Scouting high schoolers goes digital

By Andrew Lippe

The recruiting process is a daunting and exhausting process. Scouts and coaches rummage through hundreds of VCR tapes and spend countless dollars just to see footage of a player in action. But now, in an effort to make it ease the scouting process, XOS Technologies has developed the XOS Recruiting & Scouting Network the sports industry’s first end-to-end digital recruiting and scouting system for NFL and NCAA football teams.

“This platform will revolutionize the way coaches do scouting,” says Ray Thompson vice president of Product Marketing at XOS Technologies. XOS partnered with six scouting companies The Forbes Report, Hi-Tech Video, NorCal Football Scouting, Scouting Evaluation Association, Texas Sports Films and D.T. Football Scouting & Video that will take player footage from VCR tapes and digitize them for college and professional franchises.

Gary Howard, owner and president of NorCal Football Scouting, says the technology is a valuable time saver for his company as well. Instead of sending hundreds of VHS tapes of athletes and games now providers like NorCal provide a hard drive with all the footage digitized. “This is a whole new dimension.”

The Network is made up of four components: a server, capture station, editing station, and scouting station.

The first component is the distribution server or the recruiting database. It manages the distribution of video. With XOS, coaches have greater access to the country’s top recruits and can speed up the recruiting and scouting process. It can also run on existing hardware.

The second component is the Capture station, a turn-key system where recruiters can capture video in the Windows Media 9 format and save it to a disk or send it to other network users. Coaches can store up to 100 games on a 100GB internal drive. It enables unattended capture so you can do something else while it’s working. “Coaches can download games from the server to their labtops. Coaches and scouts can view, edit and share recruiting video on the road,” Thompson said.

The third component is an Editing station, letting coaches mark plays and make master clips from the raw video from many games at once. Once these clips are marked a streamline process can be summoned to create individual clips of every play.

The last component is the Scout station, letting coaches and scouts view and edit video clips. Content providers also provide spreadsheets, and statistical attachments that can be sent directly to labtops.

The Network is also a money saver and geared toward maximum efficiency. It eliminates the cost of maintaining video equipment.”Digital formatting is really a more efficient way of recruiting,” says Thompson. He adds that no two systems are priced exactly the same. “Pricing depends on the amount of storage needed, the size of the
network, the number of individual hardware and software materials
requested and the individual content provider pricing.”

Howard, however, is simply more excited to leave VHS tapes behing. “We
are headed into the future,” Howard says. “Nobody has really had this
ability before.”