Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Miami Tradition

        Driving down 127 to Miami University last Thursday night brought back wonderful memories of the old days at Miami of Ohio. The days of Randy Walker and Terry Hoeppner were the times that I will always remember. Actually, I had not been back,  only once since Shane Montgomery resigned as head football coach.
       The first time that I was introduced to the late Randy Walker, he kind of gave me a shrug and went about his business. I had only been in the business for a few years. I would see him occasionally, but the nod was sufficient for him, but as time went, I was able to "gain his confidence and trust." He took me around in his golf cart, at one of Miami's high school 7on7, which was the ultimate high for me. We talked about high school players for an hour. The nod was gone and, in my eyes, I had arrived.
        The late Terry Hoeppner was the real deal. To me, he was the ultimate head coach. Tremendous personality. Tremendous motivator. Time to talk to anyone. Honest, probably to a fault. We got to know each other while he was an assistant coach, or really while he was the DC. Different than many head coaches in that he was approachable. Just so down to earth. Promised Ben Roethlisberger that he would be a QB, not a WR or TE. I could talk with him anytime.
        Both of these men moved from Miami onto the  Big Ten. Randy to Northwestern and Terry to Indiana.  Both died at early times in their careers. Randy died of a heart attack. Terry lost a battle with cancer. Both men where what football coaches should be all about. Simply put, "When they spoke, you listen." Both had senses of humor, but could get after it, when needed. Both could communicate and recruit.
        New head coach Chuck Martin invited me to the first football camp under the lights back in the spring. I do not know him as well as some head coaches, but he made me feel welcomed. Talking to the staff, everyone understands the Miami tradition, which is huge to me. Former player and assistant coach Joe Palcic is back coaching linebackers. My two cents - I am impressed with his combination of young and older staff. Impressed with some of Coach Martin's thoughts, and he does have a solid plan on recruiting. Sorry, but Miami needs get back recruiting Ohio.
       Back in the day, Miami would hold three Saturdays of 7on7 in the month of June. The last Saturday was the most talented. We're talking on the average of 25 teams. For me, the time was huge. During team breaks, I could talk with players, as well as the high school coach. Plus players and teams got better.
        For some reason, when Shane Montgomery resigned, the new staff did not feel that 7on7's were necessary.  Rumor has it, that a 7on7 could be back next year. If it is as organized as the "Under the Lights Camp" last Thursday, happy days may be coming back.
       I know many of the coaches at the MAC schools, especially the ones in Ohio. Their programs are either there or getting there. So many good head coaches. Miami has struggled of late and has much work today. If Thursday was any indication, the Redhawks should be joining the mix soon.
       But I do miss, Randy Walker and Terry Hoeppner. Now, we were not close friends. But we talked about football and football recruiting. Most of all, they were "just guys." Excellent head coaches, "just guys." Refreshing to me in this era of college football.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Joey Galloway - Sharing his Knowledge

       Two months ago, I received a call from Joey Galloway inviting me to a football speed camp that he was going to hold near Bellaire, Ohio. his would be his first effort and he invited me. Last week I made the trip.
       Joey had texted me after the first day, that the attendance was not what he had expected, and he was not sure that the trip would benefit me. First, I made the commitment earlier and would fulfill it. Second, I do not get to the Bellaire area often and thought that I might find a "diamond-in-the-rough." Lastly, I wanted to see the "highly profiled" Joey Galloway work with kids and see what kind of teacher he was going to be.
      Hopefully, most Ohio State people are familiar with Joey Galloway, the All-American receiver back in 1994 from Ohio State University. Joey went on to the NFL, playing for Dallas and Seattle and then bouncing around for a few years.
       Now a retired NFL player, I believe he is doing some football broadcasting. A little nugget - As a high school senior at Bellaire High School, Joey's picture was on the cover of one of my first recruiting magazines.
       Rumors are Joey is serious about wanting to work with young athletes on "speed training." I wanted to see him in action, so if I am ever asked about his communication skills, I can give a truthful answer. Knowledge, I guessed - no problem. Ability to communicate his knowledge to campers - different story.
       Joey Galloway can get his ideas through to players. Some "high-profiled" players cannot and I see them all of the time. He talked on the 40 start, among other subjects.  Demonstrated every drill. A hands-on guy. He encouraged every player to work hard and hustle. Called them by name or gave them a nickname.. Excellent communicator. Most of all, he seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Definitely not a "token star" just making an appearance.
       Talked with him some after the 3-day camp was over. Now living in Columbus, his hopes are to get some "speed camps" going in Central Ohio. If he shows the same attitude and communicates his knowledge to players as did at this camp, he will have few problems. His name sounds sweet to the older Buckeye fan.
       The drive to the Bellaire area was long, but easy. Watching a "high profiled" star working with kids was worth it. Really glad and fortunate to be invited to be personally invited to Joey's first ever "speed camp." Really, really happy that I did not have to watch some "self-anointed" super star parade around, acting like he was giving kids a break to be there. They are out there.
       If you read about speed camps in Central Ohio next winter and you see Joey Galloway's name, check it out. It may not be for what you are looking, but you should at least check it.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mansfield's Head Football Coach Deserves Better

        Before you read this blog entry, I must tell you that I spent 31 years in one of the best professions in the world. I was a teacher. Working with kids at levels was fun. I spent the last 12 years at the junior high level. I understand unions, both the good and the bad. I understand administrations, both good and bad. I understand teachers, both the good and the bad ones. Finally, I understand teaching has changed, both good and bad.
        Mansfield High School hosted a 7on7 competition today, and there may not be a collection of college talent at one site like there was today. Quality coaches. Registered officials. One turf, one grass field. Recruiting reporters all over. College recruits. Excellent quarterbacks. Teams: Mansfield Senior, Massillon, Trotwood Madison, Springfield, Glenville, Eastmoor, Akron Kenmore, and Westerville North.
        Before I left I wanted to make sure that Mansfield Senior Head Coach Chioke Bradley knew how impressed I was with the whole deal. I told him that to put this 7on7 competition together must have a lot of work. To sell Trotwood and Springfield must have taken work. Central Ohio had two teams there. Registered officials were paid to work the game. All in all, a great way to sell high school football in the city of Mansfield.
         I also told him how impressed with and proud of him in how he has developed the Mansfield program. Years ago they were a bad football program. No numbers. Not many athletes. Not many Black athletes. Not much discipline. Not much structure. As I said, not a real good program. The days of Stan Jefferson's successful teams were gone.
         Coach Bradley played at Mansfield Senior. Received a scholarship to Bowling Green State University. Played with all of his ability and did well for the Falcons. Came home to Mansfield and, eventually, took over as head football coach at Mansfield. Hometown boy giving back to the community.
         Coach Bradley worked hard on discipline and on fundamentals. More importantly, he worked on making the football program attractive enough to get students wanting to play. Last year, as a reward for his hard work, Mansfield Senior made the playoffs. For me, the Tygers now look, act, and play like a well coached football program.
         After I paid him the compliments and patted him on the back, I asked me to do one thing. "Tell my superintendent what you just said." Why? The school superintendent told him in April that his job was eliminated. Not football, but his job within the system.
         I do not know anything other than his position was eliminated. Obviously, I will not make time to research the situation. Nor is it any of my business. This is not the first school to do this, nor will it be the last. I understand the financial problems with school systems. I understand unions and "last in, first out."
         Finding quality people to coach young people is hard. Too many hoops to jump through. Too much time. No teaching openings. Finding African Americans who can or will come back and work with inner city sports is really hard. I have watched the inner system for over twenty five years.
Good, young role model Blacks are coming back to coach inner city. I applaud them.
         Are we really concerned about what is best for young African American students? We have inner city coaches who are willing to do what it takes. Is there a way to make it work? Watching inner city sports for many years, I kind of "get it." But I drive to a home south of Upper Sandusky. I leave the inner city. Mansfield is not inner city, I know.
         As I said earlier, I do not know the Chioke Bradley story, but I know he works well with kids, instills discipline, and understands football. He works hard to promote his players to college coaches. Somewhere in educating young people, I wish there was a way to keep the "Chioke Bradley's" working with young people.
        
        

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The University of Findlay Football Camp

      Last night I really enjoyed myself at the University of Findlay's first football camp under the direction of Head Coach Rob Keys. Not only was it enjoyable, but also profitable for me. Over 170 campers attended. Recruiting coordinator Kory Allen was the camp director.
      In May, I visited the Ashland University football camp. The camp was organized and instruction was really good. This Sunday my plans are to go to the Ohio Dominican University football camp in Columbus. All three schools are D-2 schools with very good football programs. The Division Two level football is really good in Ohio and as the popularity of these camps continues, D-2 programs will continue to get stronger. Move over Michigan D-2 schools.
      The UF Camp was opened to campers entering  9-12 grades in the fall of 2014. The camp was an all positions camp. There were D-1 prospects in both the Classes of 2015 and 2016. For me, I was also able to identify some prospects in the Class of 2017. At this time of the year, anytime I can get information on younger prospects, it is like Christmas time.
      A lot of running, which is good, because I can learn a lot. Find the "benders," find the "burst guys," and find the "change of direction guys." Best of all, I find the guys who want and who do - compete. Good to see players who compete and who show energy.
      Players also were able to do position specific drills and one-on-one drills. Coaches had a lot energy, which spilled over to the players.
      Impressed with a big OL guy from the Toledo area. He ran well and "hustled." Impressed with passing of two QB's. One a junior and one a senior.
      Need to mention one camper. Troy LBer, Marco Anverse has worked really hard over the years to "get better." First watched him as a sophomore. He attended both my camps and combines. Last year he played DE for Troy High School. Believe that he is moving to his natural position of LB this fall. Regardless of position, Marco loves football and will compete. Also really like his improved over-all attitude.
     My policy is to seldom report on campers, because I am a guest. What I see, I keep for my own information. Although my opinions on players have no value, I feel silly being a guest and then giving out information to other colleges. But, there were some really good prospects working out to get better. For others, they got camp experience and a chance to get noticed and to get better.
      For their first "rodeo," the football staff at the University of Findlay did a really good job with their Football Elite Prospect Camp. They were able to involve members of the UF football team. Also visiting coaches were able to help with evaluations. Most of all, campers got coached, got noticed, and got better.
      Division Two football continues to grow and get better in Ohio. High school camps like Findlay and Ashland support this thought. Hopefully, ODU's camp this Sunday will add more support.
      Finally, from a "burned out Oiler," check out the facilities. They have changed some since 1971.
    

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chris Chambers Foundation Football Camp

        Yesterday, I made my annual trip to Bedford High School to evaluate campers at the Chris Chambers Foundation Football Camp. Now retired from the NFL, Chris lives in Florida, but comes back to Bedford to host his camp every June.
        First met Chris when he was staring at Bedford High School as a wide receiver. He went on to Wisconsin and later to the NFL. With all of his success on the football field, he is still the same Chris Chambers who I knew in high school. Class act!
       Ted Ginn, Jr worked the wide receivers at the camp. Just talked with "Little Ted" for a few minutes, but he seems to be happy with the Arizona Cardinals. As I would expect, he just enjoys working with kids and trying to make them better.
       A lot of good young prospects were on the field, but for most, I need to see more  this fall. Spent a lot of my time watching the younger players. However, there were some older ones who continue to impress me.
       Warren Harding's James Daniels (2015) came to the camp to work out for his Uncle who helps run the camp. The camp is for skilled players. Being 6'4-280, James is an OL/DL guy who among others has been offered by Ohio State and not a skilled player. But he ran in all of the drills and ran well. Good bender. Strong. Best of all, good character kid. Non committed now. Just has something that I like about him.
        Brandon Harris (2015) from East Cleveland Shaw recently committed to Bowling Green. Bowling Green offered him as an "athlete." Honestly, they got a "steal." Guessin 6'2-205 and he is all over the field. Can run, catch, and change direction. Really competitive. Will either be a receiver or an inside DB. One of the best players at this camp.
        Linebackers Marquise Copeland and London Cloud both in the 2015 Class at Bedford played well in 7on7 competition. Both strong and fast enough. Of course, they are more effective with pads on. Marquise is going to Cincinnati and London will play for Ohio Universty. Have watched both since their sophomore years.
       Former Glenville linebacker Matt Draper is playing his senior year at Brush High School. As a sophomore, he drew a lot attention as an LB. Surprised that he has gotten heavy and does not run as well. Honestly, I am somewhat concerned about effort. Although just a camp, he needs to be more focused and get better.
       Chawntez Moss from Bedford has the quickness, burst, and speed that a coach likes in a running back. Only a junior, I really like his physical tools. Guessin 5'11-190. Guessin 4.6 every time he runs the 40.  Also like his toughness. This fall, I am looking forward to see him getting around the corner, because I know that he can run between the tackles. Could be one of the tops in his 2016 Class.
       There is just something about Glenville QB Marcus Drish. Guessin 5'10-185 (at least). A back-up last year as a sophomore, this will be his time. Strong arm. Good feet. Deceptive speed. Really athletic. Good enough to be a receiver. Like his leadership skills. Once he gains some game experience, he should be okay.
        As I said earlier, I like the potential of many of the younger players, but too early to mention them. East Cleveland Shaw has two good young prospects. Bedford has a sophomore WR/DB planning to go both ways. Just too early.
        Chris Chambers always runs a disciplined camp. Actually, we talked about working together on some ways to get kids better. That would be interesting.

Monday, June 23, 2014

OL Commit Kevin Feder from New Jersey

       Read in the Dispatch this morning, that Ohio State received a commitment from a big offensive tackle from Don Bosco High School in New Jersey. Actually he had committed to University of Miami back in December, but "flipped" after attending Ohio State's camp  I watched Kevin Feder at Ohio State's one day camp last Thursday. The more I watched and learned about him, the more impressed I became.
       I watched with some caution, however, because 247sports.com had only rated him a three star. He was only ranked 18th best prospect in New Jersey and the 82nd best offensive tackle nationally. Because I put so much credence in the recruiting sites like Scout.com, Rivals, and 247sports, and the "star" system, I was afraid that I was wasting my time. (Hopefully, reading my "stuff," you realize the sarcasm here.)
      An leg injury last year and the fact that he only played defense at Don Bosco High School, made the judgment of OL coach Ed Wariner's unique. At Ohio State's camp, was the only real offensive blocking that he has done. Listed 6'9-310, so probably 6'8-300, the cat can run. Fastest OL guy at the camp. This was proven by a sprint at the end of camp.
      Watched him a lot. In the one on one's, which for the most part is a waste of time, he did okay. He was beaten off the edge a few times. But he bends well. Feet are okay. Does not play basketball. If you keep remembering that this camp was the first time that he lined up on offense or that he is listed 6'9-310 and trying to block smaller quicker DE, you realize Ohio State has a possible big time player.
       For me a "no-brainer," because I like long tall offensive linemen, who can move their feet and have the potential to add lots of weight. Sounds silly, but he is almost a "freak," because he runs so well and has the potential to get huge. Plus he is smart. Another silly comment, but if he keeps working and is coached well, he will make money on Sundays. But what do I know, I told Taylor Decker the same thing.
       Since this is not an Ohio State recruiting site, I really am not applauding the work of Ohio State. They did some work, however, and Ed Wariner saw what I saw.. The point that I am trying to make is that the "star" system is meant to be entertaining. Please do not take them seriously. Smile, but please do not take them seriously. Some college want the "splash, which is scary.
       Kevin Feder believes that he is a potential 5-star, but is rated a 3-star. If he keeps working hard and stays focused, he will be a top left tackle at Ohio State University. If he keeps working hard and  stays focused, he will make money on Sundays. That is good enough for me.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thank You Urban Meyer and the Ohio State

        Although I am going to attend three college football camps in July, the college camp season is over for me. In some ways, I am glad, and in some ways, I will miss them. Quickly reminding myself about standing out in the sun for six hours, maybe I will not miss them at all.
       All of the camps that I attend are good. Whether it be Michigan's large number, the satellite camps of BGSU, Toledo, or Ohio University, camps for me are what I make them. Hopefully, I make them good. Have not been to Michigan State or Notre Dame lately, but they are good, as well. From what high school coaches and recruits tell me, they are all good.
       I often get asked, "What camps should we attend?" My answer, " 1. They are all good. 2. Go to the camp that the schools you are really interested in are hosting. 3. Go to a smaller camp. 4. Go to a MAC satellite camp to save on travel expenses."
       Years ago former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel began allowing Mid American Conference staffs to come a senior camp. Two assistant coaches from a college would help at Ohio Sate, but Tressel opened the gate. Full staffs eventually were allowed to evaluate.
       A practice at many schools is to allow assistant college coaches work bigger BCS schools. The Division 2 colleges will allow Division 3 schools to work their camps. Satellite camps will allow both D-2 and D-3 colleges to work.
       Coach Urban Meyer, when he first came to Ohio State, had some different views on allowing complete staffs to evaluate prospects. Not only that, he was concerned about college assistants working the camp. This past winter I had even heard some "stuff" that he was going to change some of the format this summer. Although I do not always agree some of Coach Meyer's ideas, I can see his point.
       The purpose of this blog entry is to thank the Ohio State staff, and, of course, Urban Meyer, for putting on the best camp that I have been to, since Coach Meyer's been on the scene. Being an Ohio high school football "kid's guy," the camp was good. 1 A solid turnout. 2. A variety of prospects in the Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017, and some from the Class of 2018. 3. Really good instruction.
       Mid American coaches, including some head coaches, were allowed to walk around and evaluate. Urban Meyer was giving many high school players a chance to be evaluated by other D-1 schools, and mostly schools from Ohio. Of course, no BCS schools, other than Ohio State. were present. Will not put a number on how many recruits OSU was really evaluating, but I really appreciate the fact that so many campers were evaluated by other D-1 schools.
        Finally, I enjoyed the freedom that people were given. Of course, parents and observers had to stay behind the red lines. Recruiting reporters were allowed more freedom. Most importantly of all, I was allowed to roam within reason. Huge for me. Keep my mouth shut and my ears and eyes wide open.
       This blog is not a knock on any other BCS schools and their camps. Especially the ones that pay for my service. Anytime so many college staffs, regardless of Division, can evaluate players, mostly from Ohio, every high school football coach in Ohio should be pleased.
       Thank you, Urban Meyer and Ohio State football staff for hosting such an event.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some Campers at the Showcase

As I blogged earlier in the week, getting really good looks at football players in continuous rain is really hard to do. When no testing is done, and when few agility drills are run, evaluating a prospect is difficult. However, players got to "ball" for almost three hours, and they really seem to enjoy that.
Offensive Lineman
     Jeff Nogai - Johnstown HS -  Passes eyeball test. 6'5-291. Needs to keep working on feet.
    Elijah Woolam - Jackson HS -  Like size. Saw him play last year. Good feet. Better bender.
    Dylan Murphy - Watterson HS -  6'6-262. Explosive. Strong. Be better bender.
          Like potential.
    Nick Rosi - Olentangy Liberty HS -  Good feet. 6'2-245. A freshman with lots of potential.
    William Strawser - Olentangy HS -  Hurt ankle and did not see many reps. Potential.
    Andrew Rosi - Olentangy Liberty -  6'4(almost)-215. Athletic. Excellent frame. Competes.   
          Huge upside. Will be either one of the top TE's or DE or OL's in the Class of 2017. A top
         player.
     Dalton Strunk - Lakota East HS -  Big frame. Good explosion.
Quarterbacks
     Seth Vargo - Danbury HS - Strong arm. 6'2-190. Needs to work on release. Like his    
         potential.
    AJ Hughes - Revere HS -  Strong arm. 6'3-203. Needs to work on technique. Potential.
   Alec Foos - Bellevue HS -  Measured 6'0-165. Needs to get stronger, but like his release.
   Dustin Crum - Midview HS -  Like his potential. Needs to work on technique.
   Kyle Vantrease - Stow HS -  Strong arm. Measured 6'2-197. Really like his potential.
   Zach Larkin - Hamilton Badin HS - Strong arm. 6'4-190. Like release. Improved arm strength.
          Toughness surprised me. Could be one of the top QB's in the Class of 2016.
   Gunnar Hoak - Coffman HS -  Keeps getting stronger/bigger. Quick release. Like his release.
          Will be one of the top QB's in the Class of 2016.
   John Henry - Marietta HS -  Athletic. Strong arm. Need to see more. 6'3-200. Really like his   
          potential.
   Trent Burke - Westerville South HS -  Continues to improve. Strong arm. 6'1-193.
  Running Backs
     Antwuan Johnson Dayton Dunbar HS -  Excellent hands. Good hips. 6'0-213. If he keeps    
              focused will be one of top RB's in the Class of 2018.
     Daniel Banks - Nordonia HS - Both RB/CB. Track fast. Excellent hips. 5'9-155. Will be one
              of the top recruits in the Class of 2017.
      Stephen Headings - Coffman HS - Strong runner. 5'11-207. Need to see more. Like his
              burst.
      Nick Cox - Wellston HS - Strong runner. Fast. 6'0-185. Need to see this fall.
      Terrell Washington - Thomas Worthington HS -  Athletic. Quickness. Also plays QB.
             5'11-187. Need to see more.
      Erik Davis - Rossford HS - Also plays DB. Fast. Tough. A better DB prospect.
Linebackers
      Robert Fusner - Central Crossing HS -  6'1-209. Runs well. Liked his lateral movement. Tough.
       Landon Hall - Wapakoneta HS - Runs well. Athletic. Wrestled at State Meet. 6'2-185. One to watch.
       Roen McCullough - Kilbourne HS - One to watch. 6'1-216. Like his toughness. Runs well.
       Derrick Harvey - Buchtel HS - Fast. Like lateral movement. 6'1-198. Competed hard. Like potential.
       Jarrid Fisher - Lakota East HS - Runs well. Like his toughness. Started as a 10th grader.  Really like potential.
       Andrew Malick - Westerville North HS - Closes well. 6'1-211. Need to see more. Competed hard.
       Griffin Hoak - Coffman HS - Like his toughness. 6'1-195. Runs well. Good hips. Could be one of the top five LB's in the Class of 2018.
Defensive Lineman
      Chris Williams - Wellston HS - Powerful. Good burst. 6'1-265. Ran well for size.
      Antonio Shelton - Westerville North HS - Excellent quickness. Explosive. Strong. Needs to
           work on balance, but will be okay. Could be really good.
      Ryan Strawser - Olentangy HS -  Athletic. Good balance. Needs to get bigger and stronger.
     Collin Brown - Upper Sandusky - Explosive. Strong. Powerful. Needs to continue to work on technique. 6'2-280. Sleeper.
     Travis Sanders - Thomas Worthington HS - Need to see more. Strong. Good balance. Be better bender.
      Dalton Jordan - Thomas Worthington HS - Strong. Athletic. Need to see more.
Defensive Backs
      Jatairis Grant - Akron Garfield HS - All of the tools. Fast. Good hips. Recovers well. Fast.
           Will be one of the top CB's in the Class of 2016. BCS level. Special
DeJon Jordan - Walnut Ridge HS -  Fast. 6'1-192. May grow into an OLB.
Michael Ayers - Walnut Ridge HS - Needs to get faster/stronger, but should. Getting faster.  
          6'2-150. Liked his attitude. Good hips.
Brendan White - Olentangy Liberty - HS - Wants to be a wideout. If he continues to get
          bigger/faster, he will be one of the best FS in the Class of 2017. Smart. Tough.
Wide Receivers
Cole Virgin - Elyria Catholic HS -. Need to see more. Good size. Excellent hands.
Jacob Dues - Minster HS -  Athletic. Catches well. Speed? One to watch.

       I have made all kinds of excuses for my not doing a good job of evaluating many of the campers at the Showcase. My coaches gave me many of these players to watch. Tried to see most. Obviously, I have missed listing some. All of the campers are on my list. If I can, I will list some more names in a blog next week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Brief Summary about the Showcase

       After the Showcase last Sunday, I have spent the last three days doing the "satellite" college football camp circuit. For people looking for the Showcase summary and names, something should be up by Friday morning.
      Due to the weather, evaluating players was somewhat difficult.
      Testing was eliminated. Just could not see running 40's and the proshuttle in the rain. Players could slip and hurt themselves. Times would not have been as fast. I wish that I could seen some of the DB's and WR's run, but not worth the risk.
      Wet floors caused me to have the players measured in shoes, which I do not like to do. Not as accurate. After about 45 players getting weighed, it was discovered that the scales needed adjusted. - 12 pounds too light. Of course, not as accurate.
      After registration was completed, wind caught the tent and water poured over the registration forms. Still have the cards, so all was not lost.
      Along with not doing testing, I also skipped the football agility drills and went straight to position specfic drills. I really like the agility drills as a way to evaluate prospects. Also we use the same agility drills, that most of the colleges use, which helps college prospects get ready for camps.
      Hopefully, because of the rainy weather, we only had 141 campers. But the campers  played football for almost three hours. The OL/DL guys went "one on one" for a long time. Along with the agility drills, and the indivdual drills, they spent alot of time "getting better."
       Quarterbacks got a ton of work. Footwork drills. Lots of throwing. Only McCallister would still push QB's to throw hard and accurately, even though the balls were totally soaked after being in the rain for 3 hours. The QB talent impressed me. Really like the potential of some of the young QB's.
        Some good young LB'ers worked out. DB's and WR's were good. Although only going into their freshman year, two of the "potentially" top players in the Class of 2018, worked out. Of course, as silly as it sounds, these two are going to be good.
        I have already started working on changes for next year. Some areas, I need to do a better job of explaining to coaches want I want. We lost some of the underclassmen to college camps held on the same day. To some extent, I understand. A young lineman travels to Virginia Tech? Underclassman need exposure and only a few camps in the Midwest can do that. Last year, the weather was really hot. This year the weather was really wet. Two major changes are possible and could really help attendance.
         Bottom line - players seemed to enjoy the work. Received some nice emails from parents. As long as the McCallister Scouting Service can help "kids" get better the right way, can help "kids" get educated about football recruiting the right way, and can help "kids" get exposure the right way, we should be okay.
         Some campers' names and some brief comments about them by Friday. Now to Paul Brown Stadium for some football.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Choosing Between BCS and MAC Schools

       Last summer, I asked Marion Local head football coach Tim Goodwin if he ever has aspirations of moving up to a bigger school head football coaching job. He thought for a moment and answered that he does at times. But his next comment was - " I do, but winning a state championship at Marion Local is the same as winning one at a big school. A state championship is a state championship." Big is not always better.
      For me, earning and accepting a football scholarship at a Mid American Conference program is still a football scholarship. I read where recruits are going to places hours away to just because it is a BCS school. Last year a receiver in Southwest Ohio was all set to go to Kent State. A Big Ten school came in really late. He made the "flip," and I was disappointed. Of course, I had only had a partial scholarship when I went to college in 1966. Two things stopped me from earning a full scholarship- Fear of getting hurt. A serious lack of ability. Other than that, I was good.
      The three things a recruit must ask himself. One - Am I comfortable here? If I break my leg, will I enjoy campus for four years? Two - Relationships - Can I play for this coaching staff? What are my teammates like and is it a good fit? Three - Is the head coach's job reasonably secure? Does he have to win next year? Will he move up the ladder to a bigger school?
      Last night, while watching players at Bowling Green's satellite camp in Columbus, I was told that two players that I really like had committed to a MAC school. Both of these recruits have a chance to be really good. I mean really good. But the non verbal, I got from some people was that they have committed too early. One person promised that some BCS schools will "be in for sure." But both parents have told me that they just love the school.
      Let it go. If the players like the school, then let it go. They are the ones who are playing ball. They are the ones going to class. They are the ones who need feel a "good fit." Not the parents. Not the high school coach. For heavens sake, not the "handlers."
       So often a high school recruit will go to a place like Boston College. Red-shirt the first year. Red-shirt freshman the second year. No playing time, the second year. Depressed. Grades suffer. Quit football. Back home. This does not happen all of the time, of course, but it happens more than you might think.
        Big is not always better. Maybe for a recruit's internet following and a dad's ego, but not in what's best for the recruit. If getting a chance to play in the NFL is a goal, every year it is proven that players from all levels of college football can get a chance. I research players with Ohio high school backgrounds who get drafted in the first six rounds. You would be surprised.
        If just wanting to be a part of BCS football team, but have little chance of playing for three years, take the scholarship. If mom and dad really encourage you to go BCS, you might have to take it. If your high school coach encourages you to go take the most impressive offer to make him look good, you might have to take the highest offer. Bottom line, however, you the player have to be comfortable and like the "fit."
        Again, easy for me to give an opinion, because I do not have to make the choice. Because of fear and lack of talent, Michigan or Ohio State was not an option. Also, opinions are just like noses, everybody has one.