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.