Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Football Recruiting in Perspective

Every year at about this time, I tell football recruits and parents that football recruiting is a business, sometimes an ugly business. I tell them to believe half of what they hear. Of course, I get the "smile," or the "look," indicating that McCallister is old school and has not a clue about the reality of football recruiting. Maybe they are correct, but my experience with recruiting is not too bad. Football recruiting can be some of the most fun times of a recruit's life. But please keep all of the "brown sugar" (BS) to a minimum.

I have emails, phone calls, and a personal letter asking me if I can offer any suggestions as to what to do next. Sometimes seniors are not the only ones getting in contact with me. The prospects in the Class of 2013 are starting to experience "junior days." I realize that it is human nature to get excited about your son getting some love from college recruiters, but please do not forget that it is a business. Coaches at the college level almost need to be better recruiters than position coaches.

Some thoughts for underclassmen.

Keep "junior days" what they are. That is, college coaches get to "eyeball" recruits. They get to visit with them, but spend more time with the ones whom they have alot of interest. A prospect should spend some meeting other recruits. Really use the time to evaluate the college coaches. Form your own opinion about the coaches recruiting you.

Early offers are sometimes over-rated. Supposedly one school has offered 43 prospects in Ohio. Still do not believe it, but that is what is out there. Also if one school offers a prospect, other schools that are located near will offer, just for PR reasons. Getting that first offer is really exciting and more should follow. Be patient and if that "top 25" school does not early offer, do not get discouraged. An excellent senior camp day could bring an offer. Happens alot.

A high school coach asked me last month what else he could do for his QB. He took him to a camp in Arizona over Christmas break. He was going to sign him up with a QB coach who charges $1500. Hopefully, he did not do that. My answer was to schedule some days this spring when his QB was throwing. Tell the college coaches the days, so that they can come to watch him throw. Also pick out the college camps that you really want to attend. College coaches are who you have to impress, not an "Elite Eleven" staff.

Beaware of combines out there. How much money is involved. Who is evaluating. Be sure that the times and measurements are correct. For example, a group ran a combine in the Cleveland area. Alot of 4.5 or better times. Come to find out the 40 yards was only 37 yards. When prospects ran the pro shuttle they did not have to touch the lines.

I direct three combines in March. They are supported by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. One of the most important things that college coaches want are accurate height and weight. Our combines are as much educational as anything else. Prospects have a choice as to whether they want their results posted.

Keep player rankings fun. Try not to take them seriously. Rankings bring readers to recruiting sites and also provide message board stuff. One site, on their early rankings had QB Mitch Trubisky from Mentor as the 61st rated prospect in Ohio and the 7th rated QB in the Class of 2013. Now, I am not that good at evaluating talent to rank players, but Mitch might be a little better than the 7th QB in his Class of 2013.

Finally, do not believe everything that you read in the newspaper or on internet media sites. Their job is to get you to visit the site. Most of the stories are about the higher profile recruits. Those are the prospects recruiting fans want to read about and that is what brings them to the site.

Football recruiting goes fast in a young prospect's life. You will meet a lot of coaches and visit alot of programs. Summer one-days will be fun. The recognition for being a good prospect will be fun. Enjoy the time. But remember recruiting is a business. Nationally, there is one scholarship for every 209 players.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big Guys Playing Basketball

One of the ways I evaluate college football prospects is to watch them in another sport. Honestly, I really enjoy making the trips and always leave with a solid evaluation. The best way to evaluate a defender is to watch him wrestle. The best way to evaluate to skilled guy is to watch him play basketball or run track. Of course, track can tell you alot about a prospect. Actually, I have watched baseball games over the years. Probably, what I enjoy the most is watching big offensive linemen play basketball. Moving their feet is important. Catching and throwing is important. Running the court is important. Being competitive is important.

Over the years, Sandusky native Orlando Pace just stands out. He was very athletic and ran the court very well. More than anything, Pace was very competitive. Actually, he looked like a "teddy bear," but played really tough and was a beast inside. Of course, he went on to be a pretty good offensive lineman.

Two big offensive linemen playing basketball and more than holding their own this year are from high schools that most people are not familiar with. I first saw Ryan Kortokrax from Wayne Trace High School and Jared McCray from Minford High School at football camps last summer. Ryan at Bowling Green and Jared at Ohio State.

Ryan Kortokrax is a junior who is listed at 6'4-275. Runs the floor very well for a big man. Plays strong defense. Has good ball skills. Gets up and down the floor well. Best of all, he plays with toughness. This summer is important to him, because he missed most of last season with a leg injury.

Jared McCray could be one of the best offensive linemen in the Class of 2014.Many of the same skills as Kortokrax. Listed at 6'6-280. Very athletic and catches and passes the ball really well. Also like his aggressiveness in the paint. Really like the way he bends and finishes blocks on his football video.

Both players come from smaller schools and must standout at summer football camps. Both are scholarship guys, but at which level remains to be seen. For me, they have a really good chance to have recruiters visiting their schools this spring.

Another player who could be slipping through the cracks is Findlay High School's Joseph Davidson. Played both WR/FS on the football field last fall. Watched him play basketball last month and was impressed with his athleticism. Listed at 6'6-190, he changes direction well and runs the court well. Obviously, not an offensive linemen, but has potential to add much good weight. Potential to play many positions on the next level.

Taylor Decker, an Ohio State commit, was a basketball player first, in his younger years, but eventually grew into one of the best offensive line prsopects in Ohio this, his senior year. Basketball was really good for him, but if he continues to get better and better with his blocking skills, he could make money playing football.

Big, young football players who also play hoops should stay with basketball as long they can contribute. Upper body strength is important in football, but the ability to move the feet is really important. With the spread offense, moving the feet is essential. There are times when big guys have to "give-up" basketball to get better for football, but young guys - stay with hoops if possible.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Around Christmas time, my daughter and I were chatting about her building me a new website. I liked what I have now and the builder did an excellent job, but the thought of getting family more involved in the McCallister Scouting Report was appealing to me. During the month of January, Kristy put together a new looking website for MSROHIO. The information is pretty much the same, but the look is really different. We are going to change some column names, but everything else is much the same with regards to content.

I finished the Directory for college coaches. This year I have two separate Directories. One for just the Ohio Class of 2013 called The Ohio Prospects Directory. The other Directory is called The Ohio Prospects Super Directory and covers the Ohio Classes of 2013, 2014, and 2015. To date, over 819 prospects are included.

Also, I have been busy watching video. Speaking of video, the new sight will also include the "Vault." Still a work in progress, but it will be much the same format as the old one. The webmaster did a tremendous job putting the "vault" together for me. The "vault" will not be up and running this week.

Hope that you enjoy the new site. Like I said earlier, the new site is much similar to the last one. If things go well, we will make the switch this week.