NFA, Upper Hand Promotions join forces


Already widely recognized for developing talent and steering athletes to the collegiate level, National Football Academies has taken yet another step toward helping players get scholarships by teaming up with Upper Hand Promotions.
“It’s a great fit,” said Upper Hand Promotions managing partner J.J. Weyrauch. “With NFA, their expertise is training the kids on the field and making sure they develop athletically. When it comes down to recruiting, you have to be consistent; you have to get the information out to schools and coaches consistently each and every month.
“With their camp schedules and the things they do at NFA, they might not have the time to do it. With the network we’ve already developed at Upper Hand and the programs we’ve already developed, we’re able to put together the best programs for NFA’s best athletes. So now, not only are NFA athletes going to receive the best instruction on the field, they’re also going to be consistently promoted to college coaches and come signing day, they should have multiple options to choose from as opposed to settling on schools that just happen to come across them.”
NFA and UHP joined forces in early April, and Will Hewlett also sees the pairing as a great fit.
Over the years, NFA has trained and developed numerous quarterbacks and other players that have gone on to play football in college and the NFL.
But the competition to reach the next level is furious, and the recruiting process can take countless hours of time and effort.
With Upper Hand Promotions on board, NFA athletes can focus more on developing their skills on the football field and reduce much of the worry about stepping up to the next level.
“Teaming with Upper Hand provides us with a way to manage the recruiting process for our recruitable athletes in the Blackshirt (Elite) Academy, and it allows them to really track schools that are truly interested, and schools that might not be,” said Hewlett, an NFA Coach and the organization’s Director of Player Development. “Using Upper Hand’s expertise helps tear down recruiting process. We’re very specific with the approach, so it really gives our athletes an additional platform; a greater network.”
Top-rated high school football players have the luxury of sifting through multiple Division 1 offers.
The majority of players, however, have to go through a litany of channels to find the right school. Upper Hand’s presence in the NFA program will help alleviate any hurdles.
“For a kid that isn’t a five-star talent but does have the talent play Division 1, Division 3, NAIA, whatever, when push comes to shove, they want to play football at the next level and receive scholarship help or tuition help,” Weyrauch said. “Programs that aren’t consistently ranked in the Top 10 with millions of dollars in their recruiting budgets, they’re restricted in how much travel they can do and how much scouting they can do. But those coaches are committed to bringing in the best kids to their programs.”
That is where Upper Hand is going to lend a big hand to NFA athletes.
“Players that don’t use a program, what they would have to do is consistently send information out, keep those coaches updated with where they’re going to be if the coach wants to see them live, see their strength numbers, their speed numbers,” Weyrauch said. “Anything that is pertinent to their recruiting process, they’re going to have to get in front of that coach and issue the communication process. The hardest part is making the initial introduction if you are not one of those top-tier prospects.”
NFA athletes can now tap Upper Hand Promotions and get the tools needed to develop player profiles, share information with college coaches and gain access to an expansive college database.
Along with NFA, Upper Hand also is tightly connected with collegiate programs on all levels nationwide.
“Our main focus is to allow the athlete to develop on the field, go to camps and still have time at night to study so they can qualify academically,” Weyrauch said. “If they had to do the promotion process, they’d have to come home every night, or a couple of times a week, and send information out to coaches. Most athletes don’t have time to do that effectively. They’ll shoot something out once a month when they have a second, but it’s not as effective that way.
“We match athletes with the coaching staff. Every day, we receive requests from coaches stating their recruiting needs.”
Players have to be recommended by NFA and UHP before the collegiate process begins, typically in an athlete’s sophomore season of high school.
“One of the biggest mistakes many recruiting companies make is they accept any athlete and they send out so much information to college coaches that they lose their credibility,” Weyrauch said. “It gets watered down and coaches quit using your program. We are always hearing from college coaches, but we try to do our best on the front end. We’re looking for quality, well-rounded athletes so coaches always know they’re getting a quality player with good grades and no character problems.”