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.