Paul Gonnella’s “The Process” Aims to Improve College Football Recruiting


Paul Gonnella’s “The Process” Aims to Improve College Football Recruiting

One of college football’s most well respected talent evaluators is about to once again leave his imprint on the recruiting trail, as Paul Gonnella is ready to change the landscape of the college football world with his new company called The Process.

Set to launch this spring, The Process is a service that will not only help guide kids through the entire recruiting process, but also provide them with an honest assessment and evaluation of their skill set.

“After spending years on the other side of the recruiting process, this a great opportunity,” said Gonnella. “The recruiting process can be difficult for some of these kids. It’s a lot to deal with all at once. Being in my position for as long as I have, I understand how it all works and exactly what it takes.”

When describing Gonnella, understanding what it takes is a massive understatement. After spending time as the Director of Player Personnel/Recruiting Coordinator at schools like Alabama, Memphis, Miami (FL), North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee and most recently South Florida, Gonnella knows exactly what it takes in the recruiting process.

His relentless work ethic has helped him notch elite level recruiting classes at all of his stops, which was highlighted during his time at Alabama in 2012. During that season, Gonnella worked closely with head coach Nick Saban as the Crimson Tide signed the nation’s No. 1 rated recruiting class, en route to an SEC Championship and a BCS National Championship.

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Success has followed Gonnella at every stop. Even before his time in the NCAA, he helped over 30 kids receive Division I and I-A scholarships during his stint at Lovejoy High School in Georgia.

Needless to say, success and Paul Gonnella are synonymous.

With The Process, Gonnella looks to take that success and translate it to young athletes all across the country.

“I felt it was the right time for me to start a service that will help kids,” said Gonnella. “Our model is an idea that will benefit everybody, and most importantly, be able to guide and evaluate these kids in a direction that will help them succeed in both athletics, and the classroom.”

Teaming up with Toronto based company Sport Testing, the Process will provide athletes with a sophisticated evaluation that provides accurate and consistent test results in real-time.

“Our system provides legitimacy to testing,” said Jonathan Hollins, President of Sport Testing. “We provide athletes with precise and exact measurements that are unparalleled worldwide. Working with The Process, we can help athletes across the country see where they measure, and give them a better understanding of what it will take to get to the next level.”

With their advanced testing techniques, The Process will be able to give athletes an honest evaluation that not only gives them an opinion from a top-notch talent evaluator like Gonnella, but also the raw data needed for them to understand where they can improve their skill set.

In today’s sporting world, every millisecond counts, as that split second can be the difference between winning and losing. Or, in the case of football recruits, that second in your speed can be the difference between one school and another.

Through Sport Testing, The Process will provide athletes with a fair evaluation that gives them their exact measurements.

For Canadian players who want to get noticed by American universities, Director of International Scouting Simon Lazanja will work closely with Gonnella to oversee operations in Canada. With a total of 28 Ontarian’s playing NCAA Division-I football last year, and 17 Canadians signing letters of intent on National Signing Day this year, Lazanja will oversee an area that Gonnella describes as, “a developing area loaded with unknown talent”.

“I’m very excited to work with Paul [Gonnella] and The Process,” said Lazanja. “Not just Ontario, but Canada as a whole, is a place that has tons of talent. Now we have a way to help these talented players get the exposure they need in order to have a shot at the next level.”

Helping Canadian kids — in particular Ontarian’s — reach the NCAA level is something Lazanja has consistently delivered. Over the past couple years, Lazanja has helped players like Arjen Colquhoun of Michigan State, David Knevel of Nebraska, and Yale running back, and Senior Bowl standout, Tyler Varga reach the NCAA.

“A player like Tyler [Varga] is the complete package on and off the field,” said Lazanja. “But what more evaluators are noticing is that Canada has more than an athlete here and there that can compete. There are a bunch of them. With the Process, we can help these athletes better understand what they need to do to reach that next level, as well as help them gain valuable exposure.”

For athletes in the United States, exposure is not an issue since players are recruited all throughout high school. Combine that exposure with the fact that each FBS school is constantly searching for the next impact player they can bring to their respective campus, and you can understand why exposure is a non-issue for these players.

But for most players in Canada, gaining that valuable exposure is a difficult task since travelling to Canada requires most schools to dedicate a full recruiting day to travel up north and see a player. Combine that with different rules for the Canadian game — 12 players, three downs, longer field — and you can quickly see why Canadians are at a disadvantage.

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Although some Canadians have overcome those disadvantages to earn scholarships, The Process will provide players with the right exposure on a platform that is operated by one of the most well respected names in the college football world.

Once a part of The Process, Gonnella and his staff will use their years of experience, knowledge and coaching relationships to help navigate a recruit through the entire recruiting process from the beginning to the end.

“We will focus on everybody.” said Gonnella. “From the top player in the country to the kid nobody has ever heard of. We will give everybody a fair evaluation and help guide each kid through the entire process.”

But for Gonnella and everyone involved, The Process goes beyond the field of play. It extends to the idea of building excellent life habits for each and every athlete.

“Everything in life is a process,” said Gonnella. “The way you approach things each day matters and players need to understand that. Our goal here is to help each player develop into a champion everyday, and we will help them prepare for that the right way.”

Prospective athletes can now register with The Process on their website. Details on future plans and events will be posted on the website in the coming weeks. Until then, you can follow The Process on social media.

You can follow Paul Gonnella on Twitter @TheProcessFball

You can follow Sport Testing on Twitter @SportTesting and on Facebook

You can follow Simon Lazanja on Twitter @canadascout and on Facebook