Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Inside DB at Fairfield

Just finished watching some video on James Turner from Fairfield. Evaluated him last fall and also as a sophomore playing SS at Fairfield. Continues to be physical, but must continue to increase overall speed.

His closing speed is excellent. Strong and sure open field tackler. Turner is 6'0-190. Also has game speed to cover sideline to sideline. Solid 4.6/40 guy. But, I feel that he can play in the box. Strong run stopper.

Takes care of school book work. Carries a 3.6 and ranks 132/785. Plans to major in physical therapy.

James plays for a program that has been down for awhile. Does not get as much hype as some of the other schools in the Cincinnati area. Last winter Jason Krause accepted the head football coaching job. He has the program headed in the right direction. Turner says that everybody is excited. Maybe he will begin to receive his due his senior season.

Plays fast. No question about toughness. Improves 40 time. No longer "under the radar." Like him alot.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Walsh QB

I read about all of the QB's that recruiting experts write and evaluate and rate. Sometimes I wonder if I am looking at the same QB's as they are rating. Maty Mauk from Kenton is the best one in the Ohio 2012 Class. Tremendous arm strength along with an equally quick release. After that it is really kind of a toss up.

Mauk, Austin Appleby(North Canton Hoover, and Tyler O'Connor Lima CC) have some offers. But I do not know if that makes them the top three QB's. I guess that is what some recruiters feel.

By the end of the day, Nick Wargo from Walsh High School may be another one of those "under the radar" guys. Played behind a Michigan State signee for two years. Now is his chance. Like his quick release. Good feet, but has to improve overall speed. Redefining his body will be important. Like any back up QB, Nick will need to assume leadership. Watched him just alittle last year, but evaluated video this past winter and like his potential. Overall arm strength is good. One to watch.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Clopton Twins from Pick Central

The good about playing in one of the state's top football programs is you win alot and have fun. The bad about playing in that program is a really good underclassman might have to wait his turn. So goes it for the Clopton twins at Pickerington Central. Both are in the class of 212.

Addison Clopton, a 5'10-172 running back/slot receiver has excellent burst. Excellent vision. Strength, with good balance. On video, stays on his feet and does not go down on first hit. At the Lewis Center combine, ran 4.4/40 and 4.47/proshuttle. Verticaled 33'5 and broad jumped 9'5. Class act who is a tremendous competitor.

Adam Clopton, at 5'11-175 plays on the opposite side of the ball. Tough run support guy at SS with the speed to cover man to man deep. Also has the burst. On video has excellent closing speed. Finishes plays. Plays fast. Gets pad under pad in open field. At the Lewis Center combine ran 4.44/40. Verticaled 34'1 and broad jumped 9'8. Also ran 4.4/proshuttle. Just like his brother, class act who is a tremendous competitor.

The twins are very similar to the Davis twins(Dimitrious and Chris) from Austintown Fitch. They are tough, fast, and excellent character. If the "Clopton boys" have the senior year that the "Davis Boys" had last year, "OH MY!" The wait will have been worth it.

Two Offensive Linemen (2012 Class) To Watch

Last fall while scouting a sophomore QB from Akron Manchester, a very athletic center just kept making block after block. At the time, he was probably 6'4-245. Head Coach Jim France told me this past weekend that is now 6'5 and 275. Probably too light by some recruiters, but not for me. Love Tony Matteo's video.

Good solid base and good footwork. Blocks backside well. Gets his feet set as a pass blocker and maintains block. Good bender. Able to turn defender on run blocks and maintain leverage. Excellent short snapper in the spread. Blocks to the whistle.
Liked his leadership last fall. Toughness evident.

Although he plays for one of the better high school football programs in Ohio, Manchester does not produce a lot of D-1 prospects. With good camp showings this summer, Tony will be evaluated closely this fall. Like his chances.

Knew that Watkins Memorial had a big tight end/ d- end, but had not evaluated him until just before the Lewis Center combine. Reno Reda measured 6'5-239. Beginning to fill-out, but is really long. Vertical 28" and shuttled 4.51. Solid 4.8/40. 35'9" powerball. Tested well.

On video, runs well and plays fast and hard. Plays DE, as well as TE(at times), and offensive tackle, but best position is on the offensive line. Long arms. Good footwork. Needs to be a better bender, but I think that he can. Finishes blocks. Run blocks well on second level. Natural shuffle as pass blocker. At times needs to play under more control.

Like his potential alot. Just needs to grow into body. With his length and athleticism colleges can find a position for him. As I said, eventually he will be a solid offensive line prospect.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Lunch Recruiting Meeting

Interesting visit with the parents of an Ohio 2013 Class prospect today. The lunch was good, but exchanging ideas about football recruiting was even better. Their son has a chance to be pretty good.

They have been studying and learning the recruiting process for over a year. Really this is the way to do it. Coming into the junior year, they have some really good ideas of what to expect. They have already made some campus visits. They have attended some "Junior Days." Their son has already been to some summer camps. Honestly, they have a good idea of what to expect from college coaches.

The internet blitz has not really hit them yet. Mainly, because their son is under the media's radar and has not been written about as much as the higher profiled prospects. Colleges know about him. Of course, this is good. In fact, his name is not listed in's top one hundred. But , he will be a scholarship guy.

After alot of recruiting talk, the mom asked why I was doing this for free. Colleges pay me for my services. High school prospects pay me nothing. Must admit that I am one of the least expensive services out there. For me, it is not "about the money." Believe it or not, it is not "about the money." I will say, it is getting to be "about the gas." But for now, I will travel to watch a track meet or a baseball game, or a camp. I do not have the big money guys behind me, but at the same time, I do not have a boss making me jump through hoops.

It is all about the kids. Parents are good, high school coaches are good, college coaches are good, but it is always about the kids for me. After 22 years, that should be evident.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Visit with Jamar Ridley

Much of my time evaluating potential college prospects involves casual conversation. That is, I just enjoy chatting with football players and have no hidden agenda with them. You can learn alot about a prospect in a 15 minute chat. At Kent State's Spring Game yesterday, I met Toledo Whitmer junior, Jamar Ridley.

Watched Jamar play twice last year. Most impressive against Massillon Washington. A fearless competitor at his LB position. Runs down hill really well. Runs thru ball carriers. Gets off blocks. Finds the ball. Although he closes well, needs to improve sideline to sideline speed. Needs to improve hip rotation.

My biggest concern last year was his ability to play under control. Over aggressive at times. Hopefully, this was the case, rather than having a poor attitude or trying to be showtime. After chatting with Jamar, over aggressiveness could have been the case. Looking forward to him dominating this fall. Another concern could be his approach to textbooks. Have a good feel that he will take care of business there, too. A concern for college coaches, but not for me, might be his 5'11-220 frame. Getting faster will help that concern.

If a 15 minute conversation is any indication, Jamar Ridley will be more than one of those "under the radar," guys this fall. Hope that he took some advice from this "old school" guy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Retired English Teacher - Never took Keyboarding

Some of you know that I am a retired English teacher, but never took typing or keyboarding. Obviously, those lack of skills show up occasionally, really too often, in my work. Loved Twain, Shakespeare,and Thoreau. Loved writing. Taught grammer. But no typing or keyboarding.

As I was looking through my combine results, I see mistakes. That should be of no surprise to my readers. Fletcher Anderson from Adena is listed as running a 8.7/40. Actually, he ran a 5.0/40. The 8.7 was on the L-cone. My mother is 85 years old and I timed her at 9.1 in the 40. I apologize to Fletcher.

Speaking of Adena, Reid Hutchinson put up some nice numbers. 5'10-181. Vertical/30"4. Ran 4.2/shuttle. Ran 4.6/40. Ran L-cone/7.3. Also threw powerball - 33.6. Hopefully, the combine will help Reid in the recruiting process. Adena is a smaller school south of Columbus. Need to see Reid in action this fall.

Name a former Olympian from Adena.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Kent Roosevelt OL Battles Cancer

Last football season, I watched Ryan Anderson, Kent Roosevelt's big, or rather huge offensive tackle battle Stow High School. Actually liked him better as a sophomore. Overweight and did not bend well. Did not finish plays. Lined up on both sides of the ball, but did not play hard. Really dissappointed in his effort. Called my good friend John Nemec and told him as much.

I asked Coach Nemec, if Ryan would come to our msrohio combine in Medina. Coach told me that he had been working really hard and had his weight down and looked really good. I was looking forward to seeing Ryan, because he had the potential to be a top six OL guy for me.

Early in the combine, a coach told me that some prospect had thrown the power ball almost 41 feet. The average is about 33 feet. Ryan Anderson. He went on to broad jump 8 feet, run 5.2/proshuttle, and 5.2/40. All of this at 6'4 and 326 pounds. Ryan had worked evry hard and was impressive.

We talked and I made it clear to him that I was really impressed. Told him that I was his biggest critic and his answer was "Yea, I know."

The following Monday, Ryan was diagnosed with bone cancer in his knee. Next week, he starts very extensive chemo. Doctors believe that they can replace his knee. Tests show that the cancer has not spread. You go to war with guys like Ryan Anderson. When I was told that he had cancer, for some reason, finishing a block did not seem important.

Life is not always fair. I lost my wife to cancer almost eight years ago. A poster near my desk says, "It is not how hard you get hit. It is how hard you get hit...and keep moving forward." Ryan will play hard and dominate this opponent.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quarterback Joins MSR List

One of the pleasant surprises at the Medina Combine was the performance of Nick Merrick (212 Class)from Claymont High School in Eastern Ohio. Heard that he had potential, but wanted to see for myself. Nick has alot of upside.

For two years, Nick ran the wing-t offense and did not really get to show his passing ability or improve his passing technique. I love the wing-t offense, but not necessarily a good offense for a throwing QB. From watching him throw: a strong arm. Solid feet. Can throw on the run. Sometimes he short-arms the ball, but has a good, quick release. Needs to improve release point. Needs to improve follow-thru.

At 6'3-215, Nick passes "eye-ball" test. Needs to improve 40 time. Overall strength is good. Although a three sport guy, should continue to improve flexibilty and overall change of direction. Honestly, if does not make it as a QB, he could grow into a TE or OLB. But for now, he needs to impress college coaches in summer camps at the QB position.

Do not know if he is a "Top-6" QB prospect in 212 Class just yet, but for not directing a spread offense until last season, I like what I see in his passing skills and ability to make plays with his feet. Not there yet, but really believe he has promise and will continue to develop his QB skills and presence. Glad I had the chance to see him throw in March. Now looking forward to seeing him ths fall.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Early Combine Guys in Ohio 2012 Class

Whenever I start making lists or ranking college prospects, some one is going to be missed. After the four combines this past month, some prospects who I liked did well, but there will be more.

Nana Kyeremeh(5'10-164) from Thomas Worthington High School. A corner/wide receiver with tremendous speed. Recorded 4.3/40(handheld). Proshuttle-4.19 and 4.24. L-cone - 7.18. 31" vertical. From video- tremendous closing speed. excellent hips. tough on run support. Climbs for the ball. One of the better CB's in Ohio.

Kevin Houchins(5'11-178) from Brush High School. 33inch vertical. 9'4 broad jump. 4.27 pro shuttle. 4.58/40. Watched him on man coverage. Like his toughness and closing speed. Also one of the top corners in Ohio.

James Sanford(6'2 1/2-184) from Xenia High School. 36" vertical. 9'6 broad jump. 4.3 proshuttle. Solid 4.6 both times in 40. Really like him as a free safety. Will get faster, but has excellent closing speed. Also like his toughness in the one on one drills. On video- like his ability to make plays. One of the best true free safeties in the class.

Jalen Robinette(almost 6'4-199) from Bexley High School. Ran well- 4.51 and 4.55/40.
Needs to work on change of direction. 4.51-proshuttle. Wants to be a WR, but can play either inside DB position. Like his burst. On video- excellent anticipation. Finishes plays. Like his overall competetiveness. Could be one of the best free or strong safeties in the 2012 class.

Ross Franklin(5'11-195) running back from Johnstown High School in Central Ohio was a pleasant surprise. Ran 4.6/40. 4.38 shuttle. Excellent power ball throw- 36'6. Also broad jumped 9'3. From video- good vision. Like the way he changed direction. Good burst. Will need to do well in camps, but could surprise evaluators.

Anthony Zappone(6'2-222) linebacker from Westlake High School impressed me. A solid 4.7/40 guy. But ran 4.2 and 4.3 proshuttle and 7.2l-cone. Both good times for an LB. Also broad jumped 8'10. Very intense and competes. From video-like his downhill burst. Drops into coverage well. Must perform well at camps. Like his chances to be one of better LB's in state.

These are some of the players going under the radar. I always wonder whose radar they are going under.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Changes for the Good

Sometimes change is good, and I am hoping some of the changes that we have made over the last the last year will be good. As many coaches know, I have been doing a college football scouting service for a number of years. Used the ideas of Tom Lemming to get started, but went to a scouting service a few years later. (Okay, a few years is over 22 years.) No computers early on. As a teacher/coach, I always felt that you kept your basic plan, but modified that plan with the changing of the times. As you can see, this is what we have done with the website.

As far as blogging goes, I learned alot on my first attempt. No more thinking I am going to change the perception of football recruiting. No more thinking I am going to change football recruiting websites. No more thinking that I am going to expose all of the dishonesty of writers who are paid to do their job to get the earliest information put out by a recruit. No more questioning the moves of both the NCAA and the OHSAA. Now, six months later everything is good. McCallister will just write about all of the good in football recruiting.

I have made some changes in the McCallister Scouting Report as a whole. Because of big money backers, availabilty of video on the net, and better use of my time, no longer do I sell to colleges. Everything is free on my website. I have also taken an interest in football combines and camps. But, as I have done for over 20 years, evaluating high school talent and sharing that with college coaches is what I do. At 62, I do still enjoy traveling and watching college prospects.

I used my "bolo," and now am attempting my second shot at blogging. Par or birdie, but no boggies. And, yes, my keyboarding skills are still poor. Yea, Ohio!