EDMOND — Edmond Memorial football coach Justin Merideth admits he was a little surprised earlier this season when a website promoting running back Warren Wand surfaced.
But after talking with Wand, it all made sense that warrenwand.com was up and running.
“He’s had two really good seasons and the whole point was just to get his name out there and make sure people knew about him,” Merideth said.
Oklahoma high school football fans certainly know about Wand, a 5-foot-7, 170-pound human highlight reel at running back who is ranked No. 11 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30.
It’s college recruiters who appear slow to take notice, and largely due to his height.
“Probably a little bit, but I’m not mad,” Wand said about his height deterring recruiters. “It’s understandable. With the offers on the table right now, I’m not angry or anything. If colleges don’t come, then they don’t come and I’ll just choose what I have.”
Wand has scholarship offers from Arkansas State, New Mexico and Southern Mississippi.
He just wants more, and that’s why he and his family started the website hoping to avoid falling through the cracks in recruitment.
The home page features large pictures of Wand in action, his YouTube highlight reel from last season, his Twitter feed and a giant headline that reads, “This is … Warren Wand!”
There’s an information page showing his football rèsumè, including a 450-pound deep squat in April.
There’s also a page listing his academic information, a page of videos, a page showing articles written about him and ways to contact him.
It’s a modern-day approach of self-promotion.
“From looking at 2014’s recruiting class, I was just looking around, searching people up and a few guys had websites,” Wand said. “I look at it more towards the season, maybe after the game a summary of how it went, what happened, all of those things (will be posted).”
Wand said he hasn’t noticed much difference in recruiting since starting the website, but there is still plenty of time until February’s signing day.
“I’ve gotten a few emails, but not a lot that just blow me away, that just catch my attention,” he said. “I haven’t seen it do any miracles right now, but hopefully in the long run it will.”
Wand rushed for 1,769 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, numbers nearly identical to his sophomore season of 1,812 yards and 15 touchdowns.
It’s those numbers he may have to duplicate to get some bigger offers.
“If he was maybe a few inches taller, I think there would be more schools interested than there are now,” Merideth said. “I think if he goes out and shows again for the third straight year in 6A football that he’s capable of putting up big numbers and making big plays, I think more schools will be involved.”