Doing some homework this morning, reading the Columbus Dispatch's basketball preview, I noticed that two of McCallister's top football prospects in Central Ohio have opted to graduate in December and enroll early at the University of Michigan. A few days ago, I read where Mr. Football, QB Mitch Trubisky from Mentor is graduating early and enrolling at the University of North Carolina.
Years ago, when colleges started trying to get their committed players to graduate early, I was, as you can guess, totally against it. Let kids be kids!! Let them go to their senior prom. Let them graduate with their friends. Let their parents hold graduation parties. Let them experience high school. Now, I believe that each situation is different. Some should not leave early. Some prospects are ready to move on, but, most importantly, some NEED to move on. That is the case for both Pickerington North's TE Jake Butt, Pickerington Central's DE Taco Charlton, and Mentor's QB Mitch Trubisky.
Jake Butt, listed at 6'6-225, has been a very good basketball player at Pick North. Really athletic and his motor never idles on the basketball court. Jumps well. Natural leader. Most of all, really competitive. All of these qualities were evident on the football field as well. Jake needs to get to the training table, because he has to add weight the right way. Not only needs to add weight, but also needs to get stronger. For this, the move to Michigan in January is good.
Jake told me that Michigan is going back to a more pro type offense, and at times will be using two tight ends. Both returning scholarship tight ends are sophomores. He simply feels that the move will put him into competition in the spring, rather than waiting until next summer.
Taco Charlton, at 6'6-235, really impressed me on the basketball court last winter. Big, strong rebounder. Solid defensive player. Really competitive, almost intimidating at times. On the football field, at times I did not see that same intensity on the football field. Played in spurts, but he has the skills. Taco needs the competition and the push that he will get at Michigan. Pick Central coaches do a really good job, but a college coach "getting in his mind" should help him be better. If not, he will not last in Ann Arbor. Right now, the move to Michigan in January is good.
"Leaving early gives me a head start over freshmen coming in next summer," was the first comment Taco made. He also said that Michigan coaches believe the extra work will give him a much better chance of getting on the field next fall. Of course, that is his goal.
QB Mitch Trubisky, the recent Ohio Mr. Football award winner, has put up huge numbers and won awards as the quarterback at Mentor. Some Cleveland media call him the most "Prolific passer in Greater Cleveland history. Have always liked him. Smart. Finds the the 2nd and 3rd receiver. Quick release. Runs well enough to avoid trouble. Good feet. Needs to continue to get physically stronger. Needs some tweaking with his release. Of course, leaving early gives him a chance learn the UNC offense before spring practice. Although I am sure he will miss the cold weather (humor), the move to University of North Carolina is good.
Mitch's said that leaving early will give him an advantage taking classes early and get him use to studying in college. Also, taking classes this spring will help ease the classload in the fall. Football wise, he will start learning the offense. Being a quarterback, fitting in with the team as soon as possible is important to him.
My late wife taught the Talented and Gifted program here in Upper Sandusky. She believed that some students had talents that not every student had. They were "talented and gifted." She taught and encouraged students to work to increase their " talent." Some high school football recruits need to improve their "gift," and getting a head start in college is the way to do it. Leaving early is possible for some prospects, but not for others.
The best to Jake, Taco, Mitch, and any other prospect who is leaving high school early to improve his gifted abilities.