Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Whitmer Football and Basketball Guys

Last week had or made the chance to watch Toledo Whitmer football players do their thing on the basketball court. And do their thing is just what they did. Most of you can guess, as long as it is of benefit in his growth as a football prospect, playing as many sports as possible is wonderful. In this day of specialization, high school coaches in any sport do not always agree with me. So what!

The Hayes boys from Whitmer are special guys. Excellent athletic skills with tremendous bodies. Oh my!! Junior Kenny, already with a verbal to Ohio State, plays hoops much the same way as he plays defensive end. Full speed and aggressive and uses his 6'5 - 230 frame to make room under the iron.(too much play by play on the tube). Brother Niguel a 6'4 freshman is equally impressive, considering his age and experience. Smooth and fluid, much the same as a receiver/qb on the football field. With all of his b-ball ability, playing football next fall may be a "tough sell."

Although Chris Wombley played just okay in the game I saw last fall, he really came on later in the season. At 6'4-215, he played the other bookend. As a sophomore I might add. He, too, looked smooth last week. Chris is just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. The nice problem for Head Coach Joe Palka will be to get him in the right position, for he can play many. Of course, these men are really "freaks," when it comes to the combination of athletic talent and size.

I met Ken and Niguel's parents last summer. Maybe the best news of all, is that they are really nice people. In this case, maybe the "apple does not fall far from the tree."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Football Combines in December

From the way I slant my blogs, most readers must get the sense that I am "old school," or better yet the "old guard," as "money guy" once referred to me. But, I would rather think that I just use common sense. Anyway, here is my take on combines in December.

First, a football combine in Texas does not nothing to help you be a recruitable football player. If you are good, O-State, Michigan, Florida, and everybody is going to know a little about you. The bigs, and really , even the mid majors, are going to see you this spring and summer. Most of the schools highly suggest that they will not offer you, unless you attend camp. With some schools, I buy into that.

Secondly, at this time of the year, most athletes are not in competitive shape. What happens if your times are bad? What happens if you pull or tear a muscle or ligament? Is it worth it?

Third is the cost. Most everyone has to pay the expenses. Probably looking at 1200-1500 dollars. Of course, that is "chunk change" to some, but for me that is a little bit of money. I could but two more Visio flat screens with that money. For the most part, was it cost effective?

Now, the "carrot" is that if you go to the combine as an underclassmen, quite possibly you could get an offer to play in the All-American game in Texas next year. Not a definite, but a possibility. You better have a banner fall, and put up impressive performances.

A situation told to me by a high school coach last week is what really "pulled my chain." An Ohio 2011 prospect whose name will not be mentioned is going to the combine in Texas this month. A solid player as a DB this past fall. Good size and runs pretty well. My worry is that last fall, when he is on the field, he did not"play every down. Anyway, that is not the point of this example.

This young man is not playing varsity basketball until after Christmas. Right now he has a personal trainer, and he is working out in order to put up good times at the combine in Texas. Not only is he letting his team down, but he is missing valuable practice time on the basketball court, time that would improve his game. Ironically, without getting into my thoughts, being in shape and putting up fast times, may not be his problem in regards to being highly recruited this spring and summer.

Little can be done, I am afraid. When basketball AAU started, everybody(including HS coaches) thought that AAU was the greatest thing since "slice bread." Not so now. My fear is that high school football is going to let this happen. The sad thing is that there is little one can do to prevent it.

Be a kid!!! Do not leave school early to participate in spring practice. Do not quit a sport to concentrate on strength training. Do not get caught up in the recruiting crap on the websites. Be leary of people trying to "get into your head," about what camps and schools that you should attend. Be a kid!!!!!

College Nights

Just finished attending four college recruiting nights this past week. Oh my, alot of traveling - Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. Of course, well worth it. You see, at college nights, the high school coaches in that area get together at a central location and provide information to college recruiters throughout the country. Usually, just seniors are profiled, but some coaches provide information for underclassmen. A ton of video is also given out. Great gig for me.

The negative for the college recruiting nights is that the powerful NCAA has said that Division 1A schools cannot attend these information gathering meetings.
1. Bad for the high school coaches, because they still have to provide the information, so why not be able to promote their prospects to D-1A schools.
2. Bad for me, because I miss communicating D-1A schools.
3. Good for everybody, because the meetings go faster.
4. Good for D-1A schols, because one less function to have to be in attendance.
5. Good for D-3 schools because they get to spend more time gathering information.
6. Really, honestly, I still get my information, and I still touch base with the high school coaches

There will be one held in the spring and I would highly suggest coaches take advantage of the opportunity to promote "kids."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Football Players in Other Sports

One of the tasks that I really enjoy is evaluating college football prospects playing other sports. Basketball is one my favorite sports to watch. First, the weather is really nice inside. Always warm inside the gym. Secondly, you get really close to the action. Lastly, you can watch a players every move. Really watch their bench attitude.

Last night, I went to the local Upper Sandusky game. The Rams were playing Wynford and the main guys just finished football last week. Wanted to see one of my favorites, Teven Eatmon. If he can handle the social issues and disciplines of college life, he has a chance to be a really good player at Kentucky. If Teven had played at Glenville for four years, everybody would have recruited hime. A very good athlete (55ft shot put/160ft discus)Comes from a very confused home life, but thanks to teammate, Tyler Brause( also going to Kentucky), Teven has survived. Both guys will need to learn to "bite someone," but should be okay.

Going to watch Kenton QB, Maty Mauk play at Marion Harding tonight. His dad and I are good friends, so I have been able to watch Maty grow-up. Only a sophomore, but, of course, everyone wants to compare him to brother Ben. Totally different athletes. No controversy here, but Maty is a very good athlete. Ben was a very good QB.

Back to the Upper Sandusky game. Sometimes the "apple does fall far from the tree." Although I have only talked to Jon Diebler five times, he is a favorite of mine. Starting his third year at O-State, he represents what character is all about. He has worked hard on the basketball court. He represents "the small town guy," which should encourage every youngster to work hard and to set his goals high. One never knows. I have known his dad, since my days at Lakota HS and his at Gibsonburg HS. Still the same showboat that he always has been. Complaining to officials, ripping his players' every little mistake, and entertaining the crowd are just some of his antics. Of course, the officials let him get away with walking all over the court. Yes, thank goodness the " apple does fall far the tree," sometimes.

Wrestling is on my schedule, but only the big tournaments. Track and baseball in the spring. Weight rooms are a part of my evaluations. Seeing football players doing other sports is both enjoyable and educational for me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday night, the house is quiet and I am still feeling the effects of all of the food from Thanksgiving. To make matters worse, there are alot of leftovers in my fridge. Not good. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I, like you, have so many things for which to be thankful. Since this is a football centered blog, here are some football related things for which I am thankful.

As I watched Carey play Ada in the playoffs with the stands being filled, thank goodness we have 6 divisions and the playoffs were expand a few years ago. Bright, sunny day and both small towns were closed down so that everybody could watch the game.

As I watched inner city football this year in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and Columbus, I am so pleased that young Black coaches are coaching and serving as role models for kids. Years ago, I felt so many Black coaches were there in body, but had no clue how to coach football, or relate to young people. Times are changing and Black coaches are doing a wonderful job as coaches and teachers.

Football officials are finally taking their bodies seriously and have eliminated the big overhangs on their wasteline. The game is getting so fast that officials have to be in shape. Plus, I watched an official this year who could not lay the ball on the ground. He dropped it and then put his foot on it to place it. Thank goodness officials are conerned about appearance.

I am thankful my very good friend Ted Ginn Sr. has led Glenville to the state championship. We go back to the day when Glenville was struggling and nobody cared about them. Now with their success, everybody is concerned about them. Yes, I know all about the open enrollment and all of that stuff, but I am glad they have made it.

John Reed, head coach at Coldwater, and I go way back to Upper Sandusky High Shool days. He represents everything good about a teacher, coach, and person. Coldwater is in the state finals again. John is in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. As John leads Coldwater into battle this weekend, he has a bigger battle off of the field. Late summer, cancer was discovered. Coach will always be one of those "guys" whom I really admire and thankful that we are good friends.

Maybe silly, but I really appreciate the time and help that high school coaches give me. Of course, I am older than most of them, so maybe they feel sorry for me. I do know with the internet websites able to second guess coaches and rip coaches and players and the market getting larger with high priced recruiting services, I am fortunate that coaches on both the high school and college level trust me. There is just so much out there.

I am really thankful that a friend of mine here in Upper Sandusky understands computers and websites like no other. The man is unreal. Never played football in his life, but understands computers.

Lastly, no sympathy here, but I am 61 years young and really enjoy what I do with football scouting. As most college coaches know, I am a "kids guy," almost to a fault. I enjoy working with them, and, honestly, it keeps me young. My wife lost a battle with cancer seven years ago. My "adult kids" have left the nest. Some consider me the "old guard," but Papa Joe and Bobby are still "hangin," so maybe I have a chance. Take care and I hope that you have had a wonderful Turkey-Day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The "Old Guard" are Retiring

Football coaches just seem to know the timing to retire or resign. Lou Holtz once said, "if you can walk way and not miss it, then the decision was the correct one." Some of my long time friends have been announcing their retirements the last few days. With the chatrooms and the unaccountable ways idiots make comments, I sometimes wonder why more head coaches do not contemplate retirement.

Bob Ramsay, Dalton High School, has spent 35 years in the business. I coached football and track against Bob, when he was an assistant at Orrville and I was at West Holmes.(God's country). He went to Dalton as head football coach and stayed for 29 years. Excellent football coach, but a better coach at working with young people. We see each other at clinics and camps, and, of course, always chit-chat. Now he has put on some weight, but other than that, same old Bob. Led his school to seven league championships in the always tough Wayne County League. Remember two things as you drive SR30 thru Dalton: Bob Ramsey and the cop that sits at Wendy's.

Greg Bailey, Lakota East High School, is stepping down. We go way back to his Fredericktown days. Tremendous individual. Excellent football coach. For some reason "fast horses" gives one a chance to be a good head football coach. Greg always was honest in his player evaluations. Moreso, he was always promoting his players and trying to do the best for them.

Some more of my old coaching "boys" are making retirement plans and will be announcing soon. Retirement is not the worst "gig" in the world. From first hand experience, life is short. Play hard and take time to smell the roses.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bowsherville University - new program

Something I rarely do any more is provide fuel to the media. Interviews are limited. One radio show I do occassionally, and then sometimes talk with good friend, Bill Conley on his pregame show. One thing certain, if you read anything remotely associated with Lee Shearer and his "Bucknuts Boys, " it is not from me.

Years ago, I wrote a column for "Scarlet and Gray Illustriated," called "Around the State." The mag was good, but went "bottom-ups," and , of course, no job or owed money for me.

Bowsherville University is the school starting a football program. These are my recruits. Of course, just from Ohio. Naturally, people will differ on my choices and they should. Please do not get offended, if you are not on my team. I am not trying to cause controversity. Have some fun with it. I am far from an expert like all of these internet guys who make up the "star" system.

Going to Fremont to watch Avon Lake and Toledo St. Francis.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All Everything Awards

With the high school football regular season coming to a close, the All-League, the All-District, All-City, All-County, All-Websites(?)and All-Ohio teams will soon be selected and announced in November. Also selected will the Player of the Year awards. Both defensive and offensive players will be selcted, culminating with the announcement of "Mr. Football."

Every year I get emails and player profiles from college prospects listing all of the awards that the young man received. I applaud the efforts of these young men. They have had a really good season and have been instrumental to the success of each ones team's success. But the recognition is just that. A post season award is not necessarily an indication he is a D1 scholarship prospect.

Height and weight are still important. Speed and footwork are important. Grades and test scores, obviously, are very important. As much as I hate to admit it, level of competition is important in some cases. I do not necessarily agree with all of this, but, as I often say,"It is what it is."

Detailed profiles and DVD's with music and flashing lights do not really influence many college recruiters. Save your money and time. Give college recruiters the basic information, but be complete. Do not put too much emphasis on your post season awards, but, of course, mention them.

Sometimes awards can be very political. When I was a head football coach many years ago, we were the northern most D5 school in the Central District. We were almost certain to get a first team All Central District player every year. Why? Because the AP wanted our area of the Central District represented.

If a team has had a really, really GOOD year, more than likely they will have a large number of players selected. Although they deserve the recognition, that does not mean that they are all scholarship prospects.

This is not meant to be a negative view point. Having high school football players "frustrated," is never fun for me. I try to be as honest, as I can be. Sometimes I am honest to a fault. If you, as a prospect, ever need advice please contact me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A True Fulltime Player

Last Friday, I stayed home for a little respite from traveling and watched my hometown Upper Sandusky Rams host Tiffin Columbian. The Rams played a really good first half, but lack of depth did them in the second half. Love the Rams, but really came away impressed with Tiffin standout, senior Derek Kneeskern. You see, he never left the field until the outcome was decided.

Kneeskern, 6'2-200, all purpose player may not a top D1 prospect, but he is a scholarship player. Solid speed, but needs to continue to get faster. His competitive speed combined with strength makes him special. On one TD run, he literally ran over three defenders. Needs to be more flexible with hip rotation, but he has long jumped 22 feet. Also carries a 3.3 in the classroom.

As a WR, he had 3 catches for 80 yards and 2 TD's. After TC scored he kicked the PATS(5). Punted twice for 81 yards. From his CB position, he had 5 solo tackles and 1 pass break up. Returned punts. At half-time, he sold raffle tickets(attempt at humor).

Alot of high school teams have a Derek Kneeskern, but I am not always able to watch those kind of athletes with level of competition I usually see. Very refreshing to watch a high school player do alittle of everything, but do it well.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Fight in the Dog

Former O-State football coach, John Cooper once told me, " It is not the size of the dog, but amount of fight in the dog." No more evident than as I watched Parma Normandy host Garfield Heights last night. Jake Suirek, 5'10-200, senior running back from Normandy has a lot of fight and determination. However, this has not caught on with the college recruiters.

Read about Jake's exploits during his sophomore and junior years, but for some reason I could never get any contact information on him. Last night, I made the trip to Cleveland to see him first hand.

Strong, second effort runner with solid speed. Deceptive quickness to get to the edge. Tough runner after initial contact. Good balance. Scored on short runs of 6 and 15 yards. Coming off an injury, so his DB time was limited. Though at times last night he was showing some of the rust from a tough season. I watched his highlight from last season. Although this year's OL is good, it may not be quite as good as last year's. All things considered there is a lot of fight in this old dog.

Also made the chance to meet Jake's parents. His dad is from Cleveland and played for the Oakland Raiders back in the day. A class guy who "has been there" and understands his son's strengths and weaknesses. Mom is a "football player's mom." Like many mom's, she does not understand the recruiting process, but is proud of her son. Tremendous mom, as well as a person.!

I wish there was a way that we could educate all parents and prospects about recruiting. I mean insert the "like it is," and "it is what it is," statements. Be realistic. Do not sugar coat everything. Jake's parents are learning like everyboddy else. With all of the media hype and pressure on college coaches, recruiting can turn into an ugly business. When I tell them that, parents just smile. Months later for some, those smiles have turnd into frustration. But things usually workout.

During my coaching and teaching days, I would say, "If the truth is negative, then sometimes I am negative." Hopefully, people do not consider me a negative person. I try to be brutally honest.

Honestly, I cannot say for sure what level Jake can play. Maybe not a big time D1 guy, but in the right situation, maybe he is a scholarship guy. I can say, however, that he has had a wonderful career, is raised by very good parents, and will play at the next level. Along the way, the Squireks have learned alot about the football recruiting process. Warts and all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Big Weekend of Football

This past weekend I was able to get to five high school games. Of course, I was not able to watch complete games. But for what I do, my purpose is to evaluate players rather than games. Anyway, I saw some really good football players, both young and old and from both small and large schools.

One of the best prospects who I saw was a sophomore from an inner-city school in Cincinnati. The kid runs and hits. Played a number of positions on both offense and defense. At least 6'3-230. Most importantly, his motor runs all of the time. Liked everything about him, including his 3.0+ GPA. Plays hard and hurt.

The flip side: I watched a junior linebacker from one of the private schools in Cincinnati. He is on my early top list. Strong. But it stops there. I was not impressed with his effort. Did not play every down hard. I believe that he is a good run stopper. Needless to say I was disappointed.

The point: I always preach about if you are good enough someone will see you. This is the case. You do not have to play in an elite program. Play hard, make the grades, and take coaching. You will get found!

I wish could somehow provide insight to another situation. Watched a nice OL/DL on Friday night. Class of 2011. Probably 6'4 - 270. Excellent burst. Natural bender. Possibly a DT, but a definite OL guy. Problem: Team was down 21-0 after eight minutes. He kept playing hard, but wonder how he would play if the game was much closer. No knock on his team, because they played hard, but were outmanned.

No names need to be mentioned. Just trying to make a point about the importance of playing hard every down. College coaches watch highlight video, but they also watch complete games on video. Play hard every down.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scouts Watch All Levels

Always amazes me when I see photographers and "self annointed" recruiting experts "slobbering" over a possible O-State recruit. Of course, I realize that is what sells, but what about the other D1 prsopects. Who evaluates them? When the overlooked recruit starts making the colleges' list, now he is termed "under the radar." Whose radar?

Now I am not "stroking my ego" but here is this weekend's schedule.

Leaving for Cincinnati about 1PM. Will be at Finneytown to watch Finneytown host Wyoming. Might get ugly. But Finneytown has a really good 211 OL prospect in Donavan Clark. Big and good feet. He matches up against a senior DL going to Indiana. Wyoming has a nice 211 QB. Also has a transfer from Lakota East, Troy Davis, who has bounced around three schoolsin three years. Thinks he is a big time basketball player. Need to see him. Finneytown has not won a game, but may have a blue chip junior.

North College Hill has an athletic QB(211). Also have two WR's(both 211). NCH is undefeated playing a team who has won one game.

Saturday will watch one of the top programs in Ohio- St Xavier- host St Ed's from Cleveland. St Ed's(year in and year out one of the better programs) is struggling
somewhat this year. Steve Daniels a 211 OLB prospect is probably the top junior. But St X does have some young guys, as does St Ed's.

On the way home to Upper Sandusky, I will catch Taft playing Dayton Dunbar. Need to checkout a DE(211 class) from Taft. RJ Williamson(211DB)from Dunbar has been one of my favorites. Needs to continue to play better, but I need to see him. Both schools have good young kids to evaluate.

I guess my point is that D1 college prospects come from all levels of schools and
competition. They need to be evaluated and get exposure, if warranted. Be patient high school players. If you are good enough, most of the time, someone will see you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Some Recruiting Tidbits

Received a nice phone call from Andy Helms, head football coach at Dayton C-J. Reported that big Andy Jomantas(6'8-250) has received a verbal offer from Kansas. His first BCS offer, but has some offers from some MAC schools. Evidence that if you play hard and work hard your senior year there are scholarships still out there. Somewhat discouraging is this stuff with early offers. Players, parents, and even coaches sometimes get discouraged if no offers come in the summer.

To some extent, I see their point. However, I have been doing this long enough to realize that an early offer is good, but by no means is it the end, if a prospect does not receive one. I firmly believe if you are good enough someone is going to see you. Along with that, I watched the University of Findlay two weeks ago, and by no means is playing D2 football a big drop down. Many Oilers could be playing on D1 programs.

Coach Tressel is a good friend of mine, as is the OSU staff, so this is not a knock at the Buckeyes. Two years ago there were 11 players with Ohio high school backgrounds taken in the first six rounds of the NFL draft. One played at OSU. Last year, something like fourteen players were taken. Four from Ohio State. Even if you are not a Buckeye, you will still get noticed.

Finally, I read in the Lima paper a nice article about Ada HS wide receiver, Heath Jackson. In the article, both his coach Mike Fell and he talked about his offer from Bowling Green, but said that if the Buckeyes offered he would go. Maybe think it, but do not put it in print. On the flip side, one BCS program told me that they have offered 5 more prospects than they have scholarships for. A common practice.

No matter what I tell recruits and parents, they all nod their heads like I have no clue what I am talking about. Of course, many of them nod their heads in a different manner when recruiting is finished.

A poster on my office wall. "Integrity: If you have to think about whether something is right or is wrong."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Internet Recruiting Crap - Part One

One of my good friends who happens to be one of those "O-State football recruiting sillies," called me two nights ago with news that Braxton Miller missed last week's game, because he hit his girlfriend. Obviously, my first comment was "where did you hear that crap from?" One of his Buckeye Buddies read it on a website covering OSU football. The rumor mill was set in motion. Because I think the worl of Braxton Miller, QB from Wayne, I had to make some calls.

Braxton has a deep thigh bruise, and still not healed completely. Braxton had an argument with his girlfriend LAST SUMMER. Case closed. The person who put the word out said Miller had a fight( but not a Physical) with his girlfriend and was held out of the game. This same nationally known columnist(sarcasm) says that Braxton has privately committed to the Buckeye staff. According to my guys, NOT SO. The columnist and who happens to own the website has "lotsa of money." His evaluations are senseless. He has "lotsa money." I will not mention his name to avoid anymore recognition. Please do not believe that stuff.

The "Braylon Edwards" of the world can handle the negative publicity. Most college kids can handle the negative publicity. But do we need to "beat-up," high school juniors? Do we have to spread gossip about them? I know "tabloids" sell to a certain cult, be do we have to gossip about 15-16 year olds.

Football recruiting websites feed the fans. The object is to be the first one with the news. There is nothing I can say that will change that small cult's minds. Please do not believe everything that you read.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Under the Radar Seniors

I always become amused at the phrase,"under the rader," when used by the so-called recruiting experts. Rather than admit that they had no clue, they would rather say "under the radar." "Not under everybody's radar," I say to myself. Last week I saw some seniors who need to be evaluated by the college coaches.

I first saw James Flowers,QB from Parma Padua, while watching campers at the Gary Stevens QB Camp. Liked him as a 10th grader, but he was behind a junior who was pretty good. John played some "D," but not until this year, has he been able to show his QB stuff. Has put up some good numbers, but I am really impressed with his QB skills. At 6'3 he can see the field. Runs well enough. Stays in the pocket and has good presence. Becoming more and more comfortable with more reps. Like his arm strength. Moves the chains. Needs to get some interest.

Rashad Frazier, DE from Middletown, looks the part at 6'4-225. Good burst off LOS. Plays low. Room to get much bigger and stronger. Like his closing speed. Has some toughness and can be nasty at times. Rashad moved to Middletown from Maine this past summer. Never played football until this year. I have gotten name his out to my college coaches, and some schools like him already. Good kid who needs a chance.

I may have mentioned Tim Kendrick,DB-Benedictine in an earlier blog, but I will again. Free safety with good range. 6'0-185 frame. Very athletic. Understands coverages and had two picks when I saw him. Plays WR too, but best suited as a FS.

Will mention one junior who should be not be under the radar. Robert Mincey(DE-Fairfield) could be joining Kenny Hayes(Whitmer) and Steve Miller(Canton McKinley) as the top DE prospects in the Class of 2011. At 6'4-240, he can be overpowering at times. Plays pad under pad. Motor always running. Good leverage. Relentless on pursuit angles. Tough enough to do inside, if he gets bigger. Excellent prospect, but only a junior.

Planning to do more with recognizing top underclassmen prospects. I already do mass emailing to my college coaches, but I will try to include my blog readers. Busy time right now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Time to get to writing

After watching 22 games and another 33 teams in scrimmages, now is the time to get back to work on this blog site. Getting ready to work on videos and starting to collect information for my directory. Actually, being a retired English teacher, I kind of enjoy writing. After 5 games, the cream of the crop in the Ohio Class of 2011 is starting to come to the top.

Braxton Miller-QB - Wayne High School is everything that I thought he would be. Has a leg injury now, but he will be back soon. The ultimate spread offense QB. Can run, can pass, and can make decisions. Most of all, he takes coaching and so far, he is grounded.

Kenny Hayes-DE - Toledo Whitmer is awesome. A 6'5 frame with speed. Can stop the run either inside or outside. Excellent off the edge on pass rush. Motor is always running. Also a leader by example.

Steve Miller-DE - Canton McKinley is different type of pass rusher. A 6'4 frame, but will need to add weight. Thin hips and really comes off the edge. Changes direction and closes well. Also could be a drop end. Like his toughness. Never quit attitude.

Trey DePriest-LB - Springfield continues to get quicker and faster. Has played DE and FB, but best position is LB. Toughness was never a question for me. Worked hard on conditioning in the off season and now it shows. Can take over a game.

Josh McClain-OLB - Dayton Northmont is wide receiver now, but he is out growing the position. On the next level needs to be an OLB. Tremendous athletic skills. Tough. hardnose competitor. Excellent hands. Worry about his focus on and off the field. Grades could hold him back, but has all of the natural skills.

Devin Smith-WR - Massillon Washington just makes plays. Faster when the ball is in the air. Excellent vision. Soft hands. Transferred from Akron Ellet, because of family ties with the Tigers. Saw him in camp last summer. A natural WR. Better person off the field. A top guy.

Dorian Grant-DB - Akron St Vincent- St Marys has the top end speed. Cover corner. Rotates hips. Recovers well. Strength is his combination of speed and size and strength. Will not see him until next week.

Chris Rock-DE - Columbus DeSales has the frame to add weight and needs to. Very athletic. Functional speed and quickness is good. Really was disappointed in his effort against Anderson. May be a better TE or OL prospect. Could see him as a center.

Trayion Durham-RB - Colerain plays FB now, but at the next level should be a TB. 5'11-210 and tough. Like his balance and burst. Good ball skills. Can get bigger. Like his vision, but hard to see much because he is a FB in the option. For some reason, I think he could be special.

Matt Skura-OL - Worthington Kilbourne does not realize how good he can be. Natural bender. Good feet. Aggressive run blocker. Understands schemes. Lineman instincts good. Only about 250, but can add weight and strength. Really like his natural skills at the center position. Must realize how good he can be.

These prospects are not necessarily the "top ten," but I would evaluate them very thoroughly, when picking my franchise team. As you will see over the next few weeks, the "Class of 2011" is pretty good.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Four star, whatever?

Read in the Toledo Blade this morning about a young man at Anthony Wayne High School who has committed to Iowa to play football. He grew up a Buckeye, but they had not offered him, so he chose the Hawkeyes. Good move. I know the Buckeyes liked him in camp, but wanted to see more of him this fall. By the way, that speaks volumes for the Buckeyes.(I am not a big early offer guy).

In this article, he was rated a 4-Star, by Rivals, something else by Scout, and something else from a service in Ohio. For you young football players, I beg you not to get caught in this nonsense about a Rivals rating, a Scout rating, or being ranked by any internet service in Ohio. These services feed "internet recruiting junkies." Their job(some make good money) is to give a small cult of recruiting people something to read and to go on chat rooms and chat about.

Do not let where they rank you, better yet, if they did not rank you, mess up your mind. Just play football. Let the people that matter(college coaches) rank you on their boards. That they do for sure. Parents are often as guilty as anybody about getting caught up in these rankings. I could tell you war story after war story about football recruiting and the lack of integrity that goes on.

One big name recruiting "expert" on the West Coast, a few years ago told a QB from Maryland that if he did not give him inside "stuff," he would not rate him high in his magazine. Of course, that happens alot. Years ago one college's boosters group bought 13,000 dollars worth of magazine subscriptions. That school's recruiting class was rated 8th in the country that winter by that magazine.

As college coaches know, if I have not seen a prospect, I do not rate him. Not fair to the kid. Of course and obviously, we do not always agree. For example, NO ONE, except Western Michigan, was willing to take a chance on Tim Hiller, former QB at Orrville. MSR rated him the 2nd best QB in Ohio that year. Enough said. Justin Swick, and I really like Justin, was highly over rated coming out of Massillon and I said that. I am not blowing my own horn. Just saying that a high school player should not get caught up in ratings.

Even at the professional level this occurs. A few years ago, Houston surprised the Mel Kiper's of the world by skipping over the QB from Texas and the RB from USC to take a DE from North Carolina. Kiper and the draft experts ripped the Houston GM. Now, look who is really contributing to each's own pro team.

I could tell you how the ratings are constructed, but that is not really the purpose of this blog entry. Just-- please do not get caught up in all this ratings stuff. Play hard and enjoy your high school football days. Everything will take care of itself.

Getting ready for Centerville-Moeller and Butler-Springfield.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blog on Hold

I really not have been neglecting my blog entries, and I apologize for that. I have just been so swamped with traveling and evaluating that my time has been limited. During the course of the season, I do weekly updates on the prospects that I have seen. Not counting scrimmages, after the first week, I have been to eight games. This weekend I will be at five games. Now this is not to "beat my chest," but evaluating is my first love.

With that being said, my blog is going to go at a much smaller pace. I will get some entries up, when I have time, or if something interesting happens. After the season, the blog will be, hopefully, refreshing.

Off to look at some new video. Enjoy the season.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Toledo City League

Last Friday I spent the day at the "Shoe Bowl" in Toledo and came away really impressed with the growth of city league football. You see, having watched city league football throughout Ohio, I have grown really pr0ud of the work that programs have done.

Toledo, of course, considers the catholic schools as part of the city league. I am talking about the true "city league" teams. Woodward listed 32 players and many played both ways. They played hard and clean. Really liked Brandon Wyatt, a junior OL/DL. Listed at 6'3-285. He ran out of gas at times playing both ways, but he played fast at times. Scott is facing a building year. Many underclassmen. Although he needs to get bigger, I liked Montrice Crosby, a 2012 class, DB. Played CB and FS and will strike you. Good in open field. Bowsher football is on he upswing. Senior Antoine Russel caught my eye. Wide receiver with burst and ability to catch the ball over the middle. Also lined up at OLB. Really believe he can play at the next level. Need to get some hype to the colleges about him. Start's program is very solid. Good athletes who play hard and well coached.

Improved city programs: Really impressed with effort of Black coaches. Worked hard, coached hard, and treated the kids well. Really good role models. Teams were organized and well coached. Although some teams were low in numbers, kids played hard. Discipline was excellent. Really enjoyed watching the sideline enthusiasm.

See, I used to think that "inner city" football in Toledo left alot to be desired. My feelings have changed. Of course, I missed my old friend Rick Rios, head coach at Rogers. Rogers football will always represent the "city league" well.

Nice job Toledo city football coaches.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Toledo Area Scrimmages Today

Looking forward to today's scrimmages in Toledo. I believe it is called the "Shoe Bowl," and sponsored by the "newsboys" in Toledo. Seven schools are involved. The event begins at 4:00. Teams involved:

Northview vs Bowsher
Woodward, Scott, and Northwood
St. Johns vs Start

The nice thing about attending this event is that you can evaluate talent that most of the recruiting experts have no clue about. Everybody knows about players at Ignatius, Elder, or Steubenville, but few take the time to get information on some of the lesser known schools, especially inter-city programs. Of course, St Johns is not a lesser known.

Nice linebacker at Northwood. A player at Start. St Johns is always going to have some college prospects. Some of the city schools might have a "diamond in the rough." Also find myself scouting J-V and freshmen games. This is a nice opportunity to do that.

Also, am going to catch some of the Whitmer- Perrysburg scrimmage. Both DE's at Whitmer are the real deals. Big time - 1A ratings. Kenny Hayes(DE-Whitmer), along with Stevie Miller(McKinley) are two of the very best in Ohio and are jus in the 2011 class.

If the times work out, may take in a Michigan practice. Always fun to go to a college practice to see the Ohio boys who I have evaluated and have gotten to know. Ohio State next week.

Hope that you can catch a scrimmage, or as the state now calls it, a jamboree. Just another way for the OHSAA to make money. Another story-another time.

See you in Dayton and Cincinnati next week.


Ten days later and I am finally posting another blog entry. Honestly, with the getting of fine tuned and evaluating talent, my blog has taken a backseat. Hopefully, I can get back to blogging and still do what I do.

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to improve this site, please feel free to contact me. However, this not a forum or fan forum, so make everything geared toward how I can improve the information, or how I can better help you with the recruiting process.

Actually, one other comment from me. I taught English for 30 years. However, I never took typing, now in today's age, keyboarding. Can you tell? Also, I hate to proofread. Can you tell? I am a high school football scout. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the site. When you come across a misspelled word, an omitted word, just shake your head.

Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marion Franklin's Mr Everything

Last night I began the serious evaluations of college potential high school football players throughout Ohio. That is, no more football camps, no more combines, and no more 7 on 7's. Scrimmages and games from now on. Watched Olentangy, Kenton, Lancaster, and Marion Franklin. Hats off to the players, because they played a long time.

Verlon Reed, senior quarterback from M-F, as college coaches know, is a favorite of mine. Fast(4.5). Still learning as a QB, but is doing well. Throws well enough. Solid arm. Could be a WR at the next level. Just as good, would be his lining up free safety. I mean he will strike you. Best of all, he is a leader on either side of the LOS. For me, he is a special talent. Senior OL guy, Aaron Shelton has made big strides from last year. 6'4 - 300+. Bends okay, but needs to keep working on feet. Would like to see him lose some weight, but he works hard.

Nathan Carpenter, senior from Lancaster, showed some quickness and toughness. Probably needs to lock in on a position, but may be a CB. Lack of height couldhurt him, but he very competitive.

Most of Kenton's prospects are underclassmen. Mark Fackler, senior ILB, fills well, and showed toughness. Needs to improve running ability. Smart football player. No one agrees with me, but he has the frame to add weight and play on the O-line at the next level.

Olentangy has some seniors who are really good high school players. They have some potential underclassmen. My experience with Olentangy seniors is that they begin the season as possible prospects and develop into good prosects.

I have not mentioned any underclassmen. Still early for most of them, but, of course, there were some good ones.

Early Recruiting Video Efforts

As I watched the scrimmage between Steubenville and Uniontown Lake, there was an amazing discovery during the scimmage. A video guy from Rivals was taking video of the scrimmage. Both coaches had no clue as to who he was and obviously talked with him. He was not permitted to shoot any more of the scrimmage. He apparently arrived late and did not ask for permission to video. Everything worked out. This is the first scrimmage, after two days of contact, and Rivals feels compelled to get video on its website. The second day of actual contact- remember.

One better than that. Last week, I read where there was video up that had a 2011 Class DE doing a practice drill. The video was exciting because the prospect did one drill and was far enough away that you could hardly see the footwork. Of course, a self annointed recruitng expert was responsible. Video from a practice???? Of course, I am the Old Guard.

Coaches and recruits, you cannot stop those type of recruiting internet sites, but just be aware of what is happening. Hope you understand the early sarcasm.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ohio Class of 2010 Defensive Backs

In most of my blog's concerning the top prospects in the class of 2010, I have tried to rank the prospects. The order is somewhat how I value the recruits ability. With that being said, the defensive backs are the hardest to rank. The talent is really close.

Christian Bryant - (Glenville) Obvious track speed. Good hip rotation. Closes well. Like his ability shut down taller WRs. Excellent recovery speed. Like his smoothness. Excellent competitor. Defensive side is the better side.

Braylon Heard - (Mooney) May him overrated, but his speed is real. Covers well. Needs to be just alittle more flexible. Faster when ball is in the air. Also like his ability to recover. Plays fast.

Latwan Anderson - (Glenville) Strong, tough run stopper. Tight in the hips. Solid speed. Worry about his work ethic and coach ability. Needs to use skills and play every down.

Odis Prunty - (St Edwards) - Flat out speed makes him special. Covers well. Recovers well. Needs to work on open field tackling. Could also be a WR.

Tyson Gulley - (Akron Garfield) Noted mostly as a RB. Like him at CB. Tough competitor. Excellent quickness. Quick hip rotation. Height could hurt him. Tough, no back down attitude. Plays fast.

Arryn Chenault - (Lakota West) May switch schools. Solid speed. Closes well. Sure open field tackler. Tremendous competitor. Excellent ball skills. Plays fast, but speed may cause him to move to a SS.

Adam Morris - (Glenville) More of a run stopper. Fast. Toughness excellent. Can play a number of positions. Fast and good hip rotation.

James Hall - (Southview) Tough run stopper. Understands secondary. Solid speed. Good burst. Possible slot receiver. Like the way he closes on ball. Needs to dominate tis year. Good prospect.

Josh Kristoff - (Pickerington Central) Finishes tackles. Good burst. Needs to improve top speed. Anticipates well. Like his aggressiveness as a safety. Sideline to sideline defender.

Terrence Talbott - (Wayne) Like his CB instincts. Solid speed. Quickness to cover WR. Speed to run deep. Needs to continue to work hard. Needs to be better openfield tackler. Nice presence.

Jon Hardy - (Cleveland Heights) Great attitude. Fast. Good cover corner. Tough on run. Like his rotation. Height may be a problem. Plays hard. May need to increase speed. Tough kid.

Brandon Neal - (Lakota West) Excellent off season workouts. Tough run stopper. Strong. Could play inside or outside. Speed to cover deep. Closes well.

Seth Cunningham - (St Edwards) Speed, speed and speed. Tough. Strong upper body. Needs to improve hip flexibity. Closes well. Solid open field tackler. Anticipates well. More of a north/south speed guy.

Stacey Blunt - (Dublin Scioto) - Big strong defender. Also a wideout. Solid speed. Better athletic skills. Impressed with his body control. May be a free safety. Size and strength are his strengths.

Nathan Carpenter - (Lancaster) Tough bloodlines. Fast, but needs to be faster. Tough run stopper. Needs more flexibilty. Concern about lack of height. But competitive desire and full speed effort make up for it.

Adam Griffith - (DeSales) Special player. Too short by most standards. Plays fast. Needs to improve true speed. Smart player. Tremendous competitor. Special teams player. Excellent attitude. May be too short??? but will contribute whereever he goes.

Quinton Cooper - (Northmont) - Another short corner. Excellent speed. Quick hips. Good run stopper. Strong upper body. Tremndous field presence. Possibly too short.

Mike Dorsey - (Warren Harding) - Needs a position. Big fast runner. Good open field tackler. Tall. Play either safety position. Good closing speed. Needs to be more of a bender. Long shot as an OLB. Good overall player.

Ryan Christiansen - (Lake) Big, strong athlete with solid speed. Strong upper body. Closes well. Smart. Like him as a safety. Football intelligence. Loves contact.

Marcus Penn - (Whetstone) Raw talent with excellent speed. Still learning game. Good quickness. Also plays WR.

Nate Morris - (Warrensville Heights) Excellent athlete. Plays many positions. Fast. Strong. Hard-nosed. Needs exposure. Natural leader. Under the radar.

Kevin Johnson - (St Ignatius) Also plays RB. More of strong safety. Really good speed. Strong upper body. Needs quicker hip rotation. Needs a strong senior year.

Sam Miller - (Orrville) Intelligent on/off foobll field. Solid speed. Reads coverages. Closes well on ball. Ideal free safety. Anticipates well. Good ball skills. A sleeper???

Bobby Swigert - (Louisville) - Some like as a WR. Excellent quickness. Very athletic. Excellent ball skills. Anticipates well. Tougher when ball is in the air. Makes plays. Tough run stopper.

2010 Class Linebackers a Plenty

With the exception of Jordan Hicks, the linebacker 2010 class is good, but not outstanding. Some very solid backers in this class, but will have continue to improve to be outstanding at the next.

Jordan Hicks - (Lakota West) All of the natural instints of an outside linebacker. Runs well. Closes well and finishes plays. Good in coverage drops. Plays on air. Plays faster than speed. Character makes him special.

Scott McVey - (St Ignatius) Tough, strong and runs through defenders. Also an OLB guy. Excellent closing speed. Execellent in pass coverage. Plays sideline to sideline. Too short(6'0) by most standards, but unbelievable competitor.

Chi-Chi Ariguzo - (Columbus DeSales) Under-rated. Tall 6'2 and getting bigger and stronger. Closes well. Nasty attitude. Possible SS, but like him as an OLB. Still learning the game. Can add weight. Intelligent in classroom and on field.

Willie Tatum - (Pickerington Central) Not sure best fit. Possible DE. Tremendous off the edge. Fast. Quick. Need to see him in coverage. Good open field tackler. Plays really fast. Excellent leverage on tackles. Simply - plays fast.

Josh Harrison - (Wayne) Really good offseason has helped potential. Bigger and stronger. Good balance. Understands game. Plays fast. Tough in open field.

Ray Bush - (Toledo Rogers) Future is ahead. 6'2-210 and runs well. Strong and still growing. Needs more technique, but works hard. Possible inside run stopper(if he keeps growing). Excellent tackler. Really like potential at next level.

Cameron Ontoko - (Walsh Jesuit) Fast. Changes direction well. Very strong. Needs to work on flexiblity. Plays low. Also a RB, but needs to focus on OLB. May grow into a Mike backer. Improve pass drops. Great attitude and will be good.

Cody Byers - (Kettering Alter) Continues to get faster. Toughness is biggest asset. Like the way he finishes. Possible SS, but needs to improve speed. Good balance. Stays on feet. Utapped potential.

Jewone Snow - (Canton McKinley) Needs to continue to redistribute weight and get stronger. A mike backer. Runs well tackle to tackle. Good leverage. Very competitive. For me, finally reaching potential. Needs to dominate senior year.

Cody Riffle - (Toledo St Johns) Under rated. Speed and toughness make him special. Short on heighth, but strong and quick. Can play either inside or out. Leader. Also closes well on ball. Motor always running full speed.

Preston Brown - (Cincinnati Northwest) Big LB/FB type guy. Strong. Runs down hill. Needs to improve closing speed and finishing. Big body, but needs to improve instincts and athleticism. For me, needs to dominate early.

Zac Rosenbauer - (Lima Shawnee) Serious injury caused him to miss last season. Strong and tough. Obviously, needs to play well, but not necessarily early. A test taker and must translate that to field. Closes well. Runs through defenders. Could be a dominating force.

Dereck Roback - (Waverly) Labeled an athlete. Like him as potential OLB. Strong. Smart. Runs to the ball. Excellent in pass coverage. Frame to add weight. Long. Good in open field. Can also play an inside DB. Very athletic.

Soloman Tentman -(Roger Bacon) Runs really well off the edge. Can drop into coverage. Big frame. Needs to be a better bender. Play more under control. Motor runs all of the time.

Marcus Johnston - (Coshocton) - Also a RB, but may be a better defender. Possible SS. Smart. Understands the game. Fast, but my need more flexibility. Needs to play lights out in early games. Like him at RB, but maybe a better defender.

Nick Galvin - (Moeller) - Tough down hill runner. Aggressive and tough. Needs to get off blocks. Like his motor and energy. Shortness and athleticism(needs improved) may hurt his chances to get to a top levl program.

Anthony Hitchens - Lorain Clearview) Like him, but needs to find a true position. Solid speed. Good strength. Needs more agility. North/South runner. Good frame just needs to take over as a LB'er.

Trust me, I have omitted some for various reasons. May add to my next blog.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Defensive line - 2010 Class

My experience has been that true defensive inside linemen are really hard to find. In fact, the first thing early college scouts ask me - "any defensive linemen in Ohio?" This year is no exception. I just cannot give you many true top DL guys.

Terry Talbott - (Wayne) Worked hard over the winter and the results have been good. Like his instincts and quickness off LOS. Good hands. Disengages well. Pursues down LOS. Game motor, but needs to keep it running. An excellent offseason program has really increased potential. Needs to dominate in first three games.

Josh Davis - (Jonathon Alder) Played both ways. A load on defense, but better suited for the OL. Strong. Needs to work on lateral movement. Locks out well as a QB protector. Strong inside run stopper. Good pass rusher. Just believe he does not move as well on the DL. Football player, however.

Roosevelt Nix - (Reynoldsburg) Maybe the most disrupting force on the DL in Ohio tis fall. Tops the height chart at 5"10. Disengages really well. Quick feet. Sideline to sideline guy. Plays FB on offense. A stretch at LB. Just too short for almost every program. Excellent kid.

Grant Pleasant - (Dublin Scioto) - Listed as a DE. Tough, hardnosed run stopper. Like his quickness off the LOS. Motor runs all of the time. Needs to add weight and slide inside. Durable. Quickness to be an inside pass rusher, as well. Needs to realize his value as an inside guy.

John Blevins - (Upper Arlington) - Once he plays just one way, motor will have more gas. Tough run stopper inside. Needs to improve ability to get off blocks. Strong upper body. Needs to keep working on quickness. Needs to improve flexibility. Work ethic is probably his biggest asset.

Harrison Scott - (New Albany) Maybe a sleeper. Potential is there. Just filling out his body. Feet are his strength. Good balance. Uses hands well. Pass rush technique is good. Smiles too much(Humor). Athleticism is strength. May need to be nastier, but that will come.

Desmond McGowan - (Springfield SW) Moves well. Started as a 10th grader. Quick feet and pass rush technique are strengths. Really needs to add weight. Alot of weight in fact. Toughness is evident.

Karson Williams - (Tecumseh) Either does not know how good he can be, or does want to take charge. Very athletic. Excellent quickness. Runs well. Needs to add weight and strength. Needs to be more "smash mouth." All of the physical skills. Scolded him on attitude. I liked him on video, but attitude is important. Consider him a sleeper.

Zach Hitchens - (Canal Winchester) Need to find a position for Zach. Strong and no nonsense attitude on pass rush. Runs well off the edge. Change of direction just okay. Relentless on pursuit. Inside run stopper. Hope he in grows into a DL guy. Maybe a stretch at DE. Maybe a LB if he can play on air. Just needs a chance to show his ability.

Defensive linemen always seem to come out of the woodwork their senior year. Hopefully, some athletes have outgrown their current postion and will move to the defensive line.

Defensive ends - 2010 class or whatever

Need to finish my top 2010 guys. A defensive end for me, sometimes turns into a "whatever." That is although he played defensive in high school, I do not always project a player as a DE on the next level.

Jibreel Black - (Wyoming) Really good quickness. Very athletic. Uses hands to disengage, but may outgrow the DE position and move inside. Not enough burst coming off the edge. Tough, but like him as a DT.

Marcus Rush - (Moeller) Special to me. Excellent burst off the edge. Good speed, but plays faster. Finishes tackles. Almost caught between DE and OLB. If he can play on air, will be an excellent OLB prospect. A defensive stopper for sure.

Jayrone Elliot - (Glenville) - Big, strong and long. True DE and plays with big motor. Needs to improve changing direction, but solid now. Just like his toughness and that he play full speed every play. Can take over a high school game.

Jamal Turner - (Ursuline) Track speed. Excellent quickness. Tall and long. Quickness makes him special. Needs to play every down. Needs to pursue better. Off field problems aside, could be very good. Question motor. Line him at DE and come off the corner every play. Not as high on him as some evaluators.

J T Moore - (Boardman) Could play different positions. Big frame and can get much bigger. Long arms. Excellent balance. Like his intensity, but need to improve. Do not know if he plays in space well enough to play OLB. Fluid enough to play DE?? Maybe an OL guy. But he is a football player.

Anthony Stryffeler -(Parma) Somewhat under the radar, but should not be. Strong upper body. Motor runs all the time. Good balance. Also plays offense, but better on D. Tough enough to move inside. Uses hands well. Just love his motor and the fact that he competes every play.

John Russ - (Elyria Catholic) Also plays TE and moves outside as a receiver. Like his burst. Long frame and can alot of weight. Quick off the edge. Changes direction well. Could be a TE, but like him chasing the ball. Best years are ahead.

Eric Lefeld - (Coldwater) Watched him as a sophomore at DE. Growing into body. Some like him inside on either offensive and defensive lines. Long arms. Improving change of direction. Excellent leverage. A basketball player, but football is the ticket. No mistake on an offer, because he can play both sides of ball.

Derrick Bryant - (Brookhaven) For me, needs to play lights-out this year. Tall and long. Believe he is still learning the game. Excellent burst coming off the edge. Needs to play harder. Motor needs to run every play. Very athletic. Desire to be good, but just needs to find it.

Michael Robinson - (Cleveland John Adams) - Excellent speed and quickness. Solid off the edge. Needs to be coach-up somewhat. Raw talent. Puts up good stats, but need to see the level of competion game in game out. May have to move inside, but would have to get bigger.

Antonio Kinard - (Youngstown Liberty) Possibly the best prospect in the 2010 class, but needs to take over games this fall. Long and adding weight. Excellent coming off the edge. Excellent burst. Like him as well at OLB. Was dinged-up last year. Just need to see more of him, but potential on next level is high.

Solid prospects at the DE position in the Class of 2010. In all honesty, the two best DE prospects in Ohio are in the 2011 class. Love Stevie Miller (Canton McKinley) and Kenny Hayes (Toledo Whitmer.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pleasant surprises at Bengals camp

Last Monday, as I walked around the Bengals practice as a guest of Jim Lippencott, I watched two former Ohio high schoolers working hard to impress the Bengal coaching staff. Both are returners from last year and appear in good standing for this coming season.

What made it special for the "Old Guard," as some Bucknuts guy with no football background referred to me, was that they remembered me. But what made it really special was that coming out of high school, both of these guys were long shots to "play on Sunday."

Andrew Crummey(6'5-300) came to the Bengals midway through last season. With hard work he has become one of, if not, the top back-up O-lineman. He played at Van Wert HS, was big, and could run. For some reason, many of the Midwest schools did not go on him. He had an excellent career at Maryland. Playing for a smaller school program, Andrew had really good feet and OL instincts. He overcame a smaller high school program , and now he makes just a little more money than I do.

Chinedum Ndukwe played his high school career at Dublin Coffman HS, and honestly, when Notre Dame offered him a scholarship, my thought was a package to get Brady Quinn. Chinedum could not run fast. Tough, smart, big(now 6'2-220), but could not run fast. Actually thought he might play at ND as an OLB. After two years as WR, he moved to S. Still was not fast, but fast enough. Anyway, he is alternating at S with the Bengals, but is good enough to start. Now, he too, makes just a little more money than I do.

Of course, there are many stories like this, but for me, watching two OHIO boys get rewarded for all of the work and dedication they put in over the years to "play on Sunday," made the Bengals practice trip very rewarding.

New Website

After some long planning sessions, the new website is up and running. I would like to take all of the credit and tell you that that is what I have been doing the last few weeks. Of course, if you know me personally, you know that I am not " a computer giant." Thank goodness for the "favorite" column.
Virtually, all of the credit goes to my good friend who simply loves the challenge of creating "websites." Since he does not evaluate football talent very well, he is no threat to my business. Does have a little background in football.
Anyway, I hope that we can continually provide new and fresh information on football recruiting. With the new site, we have tried to make the high school coach's work a little more convenient. Eventually, we hope to provide a section to help the Ohio High School Football Coaches Assn get news to its members.
Lastly, if you have comments or suggestions to make the site better, please feel free to email us.
The Ohio high school football season officially began yesterday. The best to all for a successful season.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Offensive Linemen - Class of 2010

Just did not feel right with only mentioning 18 OL guys in my earlier blog. Nick Ihasz(Bedford) - Very heavy and needs to work on speed. Like his toughness. Like his improvment from last year. Needs to keep working on feet. Jeff Tanner(moeller) a typical Moe loneman. Good feet. Good technique. Needs to keep adding weight and strength. Needs to get bigger. DaJuan Calloway(Glenville) really big upper body. Almost too heavy. Needs to be a better bender. Has the feet to pass block, but needs to continue to work on balance. Eric Franklin(Mooney) also almost too heavy. Needs to lose weight. Needs to be a better bender. Needs to play harder. Does have the size that programs want. Brad Ferguson(West Branch)long tall frame, but needs add strength and weight.Like his feet. and reach. Plays defense, but could be a very nice OLineman. Ben Bruzzelli(Wadsworth) continues to surprise me. Liked him a 10th grader, but has not improved like I though he would. Big, tough wrestler in the winter. Needs to be more athletic and dominate OL. Does play some defese. One to watch, because of feet and leverage.

Just wanted to mention a few more offensive linemen. Really all, if they play well, are scholarship type guys. Just need to continue to improve and grow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"My guys" the Class of 2010 Offensive Linemen

The OL position, as I have often said, is one of the tougher positions for me to evaluate. Of course, size and strength have to looked at, but "bench press strength" is over-rated. Feet, length, and natural instincts are really important. The toughness and quickness of the opposing DL guy is important. Every lineman has to have some _ _ _ _ _ in him.

Andrew Norwell(Anderson) to me, is simply the best. Tall, strong, and just nasty. Plays hurt and will flatout smack you. May have to work a little harder on pass blocking technique.

Matt James(St Xavier) also from Cincinnati has good feet, extends well, and has excellent size. Has been "dinged-up" some the last two years, so evaluators did not get to see the real him. Maybe improve his balance.

Dakota Anderson(Xenia)really has upside, but because he has played TE, and, of all things, quarterback, scouts have not been able to evaluate him as an OL. But he is a bender and has good feet. Needs to learn blocking skills as an OL guy, but blocked as a TE. He is 6'6 and adding weight. Like his potential.

Andrew Donnal(Anthony Wayne) Liked him from the start. Good feet and balance.Long and runs well. Watched him in hoops and like his balance. May not understand the work involved to play at the top level. Needs more of what Norwell has, and is some _ _ _ _ _. Will be fine.

Skyler Schofner(Big Walnut) - Really like size -6'6-300. Good feet. Strong. Bends and is an excellent drive blocker. Due to family situations ,has changed schools too much. Learn one system Needs to really concentrate on football. Potential is huge.

Simon Cuijanovic(Benedictine)Experts will say, "under radar guy." Growing and getting stronger. Really good feet. Toughness is evident. Smart. Just have a good feeling about him. Early games will tell. Just keeps getting bigger, stronger, and tougher.

Kevin Scholmer(Lakota West) is growing into his own, also. Really good feet. Long and good pass blocker. Needs to continue to increase strength. Like his potential, but need to see him dominate early.

Travis Jackson(DeSales) Runs well. Bends and is an excellent run blocker. Only 6'4 but can play guard. Like his feet and the fact that he is still growing. Instincts and feet caught my eye. Better pass blocker than given credit.

Clint Shepherd(Eaton) tough and works really hard. strong. good balance, but must improve flexibility. Really concerned about his not being a bender.Competitive desire should help overcome any weaknesses. Just a little stiff.

Clay Rolf(Eastwood) Have been somewhat "just okay" with Clay, but he has alot of potential. The frame to add weight. Tough. Athletic. Never played inside and down. Once he learns the skills with interior line(both sides)play, he should be really good. Frame and work ethic very evident.

Chris Pace(Avon Lake) Very tough and has the _ _ _ _ _. Not as tall as advertised. Possible center. Needs to improve balance and feet. Good strength. Work ethic will help overcome weaknesses.

Matt Rotheram(North Olmsted) Huge frame. Will get bigger. Solid feet. Needs to be a better bender and finish blocks. Long arms. Needs to develop his "punch" and overall explosiveness. Obvious size caught a lot of recruiters attention.

Jeff Meyers(Massillon)Needed to lose weight and did. Like his balance and run blocking. A little short, but speed and instincts make up for it. Short arms. Overall a "brawler," which is good. Needs to keep weight down. A sleeper.

Taylor Miller(Edgewood) Very athletic. Bends well. Excellent feet. Strength getting better. 6'5- 290. Really needs to play every down. Needs an "attitude to be the best." Simply needs to play harder. May be one of the most athletic linemen, but does not the _ _ _ _ _.

Logan Hauserman(Logan Elm) 6'7 basketball player. Good feet. Needs to get much, much stronger. The frame, the smarts, the athleticism to be really good. Just needs to get the "football conditioning" and strength need to be good. Like his potential alot, but really needs get football " toughness," to play at the highest level. Like him alot.

Isaiah Byler(Elyria)Re-did his body. Needs to continue to develop body. Good feet. Good work ethic. Needs to continue to develop blocking skills. Like the fact that he lost alot of weight and now is putting it back the right way. Needs to play well early to convince recruiters.

Bryant Ausperk(St Vincent-St Mary)Huge prospect who has worked really hard on body to get into playing weight. Good feet. Good athleticism for size. Over-powering run blocker. Maybe too big.

Mike Dennis(Carey) runs really well. Long arms. Good explosion. Trains hard, but competition is D-6. Like his movement. Concern about when the pads come on.

A lineman from St Charles did not want to send me video, so I cannot evaluate him. This happens sometimes, but he would not be in this group to begin with. Two or three other OL guys need to try to defense first. Of course, my tight end from Solon, Darryl Baldwin, will eventually be a college offensive lineman.

Offense finished. Of course, I missed some, but I could win with these guys.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Running backs in Ohio 2010 class????

Running backs are alittle easier to evaluate than some other football positions, at least for me. The problem in this class is the shortage of true ball carriers. That is runners who can play at the top level. Not a knock on this class, but it is what it is.

My hands down favorite is Erick Howard(North Canton Hoover). Good size at 5'10-215. Solid speed, but does lack true 5th gear. Stronger, the more carries he gets. Tough, maybe one of the toughest in years. But I worry about his desire off the field. Andre Givens(Hubbard) really impressed me on video. More of a slasher with strength and toughness. Excellent speed. Like his burst and his separation speed. Excellent vision. Antonio Banks(Middletown)is a strong legged, compact runner, but very durable. Good vision, but needs to improve flatout burst. Good competitive speed, but needs to get faster. Durability is his strength. LeVeron Bell(Groveport) has the skills and vision. At 6'1-215 saw him high jump 6'0. Like his durability and toughness. Needs to improve burst and true breakaway speed. Needs some OL support. Devin Clodfelter(Columbus Independence)) has the raw skills, but needs finetuned. Has the burst and top speed. Needs better balance and strength. Size at 5'10-195. Spencer Ware(Princeton) has been told by some major schools to move to RB. Tough enough, but I worry about his RB skills. If anything move him to defense.

Tyson Gulley(Akron Garfield) is a nice, fast RB, but at 5'9 and with excellent quickness should move to CB on defense. Love his toughness. Shaun Jones(Dublin Coffman) has speed and quickness. Needs to improve burst. Needs to improve strength.
Kyle Slater(Anderson) runs very, very fast and is punishing. Short, but not small. Grades are his problem. Kevin Johnson(St Ignatius) gets stronger and faster each year. Played some as sophomore. Maybe a better DB. Like his vision. Toughness? Corey Douglas(Milton Union) has impressed me in camp, but was injured last year. Strong and fast. Strong upper body. Needs to overcome last year's injury. Have always liked Marcus Johnson(Coshocton) in the wing-t offense. Fast, strong and durable. May not have the vision and natural instincts of an RB. If not move to defense. Like as a SS or OLB. Toug football player. Anthony Hitchens(Lorain Clearview) passes the eyeball test(6'1-210), but I worry about his natural athleticism. Question RB skills. If he bends, and works on balance, could be a linebacker. Doren Thomas(Wintersville) has true speed and burst. More of a CB prospect. Josiah Holt(Midview) impressed me in camp. Concern about size, but he has solid speed and works hard. Needs to explode in the first three games to draw attention. Germany Woods(Lakewood St Ed's) a 5'9-195 power runner with good speed. Watched him as sophomore. Needs to put up numbers early. New system may help. Really like him. Just needs to be consistent. Strong and durable. Jake Squirek(Parma Normandy) is short period. But very strong and very competitive. Loved on video. Plays both ways on a small school team. Maybe a defender. Just a tough hard-nosed guy.

I have missed some, but there just are not that many running backs this year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quarterbacks in the class of 2010

Contrary to some of the experts, offensive linemen are some of the hardest to evaluate, because of the level of competition that they play. Wide receivers may be next, but oh my are quarterbacks sometimes a pain.. I say that because so many college QB coaches look for different skills and abilities. For me, the ability to make plays, lead the team, and make good decisions are really important. Good feet more than arm strength. Anyway, my top QB's for the class of 2010.

Because of his highlight video and arm strength, Andrew Hendrix(Moeller) might be the best. Tough leader and can make the throws. Excellent size at 6'3-200. But has not be under the gun, yet. That would be a concern for me. Mark Myers(St Ignatius) is also a big(6'4) who like Hendrix did not get alot of reps last year. But he play alot as a sophomore. Like his toughness. Good pocket presence. Sees the field and makes good decisions. Luke Massa(St Xavier) showed promise as a 10th grader, but was injured. Injured again last year. Solid arm. Understands coverages. Good feet. Just has never been healthy. Needs to stay healthy. Caleb Watkins(Middletown) has taken some off field hits. Unfounded and untrue rumors still persist. Caleb is a true gunslinger. Tough. Makes plays with his strong arm. Good size at 6'3-210. Verlin Reed(Marion Franklin) continues to impress me. Fast, excellent vision, good feet. Like his decision making. Arm strength improving. Needs coached up some.

Jon Ballard(Austintown Fitch) has improved greatly, but must continue to convince evaluators that he can be a QB. Still learning QB position, but I like his ability to make plays. At least 6'2, with good feet. Arm getting stronger and can run or pass. The quiet, confident leader is Zach D'Orazio(Cuyahoga Heights). Only 6'1, but excellent vision to make plays. Not a cannon, but arm strength continues to improve. Natural leader and QB. Dwight Macon(Steubenville) probably is not a scholarship QB, but a scholarship football player. Reminds me a little of Troy Smith. Natural leader. Good kid. Does not quite have the arm strength, true speed, or size for my QB's, but he is such a likeable kid and leader. Spencer Ware(Princeton) in the right college program could be amazing. Has the cannon and can make plays. Runs well. Big play guy. Tough, tough competitor. Problem- evaluators want him to play either RB of DB. Not a natural RB. If not QB, may an OLB. Rob Partridge(Massillon) interest me. Sometimes too mechanical, but really like his QB abilites. Good leader. Smart. Tends to overthrow. Can throw touch pass deep ball. Could surprize talent scouts.

Time to move to another position. Tyler Brause(Bucyrus Wynford) has put up stats and is very athletic, but does not have top level passing skills. Tremendous kid. Excellent leader. Needs to move to TE to make use of size(6'4) and athleticism. Really liked Keith Wenning(Coldwater) as a QB his sophomore year. Still like him. Big and athletic. Tremendous baseball prospect. At the top level, he may have to move to TE, but may still be a QB. Alex Zordich(Cardinal Mooney) has worked very hard on his QB skills. Strong upper body and tough, smart kid. Donot like his release and technique. A very tough OLB on the next level. Dominique Brown(Winton Woods) is an excellent leader. Tough competitor. Good feet. Needs to really improve passing skills. A strong safety or OLB on next level, if his academics improve.

James Flowers(Padua)has been waiting in the wings and now is showtime. Big at 6'5-215. Strong arm. Needs to improve footwork. Liked him as junior. Needs to produce early. Curtis Watson(Bellevue) has put up big numbers for two years. Watched him play basketball. Throws darts. Smart. Simply cannot run. Like size at 6'3, but he cannot run well enough to play QB at scholarship level. Jay Bucher(Dayton Bellbrook) surprised me that he does not have more schools interested. Strong arm. Big frame. Does not run as well as I like, but makes plays. Better prospect than evaluators think.

Listed many QB's. Maybe too many. Omitted some that really, really need senior years. Braxton Miller(Wayne)(2011) is the "guy" in Ohio. Younger classes have some potentially really good ones.

Dayton City 7on7

Last Thursday, I attended the Dayton City 7on7 passing showcase. I applaude the work that the football coaches in the city have done to improve the football there. The camp was very well run. The competition was really intense, but not to the point where unsportsmanlike conduct was called on every play. In fact, there was never an incident that was even close.

Alot of talent to evaluate. Some no-brainers, but most of the players just need a really good start the beginning of this coming season to play at the highest level. Joking with Trotwood's, Willie Ballard, I think that he has been around forever. Justin Favors, Trotwood's TE also looked good. Hard for me to start naming guys, because I always feel that I may have left someone out.

Probably the most valuable information for me was the "younger kids," or underclassmen. Again, too early and, only 7on7 competition, but I like RJ Williamson from Dunbar. Just something about his presence. Like Marcus Graham, Trotwood's junior QB. Needs to slow down and let the game "come to him," but will improve. Strong arm. Also liked Trotwood's WR MJ Jordan. Very thin, but is very acrobatic and can jump over the goal posts. Antwan Gilbert looked good on both sides of the ball. Must keep getting bigger and stronger, but Belmont's junior QB, Nate Henderson showed poise and leadership. Some 2012 guys also looked impressive, but way too early to get them exposure.

Good to see old friends like Bosie Milner and John Derr working with the kids and giving direction to the younger coaches. Dunbar's James Lacking continues to work building Dunbar's program. Also impressive was seeing the good, young black coaches giving back to programs. That is important to me, as I travel the state.

Finally, I am really glad that they did not have 7on7 contests and combines back in my coaching days. Of course, I would have been there coaching.

All in all, and for what it means, it was very rewarding to see the work and the comraderie among coaches and players at Dayton's 7on7 day last Thursday. Job well done.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ohio's 2010 Tight End class

For some the position of TE is a dying breed in today's spread offenses. More and more teams are making use of a FB to play as an H-Back. Some teams are just flexing a thinner TE to get him into pass plays. Howver, Ohio still puts out at at least 2or3top TE prospects and this year is no different.

Alex Welch(Elder) had a really good highlight video and is very solid. Like his toughness and 6'4-235 frame. Solid blocker. Good ball catching skills. Really like his athleticism after the catch. Big!!Will get his nose wet.

Alex Smith(Lakota West) also has the size 6'5 225 to go along with excellent pass catching skills. More of a long strider, but gets downfield okay. Also good after the catch. Will have to improve blocking toughness, but does have good base blocking skills. Big!! Needs to get his nose wet.

Branden Carozzoni(St Ignatius) maybe lacks some of the weight( 6'4-215) coaches want, but he is getting bigger and stronger. Gets downdield really well. Separates and finds open area. Excellent ball catching skills. Like his toughness. Excellent future.

Ty Farrell(Brunswick) is not getting media attention but he , much like Carozzoni, just needs to continue to get bigger and stronger( 6-4-210) to be a top rated TE. Love his toughness. Needs to fine tune ball catching skills. May be a DE, but like him at TE.

Darryl Baldwin is a DE, but plays some TE at Solon. Need to mention him at TE, but at the next level, might be better on the OL. Natural bender. Good speed and base. Do not know how athletic he is to play on the outside. All of 6'6-255. Also long.

Justin Favors(Trotwood Madison) has been starting for a long time. Really good ball catching skills. Sometimes plays the slot, but a true TE. Getting big, maybe too big. Blocks well enough.

Need to mention Dan Schneider(Avon Lake). Needs grow alittle. Some schools recruiting him as TE, but he maybe better suited on defense or get bigger and move to center. Good skills and moves well. Would not recruit him as a TE.

Really like the potential of Brandon Pedro (Massillon). Good size at 6'3-230), but really needs to improve speed. Also needs to improve TE skills and movement. For some reason, I was impressed last year and need to see him this summer. Has a chance.

Chase Hoobler(Orrville) is busting his tail at LB, but may move over to offense. Big at 6'3-220 and really like his toughness at LB. Just may lack that true quickness and playing speed to play DE. Tough football player.

Also like David Schneider(Moeller) but just does not have the sixe (6'1) to play TE on next level. Blocks well. Strong, with good ball skills. Gets downfield well, but just really short. Would possibly recruit him at another position.

Also mentioned under wide receivers, prospects who could come in play the tight end position. Really like the group of wideouts who could grow into tight ends.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Camps or combines??

Yesterday I visited the Gary Stevens QB/WR Camp at Bedford HS near Cleveland. This was my third year attending the camp. This year I was somewhat dissappointed in the number of really good young prospects attending. Obviously, there were some good ones, but not as in the past. The Mathews boys and LC Chambers from Bedford looked good and show alot of promise. A couple of young QBs can be big time guys before they finish their careers. St Ed's was represented well. Odis Prunty (210-WR),and Nate Stanley(210-WR) both run such disciplined routes. But the point of this blog is camps or combines.

Football combines, both local and national, serve their purpose. At a combine , prospects get tested and measured. These results go to college programs across the country. Sometimes I question if colleges take the results seriously, but that is not my problem. There is money to be made, but often not from the inner city kid who does not have the extra money to attend.

College one days are good. Some schools, especially MAC schools have taken their show on the road. Ohio University was the first a few years ago, and now others are doing it. Great for the colleges and exposure for the prospects. Prospects get timed and measured and coached, as well as exposed.

Exposure - The "buzz word " of parents and internet "experts." Just how much exposure does a prospect need. Does he have to fly to Texas in December to get exposure and spend 1500 dollars? Does he have to go to Football University and spend 450 dollars?

The Stevens Camp and Mike Schneiders Camp (just to name two) really get into working with the skilled kids. There are linemen's camps also. These camps are not the best for exposure, but they do a really good job of teaching technique. hey break down each skill and continue to try to break some of the bad habits that a prospect has developed. There is also 1on1 and 7on7 competition.

My point is check out the reasonably priced private skill camps. They may not give you the great exposure, but if a prospect is young, or is older and is needing finetuned, these camps may be just what he needs.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The top wideout in 210 class

All spring and then in football camps this summer, I have been trying to identify Ohio's top WR in the 210 class. Last Saturday, at Chris Chambers' football camp in Cleveland, Tyrone Williams (East Cleveland Shaw) made all of the catches, broke down on his patterns, and ran well, cosidering his all of 6'5. Saw him last year against Warrensville Heights drop his first pass, but go on to make three circus catches. Gets into his patterns quickly, but his size and pass catching ability make him special. His GPA is okay, but his test score needs improved.

Another WR with size is Devon Brown (Akron North). Tremendous natural ability. At least 6'5 and runs really well. Excellent basketball player. Needs to realize how good he can be, and then self discipline himself to get there. Qualifying will be hard, but I am more worried about attitude.

Jerald Robinson (Canton South) has already commited to Michigan. Really good hands, but needs to improve burst and break-away speed. Tough competitor. Catches the ball in traffic. If he improves, he should be very good.

Two-way guy Bobby Swigert (Louisville) is smart (3.9GPA) and finds the open area. Love the way he competes and his ability to make plays. Needs to improve 40 speed, but he plays fast. Could be a DB.

Tim O'Connor (Elder) is trying to impress scouts this summer. He makes plays and catches, but must bigger and stronger. Plays fast. I like his ability to make catches, but he must get bigger.

Anthony Shrock (Wadsworth) has the size (6'3) and solid speed, but but he must get better at getting off the LOS. Tremendous acrobatic ball catcher. Tremendous vertical jumper. I would love to see him at one of the inside DB positions . Just does not get the LOS well enough. A state ranked hurdler.

James Hall (Southview) concentrates well and has excellent hands. Best position is as a strong safety. Tough and covers well. Would be a good run stopper. Needs a chance as a wideout, but hopefully goes on defense.

Really needs to improve speed, but Nate Stanley (Lakewood St Ed's) runs excellent routes. Sure hands and more of a possession receiver. Really concerned just how much faster he can get.

Derek Orr (Smithville), Sam Hendricks (Indian Hill), and Antonio Rotissa (Kirtland) are all big WR's, who will have to get bigger and play at TE. All catch the ball well, but do not have the top speed to play outside. Orr is 6'6, Hendricks is 6'5, and Rotissa is 6'5. Like all three alot, but must move inside.

Maybe one of the true sleepers in the 210 class is Heath Jackson (Ada). Solid 6'1 with good ball skills. In a spread offense, and is contiuing to learn the game. Strength may be YAC. Tough runner. Has done well at camps this summer.

There are some other WR's, but will be better on defense. Christian Bryant(Glenville) plays many positions, but looks best as a corner.

Of course, I have missed some prospects, but this is a down year in Ohio for wideouts.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ohio Underclassmen Combine

Last Saturday, June 20, Dublin Coffman was all high school football. Some 52 teams were playing in the State 7on7 Championships. Over 30 teams (minimum of 5 players each) were involved in the State's Lineman's Challenge. Along with those contests, I held my first ever Ohio Underclassmen Combine. Also, Ohio State was hosting their three day football camp.

Some of the players having good days.
Zach Myers - Miamisburg- A 212 Class OL who will who started a LT last fall. He will have to improve speed, but really liked the way he bends and moves his feet. 6'4 and weighed 241. Potential to be very good.
Antonio Underwood - Shaker Heights- Another very sound 212 Class OL. 6'2-288 but really good balance. Ran 5.25/40. and 4.8 pro shuttle. Started at LT last year.
Kevin Williams - Springfield(Toledo) - Just over 6'1 and weighed 265. Long jumped 8'1. Pro shuttle was 4.6. Really like his explosion and strength. This 212 Class DL started at Toledo Central Catholic last year.
Devin Jarrett - Hamilton - One of the better RB's in the Class of 212. Just under 5'9, but weighed 206. Needs to work on true 40 speed, but ran 4.3 pro shuttle. With 32 inch vertical. Very strong and powerful.
Chaz Veal - Hamilton - Another Veal at Hamilton. 5'11 and 160. Ran 4.3 pro shuttle. All 3 vertical attempts were 31+ inches. The frame to get much faster.
David Fulcher - Mason - Coming into his own as a RB. Measured 5'11 and 185. Also playing in 7on7 competition, he ran 4.6/40 and 4.3 shuttle. Verticled 32.5, with a 9'0 LJ. Explosive, tough and worked very hard.
Anthony Kukwa - Perry(NE) - Really was a surprise for me. Measured 6'3- 197. Vertical 31.5 and jumped 9'3. Also 4.5 shuttle twice. Really like his quickness. Long and has frame to add weight. Could be a linebacker.
Tyler Downing - Fairmont - Another surprise. Ran 4.6/40 and 4.4 shuttle. Like his work ethic.

Overall, I was very pleased with the combine. We spent much time instructing how to run each test. Hats off to former OSU player, Gary Berry, a tremendous teacher.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Only the good die young

For the last five years in my football travels, whether attending some 7on7 near Akron, or watching the playoffs, or going to the North-South game, or even going to BGSU games, I would always see this one guy, always into the game. He always made a point to say,"hi," and talk about the players on his team, or talk recruiting in general. The guy always had a big smile and always had the look that he cared about kids. I knew that he coached at Copley, but until two years ago, I never could remember his name. But the conversations were always like we had been best buds for years. Last fall I saw him on the sidelines at a BGSU football game. True to form, he had two high school players with him. As we talked, BGSU coaches would come by, always speaking to him, and one asked him to "suit-up."

Yesterday, as I read about his heart attack and subsquent death, did I realize Stuart Tolle played for BGSU and almost made the Browns three different times. Our conversations were always about "kids" and NEVER once did he talk about his accomplishments. Not once. Kids always came first. Eventually, I could see him leading the charge as a head football. But that will not happen, but memories will live on.

My wife was 48 and lost a battle with cancer almost 6 years ago. Stuart Tolle, with that big, old, wide butt smile was 47 years old when his heart stopped working. Something strange- a teacher with such a big heart for kids has it stop working at such a young age. There must be some merit in that old song, "Only the Good Die Young."

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Sleeper in Lakeview

The excitement of the Ohio High School Track Championships begins in earnest this Friday at the Jesse Owens. For me, a tremendous day to scout football players performing on the track. A time for me to see college football prospects in a different light. I really learn alot about them. A plus is that you can see classes 212-209.

One player who has truly amazed me over the years on both the football field and the track is Ben Moody from Lakeview HS in Northeast Ohio. Watched him compete as a sophomore. Coming into his final state championships, Ben will run the 110's(13.8), come right back and run the 100 meters(10.89), and later anchor the 4X100(42.95). He also will compete in the long jump(21'8). Four events and, regardless of divison, this is a big accomplishment.

For some reason not one 1A football school would take a chance on Ben and offer him a scholarship. No knock on Cornell(where he is going), but put Ben at wide out and coach him up. He is almost 6'3 for heavens sake. Obvously, he has excellent grades. Three years from now, college coaches will be saying, " Boy, we missed that one." I donot know the whole story on his recruiting, but I can guess part of the reason.

If you get a chance, watch the big school boy's shot put and discus competition. 210 class, Cody Riffle, Toledo St Johns is amazing. At 6'1-215, he comes into the championships with a 64 foot SP and 188 discus throw. Love his attitude. Tough guy who can run. No offers yet, because schools need at camp to see him run. This, to some extent, really surprises me.

Offers???? This is starting to be one of the biggest "whatevers" around. Honestly, recruiting continues to get crazier every year. More on that subject at a later date.

Get to the state meet on Friday. That way you can see all of the contestants.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Football guys in regional tarck

Tonight had a chance to Wynford Royals's Teven Eatmon throw the discus at the D3 regional track meet. Saw him last summer and really liked him. He had and has no idea how much potential he has as college football player. Nor did his coach want to talk about him. At 6'6 and 280, he is imposing. A natural bender with very good feet. Excellent attitude and character. Grades improving. After OSU, MICH, MICH ST, and PURDUE, among others stopped to him, his coach is starting to believe. Also talked to another prospect from Spencerville. Excellent wrestler - state competitor none the less. Strong, with good leverage, and really tough. His coach really has a hard time getting video out. Both of these players need summer camps to convince recruiters of their substance. Another local prospect who is a 50 foot SP and 150 discus thrower did not go out for track, because he wanted to concentrate on football and basketball. What's up with that? College coaches want to see you compete, especially when you can make a difference.

Blogging is not one of my strengths , because of time. But I have promised myself to get after it.

Practice what you preach

Before I get into evaluating high school players who will play at the next level, I nedd to make comments about a mistake that I made recently. One of my warnings to prospects is always be careful what you to college recruiters and to what you say to the recruiting guys in the media. I was not careful, but as always, you learn.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by one of the internet recruiting guys to comment about the Ohio Class of 2010. Of course, my comments on some prospects drew the criticism of some of the more knowledgeable fans. That was no problem. After four phone calls, I finally returned a call. The writer for this site also did an article about me that I did not realize was taking place. He used the article to promote one of his own on this site. I was flattered but I was surprised the he would write a story without telling me. Anyway, at 60 years old I should have known better. Needless to say, no more comments for the that website crew. In summary, always be careful what you say to the media, especially to recuiting guys who need you, so that they can write stories and make a living.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Proday at Ohio State

Last Friday, Coach Tressel once again gave me credentials for the Ohio State Proday. Although this was my fourth year at to attend, it never gets old. I could bore you with times and the "who's who," but you can find that in the local media. What continues to amaze me is the amount of first class football players who come out of Ohio State.

Talked with AJ Hawk for about 10 minutes. As long as I have known him, I have always kidded him about his being 6 feet tall. He may be, but he is not close to 6'1. He is moving more inside next season. He really likes James's chances to go high. I believe James L will have to covered, but so do most of the lb's in the NFL.

Todd Beckman- always first class. He said before the workout that this was his BIG and BEST chance. Donot know what the evaluators thought, but I thought that he did well. He is a pro passer.

Chris Welles, as you know, blew them away. Always smiling, he has time for everybody. I have known him since his sophomore year at Akron Garfield. Tremendous kid. My hope is that somebody finally shows him some "tough love," and that he becomes just nasty. Wished him luck.

Kirk Barton is now with the Bengals. Has bounced around alittle. Hopefully all of the injuries are healed, and he has increased his flexibilty.. Also believe he has matured as a proplayer.

Michael Doss stopped to say,"hi." He is working with the Bengals. After excellent years with the Colts and then getting injured, he seems to be all healed and good shape.

My point to this entry is that character matters. Of course, with the idiots that believe the National Championship is the only thing, you just have to smile, because they are in another world. Ohio State football is class, and it all begins with the coaching staff.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Highlight video

I have heard enough comments about the vacant blog that I have promised myself to make blogging an important part of my work. You see, scouting and evaluating talent is what it is all about. Rating prospects as to a top "whatever," is not one of my priorities. Rating the best by position is something I do for my colleges, but seldom do for the public. Websites are much better for that kind of information.

Also last week I finished my "Ohio Top 100" DVD sets for my colleges. Actually, there were 116 prospects on video. The Ohio Prospect Directory is finished and being mailed. This year there were almost 700 prospects in the directory. Hopefully, we are promoting "kids" the right way.

About highlight videos. More and more, I am finally believing in the importance of them. However, donot make time , as much of an issue as quality. For colleges, you donot need (1) music and flashing lights, (2) a company's name on every play, or (3)overskill on stats and contact information. This is fun for internet sites. All colleges want are very clear video with a marker as to where you are on the video. This does not have to be on every play. Maybe the first 6or7. Limit your number of plays. 25 plays is really the max.

After making the highlight video, be sure to have one or two game videos that show you at your best. Hopefully, colleges will not offer you a verbal just off your highlight tape. This happens, but it should not. A player in Northeast Ohio has received some "big school" offers and those colleges could not have watched full game video. So, yes, it does happen.

The two best RB's in Ohio next year. Erick Howard(NC Hoover) strong, tough, vision, and durable. Andre Givens(Hubbard) strong, fast, and makes you miss. I will finish this list and give my uneducated guesses on other positions over the next few weeks.

Yea, Ohio high school football.