MEET OUR SCOUTS
Jason Lauren, who lives in Milwaukee, Wis., is the Owner and a Scout for ScoutU. Since 2008, he has helped over 300 athletes from the Midwest move on to play in college to programs at every level across the country — from major NCAA Division I schools like Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Missouri and Purdue to Division III and JUCOs. The athletes he has guided through the recruiting process have committed to 136 colleges in 25 different states, from Arizona to Florida, Texas to Massachusettes and accross the Midwest.
Jason has implemented recruiting methods for his athletes that have resulted in millions of dollars of scholarships. Through his personal conversations with college coaches over the years and going through the recruiting process with hundreds of athletes, he has learned the ins and outs of how the recruiting process works and how to best guide athletes and their families through it. Jason has established relationships with hundreds of colleges coaches at all levels, most of which have come by meeting in person at games and events. He has given recruiting seminars for many events, teams and schools. Jason has been featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal and has been mentioned in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel many times when his athletes have made their college commitments. He employed two scouts who became scouts with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jason started his career as an award-winning sports journalist. He worked for the Green Bay Press-Gazette as a sports copy editor and reporter, covering hockey and writing a fantasy football column. He self-syndicated the column to papers around the country, including the Chicago Tribune. He also was the sports editor and a sports reporter for the Freeport (Ill.) Journal Standard. During Jason’s sports journalism career, he connected with several college coaches, learning how to communicate effectively with them. He graduated with a BS degree in entrepreneurship and minored in journalism at Northern Michigan University. He grew up in Ishpeming, Mich., a small town in the Upper Peninsula, and graduated from Westwood High School.
Jason resides in Greendale, Wis., with his wife, Laurie, 9-year-old daughter, Maisey, and their yellow-lab mix dog, Dorsey.
Jon Feyen is ScoutU’s General Manager and Ohio scout. As General Manager, Jon handles scout hiring, social media, updating athlete websites, writing prospect commitment stories and appointment setting. Jon owns 9 years of experience working in college athletics. He managed events, kept statistics, wrote articles, operated social media and helped coaches with their recruiting. Jon’s resume includes experience at Division I, Division III and NAIA schools. He has worked hundreds of college basketball, baseball and football games, so he knows the talent required to compete at that level.
More than half the golfers Jon advised have committed to Division I programs, including Timmy Gannon (Elon), Elise Hoven (North Dakota State), Grace Durkin (Loyola), Kate Bogenschutz (Montana), Lauren Lupinek (Western Michigan), Lorenza Martinez (Loyola) and Elliott Nielsen (Northern Iowa). Jon also has worked with prospects in baseball and basketball, including Savannah Walsdorf who scored 1,538 points with 792 rebounds for Dakota State University.
Jon worked in advance scouting and video for the Milwaukee Brewers during 2018. He is constantly involved in the local sporting scene, owning experience with Minor League Baseball (2013-17), NBA G-League Basketball (2017-18) and several high school state championships. Jon also handled media relations and official statistics for the NCAA Division III World Series from 2008-17. Jon owns a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a master’s degree in sports management from Cardinal Stritch University (WI). His writing profile includes a published book (How Twitter Changed Sports Journalism) and the 2016 Spira Research Award for his thesis, “Analytics: The New Currency of MLB.” Jon and his wife, Brennan, have been married since 2019.
LINDA BLACKWELL BENTLEY
Linda Blackwell Bentley, who lives in Chicago, Ill., is a former collegiate women’s basketball player at the University of Illinois-Chicago – an NCAA Division I school — and has coached both girls high school tennis and basketball. A three-sport All-Conference and All-Sectional varsity athlete in tennis, basketball and softball at a high school with over 3,200 students, she also was named All-State honorable mention in basketball and invited to tryout for the Pan American Games/Junior Olympics after graduation. Linda was recruited by various colleges and still has her National Letter of Intent from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA Division II school. She was offered a full scholarship to play in both tennis and basketball there. Instead, she decided to accept a full scholarship and play for Illinois-Chicago and a was a top basketball player during her career there, averaging 14.4 points a game and being in the top 20 in career field goals made. Linda was the varsity basketball coach at Beacon Academy High School in Evanston, Ill., during the 2019-20 season. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and art education at UIC. She has made a career in business of graphic design and created marketing materials for various clients, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Nike. Additionally, she manages an art collection. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired a portion of the collection to become part of its permanent collection.
Smoove Friday, who lives in Portland, Ore., and is from Chicago, Ill., has made a life of using sports success to translate to human connection. With experiences ranging from competing on a top-15 junior college tennis team to coaching varsity volleyball as a high school athlete to speech competitions before starting school, competitive environments are a comfort zone. He has covered women’s basketball of all levels, dating back to 2002, in roles ranging from writer to editor to on-air talent as the basketball expert for a radio show, “The Manchild Show With Boy Green,” based out of Syracuse. NY, even covering the WNBA Draft live on YouTube in recent years.
Smoove currently is a student at the University of Oregon, studying psychology/pre-law. In all of his years adjacent to sports, he has mentored, taught and trained athletes in basketball, soccer, volleyball and tennis who have gone on to college careers, Olympic medals, world championships and halls of fame around the globe.
Darrien Gordon, who lives in Richardson, Texas, is two-time Super Bowl champion and a former first-round selection in the NFL (San Diego Chargers, 1993). He enjoyed a 10-year career as a cornerback and punt returner for the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. He is a four-time All-Pro selection and was on the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 1998 and 1999. He holds the all-time Super Bowl record for most interception return yards (108) set in 1999. He is also ranks fourth all-time in NFL punt return yardage.
Darrien attended Stanford University, where he was an All- Pac 10 selection as a defensive back. In high school, he was a two-time state champion in wrestling (1987 at 141 pounds and 1989 at 178 pounds) for the Shawnee (Okla.) Wolves. Darrien has experience as a football coach at the collegiate level, serving as an intern coach for Pittsburg State University in 2013. He has a passion for helping young student-athletes. As a volunteer coach for youth sports, he coached football, basketball and baseball in Southlake, Texas. He has coached and mentored several players who have played in the NFL as well as many who played at the collegiate level.
Darrien has four children, three of whom earned full athletic scholarships (Jalil at Towson University and Tariq at Lamar University, both in football; and Nailah at North Carolina State in volleyball). His youngest daughter, Aminah, is a senior at Southlake Carroll High School.
Brianna Kadiku, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has been involved with volleyball for over 12 years. After high school in 2016, she then went on to become a NCAA Division I collegiate women’s volleyball player at the University of Memphis on a full scholarship. Shortly after her sophomore season at Memphis, she transferred to the University of Oklahoma in 2018. There, Brianna was able to compete against some of the top NCAA Division I teams in the country and played in the NCAA Tournament. Brianna graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2020. After her successful career at Oklahoma, she pursued her dream of being a professional volleyball player overseas. She played on teams in Paris, France and Suhl, Germany, while traveling and competing all over the world.
Brianna has garnered experience in volleyball not only from playing but also coaching. She has coached a multitude of volleyball camps that range from middle school to high school players. Every summer she travels to different schools across the country to coach camps and spread her knowledge of volleyball to young promising athletes. Along with coaching camps, she coaches club volleyball in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well. Through her experience in volleyball, she has made connections not only in Texas but across the country and the world.
Her love for volleyball started in the 7th grade, where she also played other sports, such as track and basketball. Volleyball quickly became her main sport when she started playing club volleyball in 9th grade.
Susan Kemper, who lives in Langley, BC, Susan’s college recruitment experience began building in 2014 when she independently navigated the softball college recruitment process for her daughter, leading to multiple NCAA Division I full-ride offers and successfully signing in 2015. From there, Susan was invited to be the Recruitment Manager for the Synergy Gold Travel Team, leading families through the recruitment process with information, tools, advice and building a trusting relationship with everyone throughout the process.
Susan is a former Canadian National Team athlete in artistic swimming, achieving podium success in several world-level competitions, including silver medals in the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games and the 1995 World Championships. Susan has held multiple titles in the sport, including British Columbia’s High-Performance Director, Technical Director, Provincial Training Centre, Provincial Head Coach and the longest running club Head Coach in the province where she produced over 20 national and Olympic team athletes for Canada. She has held multiple international coaching contracts in the U.S., Malaysia, Netherlands, Austria and Brazil, coaching at the Pan American Games, the FINA World Aquatic Championships and the Olympic Qualifier. In 2007, Susan was named Canada’s Olympic Head Coach after leading their senior programs for 7 years where she qualified the team for the Beijing Games.
As a Chartered Professional Coach, Susan is Nationally Certified Level 5 with the Coaches of Canada, the highest ranking in Canadian sport education. She is the ninth woman in Canada with that coaching education level and the first coach in artistic swimming. In 2006, Susan was amongst the grand opening inductees into her hometown’s Sports Hall of Fame as Builder in Sport.
“I firmly believe that sports are here to enhance our lives. I strive for that in all the roles I’ve held in sports and look forward to continuing that philosophy for years to come.”
Chris Lee, who lives Vancouver, BC, embarked on his golfing journey at the age of 19, honing his skills and passion for the sport. His dedication and unwavering commitment led to a remarkable career that saw him compete at the highest levels of professional golf, including on the PGA Tour, and in various corners of the world, including Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada.
One of the notable highlights of Chris’s career was his sponsorship by Samsung Corporation, a testament to his exceptional talent and marketability within the sport. This partnership not only allowed him to further excel on the golf course but also solidified his presence as a prominent figure in the golfing community.
Beyond his achievements as a professional golfer, Chris is also recognized for his contributions as a golf coach. He has played a pivotal role in nurturing the talents of aspiring young golfers, guiding them on their journey to success. His coaching prowess has seen several of his students flourish on both the LPGA Tour and the KLPGA Tour, solidifying his reputation as a premier instructor. Also, some of his students have been fortunate enough to secure spots in prestigious U.S. colleges such as Pepperdine, UNLV, and Towson, thanks to Chris’s expert coaching and guidance. Furthermore, Chris has had the privilege of coaching individuals who have gone on to represent Canada as members of the national team, a testament to his ability to identify and nurture talent at the highest level of the sport.
In his current role as a scout for ScoutU, Chris leverages his extensive experience and network within the golfing community to help talented athletes secure coveted scholarships at U.S. colleges. With his keen eye for talent and profound understanding of the college recruitment process, Chris is dedicated to empowering young athletes and providing them with opportunities to excel academically and athletically.
Chris’ multifaceted career, encompassing his achievements as a PGA Tour player, his success as a coach and his commitment to guiding athletes toward scholarship opportunities, showcases his unwavering dedication to the world of golf and sports education. His expertise and passion continue to make a profound impact on the lives and careers of aspiring athletes, shaping the future of golfing talent both in Canada and beyond.
Candelario G. Montes Jr. (Cande) who lives in Midland, Texas, is a former college baseball player at Odessa College at the NJCAA D1 level and Hardin-Simmons University (NCAA D3 school). He accepted a full scholarship at Odessa College as a utility player. Cande played for the Wranglers for 2 years, helping the team make the Regional Tournament in both seasons. He was the No. 4 starter on the pitching rotation and also played first base and left field. Cande transferred to Hardin-Simmons in Abilene, Texas. I was the No. 2 starter on the pitching rotation and played some first base. After Cande’s collegiate experience, he then moved back to the Permian Basin in Odessa and lived there for 12 years before moving back to Midland. While back in the Permian Basin, he privately started up a baseball/softball facility in Odessa in 2012. Cande also decided to pursue his passion to coach baseball and started a select travel baseball organization under Conference Baseball Academy before adding select travel softball. Cande graduated from Kermit High School in 1996, lettering in baseball all 4 years. In those 4 years, he was awarded Newcomer of the Year during his freshman year, District Co-MVP during his sophomore year, 1st-Team All-Conference during his junior year and District MVP and All-Permian Basin MVP during his senior year.
Jesse Moore, who lives in Portland, Ore., has been around sports since a young age, growing up playing football, basketball, baseball and golf. After high school, his love of basketball allowed him to continue playing semi-professional basketball for 2 years until joining the Army. He has two daughters who are involved in club volleyball and travels often to their tournaments. In 2015, he became a PGA teaching professional and specialized in working with high-school level students and helping them train for the top high school golf tournaments and Junior PGA events. During this time, he earned multiple golf teaching awards all while traveling and playing golf professionally where he has multiple top-10 finishes and one win. Jesse also coached high school basketball for years and trained individual high school basketball players to help meet their on-court goals. During his professional career, he has learned from experience how to help student-athletes get to the next level and is passionate about helping them take the next step.
Jacksonville, FL & Western Australia
Wes Morgan is from Charlotte, NC, lives in Australia and plans on moving to the Jacksonville, FL, area. He was one of the top recruits in the U.S. out of high school. Wes received over 15 NCAA Division I scholarship offers. He signed to the top 3-point shooting school in all of Division I with the University of North Florida. Wes finished out his playing career at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC (NCAA D2). Wes then went on to play three seasons of professional basketball in Australia. He has helped sign multiple players to collegiate scholarship offers, some of which now are all-conference players in college in the U.S. Wes has been the head coach of many teams, including the Charlotte Panthers AAU, Devonport Warriors U16s (Tasmania, Australia) More Than Conquerors B Grade Men (Western Australia) and More Than Conquerors U18 (Western Australia). He has also been the assistant coach on various teams and universities, including Ardrey Kell High School, Converse University (grad player/coach) and Lees-McRae College JV program. Wes has also been building basketball clubs in Australia and most recently a faith-based club in Bunbury, Western Australia, called More Than Conquerors Basketball Club. These positions have made Wes fall in love with bettering other people’s lives and building a winning culture. His passion is recruiting, coaching, leading, mentoring and developing.
Wes lives in Bunbury, Western Australia, with his wife, Lindsey.
David Pender, who lives in Waycross, Ga., has been involved with sports as a player and a coach for more than 20 years. He attended Charlton County High School and graduated in 2006. During his time, he won 13 state titles between football and track and field. David ended his high school career as the most decorated high school athlete in Charlton County history. David attended Purdue University (2006-2009) as a defensive back. He received 2nd-Team All-Big Ten honors his senior year. He also received the Red Mackey Award, and award that recognizes athletes who exemplify the overall success of the university’s intercollegiate athletic programs. In 2010, David was a free agent signee for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010-2011 season. After his playing career, David began teaching and coaching at the high school level (2013). He coached football, track and field and basketball in Charlton County for 7 years. He later moved to Waycross, Ga.,to serve as an assistant football coach and head track coach at Ware County High School. In 2022, Ware County won its first football state championship.
He has coached and mentored kids who are currently playing at the collegiate level in football and women’s basketball. David has trained athletes, ranging from ages 9 to 20 years old in Georgia. He has developed a true passion for mentoring and developing young athletes in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. David is married to the former Starion Byrd.
North Vancouver, BC
Trevor Shoaf, who lives in North Vancouver, BC, and is originally from Prince George, BC, has a wealth of experience and a passion for sports and education. Trevor learned the values of hard work, perseverance and teamwork from a young age growing up in British Columbia’s northern capital.
Trevor’s journey in the world of elite competition sports began in hockey. He showcased his talent with the Kymberly Dynamiters in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League as well as the Spokane Chiefs and the Prince George Cougars in the Western Hockey League, where he made his mark in the Canadian junior hockey leagues. Not limited to ice, Trevor’s athleticism extends to other sports as well, earning him a gold medal in box lacrosse at the British Columbia Summer Games during his youth at 15. As a firm believer in the benefits of being a multi-sport athlete, Trevor’s diverse experiences add depth to his scouting approach.
Trevor’s commitment to both sports and education led him to earn a full scholarship to the University of British Columbia, where he pursued a dual major in psychology and economics while playing for the UBC Thunderbirds hockey team. His leadership abilities honed as he captained the team for two seasons. Notably, he was a nominee for the graduating male athlete of the year award (Bobby Gaul Memorial Trophy) as well as winning defenseman of the year and most valuable player awards during playing years at UBC. After a tryout with Canadian Olympic team and seasons with Tulsa Oilers (Central Hockey League) and Binghampton Icemen (United Hockey League), it was time to lean on the degree.
Beyond the field and the classroom, Trevor has excelled as an entrepreneur, having built and sold a successful small business, as well as worked for and with several internationally known brands in various leadership roles. His coaching credentials in baseball and hockey are further testaments to his dedication to sports development. Trevor generously volunteers his time and expertise to coach elite baseball, soccer and hockey players, leaving a positive impact on young athletes and their journey.
As a father of two sons who share his love for sports and learning, Trevor is not only a dedicated family man but also a caring mentor. His personal experiences and accomplishments uniquely position him to guide aspiring student-athletes towards success.
Trevor’s belief in ScoutU’s mission aligns perfectly with his own journey. He understands the transformative power of sports scholarships and the life-long opportunities they offer. His vast experience and knowledge make him an invaluable asset for our athletes, not just as a scout but as a mentor and role model.
MICHAEL POPS SIMS
Michael “Pops” Sims, who lives in Dallas, Texas, and is from Grand Rapids, Mich., played basketball at Marquette University (1984-88) as a point guard and captain. He played 9 years professionally in the World League in Europe, the Global League and the Continental Basketball Association. Pops is the founder/director of Pops Sims Elite Basketball Services and is an Executive Director for Elite Player Development Academy. He has coached AAU teams and also at Christian High School in Grand Rapids. Pops was a high school all-American in 1984.
Joey Sullivan, who lives in Bellevue, WA, has been involved in football for over 20 years. After high school, he played wide receiver at Bellevue College where he was part of the school’s inaugural team in 2013 and won a league championship in 2015. Joey later transferred to Pacific Lutheran University to finish his playing career and earn his degree in kinesiology in 2018.
After college, Joey transitioned into coaching high school football. He coached at Sammamish High School from 2018 to 2022, serving as the wide receivers and defensive backs coach and late was promoted to defensive coordinator. During this time, Joey also worked as an athlete evaluator for a local private company in the Seattle area. In this role, he was responsible for assessing athletes’ movement patterns and helping them change their biomechanics to improve their athletic performance and prevent injuries.
Most recently, Joey has served as a sports performance coach. He helps train athletes in all sports from middle school to college-aged, specializing in speed, agility and change of direction training. He works with many teams in the area and is heavily involved in their offseason training programs. Joey loves the opportunity to help athletes reach their full potential and is eager to be a mentor to kids in their athletic journeys.
Jeff Taylor lives in Sarasota, Fla. Jeff has focused his career on coaching middle distance and long-distance runners, leading his high school athletes to multiple district, regional and individual state titles. He has 19 years of high school cross country/track and field experience. Having run on an athletic scholarship for Siena Heights University, a member of the NAIA, and having successfully transitioned high school athletes to college athletic programs throughout the country, Jeff has a unique understanding of the multiple factors that lead to a fulfilling and rewarding college athletic experience. The belief that relationships built on mutual goals has allowed Jeff to successfully place his athletes with college programs that meet both the athletes’ needs as well as the schools’ needs helping to cement relationships with both coaches and athletes. In addition to his coaching career, Jeff has worked as a teacher and in retail, using sales as a platform to introduce folks to a lifelong love of running. Jeff created a training program that grew from less than 10 participants to over 300 in just a couple of years. Helping folks set goals, identify the path to success and to achieve their goals has been his life’s work.
MEET OUR STAFF