As I do at most camps, 7on7's, practices, and, sometimes games, I like to visit with some of the prospects I evaluate. No, I do not treat them like "stars" and use a recorder to interview them. Nor do I use my notepad to take notes on what visits they have lined up. Yes, I sometimes aske for a cell phone number. For me, mostly, it is "small talk." But, with that small talk, I learn alot about a propect.
Last Friday, a senior player, I cannot remember his name made one of the most sensible comments that I have heard in a while. Really he said it all, in this silly world of early offers. He was the team's best player. I asked him( in small talk) "who was the best junior on his team?" His answer, "Don't know. We haven't put the pads on yet." WOW! What a tremendous answer from some high school senior. Repeat - "Don't know. We haven't put the pads on yet."
You see. That answer came just at the right time for me. I laughed. I am so tired of watching camps and 7on7's, but I enjoy it. I am just tired of watching kids run around in shorts and t-shirts. College coaches are offering kids at an alarming rate now. One Big Ten school has offered every prospect out there. I can ALMOST guarantee you that if one MAC school offers a propect, three will follow.
I see a ton of games, including scrimmages. I heard one recruiting reporter from Northeast Ohio was boasting about attending 60 games last year. No comment as to how many I see, but a little bit more than 60. My point here is that evaluating propects involves more that shorts and t-shirts. Really video can only do so much. The only true way is watch them in person against a different colored jersey.
With the NCAA putting so many restrictions on recruiting, getting a really good evaluation is hard to accomplish. Most schools put out "bird dogs" to watch players. Some colleges pay big money to "handlers" to watch players.
Just received an email from a parent of a player in the Ohio Class of 2014. The dad seems to be a good guy and interested in his son as a son, and, not just a recruiting story. His son came to my combine last March. Growing and his body is catching up to him. I will see his son play early this season. Then I can give the dad a better opinion . Really need to see him play. Getting a lot of "we like him," talk now from colleges. Looking forward to seeing him play.
For prospects going into their senior year, playing hard in their scrimmages and, more importantly, in the first three games is imperative. College coaches look at these three games to see the potential.
High school football practice officially starts on Monday. I believe the pads go on a few days after that. First opponent scrimmage is August 7th. First game for some schools is August 22.
Do you realize that -- if an Ohio high school football team makes it all the way to the OHSAA State Championship game, yesterday (Saturday) was possibly his last free Saturday until December 8, 2013? Oh my!!!
Time to get some church time.