By Jerry Del Priore
Earlier in the month of February, on National Signing Day, high school football student-athletes across the country declared what college they would attend in the fall.
It’s a culmination of the recruiting process. Most of the times, three elements are considered when seniors make their final decision: scholarship, playing time and success of program.
When all things considered are equal, the deciding factor, at least for some parents and student-athletes, can be which program is taking measures to ensure the safety of its players.
“If all things are equal – educational opportunity, strength of program and financial package – but one school was looking to keep my son safer, I would go with that school,” said Jesse Harper, President and CEO of i1 Biometrics (athleteintelligence.com), a Kirkland, Washington-based cutting-edge technology company focused on sports, military markets and wearable tech.
“It’s about more than just football.”
Harper knows firsthand, as he it went through the recruiting process with his eldest son, who attended Eastern New Mexico University on an athletic scholarship.
Seeing how brutal football can be, Harper and i1 Biometrics has developed the Vector Mouthguard (wearable tech), a state-of-the-art mouthpiece that utilizes embedded microscopic technologies that accurately measure the impacts and accelerations a player’s brain experiences during play.
While there isn’t a product on the market to avert concussions, Harper believes the data that the Vector Mouthguard transmits to medical personnel on the sidelines can lead to better concussion detection and coaching techniques on the gridiron, lowering the incidents of head injuries.
“There’s no product that prevents concussions,” Harper said. “With the data you’re able to see what occurred, where in the head the (hit) occurred, and how hard, in real time,” Harper explained. Plus, “You’re able to detect a player’s hitting technique habits in-game. This should lead coaches to teach players better hitting techniques.”
Harper has already brought major Division I college football programs into the cutting-edge technology fold, such as the Louisiana State University, University of Kansas and the University South Carolina, among others. The Hersey, Pennsylvania resident feels that it will be the college tipping point for some future football recruits.
“You look at some conferences that have taken a leadership role in concussion-detection technology, such as the SEC and Big 12,” he said, “and there will be some student-athletes that find those schools appealing because of the technology being used.”
To learn more about the Vector Mouth Guard, log onto www.athleteintelligence.com