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.