Monday, September 27, 2010

Tyler O'Conner A Division 5 QB

During 2-a-days last August, I stopped in Lima to see 212 QB- Tyler O'Conner from Lima Central Catholic. I had heard the name through some recruiting sites, but I never put much stock in evaluations from these sites. As it turned out, Tyler was not practicing that day. Last Saturday night I went to Lima to see him play. Great move on my part.

Tyler does everything for his football team. The starting QB, due to some injuries, he started at FS, punted very well, was short on a 43 yard field goal attempt, and kicked off to the five yard line. Add to the fact, that he is an excellent team leader.

Tyler has all of the tools to be a highly recruited QB at the D-1 college level. He is 6'2 and weighs just over 200. Moves well in the pocket. Needs to improve speed, but has good escapability. Good pocket presence. LCC runs the spread with the direct snap, but Tyler also comes up under center. Like the fact that he does both. Looked comfortable in the 5 step drop.

Arm strength is good. Deep pass is evident. Very quick release. One of the better releases that I have seen this fall. Footwork is good. Opens hips. Good body control. Stands tall and sees the field. Seems to read coverages well. Makes good decisions.

Does not shy away from contact. In fact, he could be a LB someday. For now, he needs to put all his energies into quarterbacking, and I am sure he will.

Major knock will be level of competition. Out of his control, of course. Tyler needs to focus on the season. Keep working on his speed and agility. Get into some camps next summer. I really like his potential, but I am one of those who is concerned about level of competition. Have a feeling, however, that he will be just fine.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chris Carter - Cleveland JFK

Last Friday afternoon I watched Cleveland JFK host Cleveland John Marshall. The largest percentage of evaluations are in the Classes of 212, 213, and sometimes 214. Really was there to watch Trayvon Williams (213) WR from JFK, DeAndre Brown(212) ATH from John Marshall, and others. But my most pleasanr surprise was watching Chris Carter(211) OL/DL from JFK.

Quite frankly, O-State is getting a real football player. At least 6'3 and knocking on 300 pounds. Much more than one of those big fat linemen who are only straight ahead blockers and eventually move to a guard postion. Chris can trap, lead, and get on linebackers. Very explosive and is simply powerful. Finishes plays.

Did not play much defense against John Marshall, but I could see him as 3 tech inside guy. He plays pad under pad and has the punch. Definitely can play gap tech.
The burst to be a speed rusher.

We talked briefly and told him that he was much better than I expected. Much better. Told him Ohio State is getting a quality person, as well as a player. He smiled and said, "thanks for all of your help and you were responsible for me getting there." Of course, that is not true, but I really appreciated him saying that.

Chris Carter will represent the city of Cleveland well. Just like Ohio State, Glenville cannot get them all. Most of you know, Ted Ginn is a very close friend of mine and that comment was made in fun.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

First Day for Scrimmages

Today was the first day for high school teams to play against a different colored jersey. For you that know me, you must realize I go to evaluate talent. Very rarely do I have time to analyze an offense or defense. My early travels took me to Ohio Wesleyan to watch Big Walnut, Dublin Scioto, and Buckeye Valley.

Buckeye Valley is small in numbers, but played with enthusiasm and intensity. The player who caught my eye for them was Juston Koss(212). Plays DE/RB. Probably 6'1-195. Plays hard and is intense. Needs to work on his feet/quickness. Frame to get bigger/ stronger. Will need to keep working, but has a chance.

Big Walnut has a 212-DT who caught my eye. Saw Jason Griffth at the OSU camp this past summer. Just over 6 feet, but strong and powerful. Probably weighs 250. Needs to improve balance and quickness. Could be a 3 technique. Needs to play harder at times. Like his potential, but will have to work on agility.

Dublin Scioto has two young players whom I really like. William Huston(213)is a guy getting his first varsity competition. About 5'11, but weighs about 215. Solid speed. Excellent vision. Tough inside runner who reads well. Has alittle burst, but will get faster. Told him that he has to play with much, much more intensity. Only a sophomore, but has a ton of potential. Grant Noppenberger(212) is a 3 technique guy. Only 6'1, but packs about 250. Played center, as well as some DT. Good base. Intelligent. Tough. Heighth will determine what side of ball he plays. Scioto has a quick, short playmaker who is only a 214 guy. Well be exciting in the years ahead.

This is kind of a sample of what I send to colleges during the season. On this blog I have omitted seniors. My concentration is mostly on underclassmen.

Going to watch Kenton, Olentangy, Marion Franklin, and Lancaster tonight. More players to evaluate.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ohio Prep Football Time

High school football season began on Monday. What can I say, it is the most funtime of the year for me. With conditioning, combines, camps, and 7on7's, it seems like football year-round. But football time is real now.

Possible good news for Strongsville football. One of my top o-line prospects in Ohio tore his ACL last spring in a pick-up basketball game. David Kaminski, as 6'4-270 OL guy is beginning to jog now. Hopefully, he will be back by game 4. He weighed 215 as as a freshman, but now is up to 270. Long and can run. Excellent feet and like the way he bends. My kind of lineman. Slender and gaining weight the right way. Excellent potential.

Had a chance to watch Braxton Miller in some 7on7 games last week. He does everything with his arm. Tremendous arm strength, but needs to work on some finer points. Needs to follow through. Needs to work on weight balance. Needs to improve footwork. Once he improves technique, "watch out." He could be a "special QB" at Ohio State. He is a passer, not a thrower who can run. Very coachable. Of course. Devin Smith(WR -Massillon) could make life easier for Braxton. Tremendous ball skills. Better after the catch. Devin also has a chance to be special at Ohio State.

Alot of recruiting analyst(whatever that means) spend much of their time following the "no brainers." Most of the time that is easy. Saw a QB last week in 7on7 games whom I really like. Probably not a 5 Star or even a 1 Star now, because Rivals does not know about him. Tall 6'4-225 QB (Class of 210). Quick release. Strong arm. Good feet. Like his QB presence. Only his third year of playing quarterback. Led Leipsic to a 10-2 record on the D6 level. Looking forward to seeing him this fall.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stark County Pre-season Jamboree

Had an early Christmas present yesterday at Fawcett Stadium. In conjunction with East-West All-Star Game, Fawcett Stadium hosted a 7on7 football jamboree. For me, the time was valuable and very worthwhile. The old man felt good after standing in the 90+ temperature for 6 hours. As "corny" as it may sound, any time that you can work with kids, heat means little.

In the morning teams from Lake, Fairless. McKinley, Minerva, Glenoak, Alliance,Hoover, Marlington,and Maasillon competed in the morning. St Ed's made the trip to Canton also. In the afternoon East Canton, Jackson, Canton South, Perry, Louisville, St Thomas Acquinas, Sandy Valley, Tuslaw, Northwest, and Central Catholic threw the ball around.

Head Coach Ron Johnson (Canton McKinley) had much to do with the organizing and everything went smoothly. Coaches made up their own game plans and worked very well together. The competition was intense, but there were no unsportsmanlike play. Due to the tradition, this really surprised me.

Now McKinley and Massillon did not play each other, but the class of Ron Johnson and Jason Hall was very evident. I am "old school," but I applaude the character of both the kids and coaches for the level of play. No scores were kept. No trash talking. Just good competitive football.

I say all of this, but I would imagine the intensity and maybe a little "chatter" will pick up once teams keep score. Afterall, that is what Stark County football is all about.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Massillon's Devin Smith

Three years ago my good friend Joe Yost, head football coach at Akron Ellet, told me that he had one of the best young players in his coaching career. He went on to say that he was just as good a person, as he was a football player. But because of family, he would probably move to Massillon. He made the move.

Devin Smith has developed into the best wide receiver in the Class of 2011. He has always had the work ethic. He has always had the excellent ball catching skills. He has always had the burst. Watching him this week in a 7on7 contest at Massillon, he now has improved strength and speed. This fall, if Devin will go over the middle and improve his blocking skills, he will have the "complete package." Add to this package is his ability to return kicks and punts.

Devin is faster when the ball is in the air. Very deceptive speed. Catches the ball in a crowd. Also impressive is his speed after the catch. The burst and speed to run away from defenders makes him a "big play" guy.

This week I have seen Braxton Miller and Devin Smith up close and personal. Both are in my top five in the Ohio Class of 2011. They did not let me down.

Braxton Miller

Jay Minton brought his Wayne High School skilled players to Capital University for some 7on7 yesterday. Wayne's highly touted QB Braxton Miller (an O-State commit) made the trip. I have watched Braxton since his freshman year and he never surprises me. Really wanted to see how he has matured physically and mentally over the last year.

Not 6'4 (as many say), but 6'3. Physically he looks good. I mean really good. Arm may be even stronger than before. Stands tall. Excellent, quick release. Mentally, always sharp. Had heard rumors that the recruiting hype was taking it's toll, but I do not think so. Good with me, anyway. Like to make him flash that big smile.

The major flaw with Braxton is that he has to slow the game down. Did not see it yesterday, but in live competition, even sometimes QB drills, he goes too fast. His body weight is over extended, but his strong, quick release gets him out of trouble. He will learn to control his body. When he slows the game down, he will be special.

As far as O-Sate fans, Braxton hates to travel. C-bus is a long trip. I am glad that he took out all or the recruiting hype and announced his decision. At his press conference. he did not upstage any university. Looked at the hats, and picked up Ohio State. In all of the silliness that goes on at some press conferences

As far as a QB, Braxton is a passer who happens to be a very talented athlete with excellent vision. He is not a thrower who also happens to be a tremendous athlete. As far as the future, the sky is the limit for Braxton Miller.


As many of my friends(maybe two) know, I am really guarded when it comes to media, probably more specific, internet media writing about high school prospects in the recruiting world. I realize for many it is their income and livelihood. Newspaper reporters are much the same. But the word I hear sometimes is "entitlement." For the most part that word bothers me.

Because they report for a national recruiting service such as Rivals, they are entitled to information from the coach or the parents or the prospect. Media feel they are allowed free admission to high school games, sideline credentials, and really free access to a prospect, anytime. The old head football coach in me has a hard time with that.

Here is the point. Every once in a while I feel that I am entitled to go any place on a football field. Yes, the "over-rated" McCallister feels this. Yesterday was one of those times. I was walking off the field after a series of plays and talking with a QB. An assistant coach for one of the city schools in C-bus yelled at his QB. "Get over. He (McCallister) is not important. This guy's important. (Pointing to the OC)."
WOW! He was right and I was wrong. Entitlement??

Needless to say, I walked away feeling like the "north end of horse, looking south." Apologized to the QB later. Entitlement? McCallister - not important. That might be the smartest comment that coach made all day. I needed that little lesson.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July - Enjoy Freedom

Over the last two weeks, six different parents have either called or emailed, and their first question was - "What else can we do for our son?" My simple answer is " relax and get ready for the season."

No more camps and definitely no more combines. This really applies to the underclassmen. Some colleges are hosting one day senior camps in July. The last chance for some seniors to convince the college coaches that they are scholarship quality. If I am underclassman, I am going to focus on what is ahead on the football field. Honestly, seniors should be doing the same thing. Bust your butt and impress the college coaches in those first three games.

Many high school teams are involved in 7on7 play. Great time to work on self-discipline and focus. Now teams are starting to compete and to think football. Some high school teams are running their own camps. Time to get yourself into the best physical shape possible and work on those fundamentals.

Do not worry about "offers" or "lack of offers." Offers are so over-blown that it is sad. Once a prospect gets the first offer, more will come. A MAC level school told me last summer that they offered a player, because some other MAC schools did. Some high school players make it a game. They try to force some college coaches to offer them, just so they can list the most offers. With internet sites like Scout and Rivals, offers make for more hits and more hits means more money. Of course, Scout and Rivals believe they are responsible for kids getting offers. How many offers are enough? Just a thought.

Remember the words "they like him," and " they are looking at him." High school coaches tell me this all of the time. The like hundreds of kids, adn, of course they at tons of players. But they are only going to give 25 scholarships. Do the math.

Use the month of July to have fun. Get away. Do things with the family. My point is enjoy yourself. Football is a long season. Do not get caught up in reading about yourself in the media. Do not get caught up in the college coaches' sales pitches. Do not get up in where you are rated by the recruiting analysts and experts. Do not take the high school football forums seriously. Just remembered something else -- MSROHIO may publish a list of prospects. Do not take that list serious either.

August is roughly three weeks away. If you think July is hot, August will be hotter. Coaches will be "on your case." School work will be important. Late meals. Aches and bruises will pop up. Hopefully, you will all be playing 15 games this year.

Enjoy July.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

7on7 the Best Way

Travis Moyer, head football coach of the very respected Wynford Royals football program invited me to watch a 7on7 practice at Wynford. Being maybe 20 minutes from my home, I decided to go. Glad I did.

North Union made the trip to Wynford for a little 7on7. Two games were going at once with both teams mixing in starters with back-ups. Neither team put their starters together. Neither team kept trying run up touchdowns. Niether team kept score. Coaches were constantly coaching up their players. Backups to the backups played the third series. Really enjoyed watching the teams play.

No real "no brainer" prospects at this 7on7, but some players who need to be evaluated. North Union has a two way player at FB/LB and a strong arm QB. The QB is at least 6'4 and moves well. Needs to work on his footwork, but his release is good. Warren Sheilds, the LB/FB runs well and changes direction okay. Although 6'2, he needs to add some weight. His strength may be his toughness. Neither prospect has a "real" offer and will have to impress coaches on early video.

Seems like I watch a ton of 7on7 contests. Some well organized; some not. Some have really good teams; some not. Some are too competitive; some are not. The bottom line here. Sometimes it is really fun to watch two teams play to learn and enjoy competing and not worrying about winning a trophy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gary Stevens Football Camp

Since they invite me every year and this year asked me to talk to the campers, I wanted to get a promo for the Gary Stevens Football Camp. A four day camp and it concludes today. The camp concentrates on QB's and WR's with some DB's to make for one on one competition.

Gary Stevens is from the Cleveland area, bit gained his credentials as QB coach at both the University of Miami and the Miami Dolphins. Gruff style relating to kids, but knows his stuff, and knows it well. Area high school coaches help, as do some area college coaches.

This year the camp was held at St. Eds in Cleveland. Room was alittle bit of a problem, but everybody got plenty of reps. Always enjoyable to watch kids' listening skills at work.

If you live in the Cleveland area, I would check it out next summer. There are so many camps out there, and picking the good ones can sometimes be hard. Over the winter, I think that I will comprise alist of both college and private camps available. Call it John's list.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chambers/Evans Football Camp

Last Saturday, I made my annual trip to Bedford High School to evaluate campers at the Chambers/Evans Football Camp. The day was one of the best spent camp days this summer. Over 200 campers with most coming from the city showed their skills and competed.

Have known both Chris Chambers and Lee Evans since their high school days at Bedford High School. Yes, both went on to successful careers at Wisconsin. Now both are enjoying successful careers on the pro level. Lee at Buffalo and Chris at Kansas City. Both are so "grounded," and so helpful to the campers, but that is what I expected to see from them.

Campers did all kinds of football related drills in the morning. Late morning they went to position drills. For me, this was a good time. Not only did I get to see kids compete in drills, but I also could evaluate skill levels. Prospects from 9-12 grades participated. At this time of year I concentrate on underclassmen.

In the afternoon schools competed in 7on7 contests. And compete they did. Only once did I see maybe a little too much energy. That was quickly defused. Really that was just a firecracker. Campers played hard and competed.

Through Chambers' 84 Foundation each camper was given a shirt/short combo. Impressive! Really believe that helped prospects pump out their chests and show uniformity. For the record, the cloth was of hgigh quality. The whole atmosphere was first class. From Chris and Lee, down to the ladies who helped with lunch. Chris would be the first to admit that without the competent directors. instructors, and camp help, Lee and he would not be able to pull it off.

In conjunction with Key Bank, the foundation awarded two scholarships, each valued at $1,500. These were awarded after the camp picture.

Shaker Heights, Central Catholic, John Adams, East Tech, and Westlake were in one division. Richmond Hts, Lincoln West, St Joe's, Coliinwood, and Shaw were in the other division.

I always appreciate the invitation to come to the camp. Of course, evaluating talent is what I do, but just being able to witness first hand the growth of the camp, makes it all worthwhile. Although both Lee and Chris are not in my income bracket(LOL), they have not let fame and fortune turn their back on their roots.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Power Ball, L-cone, Pro-shuttle

Football combines are gradually becoming accepted as a small part of the evaluation process for potential college football recruits. MSR held two this past spring and the positives far out-weighed the negatives. We put much time in the "how-to-do" part of the testing.

Power ball throw is beginning to replace the bench press. Since many high school programs put alot of emphasis on the bench press, the power ball is new. MSR used it, and I am happy to say OSU used it today in their testing. Personally I like it. Much safer. Much less time. Short arm and long armed bench presser are equal. An 8 pound ball costs just 25 dollars. Good investment.

L-cone drill was a test today. MSR used it, but it really takes an understanding on how to perform it. Emphasis on hip turns, burst, and balance. Get three cones and practice.

Pro-shuttle(20 yards) is a must in combine testing. Be sure to touch the lines. Emphasis is on much the same as L-cone.

The simple standing long jump measures explosion. Be sure to keep your heels on the floor once that you have stuck. Love this very basic test.

I feel good that MSR spent time on teaching these test at both of our camps. The biggest problem with combines is who runs them and how they are run. Too much marketing. Too many needless awards. Had a parent two days ago mention three times in the conversation - when I would have the rankings out for my camp. The fourth time, I said, "We do not rank kids." We just teach the same skills that O-Sate tests.

Combines done the right way and for the right reasons are good. And you know McCallister wants it done the right way.

Senior Days

The college football camps have begun. The next two weeks are really filled with football camps. With recruiting getting earlier and earlier and evaluations beginning earlier and earlier, getting to a camp is almost a must.

Attended the Ball State camp last Friday. Roughly 612 campers showed their stuff. Coaches worked the kids hard during agility drills. Spent time with instruction. Did on on one drills. Even had time for seven on seven. Long hot day. Coach Stan Parrish uses this camp to bring in many of Ohio's best. Coach Ted Ginn makes his only bus tour this year to come to Ball State. I like this camp, because prospects play both defense and offense. Unless you know who you are looking for, there are almost too many campers. For me, I like to find prospects and this is sometimes difficult.

Just watched campers at O-State's first one day senior camp. Around 450 at this first session. O-State does much the same, but they put each camper through the same stations. For me, I can stand at one station and watch every prospect come through. I also take a second to speak with the guys in whom I am interested.

I do not discuss with coaches, or, obviously the media, any evaluations that I have made. If schools are good enough to let me visit, what happens at the camp stays at the camp. Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron, Cicninnati are all on the schedule. Plus making two more trips back to O-State.

If you have any camp questions, email me. Camping is almost a must. However, one day is enough. Colleges need to see you. And just as important, a prospect needs to see them.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Class of 2012 Camp/Combine/Compete

Last Sunday, as many know, MSR held the first underclassmen camp/combine for the classes of 2012 and 2013. Turnout was really good, but, of course, I would have liked to have every prospect in the Class of 2012 compete. For a number of reasons- graduation of brothers and sisters, college one days at BGSU, Toledo, and Ohio, OHSAA State Track Meet on Saturday- some football prospects could not attend. Also missing at times was the word compete. The longer I do this scouting, the more important the word COMPETE has become in my vocabulary.

"Compete" has always been a part of my life. Lost my father at age 7. Raised on a limited income. Only starting 10 year old on a 11/12 year old little league team. My 8th grade football coach told me that I had "excellent football skills," but very average desire. Made all conference my senior year, after missing my junior year. Named a head football coach at 24(probably because I taught English). Although the "old school" guy has mellowed some, he still loves to "compete."

One of the few positives about football combines is that it allows kids to compete. Compete against each other and against the stopwatch. For MSR combines: No "Elite" or "National " ranking. No "feel good" times. No national awards. No 37 yard - 40's. No Nike trade name. Simply a chance to learn and compete.

Sometimes I feel that we are losing our desire to compete. Of course, not every football prospect is losing it, but the list is getting longer. When you go to a combine or camp, you must compete against the best. Bust your butt. Be first in line. Sweat. Challenge. Run through the drill. Touch the lines. Make no excuses. When you do any drill at the college "one day," make the college coaches take notice. Trust me they will talk about you in their evaluation meetings. I sit in on those meetings. The ability to compete separates equal talent for sure.

End of sermon. What a football player does on friday nights is still the most important evaluation tool. But COMPETING at camps/combines is a very important part of the evaluation process.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Desire to Learn

A refreshing email this morning.

As many know I have a combination football camp/combine for the Class of 2012 tomorrow in Dublin. A number of the prospects whom I like in the Class of 2012 have been invited. This morning I received an email from a young man from the Dayton area. He wanted to know, even though he was injured, if he could still come to the camp.

This week he was doing some strength training and a 45 pound weight fell on his index finger and smashed it. 55 stitches (under his finger nail) later, the doctor said no exercise from 4-6 weeks. That is 55 stitches under his finger nail, and they had to sew it back on. This young prospect apologized for not being able to participate and wanted to know if he could still come and watch.

Sometimes we hear just the negative about kids. Sometimes we just want the negative. Here is a young football prospect with a smashed finger willing to ride 60 minutes to watch a football camp/combine. To me that speaks volumes for this young man.

Now the pressure is on me. I hope that he is not let down.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Centerville Linemen in the Circle

Doing a little evaluating in the Dayton area Wednesday, and enjoyed visitng retiring coach, Jim Place at Hamlton. Also stopped to see my friend Mo at Trotwood Madison. Both men are excellent coaches who do alot for the kids with whom they coach.

One of the highlights of the day was watching Centerville's Michael Bennett(211) and Benny McGowan(212) throw the discus. Michael is peaking at the right time. Last week, he threw 188 feet. Yesterday, he won the discus with a throw of 191 feet. Excellent balance and quickness. Tough competitor with the swagger. Benny stunk it up for awhile. Just looked tight and out of rythum. Of course, I left after his third bad toss, to watch the long jump. In finals he threw the discus 155 feet for fourth place and a trip to the state. Next year I will watch all of his throws. Benny missed all of last season, but is looking good now. At least 6'3 and very explosive. Like his confidence.

Justin Murray (OL-Sycamore- 211). The big schools are concerned about his weight(245). He is not there yet. But he has excellent feet and OL instints. Like his concentration and movement. Has thrown over 160 feet this past season. A scholarship guy with excellent feet who needs time to get bigger.

Josh Bass (DB-Springfield-211) popped a 23 foot long jump. Steadily improved over season. Because of his height, needs to get into camps and show his stuff. And he will. Very competitive and excellent recovery ability. Just has been over overshadowed by Trey DePriest. Get into camp.

Rodriguez Coleman (WR-LaSalle-211) is slipping through the cracks. Watched him last fall have a career night against Moeller. At that time, I was concerned about true speed. Wednesday, he had a 14.8-110HH time and finished 2nd in his heat. Tall and can jump. Just think his potential better is much better than recruiters give him credit. Grades may be of some concern.

Keep an eye on Cody Quinn (CB-Middletown-212). Has burst and recovery skills. Skinny hips. Not as tall as I would like a CB, but has everything else. Plus very competitive. Right around 11.0/ 100 meters. Looks good on video.

Two more 212 Class members who I really liked were Chris Mims (RB-Colerain-212) and and Antonio Nelson (RB-LaSalle-212). Fast, fast, and fast. Strong, tough competitors. Both were anchors on their realy teams. Looking forward to watching run the football this fall.

Wanted to mention Kaleb Ringer (LB-Northmont-212). Watched him last fall and he makes plays all over the field. Really runs a little tight in hips, but he anchored the 4X100. A lot of toughness. A little shorter than the experts say, but good heighth. H will be a top guy.

Finally, nice to talk with David Fulcher Jr(RB-Mason-211). Injured in the first game and missed the complete season last year. Has increased his speed and has increased strength. Coming back from season long injury is tough, but he should do fine. If his mental approach is excellent, he will do excellent.

Always dislike publicly ranking prospects, and writing articles like this. You can never mention enough prospects. But, I guess some prospects is better than none. Another regional track meet tonight.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My friend, John Reed

Last Friday I made the trip to Coldwater to pay my respects to the late John Reed. Talked with his wife, Jan, for a few minutes and to one of his assistant coaches. Arrived at 1:45. Calling hours were to begin at 2:00. Ten people were ahead of me, and as I was driving away at 2:15, there must have been 70 people standing in line. Basically, that tells it all about John Reed, former head football coach at Coldwater.

Both Jan and John are Upper Sandusky people. First met him when I was a freshman in high school. He was a senior, and, as most freshman were, we were "low-lifes" to the seniors. Over the years our friendship grew, and most importantly, our respect for each other grew. If you knew John's path to the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, you would understand the tremendous respect that I had and have for him. Now, we did not always agree with each other in our younger years, but as we aged, we became very good friends.

In the old days, Coach Hayes set the standard for young coaches. If you wanted to coach football, schools highly desired that you played the game. Profanity and physical toughness were sometimes necessary to get the respect of parents and players. Along comes John Reed. Never played a down of football in his life. Never played a high school sport. Very seldom used profanity. Never took the Lord's name in vain. By his own admission, not a " brawler." However, he was a role model for character. Studied the game inside and out. Spent numerous hours in preparation. Excellent teacher. Treated people right. Super organized. All he did was win and build character.

John was "driven" to be considered one of the best. That drive was almost a curse at times. In his last email, he told me his goal was to be in attendance at the OSU Spring Game. I could sense that "drive" coming back. When I heard that he could not make the trip, I knew the cancer was too much. Not making the trip was not from a lack of "drive." His body was just too weak.

I will miss my friend. I will miss the lunches at the OSU Clinic. I will miss seeing him on the sidelines. I will miss the emails. I miss the dry humor. I will even miss his intimidating smile. But most of all, I will miss the "spiritual high" I got after talking with him. After aany conversation(either short or long) with John Reed, I walked away a better person. For that I am thankful.

Monday, May 10, 2010

College Recruiting Nights

College recruiting nights, for me, were a chance to "kill two birds with one stone." When I began to do evaluations and really get into the college scouting business, college recruiting nights were big for me. You see, I got information from the high school coaches about their prospects. Along with this, I got to know both the college and high school coaches. We are talking from Cleveland to Central Ohio to Toledo to Dayton to Cincinnati to Summit and Stark Counties. Twice a year.

Now the NCAA has once again shown its wisdom. No longer can D-1 college coaches attend. Especially in the spring, this does not make sense. In the spring high coaches have a chance to really promote their younger classes. Plus the college coaches can loosen up some and enjoy talking to friends and foes among the college staffs. The D2 and D3 schools have a field day, which is good. No slight to the lower division schools intended, because many of them get my "stuff." For selfish reasons, I like to have D1 schools in attendance.

Regardless, I have three more to visit. Tomorrow is Summit County. Obviously, I am excited about going because you always get something out of it. Plus Dan and Gerry will be taking my money, and it is always good to see them.

Point for both parents and coaches. Update your contact information. Try to provide some video. Most importantly, coaches, if you cannot be there, have someone represent your school.

Finally, promoting our players the "right way" gets harder and harder every day. Now the NCAA has limited another way to help kids. My fear if that the OHSAA is trying to emulate the NCAA. Sadly, but is all about the money.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

People (more specifically athletes) Change (sometimes)

As I was reading the Plain Dealer at McD's this morning, read "Glenville Wins Meet." Of course, being the high school sports guy that I am, my thoughts turned to Latwan Anderson and his record setting day. You see, he broke Robert Smith's 20 year record in the 200 meters at the Mansfield Mehock Relays. Record - 21.3. He also ran 48.03 in the 400 and achored both the 4/2 and the 4/4. That is smokin!!!!

As you know, I made the statement once that I would not want really want to coach him, but in the times I have chatted with him, he was fun. Now, he "dances to his own drummer," no doubt, but the kid can play football. A top 3 player in Ohio. I thought that the "U" was pretty serious about him, when they called and asked for some full game video. He has committed to Miami to run track, but, of course, he is playing football next fall. (No football scholarships left). Now, the irony. Robert Smith's accomplishments at O-State are legendary. Represents the university well. But Robert, like many of us, had some issues,too. But these were in the classroom.

Finally, a day in the sports pages, when Ben Roethlisberger's name was not even mentioned. In fact, I double checked the sports pages. Ben was "Joe All-American " boy growing up. Lost his mother at a young age. Gifted with tremendous athletic ability. Watched him play QB as a sophomore. Made the switch t WR as a junior. Came back to QB as a senior. Contrary to all of the media hype, he did not start playing QB as a senior. All state basketball player. Really believe he went to Miami because he was going to try to play both b-ball and football. Whatever- Ben was and is a "natural " winner. Have not talked with him since his second year with the Steelers. I doubt that he would remember me, either for real or pretend. By the way, on paper, I had him rated the third best QB in Ohio his senior year.

THE WHOLE POINT of this entry is just this. No matter in what socio-economical envoirnment an athlete "grows-up," a lack of self-discipline can eventually destroy him. Whether in the inner-city of such cities as Cleveland or Cincinnati, or in the smaller cities as Findlay or Westerville, a lack of good judgment or self control can really hurt, or in some cases,destroy a potential career. ATHLETES: Do not blame your coaches, do not blame your parents, do not blame your friends, and do not blame the fans that support you. Take the brunt of the blame yourself. Integrity is almost a hidden quality anymore. "If you have to think whether something is right or wrong, ... it is wrong."

As I say over and over and over, I am a "kid's guy." I am not a "jock sniffer," trying to get the scoop. And, yes, I am "old school." Heck, I am 61 years young, I should be. But it really hurts(makes me sick), when you see "kids" who provide so much fun and pleasure to us sports fans, become poor examples to our EVEN YOUNGER sports fans. End of sermon. Time for church.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ohio North South All Star Game

As I have often joked, if you ever want to find me, stop at Upper Sandusky's McD's any morning between 6:15AM and 7AM. As of today, I have yet to read anything promoting the Ohio North-South football game to be held next Friday, April 23, at Ohio Stadium. Yes, the date is correct.
So, I guess I will promote the game.

No secret that the game has lost money for a long time. For years and years. Way back in my head football coaching days, I attended the All-Star game in Canton. Then it moved to Massillon. A few years ago, a Columbus business group convinced the association to move the game to Columbus. The problem there was that Central Ohio fans(not high school coaches) could care less. Plus, everybody made money, except the OHSFCA. Trust me, I know.

This year the game has been moved to Ohio Stadium. Yes, the night before the annual O-State Spring game. Under the lights, the game will kickoff at 7:00. The cost is $5.00. No conflict with the Big 33 game this year. No major conflict with getting some of the top college prospects to play in the game.

Since there is no conflict with the Big 33, many of the top prospects in Ohio will be playing. I just have not looked at a roster to see who exactly is playing in the game. I am involved with the Big 33 selection, but help with the North-South selection,s when the need arises. Now how silly is this? I am not a great proponent of the Big 33 game for a number of reasons, but love the North-South game.

The Ohio-State band is going to perform. That alone is worth the $5 dollar ticket. Also, rumor has it that many of the O-State football players will be in attendance. Of course, those guys(justifiably so) are approachable. Hint-hint. Also, you will see some future Buckeyes in the game.

The OHSFCA Regional Directors have put much effort into this game. Ed Terwilliger(Olentangy) and Steve Channel(Edgewood) are co-directors and put in endless time in co-ordinating the game.

Hope to see you at the game. I have always believed that O-State fans should not have to travel to Hershey PA to watch future Buckeyes play. For most, Columbus is a short drive to watch many of Ohio's top college prospects play football. Enjoy the $5 show!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Highlight DVD's

Yesterday, I received a DVD in the mail which reinforced what I have said about highlight DVD's for sometime. Trust me, I am not against highlight DVD's whatsoever. I edit 25 plays off of every DVD I receive. Although I watch and edit complete game video, naturally editing 25 plays off of a highlight video takes far less time. But here is my point.

Jim McQuaide, the highly repected coach at Solon High School, sent me a highlight video on his sophomore wide receiver, Tres Barksdale. A very basic white DVD with Tres's name and school and the year 2009. Also had his number, position, and the words "soph highlights." This was all handwritten in black magic marker. At the beginning of the video was a Solon helmet, his name and measurements, and word "play." The video came in a black plastic box with nothing on it. Just a simple black box.

I am thankful for any video that I get, and I do get alot of them. Last January I received one from a very prominent Division 1 program in Ohio. The prospect is a major recruit, hands down. Here is the deal. He had an action, full page picture on the cover. On the front was also all of his measurements, plus school information. On the back of the cover were three more smaller action pictures. Also on the back was all of his contact information. On the DVD was again all of his contact information, a picture, and his meaasurements. The DVD begins by again, repeating all of the information,. Once the plays begin, each one is marked. Sometimes plays are repeated. His resume' was very detailed. Also inclosed was a letter of reccomendation. And a his own BUSINESS CARD.

Many companies are doing a wonderful job of providing DVD's and other ways of marketing players. The work they do with videos is amazing. Due to the lack of funding, far better than I will ever do. I applaude them.

Here is what most college programs do. Once they get a DVD, they give it one of the student assistants and he downloads it into their program. The box is thrown away. Now the DVD is part of their system. If you are not a high profile recruit, and you are self-promoting yourself, there is a chance that no assistant coach will see your DVD.

Unless, you want to make a video for a "scrapbook or to share with friends or to be on the internet," save your money and time. Having an impressive video for a "keepsake" is tremendous! But if the video is to convince college programs that you can play at the "next level," keep it simple. Follow the lead of Coach McQuaide and keep it simple, but as Solon High School does, make the video itself very clear and watchable. Of course, always work through your coach.

By the way, Tres Barksdale will be one of the higher profile recruits in the Ohio 212class.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Players = Good Program

As I do sometimes just to get away, I visited The University of Cincinnati spring practice yesterday morning. A little nippy, but good football weather. After awhile I came across Ron Ullery and four of his players from Centerville High School. Class act!

Although I have watched Michael Bennett on video, this was the first time that I had met him up close and personal. Roughly 6'2 1/2 and 275, the guy is powerful. Has already put the shot 57 feet and the discus over 160 feet. The majority of plays that I watched, he was lining up on the OL. Of course, McCallister being McCallister, I believe he is the best 211- DL prospect in Ohio. Powerful, quick and tough.

Evaluated Kyle Rose(211) on video and also at the Ohio State Wrestling Championships last March. Now he is packing 235 and looking good at 6'3. Plays both DE and DT for the Hawks. Nice thing about Kyle is that he wants to gain weight the right way and maintain his quickness. Also nice, is the fact that at the next level he may have a choice to go inside or outside. Toughness and competitivess is a "given." Finished 2nd at the State in 215 class.

Tristan Boykin(211) will be overlooked by some recruiters. But he should not be. A multi-position guy. Plays RB, Slot, and some DB. At 6'0-190, he has speed and balance. Very athletic. Also has good ball catching skills. Too many skills, not to get strong evaluations from recruiters.

As I have been working on my 212 Class, I thought Benny McGowan(212) had moved from the district. But yesterday as I talked with him, I was reminded that he was hurt last year and missed the complete season. At 6'3-275, he just stands out. Could be a dominant player this year as a junior. Plays on DL, as well as, OL. Need to watch him "run-around," this summer, but he will be exciting. Big time potential.

Four guys that physically catch your eye. But better than that, they were first class to chat with. Excited and confident about the upcoming season. They were focused on what was happening on the field. They seemed to have the "it." Most of all, they represent Centerville well. Much the same as AJ does.

Of course, Coach Ullery has something to do with their character and self-discipline. "Old school" guy, but he still relates to his players. For me, he has been a "tough nut to crack," but we have developed a strong mutal respect. Watching him with his four players, you could see the mutal respect that they have for each other.

Of course, I know of many programs in the same mold as Centerville. I have wonderful relationships with many, many coaches. But it is nice to be reminded that Ohio High School football is the number sport, regardless of any level.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Combine a Success

The recent Ohio High School Football Coaches Developmental Combine was considered by many a success. That is, if you listen to the comments, or read the many emails that I have received. I am not into posting emails to prove how valuable our work is. But is nice to read positive comments, as well as constructive criticism.

We have some kinks to workout, but I believe that they are doable. The D1 Training Center is just that- an excellent training center. But due to the unexpected attendance, seating was limited. That needs to be addressed. With electronic timing, of course, many were worried about their times. One competitor was so frustrated that he questioned everything on his card, including his weight. Digital scales were used. At least the 40 yards was correct. No one ran into each other, although yours truly did collide with an L-Cone runner. There was more than enough help.

Also nice, but alittle crazy, was that although the registration was scheduled to begin at 10:00, there were many people in line at 9:00. That has already been addressed for next year.

Lastly, coaches do read the results. Much to my surprise, a coach from a major program in the Midwest called to verify some times and measurments.

All in all, things went well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

OHSFCA Developmental Combine News

On my way to Columbus this morning, I stopped at the D1 Training Center. Needed to do some double checking on seating and actual field size. Why? The early pre-registration has and is going very well. Have also fielded calls and emails from parents who have not registered, but plan to attend. For our first "rodeo" everything seems to be going well. My major concern is the surprising number of prospects planning to attend.

Due to safety concerns, parents and coaches will need to be on the second level. Only workers and participants will be in the workout and testing area. The training center is just that. That is, no full length football field, or full width of a football field. However, it is an excellent training area for combine testing.

Because of limited room, the D1 Training Center will be closed to the public. We are teaching and testing the participants. That is our number one priority.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

MSROHIO Making Some Changes

Some of my college, as well as high school, coaching friends have "dogged" on me about the changes that I have been making to my scouting and evaluation program. Even my "adult kids" have fun with it. With that being said, my website is also undergoing some changes. There will be more to come.(hopefully) I have two guys here in Upper Sandusky who are now involved with just the website.

Another change. My sarcasm was starting to show in my blogs. Really, somewhat silly on my part. Although I taught alot about Mark Twain, I am not as good as he was. Anyway, no more sarcasm. The purpose of msrohio is not to vent my opinions thru sarcasm. Hopefully, msrohio will provide information and recruiting insight to players and parents. My thoughts on the recruiting process willbe evident, but in a professional way. Also at times, I like to recognize people whom I admire.

Another change. Eventually, I would to provide information to high school football coaches with what is happening with Ohio High School football. Not on the top shelf yet, but giving it some thought.

Lastly, I, honestly, do not know how to approach this issue. According to two guys in Columbus and one guy in Findlay, I was the subject of a sports message board(I guess that is the title) recently. I guess one sentence in the whole blog upset some people. I have talked with the internet media guy and corrected the situation. He and I do not always agree in philosophy, but he is out there busting his butt.

Some advice to young people that I always told my players. (1) If someone is talking about me as a coach, they are not talking about you. (2) When someone is critical of your play, before you get upset, consider the source. (3) Sometimes it is okay to walk away from a winless situation.(4)A poster on my wall read,"Sometimes Fame Costs too Much."

Take care. Baseball and track season are right around the corner.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Combines Good and Bad

Three years ago I attended a football camp where the campers were going through the basic speed tests. The Pro-shuttle was giving some of the campers real problems. First time for many of the campers. All the while, the person timing, never got up off of the chair to help the guys being tested. Thus began my plans to host an educational football combine.

This month the first Ohio High School Football Coaches Developmental Combine will be held at the D1 Training Center in Columbus. The first part of the day will be instruction. After a short break, prospects will be tested in the usual combine tests. The 40 yard dash, the pro-shuttle, the L-shaped cone drill, the power ball throw, the vertical, and the long jump. The results will be sent to colleges all over the country. Of course, prospects will have the choice to record the results.

Even as a head football coach,I have never been blown away by the bench press. Long arm guys are at a disadvantage. I have some concern for safety. Bench press results do not always indicate how well a player changes direction and how well he can play football. Of course, the bench press helps a player get stronger and faster, but I do not how much the results football ability potential. We are using the power ball test.

Combines are a good way to get football prospects ready for the college football camps in the summer. With my combine, I hope campers leave with the confidence that they understand how to perform the tests. The results are really secondary. Honestly, how many propects are in the same condition now that they will be in August. But if they understand what is asked of them at college camps, they will be much more comfortable after attending the OHSFCA Combine.

At the OHSFCA Developmental Combine only the instructors and prospects will be allowed in the testing area. Parents and coaches will be upstairs on the balcony. These are safety precautions. Because it is educational and space is limited, we can only accomodate parents and coaches.

Concerning different combine results, many college coaches are more concerned if a new name has popped up on the list, rather than the times of the participant. For example, a dad called me recently to tell me his son ran a 4.4/40 at a combine in February. I was not there, so I believe him. But wow! that is fast. He has really improved his time.

There are many combines across Ohio and the nation. Some, like Nike, measure alot of different drills. Some have campers rated either by points or scouts. My thinking is that anytime we can promote kids and the game of Ohio high school football, we are doing a good thing. My only suggestions to prospects and parents are to make sure the combine is run with qualified personnel, that all measurements are accurate, and that more than just a camp ranking, you leave with the knowledge and experience gain to make you a better college football recruit.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wrestling in Columbus

Upper Sandusky did not have a wrestling program back in the day. In fact, the only wrestling I followed were guys like Bobo Brazil and Chief White Owl. Over the years, however, I have become a fan of Ohio High School wrestling. "Man on man" and no one to blame, but the wrestler himself. With my scouting business, watching football prospects on the mat is just another way to evaluate.

Tylor Trautwein(Fremont Ross) wrestles 189. Plays LB at Ross, but will need to improve overall speed. As soon as wrestling is over, he will add 20 pounds and be a force. Not a 1A guy for me yet, but a scholarship guy.

Anthony Wise(Massillon Perry) wrestles 215. 40-5 for the season. Started out last season at DE, but moved inside due to no defensive tackles. Like him at DE or LB, but if he can get really big, may be able to play inside. Tough enough and quick enough. Just get bigger.

Kyle Rose(Centerville) wrestles at 215. Finished 5th last year. Plays DE for the Hawks. Really like his toughness and quickness. Motor runs all of the time. Hard to ask him to gain weight, because if things go well, he should be wrestling in the finals both this year and next year.

Evan Jackson(Bishop Hartley) wrestles at 215. Liked Evan on the football field last fall. Today, I can watch for toughness, leverage, and balance. Not really well known right now in the recruiting world, but one who needs to be evaluated.

Watched Mike Strenger(Clinton Massie) as a run stopper against Kenton in the playoffs last year. Big heavyweight with 36-7 record. Really tough and has good leverage. Want to see quickness and just how proportioned his body is.

One of the seniors who I am looking forward to watching is heavyweight Tyler Obringer(Spencerville). A D3 wrestler(42-1) who is going to Ball State on a football scholarship. First saw Tyler on the wrestling mat his sophomore year and admired his toughness. Needs fine tuned as a football player, but should really add to Ball State football in two years.

Part of the fun of going to track meets and wrestling matches is to try to discover a prospect who I was not aware of before. Basketball is a little different, because are really just looking at certain kids. In all cases, you see prospects a different way. Also of importance, you have a chance to watch underclassmen perform early in their careers. Although video study is really important, scouting and evaluating is much more.

Probably will not see the "coco butt" or the "flying mare," but I will see very tough competitors at all weights trying to be the best individuals they can be. Looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Porter on the Way

As I have learned and continue to learn, the world of "Internet Media," and me do not always agree. Their goals and my goals are sometimes not the same. Their job is to get the recruiting tidbits. Mine is to provide colleges with information. Mark Porter is doing a really good job of promoting high school talent in Ohio. But behind every good man is a better than good woman.

Stephanie Porter is a bright light on a sometimes very busy sidelines on a Friday night. She takes pictures and pictures and more pictures. And she is everywhere, weaving in and out, of novice camera people. But the nicest thing about Steph is that she always has that big smile. Now, it is not the "used car salesman's" smile. It is the "glad to see you" smile. She lights up the whole field, plus is everywhere on the field with her tripod and camera.

Now the even better news. Steph and Mark are soon to have a lifestyle change for the better. Hopefully, the baby will arrive in the next two and half weeks. I wish them the very best and know that they are going to be wonderful parents. Can almost guarantee that whether boy or girl, the baby will have a drive to be the best. The best to the Porters.

Vannet Can Play

Watched Nick Vannet(TE from Weesterville Central) play hoops last night and came away impressed.Kind of reminds me of Brandon Carozzoni(TE from St Ignatius) who will attend Pitt this fall. Tall and long, with the potential to add strength and weight. Good ball skills. Catches and throws really well. Good feet. Got up and down the floor with little effort. Like his self confidence and his coachableness(new word).

Where does he play? Really til I see him in camp it is hard to say. Big Ten player potential. I have heard O-State has offered, but did not ask him. Needs to get stronger as a blocker, but he makes the effort to block. Most definitely has pass catching skills. Right now he is the best TE prospect that I seen in the 2011 Class.

Talked with him a few minutes to wish him "Good Luck," and came awayed impressed with his presence and class. To me, that is very important in the evaluation of a prospect.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Football Players on the Hardwood

After getting all of the Ohio Prospect Diectories mailed out and getting all of the promo done on the OHSFCA/MSR Devolopmental Combine c0ompleted, I need some relax time. How better to than to watch some tournament basketball in Worthington. Really looking forward to watching Nick Vannett from Westerville Central.

Vannett will be one, if not the top, TE in Ohio next fall. Solid year, last year, but with strength and weight, should really blossom. Excellent hands. Athletic enough to flex or even move to the slot. Good speed. Could be a DE, but best position is on offense. Veteran coach, John Magistro, has done him well and will continue to make him better.

Also, looking forward to watching Olentangy Orange, and Hilliard Davidson tonight. Always a challenge to get a program and see if I can recognize any football talent that I was not aware of before. Watching b-ball, you get an upclose and personal view. I learn alot about a football prospect who also plays basketball. Of course, I watch prospects play in other sports as much as I can. I will be at the State Indoor Track Meet this March. Always good to see how guys I rank carry themselves in other sports. Naturally I spend time during football season up close and personal along the sidelines. For some reason at 61, it is more fun sitting on a bleacher in a warm building.

Mentioned combine earlier. Yes, I have committed myself to a combine. Try to get something on tmy next blog about my true feelings about combines. From what I have heard, there must be speed, speed, and more speed this fall. A dad told that his son ran a 4.45 last weekend in Cleveland. He went on to say, a prospect ran under 4.4. That is flying, people. I do not think that I have ever seen some high school player run that fast indoors in February. Good job.

Take care. Alex Huextel, from Pick North just text me that he received a verbal frm Toledo. More verbals will be comimg for that young man.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MSR Branching Out

Last Sunday had the priviledge of talking "football recruiting" with parents and players at Streetsboro High School. Head Coach John Arlesic told the audience that I had about a 15 minute presentation. Fifteen minutes on any area of football. Yea right!!!

With daughter Kristy's construction of a Power Point, I was "bigtime." All of this time, I thought a "power point," was when you really jammed your finger at someone. But I did provide the information and she provided the visual.

Honestly, my presentation lasted for about 45 minutes. After that, there was Q&A time. Many good questions were asked. Coach Arlesic provided insight from the head coach's viewpoint.

Talked about the positives of football recruiting, including visits, unofficial visits, meeting coaches, and recognition. Also spent time on camps, combines, visits, self promotion, videoes, academics, recruiting services, internet media, and guidelines to parents, prospects, and coaches.

Over the years, I have listen to recruiting talks, and so much time was spent on statistics, on how to study, on how to select schools, and the role of the parent. This is really good, but nobody ever got or gets to the meat and potatoes. People need to hear the real world. They need to hear some real examples about verbal commitments and recruiting services among other topics.

Hopefully, the parents and players learned something. If something like this sounds interesting, contact me. Anytime that you want to talk "football recruiting," is time well spent. Trust me, it will be more than 15 minutes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Poor Buckeyes

Recently, at the Ohio High School Football Coaches Clinic I was joking around with Coach Tressel. I told him that I would know longer being sharing recruiting opinions with him. As Coach Tressel often does, he gave me the raised eyebrow look. I told him since Rivals and Scout and some of the "self-annointed experts only rated O-State 17th that I could no longer learn anything from the O-State staff. But doesn't that make sense? They are the experts and know exactly what Ohio State needs.

Obviously, there are some that can evaluate, but some collect information. Never look at video, never go to camps, and never are on the sidelines. A few years ago there was a guy here in Ohio that would evaluate propects. In fact, I heard that he still has a cult. The sad thing was that he NEVER left his house to attend a game or a camp. Another guy with a lot of clout was a former mailman. Tremendous at taking pictures and collecting information. But he collected his information from colleges in exchange for lists of names. More recently, a guy was laid off from his factory work. Wrote a couple of articles and now he is guru. Of the course, my friend the Frito Bandito, has convinced his cult that understands evaluating prospects.

This not to really be negative about talent evaluators. Bill Conley, now the Head Coach at Ohio Dominican, is really good. The point is do not get caught into what guys like John McCallister says. Get your son into a camp this summer and let him compete. Non verbal actions by a college coach will tell what the coach thinks. They are the ones that matter.

Over and over, I tell people that I am a "kid's guy," almost to a fault. Because when it is all said and done, the prospect is the one who either is "the statue or the pigeon." I do not want young high school prospects being the "statue." Parents. high school coaches, and internet media that is their problem, but the kids are what it all about. By the way, colleges pay me for information, not the kids.

In closing, just be honest with prospects. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. My diectories are done and ready to be picked up.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Highlight Video

Marketing is the name of the game, I guess. The internet media is amazing. But more than that are the companies who are creating highlight videos for not only football players, but all sports and for kids of all ages. These people have to be making a "killing" on the market. I have just finished over 100 videos with many more to evaluate. But one stands out in particular.

Of course, I am not going to name this young man from Central Ohio, but he comes a very highly visable program. The box has a an action picture on the front and smaller action pictures on the back. All of the contact information, which is well done by the way, is very complete. Everything from the coach's contact information to parents' email and cell phone.

On the DVD itself all of the contact information and physical size is repeated. The first part of the DVD again repeats all of the information a third time. Also listed here are all of the accomplishments. The quality of the video is excellent. A big arrow with his number identifies the prospect. The arrow follows him the whole play. Now this does not stop after just a few plays. Every play is done this way. Over and over again.

His profile page is really good. Very detailed. Again another picture of himself in his uniform. A suggestion here would be to have a picture in normal dress. You can see the real you. This young man also took the time to write a full page bio about himself. I mean very, very complete.

All kinds of highlight videos come across my desk. Ones with blinking lights, ones with music, ones with advertising all over (including the border), and ones that show a good hit over and over and over again.

If your purpose is to have something for a scrapbook or to give to grandparents, girlfriends, or to watch when you are 45 years old, then these kinds of videos are wonderful. If they are to post on websites, that too is good. Hopefully, if you post on a website, you realize that that does not necessarily mean that you are top rated player. One site two years said that the only way that they would rate a player in Ohio was if you sent them a video. What's up with that?

If you have extra money, getting a highlight DVD is probably a good idea. The DVD will provide wonderful memories. Will it WOW the college evaluators, probably not. Why would it? They want to see meat and potatoes.

My answer. Get all of the games that you can get from your coach. Go through the games and select 40 plays that you think are really good. Twenty-five plays is more than enough for evaluators, but 40 gives you a supply. If I was the coach, it would be imperative for the player to select the plays. Now, parents can not blame the coach for selecting bad plays. Of course, you know that it happens.

Next, if you can highlght the first 6 to 7 plays, do it. This gives the evaluator a starting point. After a certain amount of plays, he will be locked into that player. If you do have the capabilty to highlight the plays, do not worry. Coaches can find you on a DVD. No music or flashing lights at this time. You are done. That is the meat and potatoes.

Also select two games that you feel that you did well. These are in reserve. If the coach likes what he sees on a highlight DVD, he is going to ask for game video. Boom - Right there, you have the games ready to mail. You are set and do not have to panic to find games.

Finally have your coach mail the DVD's to the perspective college programs. Go through your coach with everything.

Do you realize that once a school receives the DVD, it is reviewed quickly, and then put in the school's computer system? Hopefully, it is not put on a shelf, never to be seen again.

"It is what it is." If is a "keepsake," or for the internet, make your DVD. If it is for the colleges, keep it plain and simple. Good luck.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Latwan Anderson

After Cleveland Glenville's Latwan Anderson, at the urging of the media, announced that he was going to attend West Virginia, rather than O-State, I wondered what the fallout would be from the Buckeye faithful. Tonight, after reading the free fan forum, as usual I was amused.

Anderson, athletically and speed wise is one of the top football players in the class of 2009. His natural instincts make it easy for him. He can jump, he can change direction, and he will "light you up." Honestly, I think that he is a better receiver than a corner. People are saying he is too short. Now the "dude"(like that?) had supposedly 23 offers. That is, according to Rivals. But who knows for sure?? Probably, since he is not choosing, all of the Buckeye recruiting people will not rate him high. But who cares!

Frankly, I would not, as the "Old Guard," really want to coach him. He is undisciplined and his own man. Needs an attitude change to a certain degree. If that changes, he can be a player. Now if you read what the fans say, he cannot play. I guess we have to go with that. HUMOR

Coach Ginn worked very hard to help with the growth of Anderson. Give him much credit for effort. Give him much credit for working with O-State. Give O-State credit. They worked to recruit him too. I mean the guy is a talent. But sometimes that is not enough.

I guess my point in this entry is that usually fans have little clue as to what goes on behind the scenes with regards to recruiting. If you are a young recruit, get used to it. People say things out of emotion rather than knowledge. Also, if you are a young recruit times have changed. Talent is not enough much of the time.

With the exception of some hurt pride of Ted Ginn, everything worked out for the best in the recruitment of Latwan Anderson. Many schools agree he can play college football. From what I know about the situation Ohio State is okay. West Virginia is okay. Latwan Anderson is okay. Hopefully, the sun will still comeout tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Place Retires at Hamilton

Just heard last night and then confirmed this morning that my good friend Jim Place retired as head football coach at Hamilton High School. Our friendship goes back over 20 years. One thing really nice is that he is 62 years young, which is one year older than I. He makes me feel young.

We became friends way back, when Martin Bayless and Keith Byars ran a football camp for Dayton area youngsters. Jim was really the local coach who did most of the behind the scenes work and actually ran the camp. Jim was highly respected by the pro players who made appearances and actually worked the camp. One camp, he asked me to speak to the campers about recruiting. His doing that and believing in me really left an impression. Ever since then I have been a Jim Place fan.

He is a "kid's guy." There is simply no other way to put it. He just has a loyalty that the kids believe in. When you have that communication line with kids and coaches, your job sometimes becomes harder. Why? Because you worry about the kids personally and you take their problems home with you. Not all coaches do that.

No need to go over Jim's accomplishments, among which is a career record 0f 223-161-3 as a head coach. Of course, the list could go on and on. More importantly, I wish I could list all of the coaches and players who have been influenced by Jim Place. Of course, that would take time and space. The list would be very lengthy. Of cousre, you know my is way too valuable to do that!!! (a little attempt at humor)

For me, I just want people to realize there are still Jim Place's in high school football. You know, the kind who are "gray beards," but continue to work with kids to develop character and to show some "male love," which is much needed in our society. As I travel across the state evaluating and meeting kids, I worry that young coaches are more concerned about " football schemes" and " personal recognition," rather than what it is really all about. Wins and losses are, without question, really important, but the development of character in kids should be the real goal of every teacher and coach.

Thank you, my good friend, for your friendship and your trust over all of these years. Thank you for asking me to speak at the camp. But most of all, thank you for being a "kid's guy."

Friday, January 1, 2010

Alex Daniels - Another Chance

As I was reading the Columbus Dispatch this morning over my morning coffee at 6:15 at McD's here in Upper Sandusky, as I do every morning, I was encouraged by an article on Alex Daniels. (long sentence). Daniels plays defensive end and very well, I might add, for the Cincinnati Bearcats.

When Alex played high school football for Brookhaven in Columbus, he was not one of my favorites. One of the national recruiting services Rivals rated him a 4 Star, whatever that means. Said that he was one of the top 11 athletes in the country, whatever that means. Watched him his junior year at Marion Franklin. Saw in camp. Evaluated him at Brookhaven his senior year. Attitude and effort was always questionable.

A physical specimen at 6'2-220 who could run, change direction, and close on the ball. My problem he never really closed on the ball, and all I saw was some "gifted athlete" talk, talk, and talk some more. Never played every down. Now, he could trash talk for sure. He went on to Minnesota, as part of a package, with two other prospects from Brookhaven. Played some as a freshman. Moved to TB as a sophomore, but was far from a natural RB, but he did okay. Although he was never charged, he was at a party involving drinking and some sexual allegations. He was dismissed from the team and came back home to Columbus. Soon he realized that his old neighborhood was not the place to be. "I grew up overnight," he said.

Former UC coach Brian Kelly told him if he paid his way, and stayed out of trouble, he MIGHT get a scholarship. He worked hard at odd jobs, studied, took out loans, and even used his car as a place to sleep at night.

Alex Daniels was given a chance to play football at UC by Brian Kelly. He had nothing else going, except surviving on the streets of Columbus. Kelly, of course was not born yesterday, saw his physical skills and athleticism, and gave him the chance. Daniels deserves oh so much credit for turning his life around. As you watched the game against Florida, he will make his presence known.

When Kelly took the Notre Dame job recently and announced that he would not be coaching the Bearcats, Daniels blasted him in the media. He made some really angry comments. Of course, McCallister thought to himself. Typical Daniels, trash talking just like he did years ago in high school. I thought, " Kelly gives him a chance, but Alex is the same old Alex." However, a negative turned into a big positive.

Now that he has calmed down, he expresses his love for his "father-figure, his role model, someone in his life who pushed him to be better." Over the anger now, Kelly was the father-figure that he never had. That, he said, was why it hurt so much and caused the "trash talk."

The real purpose of this blog entry is to express my praise for Alex Daniels. He has survived so much. More importantly, he "manned-up" to some comments that he made in anger. That really impresses me. I am "old school," and has one called me the "old guard," I still appreciate young people who can be leaders of "younger" people. When you have taught and coached for 31 years, and now are in the business that I am in, the Alex Daniels of the world are refreshing.

I applaude Alex Daniels. Please be a leader of young people. "Role models" may be a thing of the past. But "young leaders" of younger people are very much in demand. When this now 6'4-270 man who can run and hit, plays on Sunday's, McCallister may have to " man-up" to Rivals. (maybe). As he says he "struggled and survived." Now it is time to lead.