Certainly it was Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH) senior Ian Flores’ prowess on the soccer pitch that made him such a highly sought-after recruit, but his character and knack for web design and self-promotion helped make him the most recruited soccer player to come out of the school…ever.
“Ian is the most highly recruited soccer player that has ever played at Wiregrass Ranch,” athletic director and head boys soccer coach David Wilson says. “We have had 14 players accept offers from colleges in the past five years, and all of them combined had fewer offers than Ian.”
In late March, he signed with Division III Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
Flores’ resume is impressive.
He led the Bulls with 20 assists his senior year, which was second in all of Florida’s Class 5A. He was nominated to the All-State team both his junior and senior years, becoming the first Wiregrass athlete in 11 years to be nominated as a junior.
He was nominated as an All-American four times, and for the first team All-Conference by the Florida Coaches Association twice.
Flores was invited and tried out for the professional Major League Soccer club DC United, and also has participated in the U.S. Olympic Development Program (ODP). He had 20 scholarship offers and has been in talks with 60 different colleges over the course of his high school career.
Flores says he picked up some invaluable techniques working with DC United and the ODP.
“The competition level there is way high,” Flores says. “You learn a lot of small details like not just making passes but where to make a pass, like passing to the correct foot so the other person can make a better touch.”
Already drawing attention with his athletic exploits, Flores, after his sophomore year, took his recruiting endeavors to the world wide web. During the summer of 2016, he launched his recruiting website, IanFlores.com. He got some help putting it together from his proud father, Carlos, who owns and operates an online full-service creative agency called Milorian Studios, but Ian has since taken over control.
“He (dad) still helps with issues like posting videos from different platforms,” Flores says. “But I do all of the editing, creating content and posting articles that come out.”
The website is impressive. It has links to highlight videos he’s edited and stories written about him in different media outlets. He even publishes his own blog.
“It’s a first-class website,” says Eric Sims, who has coached Flores on the club team he plays for, Tampa Bay United. “Ian also has first-class communication with coaches. He does everything the right way and gives things all he’s got. It’s really opened doors for him.”
To top it all off, Flores is a consummate team player.
“You can play with teammates that are not necessarily your friends but when your teammates are your friends, there’s a big difference,” he says.
Flores says that was mentality was a big factor in choosing Oglethorpe over schools like Rutgers and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Flores felt welcomed and accepted not just by the coaching staff at Oglethorpe, but even more so by the players.
“I got a great vibe from the other players and from students at the school,” he says. “I felt like these people really wanted me to excel in what I do.”
Flores also picked Oglethorpe because of its proximity to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the southeastern U.S.
He plans to major in business and Atlanta seemed like a great place to start.
“Ian is an outstanding human being and a great kid,” Sims says. “He has set himself up for success, regardless of what he ends up choosing to do, because he’s such a well-rounded individual.”