6-foot-4, 210 pound junior linebacker and wide receiver has been a player to watch this fall. He has 370 receiving yards, 39 tackles and 4.5 sacks this season and has truly been unstoppable. In the Lion’s game against Pine Crest on October 21, 2022, Tempro put up impressive stats with 5 catches for 72 yards, a 79 yard kickoff return for a touchdown and 4 tackles with 1 TFL.

(image via Instagram: @Evan.tempr)

Throughout the season, Tempro has been a playmaker. He was awarded on October 7th, as the Maxpreps Defensive player of the game against Bishop Snyder where he had 10 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1 sack and he also led the team with 97 receiving yards, a TD and a 2 pt conversion. On October 14th, Tempro was recognized again as the MaxPreps Overall Player of the Game with 8 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks and 3 catches for 61 yards.

Tempro is a dynamic player who is effective on both sides of the ball. He is a dependable, consistent and competitive asset for Westminster Academy’s football program. The team’s season came to a close on Friday, October 28, 2022 as the Lion’s took their second loss of the season to Jupiter Christian in the first round of the SSAC State Championship Tournament.

Tempro received more than 7,470 votes this week, make sure you continue to vote for scoutSMART Florida Player of the Week to recognize your favorite players as the season!

To view more of Hill’s highlights visit his scoutSMART profile online or on our free app, his Twitter, and hudl page.