Football dreams. Promises of recruiting help. Then snared in a scam.

D-1 Bound has described itself as “the #1 recruiting platform in the nation.” Its website touts 24/7 recruiting assistance and results within weeks. Its Twitter account, @D1boundfactory, has more than 38,000 followers – including coaches from at least 43 Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

“Check our following!” D-1 Bound wrote on Twitter last month. “Common sense will then tell you we are forreal (sic) about recruiting.”

Yet for all the bombast, and all the Twitter followers, many parents and recruits have come to a different conclusion about D-1 Bound.

They say the operation is a scam.

A USA TODAY Sports investigation identified 18 parents or high school athletes who say they sent money to D-1 Bound in exchange for recruiting assistance, then were ignored or blocked after payment was received.

According to interviews, screenshots of Twitter and text message exchanges, public Venmo transactions, published articles and complaints filed with government entities, the incidents have occurred over at least four years and involve families from 11 U.S. states and Canada. The payments, most of which were made under the guise of football recruiting help, range from $100 to $7,800.

Altogether, D-1 Bound has pocketed nearly $33,000 from the families identified by USA TODAY Sports.

“All these kids, they’re just trying to get a scholarship somewhere,” said Angel Lyons, who sent $1,000 to D-1 Bound in October on behalf of her son Noah, a football player. “And he’s out here playing with these kids’ futures, taking their money.”

The person or people behind D-1 Bound have largely evaded suspicion by hiding or altering their identifying information – lingering in the shadows of a recruiting world that, especially for first-time parents, can be difficult to navigate.

According to Twitter data and cached pages on…


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