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Sporting Elite USA started as an organisation in 2013 and has quickly built up a reputation as one of the most trusted companies in the UK to guide and support student athletes through their US college recruitment process.

Our staff have over 12 years experience in placing students into a wide variety of collegiate institutions ranging from well known universities like Stanford, Princeton and Duke to Limestone College, University of Chicago and Florida Atlantic. The reason for Sporting Elite USA’s success has been our dedication to enlightening people about this long and sometimes extremely complicated process, something that their founder Rob Thomas never received. Rob was a talented athlete in his younger years and played a number of sports to a high level in the UK, he always had a huge interest in the US and a passion for soccer. Unfortunately Rob was never made aware of this option and at the end of sixth form he decided to travel to the US to experience the culture and lifestyle, after only a few months Rob had been told by many new friends in the US about the opportunities available and decided to explore this route. He eventually enrolled at a small community college in LA due to how late he started but enjoyed his experience immensely! Upon his return it was his goal to make sure other talented students in the UK don’t miss such a great opportunity in the USA due to being unaware of this option.

We are extremely passionate about what we do here at Sporting Elite USA and we give every student and family the time and support they deserve when it comes to making a decision about their son/daughter university choice. We focus on helping a family find the right university for them which isn’t always the university with the biggest reputation, we like to look at a university as a person with its own personality. Some personalities clash and some can become best friends forever, so to find this match is extremely important in making the US university experience one you’ll never forget from an academic, athletic and personal point of view.

Our beliefs

  • Be transparent from the beginning so that all students and families have realistic goals and ambitions from the start of the process.
  • If we don't feel we can get you what you're looking for we won't agree to work with you.
  • We'll work with anyone from any country that is looking to go out to the US collegiate system. So many people are looking through this process for different reasons, we run our recruiting in a flexible manner meaning we can personalise our approach to your needs. Whether you're not in need of vast amounts of funding but you're hoping to use your sport to get accepted into a strong academic university, you want to go to the US to eventually become a pro athlete, you want the US university experience or you want to pursue your sporting ambitions whilst also getting a strong degree we can help you.
  • We make university recommendations based on what you as an individual is looking for and not what we feel would look best for us as an organisation, we'll then explain why we're advising this route. It is then upto you which route you pursue.

Rob Thomas

Director Rob Thomas has been working in th US college recruiting industry for 10 years, following on from his own personal experience of the process he decided he wanted to help make more young athletes aware of the great opportunities available in the US. After working for a different scholarship organisation until 2013 Rob felt there was many practical and ethical processes that weren't in the students best interest so he decided to Start Sporting Elite USA with the sole purpose of helping students and families find the universities that best suite their individual needs. Due to Rob's Soccer background and his passion for helping students through this process he still is heavily involved with the placements of our soccer athletes. In his free time Rob likes to play Soccer (yes he's been converted) at Goals in a midweek league with friends as he still has the competitive spirit he had as a teenager. He also spends most of his free time with his two kids Anthony and Frank.


Ben Smith

Director Ben Smith has been working in the US college recruiting service for many years, it all started when he helped his younger brother Brad Smith gain a Golf scholarship to Indian Hills CC. Following on from this Ben and Rob met whilst working at the same scholarship organisation, he was head of athlete placement and was in charge of placing students from over 26 different countries. Ben started having similar concerns on the processes being followed so decided to join Rob at Sporting Elite USA at the beginning of 2015. He now heads up the Track & Field Athletes at Sporting Elite and has had some great success sending students to a number of the top ranked colleges in the country. In his free time Ben enjoys working out in the gym and spending time with his family which includes taking one of his daughters Ice Skating every week.


Danielle Black

Dani Black manages most of the Field Hockey students that we work with at Sporting Elite USA, she has a great pedigree when it comes to Field Hockey being a former junior international whilst also playing at the national premiership level. Dani started playing hockey when she was just 7 years old, she has a real passion for hockey and how the sport she loves can help a student further themselves at an academic and athletic level. Prior to being part of our team Dani coached Warwickshire Hockey teams over a 4 year period as well as being part of Rugby schools coaching staff.


João Rosa

João Rosa is a Designer and Educational Counselor, but sport has always been part of his life. At the age of four João had his first riding lessons, followed by tennis, roller hockey, basketball, handball and beach volleyball, although he only practiced seriously roller hockey (four years) and basketball (twenty four years) winning some titles along the way. His experience as a basketball athlete led him to a coaching course and training youth teams for three years. He's extremely dedicated and currently co-organizes one of the biggest annual expertise basketball camps in Portugal, CamposMVP. It was when he first visited the United States and met the educational system of the country that made João want to be connected to it, helping young talents to pursue their dreams.


Martyn Jones

Martyn has an academic background in Sport Science and Sport Injury at MSc level. He was a keen athlete competing in both sprinting and jumping events. After injury cut short his competing he moved into coaching. He is now a UK Athletics Performance Coach and member of England Athletics National Coach Development Program. He has coached athletes in a range of events and has been a coach for both Sheffield Hallam University and University of Sheffield athletics clubs.