Saturday, July 30, 2011

George "Bam" Bradley - Trotwood

During the UC 7on7, I evaluated Bam Bradley(212) as a free safety. Also I was able to spend a few minutes chatting with him. Needless to say, Bam has been on kind of a roller coaster ride in my recruiting notes for the last two years.

First met him his sophomore year in a scrimmage at Welcome Stadium. Passed the eyeball test. Played hard. Ran well. Excellent athlete. Closed really well on the ball. He was surrounded by some very good older players, which took some of the pressure to make plays off of him. Measured out at about 6'1-190 last year. Actually saw him as a freshman, but did not spend much time evaluating him.

Last year, Bam did not have the banner year that I was expecting. Put on weight, which made him a step slower. Made plays, but I did not see the old Bam. Although he is a solid basketball player, he may have become too focused on basketball.

Wednesday, the first thing Bam told me was that he has lost over 12 pounds. Needed to do that. Still weighing about 210. Second, he told me that he did not travel with AAU basketball this summer. Played with high school team. Both of these decisions were important and were the best for Bam. Personally, I think that he has to step it up as far as agressiveness. Would like to see the old Bam again.

I never pay attention to offers, because facts are not always facts. I like Bam Bradley alot, but he really has to play well in the first three games this fall to be one of the top prospects on my recruiting list. Believe with hard, he may be a DB at the next level and not an OLB.

His roller coaster is speeding to the top. Bam will be fine.

Trotwood Players at UC 7on7

One of the reasons that I made the UC 7on7 trip was to see Trotwood Madison do their thing. Coach Douglas has always been one of my favorite head football coaches. Mo and I share alot of laughs together. Of course, I really wanted to visit with some of his players.

Cameron Burrows(212) tapped me on the shoulder and I faked it, because I did not know for sure who was. About 6'1-190, the guy is cut. Has played CB along time. No doubt that he can play CB at the next level. Closes well. Anticipates well. Like his DB instincts. Will have to get faster. Playing with alot more confidence this summer. Good person. 3.7GPA.

Trey williams Brown(213) is very intense. Played alot of MLB in the 7on7. Probably will put his hand down this fall. Wish that he was alittle taller(6'2), but he packs about 225. Finishes plays. Deceptive quickness. Overpowering at times. From video last fall, he needs to be more consistent. Needs to play everydown. Tough guy.

Michael McCray(213) played well at both TE and OLB. Runs well. Very athletic. Needs to keep growing into his body. Believe that he really needs to step up this fall. Needs to dominate. Excellent range. Tight end could be his position at the next level. Would not surprise me, if Michael made baseball an important part of his life. For now, football.

As usual Trotwood has some very good juniors, I have watched these three grow and mature not only as football players, but as young people, since their freshman year. Look forward to watching them for the next two years.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Newspaper comments

One of my weaknesses is that I still get excited about some of the things that I read in newspapers. Plead guilty to reading the Dispatch and the Plain Dealer every morning at McD's. Sometimes I check out the Blade, but that costs me a dollar. Plain Dealer is seventy-five cents.

If Luke Fickell's job is just a one shot deal, and I hope that it is NOT, Tim Beckman would be my choice for the next head coaching job at Ohio Sate. Tremendous recruiter!! Soild staff. Big time support for the Ohio High School football. Ohio State does not need a "big name guy." When asked about the OSU job, if Fickell is not retained, his answer was, "I do not think so. I am excited about being at UT. My family is here. Our two goals - to be in the MAC Championship game and to win a bowl game-have not been done yet. We're still building this program." Good points, but what else could he say?

Terrell Pryor to Cleveland? Jon Gruden, and he should be, is always positive toward QB's. Some day people will realize that Pryor is a tremendous athlete, self-centered big time, and is not a natural passer.

Hope that Dane Sanzenbacher makes it with the Bears. Tremendous competitor. Execellent hands(as Pryor knows). Only 4.6/speed. His comment about signing with the Bears. "They're still one of the same teams that passed on you," 254 times in the draft he said. " I don't think that you ever lose that thought. You always have something to prove." Love his attitude and thought process.

Brady Hoke, who I have known for years, commented about the success of his recruiting efforts at Michigan, even though they have gone through some tough times in recent years. "This might sound arrogant, and, if it is, it is. We're Michigan. We have a global education. We're the winningest program in the history of college football." Although I do not get into the rivalry anymore, the OSU-Michigan game will be back. Love, Brady Hoke, but oh my.

Know of Brent Bielema's dealings with OHSFCA clinic director Mike Mauk at last winter's clinic. Class act in his communications with Mauk. A confident head coach, but did he ever make some strong comments about cheating. " If I had a dream world, I would say, hammer the guys that do not do things right." Those comments reminded me of teachers and coaches who made comments about how "trouble free" their own kids were. Be careful with such bold comments.

Braylon Edwards, even though he is on probation, is still able to get "off the hook," for another incident. Story of his life. I remember telling his dad at a Michigan summer football camp that he was gifted, but does not work hard and does not concentrate on catching the football. He told me that his coaches needed to push him harder to get in shape. Then he would concentrate better. Like I said, the story of his life.

As you can guess, I am a Luke Fickell supporter. One of his weaknesses is that he is brutally honest. Humor! My question is - how can these other schools in the past few years hire young assistants as head coaches and be successful, and OSU cannot show more confidence in Fickell? I mean -- He has played the game. He has coached at all levels. He has been in one of the most high profile college programs in the country. Plus he has charisma. Working with him over the years in recruiting, he can evaluate talent and see the intangables in a prospect. Now, OSU will probably not call me for advice, so I can relax. Humor, again!

Read where Vince Young was released from Tennessee and Reggie Bush was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Makes me think back to pro draft day when Charlie Casserly of the Houston Texans was blitzed by the "experts," for taking a DE from North Carolina State with the first overall pick. My goodness, Kiper wanted an apology from Casserly and the media went off. Some called it the "worst move" in any draft. Mario Williams started two Pro Bowls (2009 and 2010). Cannot remember how many experts retracted their statements. Sounds alot like national recruiting experts.

Monday begins the first actual day of Ohio high school football coaching. An exciting time for me. Crazy thought - some teams will not finish the season until the first week in December. OH MY !!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No Miami 7on7 Passing this Saturday

Miami University called last week with the news that they had to cancel their 7o7 passing camp scheduled for this Saturday, July 30. Not enough teams were able to work this camp into their schedules. Sad!

Back in the days of Randy Walker, "Coach Hepp,"and Shane Montgomery, Miami 7on7's were outstanding. The last three Saturdays in July. They averaged about 25 teams a session. The last Saturday was usually stacked with excellent teams. Concession stands were loaded with good sandwiches and all types of cold drinks. Families made a day of it. Linemen were getting coached on a side field.

For me, the days were like Christmas. So many prospects to evaluate. So many skilled kids. Also was able to meet high school coaches and parents. Really enjoyed riding around on a golf cart with Coach Walker and Coach Heppner. Tremendous guys.

The last two years former head coach Mike Haywood and staff put very little emphasis on the 7on7 camps. Really there was none. The recruiting process for Ohio prospects was a joke. Thank goodness for quarterbacks, Zac Dysert and Austin Boucher.

Now there is a new staff and new energy. High school coaches, mark the dates on your calendar. Miami 7on7's will probably never be the same. The only way to go is up.

Reed Worstell - Glen Oak QB

When evaluating high school players who have a chance to play Division 1 college football, seeing them in person is huge. Watching video is important, but seeing them live is very important. Supposedly, there is a recruiting writer in Ohio who never leaves his house and evaluates prospects. That must be tough to do. For me, I try to see them in person as often as possible. Such was the case with QB Reed Worstell(2013 Class) of Canton Glen Oak.

Heard alot about Worstell. Saw him just alittle, last year at Canton McKinley. This summer I watched him at an Ohio State camp. He got better as the camp progressed, but he really did not play well early. In fact, he was not very good, and I was expecting alot more. By the end of the day, he was better, but just above average.

Last Saturday at Fawcett, a different Reed Worstell. Watched him in warm-ups. Much better arm strength. Much better feet. After I joked with him, he actually smiled. Once into competition, Reed was the "guy." Made a mistake on the first play, and coaches got on his case. He listened and from then on, played well considering his teammates, coaches, and offensive system are new to him. Really good feet. Can make all of the throws. Can air it out. Carries out fakes. Made some good reads. At least 6'3. He will have to learn to come under center, but seems to be getting it down.

Found out that at O-State camp, he was really sick. Probably alittle nervous too, but was sick. For me, I am really glad that I got an early second evaluation. Only a junior, so I will see him a few more times.

Reed Worstell will be one of the top quarterbacks in the Ohio 2013 Class. Good size. Like his quarterback insincts. A passer, not a thrower. Plus his quarterback coach at Glen Oak is very good. Glen Oak does has a strong running game, but Reed will be fine and is only a junior.

Glad I made the trip to see him a second time in a month.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hall - the best in Stark County

Saturday, I made the trip to Fawcett to watch the 7on7 Jamboree. Excellent time to evaluate talent, because I can be right in the action. One of my favorite players in Stark County, and in the state is Dashawn Hall, 6'1-190 DB/WR from Canton Glen Oak. For me, he is exciting to watch. Now the fans will say that it was only 7on7, but Dashawn plays with energy. Probably would be as energetic playing badminton. In fact, opponents may not like his aggressiveness.

A playmaker on either side of the ball. Excellent ball catching skills. Can climb to get it. Tough after the catch. Nasty wide receiver swagger. On defense(did not play much yesterday) sure tackler in open field. Last year, closed well. Finishes tackles. Simply has a presence about him on the football field. Intimidating at times. Could be either an OLB or a SS.

Biggest red flag in his recruiting is the GPA. Working to get it higher.

Joking with him yesterday about returning phone calls, he seems like a Clark Kent type guy. Mild-mannered out of uniform and powerful in uniform. Like him alot. Hope that he takes care of the books.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rankings of Ohio players

Someone emailed me Rivals Top 60 rankings of Ohio's 212 class. Usually, I do not get caught upon rankings, nor do I read the list, but I skimmed this one. If this list is for real, I am slipping in my evaluations. Rivals, Scout, and some independent football recruiting writers provide fun reading for recruiting fans. Sometimes, the list lites up message boards and stirs good, clean debating. The rankings also provide material for print media.

Ranking prospects as to whom are the top 100 is too hard and too time consuming for me. However, I do rate prospects for colleges as to what level I think a prospect can play. Although my information leaks out sometimes, it is pretty much between the college coach and me.

As you read the rankings, enjoy them, but do not take them too seriously. Heights and weights are usually stretched. Sometimes politics come into play. One player on Rivals' list is not playing high school football this fall. Players will improve, players will stay the same, and some players will not perform as well as they should. Because of this, rankings will change over the course of the season.

College coaches constantly remind recruiting fans, "It takes two years to see how a Class ranks." With that reminder, I wonder how Taylor Decker, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Tom Strobel, Tyler Orlosky, Chris Wormley, and Maty Mauk will grade out in two years?

Kent Roosevelt Gets a Quarterback

Yesterday, made the trip to Steubenville to watch, not only the Big Red, but also Kent Roosevelt, Warren LaBrae, and Bellaire among others play some 7on7. Good, clean competition, of which I would have expected coming from veteran coaches. Had a chance to watch one of the better quarterback prospects in the Class of 213. Travon Chapman, if he keeps working hard, could be that guy.

First heard about Travon during his freshman year at Cincinnati Princeton. Did not get to see him play, but heard good things from coaches. The next year he moved with his father to Pickerington Central. After his father, Thad Jemison, joined the Kent State staff this spring, Travon made another move. This time to Kent Roosevelt and veteran coach, John Nemec, could not be happier.

Travon wants to be a quarterback, as well he should. Guessing 6'1-195. Really good arm strength. Solid release. Ball jumps out. Just as important for me, good feet. Plays tall. Of course, no run game in a 7on7, but was told his running ability is as good or better than his passing, and I thought his passing game was good. Now, this is July and a new school, so he missed receivers aa few times, and some receivers dropped some balls, but reps will take care of that. Impressed with his understanding of the progession reads. Watching him at free safety also was good. Closes very well on the ball. Just as good at free, but a QB first.

Chatted with him for just a few minutes. Travon also plays basketball and runs track. Carries a 3.5 GPA.

Honestly, when I talked with him(in street clothes) at the Kent State Camp this summer, I did not know what to expect from him in competition. I do now. If he works hard and keeps recruiting in perspective, he has a chance to be really good. Sometimes I get a "good feeling" about a prospect. Travon, do not let me down.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Two More in the Central Ohio 213 Class

Spent the afternoon evaluating prospects at the Capital University 7on7 event. Some good teams, with some college potential players, makes for a profitable day. I have been telling the Ohio 213 Class that central Ohio has a bunch. Saw a few today.

Although he has a minor ankle sprain and did not play, Devon Edwards(213)- Eastmoor is a beast. Playing TE at 6'4-235. Saw him last year and really like him. Runs well and has good ball skills. Hopefully, he does not eat himself out of the TE position. Davon Barrow(213)- Eastmoor could be special. A possible strong safety in college, but for now more an OLB. 6'0-195 and strong. A 4.65/40 guy everyday.Did run the open 400m last spring in 50.4. The other Eastmoor 213 guy I liked was FB/LB Kohury Carter. Probably 5'11, but weighs 222 and carries it well. Of course, today he did not get to show his "stuff," but he moves well. One senior, Jalen Crosby kind of jumped out. Ran a 10.6/100m last spring. Needs to turn that into football speed. Playing CB.

This my third time seeing Olentangy Liberty play 7on7. Linebacker Grant Cartwright(213) continues to improve. Physically he looks the part at 6'3-215. State competitor in shot put and discus. Really like his desire to compete. Needs to be sure his speed and quickness continues to improve as he grows. A little stiff at times, but that will improve and he will play some place on defense.

Dylan Leffingwell - Warren Local - near Marietta had a good day at quarterback. Also in the Class of 213. Understands coverages. Throws nice ball. Never saw him just put rpms and really spin-it. Of course, been traveling and throwing all summer and that could be taking its toll. Like his poise. As he gets stronger, he will be spinning-it.

Cap City Preps

As a head football coach, my wife knew that once the July 4 celebrations were done, my summer was for the most part down. Football time had arrived. Last weekend, I celebrated my 45th high school class reunion. My birthday was Saturday, and now I am 63 years old. I really do not worry about getting old; I just worry about growing up.

Football time is here again. Still plenty of 7on7 passing tournaments to attend. Practice begins legally on August 1. Scrimmages begin soon after that. Of course, the season begins for me with the Cincinnati Crosstown Showdown. Many football games over a short period of time.

Today, as I was evaluating talent at Capital University's 7on7 passing event, I formally met the owner and director of Cap City Preps. Cap City Preps makes highlight and game video for football teams and players in Columbus. Anthony Murphy is the guy behind Cap City Preps. Works hard and see him everywhere with his camera or video camera. Understands the football recruiting business.

Also spent time chatting with Marc Givler who has teamed up with Cap City Sports. He is a football recruiting writer. Covers central Ohio primarily, but travels across Ohio to cover recruits. I think he writes for Rivals, but not for sure. Although we do not agree with his rankings, I enjoyed chatting with him, too. Of course, if I took any recruiting site's individual rankings seriously, college coaches would laugh.

Cap City Prep does an excellent job with highlight video. Prospects send me Cap City Preps video alot. If your school does not make highlight videos, I would check out Anthony Murphy's work. They have done a tremendous job helping the city schools in Columbus.

Both Anthony and Marc work hard. They are good for high school football in central Ohio. According to their website, they have a Preview Magazine coming out soon. Like me, they do not have big money support. But they work hard to promote "kids" and, to me, that is what it is all about.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Offensive Linemen - Ohio Class of 212

When I was a high school head football coach, I always coached the offensive line. If you can block, you can score. That has changed somewhat, with the spread offense. Really believe that I could win some games with these "OL-guys."
Taylor Decker - Vandalia Butler HS- Left tackle. Excellent feet. Huge frame. Excellent pass blocker. Needs to be a better bender. Probably over 300 now. Best lineman in Class of 212.
Tyler Orlosky - Lakewood St Ed's HS- Guard or tackle. Tough. Like his feet and balance. Good pass blocker. Excellent balance. Good bender. Could possible play any of the positions. Under-rated by some.
Kyle Dobson - Cleveland Heights - Tackle. Tall and at 315 pounds. Tremendous quickness. Long and frame to get huge. Biggest concern-not much playing time. Need to see him with pads. Really athletic.
Kyle Kailis - Lakewood St Ed's - Guard. Big, strong, and tough. Overpowering run blocker. Powerful. Needs to be better bender. Really needs to improve quickness and balance on pass protection. Ideal inside guy.
Adam Pankey - Hamilton - Guard. Like his explosion and punch. Good balance. Adding weight and strength. Good drop on pass blocking.
AJ Williams - Cincinnati Sycamore - Tackle. Tight end at Sycamore, but will grow into and offensive tackle. Long arms. Excellent feet. Will have have to learn OL technique, but like his blocking instincts.
Greg McMullen - Akron Hoban - Tackle or guard. Plays some tight end now, but mostly defense at Hoban. Excellent frame for "OL" guy. Long arms. Explosive. Good bender. Like him more on offensive side.

Of course, I only mentioned these prospects, but there are others whom I really like.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kyle Kempt - Massillon QB

Last evening's 7on7 practice at Massillon was well worth the 90 minutes on Route 30. I knew that Orrville and Massillon would have skilled guys to evaluate, and that Louisville would have that one guy with potential. But, honestly, I also wanted to get a peak at Kyle Kempt, Massillon's junior QB.

Kempt's number one strength is that he is a "sponge." Constantly listening to veteran coach Tom McDaniel's constructive comments. Always eye to eye contact. When the back-up was in, Kyle was still listening in the huddle. Second, a leader. With more experience and success that will improve, but I like what he does with the huddle. Release is quick. His intermediate passes were crisp and sharp. Long ball touch is good. Last evening, he connected on some "home-run" balls.

Improvement from a year ago at this very time has been huge. Strength training is evident. Still has some baseball throwing in him, but the gap is narrowing. Would like to see him follow thru on his release more often. Bring the thumb down to the pocket. Still growing into his 6'5+ frame. As that improves, along his with strength, his athleticism will improve.

Under the direction of McDaniels, the sky should be the limit. A pure pocket passer. Most recruiting writers will not agree, but Kyle's best days will be when he is 20 years old. Far from a finished product, but for now he will continue to grow, continuue to learn, and continue lead the Tigers. Excellent potential.

Massillon 7on7 - My Kind

Drove to Massillon last evening to watch some 7on7. As always, I was impressed with manner in which three teams went about their business. Alot of that has to do with the way the coaches did their job. Jason Hall, head coach of the host Tigers, runs 7on7's my way. John DeMarco, of Louisville, and Doug Davault, of Orrville, followed suit.

My way - Coaching, coaching, and coaching. No trophies, no tournaments, no officials, and no scores. Coaching plain and simple.

The field was divided into thirds for warm-ups, each had an equal area. Each team had a certain number of plays on both defense and offense. Offense had a certain number of plays on each hash and in the middle. They also had so many plays from the 40, so many plays from the 20, and so many plays from the 10. Very organized.

Competition was excellent. No "chirping" to speak of. Only a few agressive plays, by accident more than anything else.

Nice crowd. The crowd was actually bigger than some of my homecoming games, when I was a head football coach. The turf, oh my! I thought back to when I was the head coach at Lakota(NW Ohio). Sometimes I mowed the field. Sometimes I helped with painting the lines. The band would practice 3 days a week on the game field. Do not think that Jason has those problems.

A tremendous learning situation. Like I said earlier, "My kind of 7on7.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Alex Nielsen - Elyria Catholic

Contrary to some recriting writers, I try to be objective about evaluating Ohio college prospects. This is not always easy to do, because you get to know them and know alot about their lifestyle. Such is the case with Alex Nielsen.

Nielsen just committed to Kent State. Measures 6'4-260, but is continually adding good weight and, of course, strength. Best attribute is ability to run. Very good feet abd balance. Like his OL instincts. Solid pass blocker. Kicks out well, and stays with defender. Solid bender. Biggest need - get bigger and stronger.

Saw him play last year against Elyria. More than held his own against OSU bound Chase Farris. And I happen to really like Chase as a defender. In that game he maintained blocks, especially in pass protection.

First met Alex when he came to my first real football combine. He was a year younger than the other propects, but he held his own. Liked his energy and work ethic. A little stiff and not very big. But things have changed since two years. Bigger and stronger and more athletic.

Excited for him and he is excited about becoming a Golden Flash. Promised him I would see him play this fall. Of course, Elyria Catholic also has a young QB whom I really need to evaluate. Nielsen better block for him that night.

Good choice for both Kent State and for Alex Nielsen.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Ohio Prep Scene

For the most part, I read or follow very few internet sites that cover football recruiting. That is probably one of the reasons that I do not have the knowledge that so many football recruiting writers possess. Also, I really do not care where an Ohio high school prospect goes to college. But the one site that I enjoy checking out is the Ohio Prep Scene.

I see they have a new writer, Simone Scott. Like her content and style. She provides insight as to what a prospect is thinking in regards to schools. Also enjoy reading content from other recruiting writers from different areas of the country. Must be a hard, but fun job to write for football sites. Believe this or not, but that is how I got started 23 years ago, but, of course, mine was in magazine format. Tom Lemming was the forerunner. Actually I wrote for Super Prep for part of a year. Allen Wallace and I had conflicting ideas on content. Needless to say, he could not intimidate me. Bill Kurelic also wrote for Wallace. Bill is still doing recruiting stories and still doing a really good job.

Do not totally understand "Star System." that Ohio Prep Scene uses. I heard that you get 2 stars for who is recruiting you. Last year, a quarterback from Ohio lost one or two stars, because he had a bad 7on7 showing Florida. WOW! I guess the "Star System," is good way to entertain recruiting fans. People who give the stars must watch a ton of video.

Every once in a while, driving to 7on7's. college summer camps, and scrimmages and games gets alittle crazy. Evaluating video even gets alittle crazy. Fun to do, but sometimes the hours are long. But Steve Hare, a writer for Rivals must do this in his sleep. He commented to a Missouri site that he saw every game that Maty Mauk played last year. I see him working hard at games, and he out works me. I applaude him big time.

The Ohio Prep Scene is easy to read. Like the video interviews. Sometimes I question why some recruiting writers rank one player over another, but that is part of the fun in recruiting. They, too, must evaluate a ton of video. I would like to see the Ohio Prep Scene cover more players in detail who commit to schools outside of Ohio. The site is good, I have to worry about evaluating high school football players. Check out the Ohio Prep Scene.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

State 7on7 Championships

Saturday, Dublin Coffman High School hosted the Ohio High School State 7on7 Championships. Beautiful day for football. Thirty eight teams participated. Wayne High School won the tournament, beating Kenton in the championship game. For me, won-lost records means nothing on these days. Evaluating new talent, as well as old is important. Touching base with players whom I have either had in camp or have met at other camps is important. Of course, talking with my high school coaching friends is, also, important. Again, evaluating prospects is what I do.

Amanti Miller - Wayne HS(212)WR. Showed much the same form as last year. Quicker than fast. Excellent ball catcher. Like the way he separates. Faster when he ball is in the air.

Marcus Bonner - Wayne HS(212)WR. Excellent hands. Also faster when the ball is in the air. Ran disciplined routes. Bigger and stronger than last year. Strong.

Javon Harrison - Wayne HS(213)QB. Learned from one of the best, Braxton Miller. Good size 6'2-195. Big arm. Makes all of the throws. Needs reps and experience. Like his technique. Good prospect.

Doran Hendricks - Wayne HS(214)LB. Former QB now moved to linebacker. Now 6'2-205. Runs well. Good balance. Changes direction well. Very competitive. Will have big time future.

Lovell Peterson - Wayne(213)OC. Only centered the ball. Weight down to 272. Looks good. One of the top OL guys in the 213 Class.

Tristan Jefferies - Sandusky(212)WR/DB. Excellent hands. Plays fast. Good burst. Would like see him faster. Like his athleticism.

Maty Mauk - Kenton(212)QB. Strong arm. Liked his poise. After a big week in Missouri, he seemed tired at times. Leadership is a strength.

James Walsh - Coffman(213)QB. Just continues to improve. Consistent release. Plays tall. Good feet. Understands coverages. Really like his chances to be special.

Marcus Davis - Coffman(212)SR. Growing bigger and stronger. Continues to get faster. Like his burst. Excellent ball catcher. Tough competitor.

Tre Scott - Coffman(212)DB- and Taylor Williams - Coffman(212)DB. Both played well. Solid speed and quickness. Like their toughness.

Royce Lucas-Taylor - Urbana(212)TE. Played TE, but did not catch the ball well. Needs to improve pass release and route running. Big shoulders. Possible OL guy at next level. Big frame 6'6-260.

Dareian Watkins - Galion(213)ATH. Played QB, but more of a DB some day. 6'1-186.
Runs well. Mature for sophomore. Like his burst. Plays fast. Throws ball well enough. Potential to be a very good athlete.

George Gresko - Eastlake North(212)QB. Moves pretty well, but wears a knee brace. Reads coverages well and sees the field. Nice soft touch. Need to see him plant his feet more. Solid prospect.

Terrell Dorsey - Mansfield Senior(212)RB. Normally an RB, but played mostly slot today. Very durable north/south runner. Watching him run, believe that he has improved his quickness, burst and overall speed. Seems lighter on feet. Good hands. Like his balance.

Grant Cartwright - Olentangy Liberty(213)LB. Big, strong 6'3-220 LB. May only be a Mike. Tough downhill, but needs to work on flexibility. May even be a DE someday. Competes hard. Good prospect.

Josh Perry - Olentangy(212)DE. Big, strong, and fast. All of 6'3-220. Very athletic. Worked on the outside, but see him come off the edge. Really passes the eyeball test. Want to see him play with pads on.

Buchi Okafor - Olentangy(213)CB. Big CB prospect. 6'0-180. Runs well. Needs to work on recovery speed. Changes direction well. Like his intensity. Needs experience. Really like his potential.

Max Pollum - Jonathan Alder(212)OL. Watched Max at lineman's challenge. 6'6-300 pounds. Really needs to impress recruiters early, but has a chance. Needs to improve punch. Bend better. Has improved overall football skills.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Maty Mauk Commits to Missouri

Yesterday morning, Kenton QB Maty Mauk (212 Class) announced that he will be attending Missouri next year. What a breathe of fresh air! No big press conference. No five hats to try on to show a lack of character. No recruiting writers present. Mauk simply put on his facebook-" I am officially committed to play football for the University of Missouri." WOW! Being the top QB prospect in Ohio and one of the better ones throughout the country, one would expect more. Not me.

Mike Mauk, Kenton head football coach and Maty's dad, understands the recruiting process, maybe too well. Interviews with Maty were few. Maty told me that some recruiting writers used Facebook, but for the most part, his dad handled the recruiting process. Mauk talked with some reporters, but even those interviews were brief. Having gone through the same experience with his older son, Ben, he was able to closely evaluate the college programs. Sorting through all of the recruiting pitches, trying to seperate truth from fiction, was a little harder. He worked hard.

Missouri was there in the very beginning. After Brady Hoke arrived at Michigan, they became one of the favorites. Notre Dame, with Brian Kelly, who has a long history with the Mauks,was also a favorite. Ben played one year for Coach Kelly at Cincinnati, and Kelly followed Maty over the years. Cincinnati was also a favorite. Other college coaches traveled to Kenton, including Ohio State. The final choice probably down got to two, but the spread offense of Missouri was just too attractive.. Their offense is almost identical to Kenton's. Coach Pinkel was honest and did an excellent job recruiting him.

Four different college coaches told me that Maty's game video was much more impressive than his highlight video. The really good recruiters and evaluators study game video, as well as highlight video. Highlight video is really important in recruiting, but prospects should have good game video available also. Ironically, Mauk never made a real highlight video.

A simple facebook entry released the school of choice for Maty Mauk. No bells, no cameras, no football recruiting writers, and no hats. Because he just goes about his business with little emotion, I guess that I should not have been surprised. First hand, I know the decision was tough, and any choice would have been good. Missouri won.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Najee Murray - Steubenville High School

Congrats to Najee Murray from Steubenville on his verbal commitment to play football at Ohio State University. The best of the early O-State commitments to date.

Watched him as a sophomore. Knew that he was an athlete who could play alot of positions. Playing for Reno Saccoccia, knew that he was tough. Just wanted to see how fast that he actually was. After watching him play last year, knew that he could play. After watching his highlight tape, no question that he was one of the top DB's in Ohio. This spring he ran on Steubenville's 4X100 and 4X200 relay teams. For me, the clincher was his impressive work at Ohio State's June 12 senior camp.

A definite inside DB prospect with his 5'10-170 size. Hips are alittle tight, but with work, he may be able to line up at corner. Like the way he breaks on the ball. Run stopper. Very physical, but has to be to play at Steubenville. Excellent overall speed, but will get faster with speed training. Will have to improve recovery speed, but that should be no problem. Biggest asset - flat-out very tough competitior who will strike you.

Needless to say, Najee Murray is a welcomed addition to Ohio State football. Like his attitude and character. Like his self-confidence. Like his attitude toward the situation a of the O-State football program. Not worried about sanctions, Believe that he needs to get to the library more often, but he will be okay. Hope that I get the opportunity to see him play this fall.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7on7 - National Level

If you get the chance, please read Cleveland Plain Dealer Sports writer Tim Warsinskey's column on 7o7 passing tournaments. His comments deal with 7o7 tournaments on the national level, rather than Ohio's own tournaments.

7on7 tournaments were originally started to get some extra training for high school players. No contact and, for most tournaments, very limited running plays. Really,most are done with no running plays. Years ago Miami of Ohio was one of the first colleges to host 7on7 competition. They held them three Saturdays in July, until last's staff was too lazy to keep it going. Other colleges are now hosting them, as is Miami.

When AAU basketball went national, it became a source for " street agents," or "handlers" to make money. Now innocent 7on7 tournaments could be going the same way as AAU basketball on the national level. The big concern is that these street agents who organize some of these events and make money are also steering certain players to certain colleges.

Please read his article, because I do not want to repeat his thoughts. As you can imagine, I am against national 7on7's. Anytime people abuse kids by getting kids to attend certain camps and get paid by colleges to bring kids to camps, I am against.
The problem - Stopping "street agents," and "handlers" is virtually impossible.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jim Place - New Coach at Withrow

Received a call from Jim Place on Friday and before he could say anything, I asked him what head football coaching job he was taking. Honestly, I asked him more in fun, but his answer was Cincinnati Withrow. Needless to say, I applauded him.

Place is a tremendous football coach. We talked many years ago at the Bayless/Byars Youth Football Camp. He was the camp organizer for Martin and Keith. At the time he was the head football coach at Dayton Chaminade-Julienne. Knew of him before that, when he was the head coach at Middletown. His last coaching job was at Hamilton.

Relating to kids is his strength. Relating to the inner city kids, is what I personally consider his real strength. At 64, he is accepting the challenge of keeping the football program at Withrow one of the best in the city. But, let me be quick to say, Doc Gamble(former head coach at Withrow) did an excellent job in his two stints at Withrow. Gamble moved on to the UC football program. Place's honesty and understanding comes through just watching him coach. Getting kids to believe in themselves is big. Understanding the struggles that many inner city kids go through is big. Place not only understands, but puts that understanding to work.

Head football coach only. No teaching. No special programs. No supervision. Counseling football players within the program is a given. Helping promote individual college prospects for sure. But no other required duties. Leading the Withrow football program and developing young men will be his fulltime job.

How important is the job? Still living in the Dayton area, he will make the trip down I-75 every day. There are more benefits for Withrow, but that can be mentioned another time.

Jim Place is just one of those "special coaches." Chuck Kyle also comes to mind. They just love to coach. Being in their age bracket, I appreciate everything that they do for kids. For me, personally, although he must be a little crazy, having Jim Place at 7on7's, at clinics, but, most of all, roaming the sidelines, is really exciting. McCallister will be on the sidelines for a Cincinnati Withrow game this fall for sure.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Austin Appleby - North Canton Hoover

Really glad to hear North Canton Hoover quarterback Austin Appleby recently committed to Purdue. First saw him last year in a scrimmage with Ashland. Liked his potential, but thought he was almost too mechanical. But it was his first start and you could tell that he just needed reps and games. Last year in game eight, he tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee.

Along with college coaches,I watched him work out last April. Although he told me the knee was fine, you could tell that it was about 85%. Came away from the workout thinking that he is a true dropback QB, but escapes well enough to be a threat, who can make all of the throws. Sometimes he drops his hands before he throws, which makes his release too high. Needs to correct that quirk in his throw. Strong arm. Part of the problem, too, was he was trying so hard to impress the college scouts, that his body was too tight. That was awhile back. Since then, the knee is good and he has learned to relax.

In the article, his comments showed alot of class. Austin is a leader and class act. He has worked hard to be one of the top QB's in his class. Needless to say, he has experienced alot. Overcome a terrible knee injury. Worked out for 20 college staffs. Listened to all of the recruiting BS,(including Joe Paterno). Now that he has committed to Purdue, he can relax and enjoy playing football his senior year.

Luke Roberts - LB - Lancaster

Luke Roberts from Lancaster called me last week about advice on some early offers that he had received. Two were from Big Ten schools and playing in the Big Ten has always been his goal. To me, that is not always a good idea. Another school asked him to wait til the fall, because they needed to see more. He had a good camp, but they needed to see him make plays. That school was honest with him. They needed to see more, which I feel their honesty was important. My advice - "Go with your gut feeling."

On Saturday, he was going to the last senior day at O-State. I told him in a phone call to bust his butt and run possessed. He is a "mike" linebacker pure and simple. Passes the eyeball test. 6'1 everyday. Runs well downhill. Excellent tackler. Tough guy. Most of all, he competes. But he needed to run well to impress OSU coaches. Ran 4.64 and 4.25 pro shuttle. Now this is not a "raw talent time," this is an OSU time. Yesterday, Coach Fickell called and offered him a scholarship.

My worry: Luke ran well and changed direction well. Natural leader. Tremendous competitor. Tackle to tackle tough. Competed well at my combine. However, he is not a five star or a four star. He might only be a two star. Oh my!! If he is only a two-star, can he play in the Big Ten? Of course, I am being sarcastic. Luke Roberts is a "Lights out linebacker," and I wish him the very best.