Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stats, All-District, All State

Two weeks ago I had a conversation with a parent about the number of tackles that his son was collecting during the season. Really was proud of the number of solos and assist that he had so far in the season. He mentioned to me that his son was either leading the league or close to leading the league in total tackles. His son is only a sophomore, but his dad thought that would be huge for him in recruiting.

When I told him that I pay very little attention to stats when evaluating a prospect, he was taken back. First, the league stats for tackles was unofficial. Second, who keeps the charts. Finally, even though a player may make alot of tackles, he may not pass the eyeball test. What is his size? No, that should not matter for being recruited, but you know it does.

After the season is completed, I will get all kinds of stats from all kinds of football players. Really, I do not have time to go through all of the stats. Between working on my directory and watching video, my time is limited. College coaches do not get caught up in stats. For me, pass interceptions may be the stat that I pay attention to the most. A DB at Toledo Whitmer, I believe has 7 picks. That is pretty good. So much of the statistics can be controlled by the coaches. Finally, stats influence sports writers picking All-District and All-Ohio teams.

Speaking of All-District and All-Ohio teams brings me to my main concern in this blog. Every year I go through the All-District teams closely, looking for names, especially underclassmen. I really look for players who play for teams that I have not seen during the season. The All-District teams are a good source for finding players.

Every year, I hear some of the same old comments. " I was first team All-Northwest District, and I do not have any Division I coaches communicating with me." " First team All-Ohio DE and I have no offers." " Second team All-District as a sophomore. My player is a definite Division I prospect."

One of the problems is that the first team All-District offensive lineman  is 6'2-285. Some defensive linemen may top out at 5'10. Or a first team quarterback is 5'10 and only plays QB. A corner may run 4.7. No matter how athletic or how competitive a player is, he has to pass the eyeball test and run well.

Another problem is that high school sports writers  get caught up in statistics. A quarterback's passing stats could be very influencing. Some coaches pad the defensive stats. Tackle charts can be unreal. Pancakes for offensive linemen impresses voters. Some writers get caught up in the success of the team. My first year at Lakota we were 7-3. In the four years prior, they had won six games. We had three players make first team, and one played Division III.

When I coached at Ridgedale High School, we were the northern most school in Class A. We were almost guaranteed a first team player every year. Reporters wanted all areas of the district recognized. Our players deserved the award, but none were Division I prospects.

For a parent's own sanity, realizing that the All-District and All-State teams are rewards for having a really good season and not an indicator of college potential is important . High school players, regardless of college potential, deserve recogntion if they played well, or if their play contributed to a successful season for their school. Sometimes a high school player does not have the GPA/Test score to get into a college, but has played very well for his high school team. All-District or  All-Ohio is  a nice reward.

Finally, do not get discouraged if you think that you are a college  recruit and do not make All-District or All-State. Work hard in the offseason and go into the college summer football camps intent on impressing the college coaches. At the end of the day, college coaches are the ones who need to be impressed. Your high school stats and whether you made All-District or not will not matter. What you do in front of the college coaches will be huge in your recruiting process.

Congrats to you if you get post season honors. If you did not receive any post season recognition, take a break and get ready for next year. If you are a senior, I hope you enjoyed your high school football experience.

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