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.