Friday, August 31, 2012

QB's Kempt and Worstell -Much Improved

       Last night, Two quarterbacks who I have watched for three years, including last night, are catching coaches' attention. If not, they should be. One has committed to Cincinnati and I am not for sure on the other.
      Reid Worstell from Glen Oak and Kyle Kempt from Massillon Washington, both showed much improvement going into their senior year. Only the second game of the season and some mistakes were made by both QB's. However, anytime there are 15 flags thrown, 9 turnovers, numerous QB sacks, some interceptions, the game was bad football at times. But the hitting was excellent and talent played well at times.
     Over the years it seems like I have never seen Reid Worstell at full strength. Last year his protection was weak at times and sometimes his decision making was not good. Last night, I thought that he managed the game well. Excellent at getting the ball to the running back. Liked his short quick out passes to the wide outs. Read coverages much better. Pocket presence was better. Reid has always set up in the pocket well. Have always liked his throwing motion. Sometimes he will have to spin-it better and show more arm strength. For the most part, he looked solid last night.
     First time that I saw Kyle Kempt he was absorbing all he could learn at a Massillon 7on7 and was only a sophomore. Tall and skinny and his arm was not strong. But he was coachable and wanted to be good. Saw him against Toledo Whitmer do some good things. Last year he was improving, but I did not like his throwing motion. Too much baseball. Smart, stood tall in the pocket. Needed to make quicker decisions, but was improving. Last inght, he looked much improved. Some coach has tweaked his release. Stands tall in the pocket, but must improve his feet. Must put rpm's on deep cuts.
     Really liked what I saw in both QB's last night. There are some other little coaching points that I think would help them, but that is not my job. Both Reid and Kyle are on the right track. Probably will not see them until really late in the season. Hope that they continue to improve and go onto to have really good years at the next level.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Explaining - "Around the State with MSR"

Wanted to take a minute to clarify a section of my website called "Around the State with MSR." Anytime people put out list, I think that it is important to provide some background as to how they do it. The last thing that I want is controversy. I do not need message boards to promote what I do. Neither do I need coaches, and or, parents or players upset about omitting a player or being too negative about a player.

The McCallister Scouting Report's primary role is to provide information to colleges throughout the country with information about college potential players throughout Ohio. Besides providing contact information and measurements, MSR rates each prospect. All of this comes in a spiral bound notebook released in February called the Ohio Prospects Directory. Another service MSR sells to colleges is a program called Weekly Evaluations during the season. Colleges pay MSR for all information. The McCallister Scouting Report scouting service is approved by the NCAA.

Although many D-1, D-2, and D-3 colleges buy the Ohio Prospects Directory, with exception of Ohio Dominican and Harvard, the college football programs that buy the Weekly Evaluations are all Divison 1 schools. Because of this, most of the high school players that I evaluate in person have to have Divison One potential. Problem -- obviously, I am going to make mistakes, but hopefully, not too many.

The other problem is that since the large majority of college programs that pay for Weekly Evaluations are Division One schools, I only have time to evaluate the higher profile prospects. Also, since recruiting begins so much earlier, I have to provide insight on, not only seniors, but more on juniors, sophomores, and even freshman.

Hopefully, not only does the MSROHIO website provides parents and high school players information on football recruiting, but also through Around the State with MSR, players get some exposure. The comments that are posted on the MSROHIO website are not as a detailed as the comments that college coaches read, or are they as critical.

Because I am a "kid's guy," my hope is that my website MSROHIO promotes high school players in a positive way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thoughts on the Crosstown Showdown

Yesterday I finished my player evaluations and emailed them to the college programs who pay for that part on my service. Takes time to do them, but I always enjoy promoting high school football players. Nine games in three days was enough for me. Now time to get to other parts of Ohio.

The Skyline Crosstown Showdown is an amazing event. This year was number fifthteen. This year's event may have been the best of all. Including Kentucky games, there twenty-one total. Solid officiating, with just a few mistakes. Good crowds. For the most part, very good football games. Reasonable parking fees. The official program was very informative and colorful. Away from the action, my Red Roof Inn room was really clean, and best of all, was not expensive.

The flip side - just a few speed bumps. Really hot days and the turf was even warmer(?). Food was really expensive. Two and a quarter for candy. Self-denial at the food/drink areas for me. Took the elevator a few times to the pressbox. Walked up the stadium steps more than a few times. Oh my! Still not used to seeing internet media recruiting reporters interviewing players and taking players' pictures after games. One reporter even went to the bench, while the game was in progress, to have a player pose for a picture. I guess I am still "old school."

Speaking of pictures, I had a first on the sideline. First and foremost, I was at fault. As the saying goes,"My bad." I was really focused on a player, when someone really firmly tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and some expert photographer, told me to "get out of the way." My reaction was to the effect, "don't you hit me like that, stupid." Again, I was wrong. Most photo guys are good, but like in anything, some think that they are selected on ability.

Camera people who are videoing the game are different. Mostly young guys, who are entitled to any spot, and with a "get-out-of-my-way." In fact on one timeout, Jalin Marshall, Middletown's gifted QB, had to ask the filming guy to get back, because he could not concentrate. I am sure that the television people are calling the shots. Cameras are also in a player's face as he stretches during warmups. I guess that media attention is necessary. Just not used to it.

Congrats to In-Game Sports. Tom and Lori Gamble do a super job putting on this event. Of course, quality of help makes it go, but it all starts at the top with the Gambles. Job well done.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Officials - Make Sure of Every Call

Last night I watched my first two games of the Crosstown Showdown in Cincinnati. Really good games and some really talented players on the field. Actually saw a call that I have never seen before.

Emphasis over the last few years has been put on players and coaches staying in the team box and 2 yards(I think) from the sideline. First a bench warning, and then a penalty. If contact is made with an official, automatic 15 yards from the spot.

Here is the story. A Wyoming RB broke through the LOS and showed burst and quickness  running up the sidelines on his way to a 90 yard touchdown run. Wyoming was behind and score brought them to within a touchdown. But during the run, a sideline  official threw this flag near the Wyoming bench. A penalty on Wyoming's bench.

Following the play up the sidelines, a sideline official was hit from behind by a player from Wyoming. His call was that a bench player was too close to the sidelines and made contact with him. Automatic -- 15 yards from the spot. Of course, the touchdown was called back. The proper call.

A sports reporter covering the game had the complete play on his video. According the to the video, a Wyoming player was blocking a player from Fenwick. The block started in the field of play and continued to the sidelines. The official who made the call was hit by a player from the field of play. The Wyoming team was, obviously, very excited during the run, but a Wyoming player involved in the play made contact with the official, not a bench player.  Legal play--wrong call.

The rule was put in the book, because of a situation in Texas three years ago. A player was hit by an official who was running  down the sideline. The player was out of bounds and was not involved in the play. The player was injured, and his parents sued everybody, including the official.

I understand the intent of the rule. Colleges and the NFL have the rule. Actually, the coaches in the NFL nad in college do a better job of following it than high school coaches.

If you are a football coach at any level keep your players in the team box. As a coach, times have changed about being on the field. Stay back while the ball is in play. Enforce and obey the sideline rule. As player, discipline yourself, and always be undercontrol.

 As an official, do not make the call , or any call for that matter, unless you see it from start to finish. Do not guess. Most of all, if it is late in a close game, and a high school player is running 90 yards down the field, make sure you see the complete play.

I will say that I am taking the word of a person who watched the play on his video. Did not see the complete play. I was on the sidelines, as Terrell Dailey, all 5'7-160, sprinted past me on the way to a TD.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Joe Burger gets Recognized as a Preferred Walk-on

Congrats to Ohio State preferred walk-on Joe Burger on being the eighth freshman to have his black stripe removed from his helmet. Have not taken the time to really find the real details of the black helmet tape removal. Obviously, it is one of Urban Meyer's  motivational ideas for the incoming freshman.

Burger, a 6'1-228, is from Cincinnati LaSalle High School. A preferred walk-on is promised to be one of the 106 to report for the beginning of fall practice. He has done well enough to be rewarded by the O-State coaches.

Liked the comments of Luke Fickell on Joe Burger's effort. " When you come in, those stars all those things you had in recruiting, don't matter. It's about what you do here. We don't care what you did before, it's what you do now and how you can help this team. There's a bunch of ways you can help this team, and we're proud to say Joe helped this team in alot of different ways."

Of course, I respect Luke Fickell but I liked his comments for two reasons. One, he is stroking a "perferred walk-on" and recognizes that getting it done on the field is what it is all about. If you are a preferred walk-on, at times, your life will be miserable, but if you work really hard and the timing is right, you have a chance. Second, for the most part the "star system," is just a marketing tool. The "star system" excites fans and alumni and is used as a recruiting tool for some college programs. But as a true test of a recruit's ability, the system is overrated.

Hopefully, Joe Burger's losing the "black helmet stripe," will motivate other walk-ons at O-State, as well as this year's Class of 2013. With hard work and good timing, a preferred walk-on has a chance to make it. Maybe not a high percentage, but at least, a chance. Every college  has preferred walk-ons who are a very important part of the success of the football program.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday - Archie Griffin

As I skimmed the Columbus Dispatch this morning, I read that today, August 21, is Archie Griffin's birthday. Hopefully, anyone who reads my blogs needs no introduction or background on the Ohio State University Alumni Association's president/CEO. Special to me, because he always has time to say,"hello," or have his picture taken with a fan. Archie is not one of those former OSU football players who returns to Columbus and plays the "former bigtime football player"  game.

I remember watching him on Eastmoor Academy film clips. I had just begun coaching, when he running up and down the field at Eastmoor. Of course, I watched him do his thing running the ball for the Buckeyes. Also, watched him win the Heisman Trophy, not once but twice. But, what I remember  most was how Coach Woody Hayes used to call him "Arch." Back then, Woody would always talk to his players on the Woody Hayes Show and answer his own questions. Woody would look at Archie and say, "Is that right, Arch?" Of course, for those of you who remember, Archie would flash the smile and answer, "That's right, Coach."

Over the years, I have met and evaluated two of Archie's sons. Both excellent leaders. Both left everything on the field. Both were very competitive. Both had skills. Both were only 5'9 every other day, which limited them as to what college level that they could play. Neither one was going to win the Heisman Trophy twice, but Archie was always in the stands showing his support. When I would asked him how they were doing, he gave me the "Archie smile."

At a Shaker Heights High School football game in Cleveland years ago, I was there to evaluate Archie's son, an  RB for Shaker. As I was sitting in the stands before the game, I noticed  Archie was sitting right beside me. He had a cap pulled down as far as he could on his head and was wearing shades. Playing incognito, as I guessed, I leaned over and said, " Archie, how are you doing?" Of course, he smiled and said a few words. Ten minutes later, the PA announcer announced that a special guest was in the stands. Archie just smiled, did not make his location known, and watched the game.

When I evaluate high school players whose mom or dad are somewhat "high profile," I like to find out where the parents are coming from. Their thoughts do not affect what I report in my evaluations to colleges, but I like to know the mindset I am dealing with. Once I asked Archie about his son's speed. I said, "He is a 4.65 guy." Archie quickly reminded me that he was a 4.65 guy in high school. Smiling, I reminded him  that that was over thirty years ago. Of course, he smiled.

In a culture where if you played the game, you are an "expert" on sports talk shows or you do not have the time to say," Hello," Archie Griffin is "old school." Being humble is part of his makeup. I realize that his time is valuable. I realize  as president/CEO of the large alumni association that he forces smiles once in awhile. I realize that he has won the Hiesman twice. I realize that at times he must get tired of "being on stage." I realize that John McCallister is just a face in the crowd, but Archie always has time to flash a smile and say "Hi," to me.

To quote Coach Woody Hayes, "Happy Birthday, Arch!"

Monday, August 20, 2012

Watkins and Nay Lead Galion

Last Friday night I concluded the preseason scrimmage days with a trip to Galion to watch the Tigers host Mansfield Madison. Sometimes one cannot see "the forest for the trees." Galion, Ohio is only about thirty minutes from Upper Sandusky. Not only did I see a few talented football players, but I also saved on some gas money.

First met Dareian Watkins ( 2014) at the Kent State football camp two summers ago. He was beginning his sophomore year in the fall. Listed at 6'1-185, he seems a little bigger than that. Plays QB and Free safety for the Tigers. Also plays on the kickoff team and returns punts. Maybe a DB on the next level, but I could see him as a SLOT receiver. Quick feet. Deceptive speed. Like his burst and his ability to accelerate. Understands the game. Needs better hips. Needs a little more shake. Plays fast, but needs to make defenders miss. Game breaker as a high school QB. Not a college QB, but alot of potential as a SLOT or FS.

RB David Nay (2013) from Galion may be caught between a rock and a hard place. Excellent leg strength, as well as upper body strength. A powerful running back. Tougher after first contact. Listed at 6'0-210. Even though he has done well at camps, he cannot convince D-1 college coaches that he is an early offer. Needs to be more flexible in the hips. Needs better balance after contact. Tough blocker. Reminds me of the RB from Johnstown High School who is playing at D-2 University of Findlay.

Mansfield Madison's offensive center caught my attention during warm-ups. Guessing about 6'2or 6'3 and weighs about 280. Nate Boggs (2013) did not pass my "eyeball test." Thought he carried too much weight. But he bends well for a big man. Good explosion off the LOS. Finishes blocks. Maybe a little nasty. Good lead blocker. Solid feet on pass drops. Will see him again in a few weeks. I believe he has alot of upside.

Dareian Watkins is tremendous young man. I know his family a little and appreciate them. Dareian has some D-1 offers and, if he continues to get stronger and bigger, he will get more. He is talented, but he is a better person off the field. For me, he has to dominate and play at a high level every game, because of the level of competition that he plays every week.. Being a small school guy myself, I enjoy watching all levels of high school football. But reality is "level of competition" is important to college recruiters. Dareian will be fine.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Westerville South Impresses with Skill Players

Last night I traveled to Pickerington North to watch North scrimmage Westerville South. Both teams were missing players due to injuries. For the most part, South played a little better than North, but it was a scrimmage. Both teams did well at times. And honestly, I watch players rather teams.The skill players at South have much potential. Pickerington North, also had some players whom I consider good skill. players.

WR Gary Brown (2013) from Westerville South has been underrated both last year and going into this year. Listed at 6'0, but maybe an inch shorter, is simply unstoppable. A 4.6/40 guy, but with hard work could get faster. Very athletic. Soft hands, but very strong hands. Excellent body control. Willing to block on the edge. Excellent concentration. Like his wide receiver instincts and swagger. Just finds a way to catch every pass. For me, one of the top receivers in Ohio.

Many college coaches have asked about Darryl Long (2014) from Westerville South. Listed at 6'5-225, but needs to continue to get bigger and stronger. A tight end at the next level, but could be a DE just as well. Like his ball catching skills. Gets downfield in passing schemes. Blocks effectively. Used mostly either flex or in slot, which I could see happening at the next level. For me, a top TE recruit in the Ohio 2014 Class.

WR Torrodd Carter (2014) lined up opposite Gary Brown. Came on in the third quarter. Good size. Good burst. Dropped some balls early, but made some tough catches later in the scrimmage. Like his WR instincts. Has the tools, but needs to work on centration. With experience, could be very good.

Once Marcus Ball (2013) gets his transcript on file back at Westerville South, he will be playing FS or maybe some OLB for South. Last year he was the starting QB, but now has moved to FS. For me, he is one of the best DB's in Ohio. Tough. Smart. Fills on running plays. Athletic and the hips to cover sideline to sideline. Listed 6'3, he needs to continue to get stronger, but he will. Anticipates well. An OLB at the next level and will be a very good one.

Noah Prentiss (2013), Westerville South, has moved from defense to RB. A state competitor in the 100 meter dash. Has run 10.7. Now weighs 209 over a 5'10 frame. Like his toughness to take a hit. Needs to work on hips, but is a fast north/south runner. Excellent burst. Only his third scrimmage as an RB, but must improve RB instincts. Once he breaks the LOS,  he is very hard to catch. Size and speed gives him a good chance at next level.

Probably the biggest surprise to me was the play of QB Nick Renzetti (2013) from Westerville South. Guessing 6'3, but he needs to add weight and strength. Nick can flat out spin-it. Strong arm. Can throw the touch pass. Throws to where the WR is going to be. Reads well. Carries out his fakes. Needs reps, experience, and strength. Too early to really rate what level he can play, but he can wing-it.

Jake Butt (2013) from Pickerington North is a Michigan commit. Excellent size. Really athletic. At listed 6'6-233, he was all over the field. Will be a TE at Michigan, who can also flex out. Excellent hands. Overall play was okay, but he had some really good plays. Must be an excellent leader for Pick North this fall.Will be fine for the Wolverines.

Really liked the play of Pickerington North's, Mason Olszewski, class of 2013. Played QB and on defense, played FS. Excellent athlete. Good feet. Closes well from his safety position. Solid speed. Will tackle running backs. Listed 6'2-205. Number just kept popping up. Hope that he continues to improve.

Pickerington North's, Roland Ladipo played CB and some SLOT. Listed 5'10-165. Solid speed. Good hips. Understands the CB position. Tough enough. Needs to work on overall speed and hips. Like his burst.

Offensive lineman were young on both teams. Good to see skill players making good plays. Might be good to see them later in the year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chayce Crouch - Newark Catholic QB

The hour and 45 minute drive to Newark last night was well worth the trip. All the while, I was thinking storms, and watching a quarterback in the rain is not always good. But, my good friend Bill Franks, head football coach at Newark Catholic promised that he had come guys I needed to see. This time he was on.

Just as I thought that I had the QB's in the Ohio Class of 2014 pretty much evaluated, I will admit I missed one. Watched Chayce Crouch play basketball last winter. Thought that he was okay. Watched him last night play quarterback; he is better than okay.

Listed at 6'4 and 215, he is athletic. Excellent pocket instincts and also can throw on the run. Just missed on the 17 yard out on the far hash. Sees the field and can find receivers. Like his accuracy, and the fact that his balls are catchable. Good feet and can run out of the pocket. He can "spin-it." With all of the physical tools, I like his QB leadership skills the best. When things were getting shaky, he had control and was cool under pressure.

Ironically, I went to watch some Newark Catholic players, but also came away impressed with Ridgewood's QB, also in the Ohio Class of 2014. Ryan Lowe, listed at 6'3, will need to add more strength and weight, but he is also a catcher on a traveling baseball team. Has some size. This being only his second varsity action as a starting QB, he needs experience. Has many of the same qualities that Chayce Crouch has. Good, quick release. Sees the field and finds the second and third receiver. Runs okay. Too early to predict on what college level that he can play. With added strength, weight, and experience, who knows? Great attitude is there and also will be a leader on the field.

Also came away impressed with OL/DL guy, Brent Benner, from Newark Catholic.. Listed at 6'4-265, Brent played both ways. Really a good bender. Like his explosion off the LOS. Good run blocker. Liked his drop step on pass protection. Good hips as a lead blocker. A hard worker and, seems like a good person. One of my few suggestions that he shows a really aggressive attitude on every play. Only a junior, he has time to show that. If Brent Benner  keeps working, he will have a chance toWOW'em at camps next summer.

Like what I see in Chayce Crouch. He does alot of things well, but I really like his QB leadership. The more he plays, the better he will get. Chayce Crouch will not be "under the radar," for college coaches.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Congrats to Keith Dimmy - Columbus South

Having done some area of high school football recruiting for over twenty years, I have seen many changes in high school football proper. Of course, closer attention to hot weather, better equipment, better practice plans, and more recently, a deeper concern about head injuries. But one of the changes that I really applaude is the fact that high school football coaching at the inner city is changing for the better.

For those of you who follow my blogs or know me, young African American coaches coming back to coach in their communities is huge for me. In the old days, many inner city teams would have assistant coaches who were neighbors or who had only coached youth football. Little knowledge, but did not relate to "kids." Yelling at players was their strength. Of course, not every black coach was that way, but there seemed to be alot.

Now young black coaches are coaching inner city kids. Some have played the game on the college level. Some have been very successful at the next level. Some are teachers. Many have paid their dues coming up the coaching ranks. Whatever it has taken, these coaches have gotten the respect from the high school inner city athlete. Black coaches  have more knowledge and have been there as high school players and some as college players, but most of all, coaches can communicate.

Former Eastmoor star who played four years at Minnesota, Keith Dimmy is the new head football coach at Columbus South High School. Not a whole lot of coaching experience at 36 years old, but he has been around the game forever. This is his first year as a head football coach. Last year he was an assistant to Jim Miranda at Eastmoor Academy. He also teaches mathematics at South.

His comments to the Columbus Dispatch. " I got the coaching itch. I have education in my blood. I have grandparents, aunts and uncles who were teachers. When the coaching job opened, the administration heard that I was interested, and it went from there."

Head Coach Jim Miranda said alot of good "stuff" about his former assistant, including being a leader, knowing his X's and O's, and being a quick learner. But for me, he said it best, when he said," He's a role model for them."

A role model for kids. It does not get any better than that. I still believe role models are important to young people of any color. Young people have to feed off of the positive influences of role models.

 The very best to Keith Dimmy as the new Head Football Coach at Columbus South. His positive influence, not only for the football players he coaches, but also for the entire community of the Columbus South school system will be contagious. And, yes, I evaluated him coming out of Eastmoor Academy.

First Day of High School Scrimmages

Yesterday was the first day that teams could  scrimmage other high schools. My plate was full. Visited Big Walnut at Dublin Scioto, Buckeye Valley at Thomas Worthington, and Kenton, Lancaster, Marion Franklin at Olentangy.

If I am evaluating linemen, I really need to see them against a different colored jersey. Practices are good for watching quarterbacks and skilled players, but watching offensive and defensive linemen, as well as linebackers, it is better to see them in games.

Tuesday I saw two offensive linemen in the Class of 2014 whom I really like. Lancaster's Kyle Trout really surprised me with his ability to adjust in space on traps and sweeps. Played left tackle and also played some guard position. All of 6'6-270, he is a bender and can run. Like his punch. Finishes blocks. With Lancaster's successful wing-t, he needs to continue to work on his feet in pass protection. Also liked Olentangy center, Andy Simms. Listed at 6'3-250, he is a natural center. Good bender. Good punch. Like his center instincts. Also gets to the second level.  Like his leverage and his ability to setup to block backside. Needs to continue to improve on maintaining blocks with better feet. Both are tough competitors.

Thomas Worthington has two juniors who did not surprise me their effort and ability. CB Jalen Welles, listed at 6'1-170, covered well. Recovers well. Solid 4.5 speed. Needs to continue to improve backpedal. Good hip rotation. Anticipates well. RB Tony Harvard, listed at 5'10-180, improves everytime I see him. Excellent burst. Gets to the edge well. Deceptive 4.5 speed. Like his vision and his change of direction. Needs to continue to get bigger and stronger. Liked the continous improvement of senior Jay Smallwood. Strong hands. Burst after the catch. Like his toughness. Also will play some inside DB.

Watched a defensive lineman that I had in camp last summer. DT Logan Dziak (2014) from Buckeye Valley eventually settled in and play some solid defensive line. Excellent strength. Listed 6'3-260. Strong hands. Needs to play better pad-under-pad. Needs to get off blocks. Very explosive and finishes plays. As he learns to use his hands, he has a chance to be good.

Watched Dublin Scioto scrimmage Big Walnut. Scioto DE Kenny Coleman (2014), listed at 6'3-220, shows some promise. Liked his quickness down the LOS. Solid speed off the edge. Needs to get off blocks. Needs to get bigger and stronger. Good leverage. Lots of potential. Darius MacDonald (2014) from Scioto is a threat everytime he touches the ball. Exellent quickness. Strong inside runner. Excellent balance. Listed at 5'9-175, but plays bigger.

Kenton has reloaded and I really like the new quarterback, Grant Sherman. Listed at 6'4, he showed tremendous poise in his first varsity game. Only a junior, but has a lot of work to do, but he will be fine in time.. OLB/DE Noah Furbush (2014), listed at 6'4-205, is very athletic. Explosive. Needs to grow into his body. Like his potential. WR Justin Sawmiller (2014) is Kenton's top receiver. Excellent ball catching skills. Separates well. Solid burst. Toughness may be his strength. Moved to linebacker this season, Matt Barr (2014) looked strong. Like his LB mentality. Listed at 6'1-200, and runs down hill well. Excellent burst.

The above was a sample of my column Around the State with MSROHIO.

Each week of the season, I will do a column called "Around the State with MSROHIO." Just like last year, I will provide some insight on the players that I watched the weekend before. Because of my commitment to colleges, underclassmen will be covered alot. If a person has made a commitment, he probably will not get as much coverage. Not fair to the college that he is committed. The blog entries may not be as often. College reports are very important to me and to them.

Talked with Will Huston (2013) from Dublin Scioto. Listed at 6'1-230, Will has worked hard in the offseason to increase speed and quickness. Played some LB, but he is a true FB. Excellent blocker. Needs a burst. Power runner. Like him as an H-Back/FB at the next level.

QB Evan DeMars (2013) from Dublin Scioto has made big strides scine last season. A little bigger and stronger arm. Liked his QB presence. Do not know what level he can play, but with a really good senior year, who knows.

Seth Myers (2013) from Sunbury Big Walnut is an interesting prospect. Plays either inside DB position for Big Walnut. Listed at 6'4-205, he tested really well at my combine last March. Runs well and plays hard. Competitive. Needs to jump out on video this fall. If he keeps getting bigger, he could be an OLB at the next level. Needs senior year.

Caleb Green (2013) from Buckeye Valley is a solid prospect. Plays QB and LB. Listed at 6'0-205. Very athletic. Manages the game. Probably lacks the top end spend that D-1 college programs want. Should be an RB at the next level. True speed and change of direction might hurt his recruit level.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Former Crestview OLineman - Kory Lichtensteiger

Last week I read where the Washington Redskins had lost starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger for most of the pre-season, but should have him back for the season opener on September 9. On Monday he underwent arthoscopic surgery to remove loose particles from his right knee. Last year, he tore his right ACL and MCL.

Why does the name Kory Lichtensteiger jump out at me? Although I have not talked with him for some years, we recently became friends on Facebook. The last time I talked with him was at a BGSU summer camp. At that time, he gave me a hard time, because I did not rate him as one of the top OL guys in his class.. As I told him, at least I rated him.

Kory represents everything an NFL player should  to be. Excellent character guy. Works hard to be better. Goes back to his home community to hold a camp. A prime example of one who has overcome the odds and is playing in the "League." Not only playing, but starting.

The first time I saw Kory was back in roughly 2002 or 2003. He played offensive line for a small school in the western part of Ohio named Crestview High School in Convoy, OH. Listed around 6'3-265, he was athletic and had reasonably good feet. Liked his OL instincts. Good bender, but really needed coached up on his pass blocking skills. Raw, but had some potential. Most of all, Kory was physical and played hard.

Bowling Green offered him a football scholarship and he accepted. Do not remember how many offers he had, but probably not many. You see, Crestview High School only has about 425 students and back in 2003,      graduated in Kory's class. By no means is Crestview a winning program, year-in and year out. That is what is most amazing about Kory. He worked very hard to be a scholarship football player. At BGSU, he redshirted his freshman year and played center. In year two he moved to guard and started 12 games. He went on to win numerous all-conference awards and some All-American teams.

The Denver Broncos drafted him in the fourth round in the 2008 Draft. Injuries have hurt his playing time. Spent some time at Minnesota. Now he is with the Redskins. Measures 6'3-295.

Kory Lichtensteiger should be the spokesman for "if you are good enough, they will find you." Had some natural tools, but worked very hard to improve his abilities. Did not listen to people like me who were critical of his level of competition and pass blocking skills. In defense of me, he was tough, had good size, and could be an overpowering run blocker. Of course, he believed in himslf which is always huge.

A high school football player does not have play at a St Ignatius, a Cleveland Glenville, or at a Massillon to eventually play on Sundays.  In fact, he does not have to play at the D-1 or D-2  high school level. Of course, it does not happen often, but D-5 or D-6 level football can produce an NFL caliber player. Crestview's own Kory Lichtensteiger is proof of that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Adam Bertke - One of the Best in the West (Ohio)

High school football fans in Northeast Ohio do not know  much about football teams in western Ohio until they play them in the Ohio High School State Championship games. Names like Coldwater, St Henry, and Marion Local all become familiar. Made a trip to Maria Stein this morning to watch Marion Local QB Adam Bertke practice.

Last year, as I watched Marion Local beat Buckeye Central in the State Championship game, sophomore QB Bertke lead the way for Marion Local. Whether running, handing off, or throwing, I was amazed at his QB presence. A senior dominated team last year, the sophomore Q managed the game well. As he told me today, he will need to be more a leader. As any QB knows, leadership is huge, but Adam seems prepared to assume a leadership role.

This summer I saw him briefly at the Ohio State camp. After 45 minutes today, I came away impressed with his throwing mechanics. Needs to work on his feet and overall quickness, but listed at 6'5-195, he is still growing into his body. Adam believes his strength, accuracy, and rpm's are some of his strengths. When he wants to "spin it," he can. Also, like the way he stands tall in the pocket and like the way he sees downfield.

Playing football, basketball, and baseball leaves little time for anything else. Like most guys, he just hangs with friends in his freetime. Working a part time job cleaning up landscapes not only keeps him busy, but also keeps him in shape. He must spend some time with the books. Carries 3.5GPA Scored 21 on ACT.

Tim Tebow is a guy who Adam would really like to meet. Likes his work ethic. Likes his spiritual outlook on life. Likes the way Tebow finds a way to win. Much like Tebow, if the game his on the line, Adams wants the game in his hands. Trust me, from watching him play a basketball game last winter, Adam is a competitor, almost to a fault, if there is such a thing. But , also wanted the roundball in his hands. Actually, he made some clutch foul shots at the end.

Although the season has not begun, the Ohio Class of 2014 has some really good QB prospects. I like the QB's because the top ones have a load of potential and two years to improve on that potential. Safe to say that Adam is in my top five. Much like Chris Durbin from Youngstown Ursuline, he may not be a total spread QB because he does not run well enough. But he is 6'5 and athletic; he will be fine.

Years ago I remember driving to St Henry to watch a very athletic, tall quarterback named Bobby Hoying. I do not know if Adam Bertke is another Bobby Hoying, but I like his potential to be a highly rated quarterback in the Ohio Class of 2014.