Thursday, June 28, 2012

Evaluating Quarterbacks in the Class of 2014

Football people will probably not believe this, but I was one of the best touch football quarterbacks in my class back in the middle 60's. Perfect form. Tite spiral. As they say now, I could "spin-it." But at 5'11-215, I had to play LB/OC when the pads went on. Few coaches develop QB's anymore. I guess that is why I like to watch QB's.

I am trying to get my 7on7 schedule down. This Saturday, I will be at Dublin Coffman for the State 7on7. Yes, I know- 7on7 is an underwear game. But I really learn alot about QB's, and for that matter, alot about skilled players. If you watch QB's closely, you can learn a little about their leadership qualities, too.

For me, everything starts at the bottom and works to the top. Feet and footwork is huge. Where are the feet in relationship to the hips? Do they open the hips? Are the core and back musles strong? Where does the throwing hand end up on follow thru? Finally, does the QB make good decisions?

I have 30 quarterbacks on my list in the Class of 2014. Another 8 are listed as quarterback/athlete and will be moved to another postion. With that said, attending 7on7's is every important to me. There will be some good quarterbacks at Dublin Coffman on Saturday. Actually, I need to catch a couple of B team games, because I like a some really young QB's too.

Some  quarterbacks who are on my list to watch in the Ohio Class of 2014
DeShone Kiser - Toledo Central Catholic
Chris Durkin - Youngstown Ursuline
Jeremy Holley - Elyria Catholic
Cody Calloway - Midview
Rammy Finnegan - Columbus Whetstone
Adam Bertke - Marion Local
Tyler Jones - Lakota West
Joey Duckworth - Louisville
Jared Brandewie - Bishop Hartley
Kevin Rogers - Cicinnati Anderson
Grant Russell - Newark
Austin Dorris - Shadyside
Will Marty - Cincinnati Wyoming
Tatavion Pauldo - Cleveland Central Catholic
Qwan Robinson - Cleveland Glenville
Noah Silberhorn - Toledo St Johns
Jordan Aekins - Reynoldsburg
Caleb Beans - New Philadelphia
Mike LaManna - Cleveland St Ignatius
Nate Klingenberger - Colonel Crawford
Myles Fowler - Columbus Westland
Jalen Wells - Thomas Worthington (QB/ATH)
Dareian Watkins - Galion (QB/ATH)
Kendrick Mallory - Trotwood Madison (QB/WR)
Mike Berry - Dayton Beavercreek (QB/OLB)

Over the course of the summer and into fall, I am sure some other quarterbacks in the Ohio Class of 2014 will develop and need to be evaluated. I have seen all of the prospects at one time or another, but getting a good look at them competing as juniors is imperative.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Excellent Quarterback Camps

Last Monday and Tuesday I visited two quarterback camps that were somewhat different in their approach, but totally equal on the  level of accomplishment. One in Cleveland and one in the Dayton area. I would recommend either one for quarterbacks young and old. For just one on one sessions, Ben Mauk is on the rise as one of the better QB coaches.

The Clinic of Champions was held for three days in Cleveland used to be The Gary Stevens QB/REC camp. This year veteran Joe Perella and St Ignatius QB coach, Nick Restifo directed the camp. The staff included former NFL QB's Elvis Grbac and Tom Arth. Long time successful high school coaches, Chuck Kyle and Russ Jacques instructed along with Lakewood coach, Ron Lewis.

The approach to this camp was a little different. Only quarterbacks and receivers took part. There were no defensive backs. Like most camps each group received coaching one station and then rotated to another station to work on a different drill. Alot of individual attention was given to throwing motion and footwork.

Receivers followed the same format on the other end of the field. Running disciplined routes and concentrating on the ball were emphasized. No defenders were banging on the receivers. There were no defenders to distract receivers. Even in 7on7, there were no LB's or DB's. Wide receivers did not worry about getting push around. Total concentration on receiver skills.

The campers, for the most part, seemed older and bigger. Receivers were much the same. There were alot of prospects who need to be evaluated. Cleveland Central Catholic QB Tatavion Pauldo looked good as did St Ignatius QB Mike LaManna.

Mike Schneider, Dayton Northmont quarterback coach, has been instructing quarterbacks forever. ( He is older than I am). Mike directs the Mike Schneider Quarterback Clinic. There are two high school sessions in June and a junior high session in July. Wide receivers and defensive backs also work in  separate areas in their own camp. They receive individual attention and then work together with the QB's.

As I do at every camp, I get there early to identify the players who need to be evaluated. Tuesday, however, I found myself watching Mike Schneider teach quarterbacks most of the time. Honestly, I have never seen as much attention to detail. I really believe Mike's strength would be taking an athlete who knew nothing about quarterbacking and developing him into a quarterback. He was the teacher and taught the QB's. Of course, he works well with older QB's, but he was so good with the basics.

For example, the QB's warmed up, but did almost no running. No bags, no sprints, and no real agility drills. All of the stretching exercises were QB stretches. Ball skill drills applied to the QB's. Everything was broken down to square one. Everything was explained well enough that an old linebacker/ center like me could understand. Just as important was why it should be done the way he said.

Just a note- I do not want to make Mike Schneider the next Jon Gruden, but he started with the basics and explained every little detail and why. I mean the guy can teach QB's.

Both quarterback camps will be highly recommended by me next summer. Professionally done. Alot of teaching taking place. No nonsense. Important to me, that coaches communicated well and treated the campers well. Yes, there were some college prospects at both camps. Great envoirnment to learn football and "get better."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Maybe Too Early for Some

Every summer about this time, with college football camps winding down, I read where prospects, especially ones going into their junior years, are going to be heavily recruited beginning this fall. Sometimes, even players going into their sophomore years are sometimes written about. This worries me some.

I guess it worries me because I have seen many of these young prospects and like their potential to earn a football scholarship. But they are only juniors and have not played much varsity competition. They can compete in camps and in 7on7's, but that is in shorts and a t-shirt. For example, a quarterback can perform well in shorts and t-shirt, but has yet to perform under the lights on Friday night.

My advice to the prospect, as well as the parent is who is evaluating the prospect? Is he a college coach? Does he/she see alot of games? What is his/her track record? Has he/she had success in evaluating players before? Has he/she actually talked with the high school coach?

As a parent, as long as my son gets on an internet recruiting site or gets his name in paper, everything is cool. Exposure is important. But the correct exposure is really more important. Sometimes, however, a parent starts to believe the hype. Not always good.

I have done scouting and evaluations for along time. Without question, I am an average evaluator. I see alot of games, visit alot of camps, and watch some video. But that is just it, I see players, but just report what I see. Writing that a person in the Class of 2015 will be a scholarship recruit is hard. Projecting that a player in the Class of 2014 who has played very little varsity ball, will be a high rated recruit is also tough. At least for me, that is.

From what I understand, many of the recruiting writers for sites like Rivals and Scout are responsible for x amount of recruiting stories every month. For me that would really be hard to do. Sometimes to get enough stories, a writer has to speculate on the potential of a recruit who has not really been a starter.

The number of different recruiting stories is important is important to a recruiting writer. Just like ranking players. Both are ways to get readers/fans to a recruiting site. More visits equal more money. More money equals more job sercurity. Sometimes I wish I had the talent and time to do it.

Simple advice - Enjoy reading about football recruiting, but just keep all the news in perspective. Most of all, check the credibilty of the writer as a football prospect evaluator.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chris Chambers' Camp - Good Deal

For the past six years I have made a point to visit Chris Chambers Football Camp in Cleveland. Chris's  84 Foundation is responsible for the camp. For the past fouryears, it has been held at Bedford High School. The camp focuses on the skilled players.

Chris and I have a long history. I rated him the top receiver in Ohio his senior year. He went on to star at the University of Wisconsin. From there it was on to the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins,  and the Kansas City Chiefs. He told me yesterday that he is retiring due to an injury. Now it is fulltime work for his Foundation. His is also bringing a mental and physical training program to Cleveland in the near future.

Like most camps, players go through a variety of football related agility drills. Next each camper works on his postion specific drills. To finish the morning, players do one-on-one drills. After lunch, school teams play a 7on7 tournament. Schools involved this year were Bedford, St Villa-St Joes, Cleveland Central Catholic, Akron Buchtel, Collinwood, Glenville, Richmond Hills, Brush, and Shaw. Needless to say, very good competition.

All players had on the same cloth, so it was hard to identify individual players and not get run over. I am sure I have overlooked some players from the Class of 2013, because, at this time, my focus is mostly on the Classes of 2014 and 2015.
     Anthony Shumpert - East Cleveland Shaw - RB - 2014. Really impressed with attitude and physical skills. A RB/DB now, but look to see him on defense in college. Excellent hips and 4.5 speed. Listed 5'11-195. Really like his toughness. Carries a 4.0GPA. Could be an 01A for me.
     Antoine Stone - Bedford - RB/DB - 2014. Transferred back from Walsh. Fast and has an excellent burst. Quick feet and balance. Like his recovery speed. Listed 5'9-170. Good hands. Very athletic. One to watch.
     Quan Robinson - Glenville - QB - 2014. Started for Glenville as a sophomore. Has gained height, weight, and strength. Throws tight spiral. Listed 6'2-185. Understands game. Wish he had better QB footwork. Smart. Like his potential. One to watch.
     Joe Henderson - Shaker Heights - OLB - 2014. Listed 6'4-205. Can add alot of good weight. Good burst. Could see as an edge player. Needs to work on changing direction. Competes hard. Like his potential. One to watch.
     Carl Dodwell - Glenville - WR/DB - 2013. Just moved to Glenville. Liked him as athlete last year. Good speed. Really athletic. Competes. Needs reps. Will be a good player.
     Stephen Shorts - Cleveland Brush - QB - 2014. Will be too short to be a QB at next level. Threw the ball well. Like his football IQ. Solid speed. Listed at 5'8. Has to find a position.
     Jacob King - East Cleveland Shaw - QB/FS - 2013. Played QB and FS, but will be a defender at the next level. 4.5 speed. Listed 6'2-200. Like combination speed/athleticism. Competes. One to watch.
     Devon Bolden - St Villa-St Joe - RB - 2013. Listed 5'8, but compact and strong. Good burst. Plays CB, but could be an RB. One to watch.
     Tatavion Pauldo - Cleveland Central Catholic - QB/FS - 2014. Have liked him for two years. Listed at 6'2-190. QB skills need much work. Strong arm. Impressed with overall strength. Tough Free Safety. If he gets coached up, could be a really good QB prospect, but definite FS. One to watch.
     Donquez Gambrell - Glenville - DE/WR - 2014. Looked good until he tweaked his knee. Listed at 6'4-190. Worked hard in the drills, but missed the individual work. One to watch. 
     Derek Parton - Cleveland St Joes - OL - 2016. May be going into his sophomore year. Listed at 6'7, but and thin. Basketball player. Runs okay. Just has to fill out. Eventual very solid OL guy, if works hard in weight room. Good feet. Too early, but like his potential.
There were some other younger, talented players in attendance. Have their names and will do some homework and catch up with them this fall.

Chris Chambers and his staff a tremndous job with this camp. A lot of hard work and some coaching too. Making kids better in all areas is what it is all about.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

OSU Underclassmen Camp

Ohio State, a few years ago, started a camp for underclassmen (incoming sophomores and juniors). Tremendous idea - another evaluating tool developed by former head coach Jim Tressel. The new football coaching staff has kept the camp and has tweaked it some.

For me, I like to get there early just before actual registration begins. I use this team to move around to meet some of the campers who I do not know and also to meet parents. I tell campers what to expect and how to act. Actually, sometimes I get questions from them in return.  If I do not have contact information, I get that at this time. Silly, but I hope that I serve as buffer between the coaches and campers/parents.

Although most campers understand the importance of being able to communicate, some do not always do a good job. When a coach talks to you, take the marbles out of your mouth and do not mumble. Speak loudly and clearly. ALWAYS look the coach in the eyes and hear, as well as listen, to all that he says. Concentrate on what he is saying. Do not let your parents do all of the talking. Finally, say thanks when you are finished chatting.

Parents, most of this camp "stuff" is really new to you, but let your son swim for himself. Once he has registered and gets measured, kind of drift way to the sidelines. If you want to meet a position coach, find the coach and introduce yourselves. If things go well, maybe he will introduce you to the "main man." Or, honestly, if you are his high school coach take him to meet his position coach.

Today, I talked with a defensive lineman(Class of 2014) from the Cincinnati area. Weighed in around 260 and 6'2+ everyday. He has a chance to be very good. Told him not to add any bad weight. Told him to be at the front of the line in every drill. Told him to bust his butt on every drill. Told him to dominate in one on one drills. Told him at the end of the day, he wants coaches to remember that guy in the blue. Now, I am not the sharpest tack in the drawer, but players need to reminded at times what football camps are about.

Finally, there were around 400 campers there today. Ohio State cannot offer 400 scholarships(humor). BUT, the college football coaching network is huge. Saturday, many of the MAC coaches will be at Ohio State for "Senior Day." Many of those coaches have friends at BCS schools. If you work hard and leave it on the field, somebody is going to find out about you. You might not be a future Buckeye, but coaches will know who you are.

The Ohio State football compliance has put some limits on what the media can do, where they can be, and when they can communicate. Probaly not anNCAA compliance rule, but an O-State rule. The internet media recruiting writers have helped force this the change. I guess it is a good rule. Obviously, anytime that you have a chance to help kids get better, you are doing something good. However, sometimes some people are not interested in helping players get better and parents get smarter.

All in all, the trip to Ohio State was good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Michigan Football Camp

Although the weather was a little warm today, I really enjoyed my visit to the Michigan Football Camp. Really was not to many Wolverine Football Camps during the Rich-Rod Era. Always enjoyed talking with Rich, but his camps were just okay. Brady Hoke and his staff have the Michigan Camps much improved and much like the Bo days.

Of course, when talking Michigan Camps, I go back to the Bo era. Since Ohio State changed its format a few years, the Buckeyes also have an excellent camp now. Michigan always brought in many college, as well as high school coaches, to work their camps and help evaluate. All schools are doing it now, which makes it really nice for the kids to get evaluated. Hopefully, I will get to Michigan State and Cincinnati yet this summer.

To me, all college football stadiums have character. However, Ohio State University and University of Michigan are like two neighbors trying to keep up with the Joneses. Have been to both campuses this past week and WOW, both programs are dropping some benjamins on their facilities.

I never really report what I see at any camp that I visit. I do not report who was there or how they performed, or what any college coach said to me about a camper. It is a practice that I have done for over twenty years. Coaches let me go anywhere in camp, as long as I stay out the way. Of course, I do not take pictures, or put information on recruiting sites. If I can get a player's name and cell phone, I am good.

Have always felt that if the college coaches are nice enough to let me in camp, then I should keep what I see to myself.

Mansfield Senior head football coach, Chioke Bradley is working the Michigan Camp. Coach Bradley played at Mansfield Senior and furthered his career at Bowling Green State University. I told him that the cupboard was almost bare, when he took the job. Mansfield Senior is tough job, but he is working hard, and I hope that he does well.

Also was surprised to see LB Michael McCray visiting the camp. Really enjoyed chatting with him. Michael will be a senior at Trotwood Madison and has verbally committed to Michigan. Mike, but I call him Michael, represents Trotwood Madison well. Have known him for three years and he is class act, both on the field and outside the lines. Being from Ohio, I am sure the narrow-minded OSU fans are on his case, but Michael has to what is best for Michael. For this, I applaude him. 

Watching young men of all talent levels and ages working their butts off to "get better," always impresses me. (The only camps back in my day were Boy Scout, church, and 4-H.) Trust me, they sweat and work hard. Four days of getting better as a football player is tough. With that said, I do believe if I am a rising junior or senior, I would only be at any camp for one day, at the most two. If I am a freshman or sophomore, four days will make me better.

Looking forward to visiting O-State on Thursday. This trip will be huge for me, because the format is different. On Thursday, only the classes of 2014 and 2015 are scheduled to be there. Coaches coach the same drills and the tests are the same. For the most part, these two classes are treated like the Class of 2013. Since I have contact information, measurements, and early ratings on over 325 prospects in the Ohio Class of 2014 and 175 prospects in the Ohio Class of 2015, the day is like Christmas for me. Except, however, the temperature is supposed to be in the high 80's.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The "Big 33" Game

The Ohio beat Pennsylvania for the fourth time in a row last Saturday night, 24-21, in overtime in the 55th annual "Big 33" Football Classic at Hershey Park Stadium.

EJ Junior from Middletown/ Cincinnati and Tyler O'Connor from (Lima Central Catholic/Michigan State) scored touchdowns in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 21-21. Gahanna's Tyler Grassman kicked a 39 yard field goal in overtime to win the game. Tyler will continue his career kicking and punting at Buffalo. Also wanted to mention, that Nana Kyeremeh (Thomas Worthington/West Virginia) had two picks. The pick in overtime sealed the victory for Ohio.

Nana Kyeremeh represents the sometimes silliness of college football coaches with regards to recruiting. One the fastest football players in the Class of 2012. At least 5'11. A 3.2GPA. Excellent hips and a very tough corner. Because he wore black glasses at times and spoke intelligently, some recruiters questioned his toughness. Because he played for a rebuilding Thomas Worthington football team, some recruiters just how good he was. If he were at Glenville or McKinley, everybody would have recruited him hard. I applaude him.

The real purpose of this blog is to praise the work of head coach Bill Albright and his "Big 33" coaching staff. Selecting the team in December and January is actually the easiest part of the assignment. Virtually everybody wants to play in the game in January. High school coaches get excited to have a player nominated. Possibly, the hardest part is finding replacements for the earlier selections who start dropping off of the team.

Some excuses are solid, but some can sometimes be very humorous. One parent told me , when their son declined a chance to play, "they were afraid that their son would get injured." Their son is a big lineman and should be red-shirted this fall. Some players leave early for spring ball, which is okay, but they should make the coaching staff aware of their plans before they are nominated. Some are still recuperating from injuries. Some just want to rest, or go on vacation. Actually, to some degree, I agree with the vacation thing, because family time is huge to me.

Coach Albright called me just before they were leaving for Hershey. He needed a DE. I gave him a name and, thank goodness, the young man was excited to play in the game.

Being able to find replacements and sometimes finding replacements for replacements and still winning four years in a row, speaks highly of the level of high school football played in Ohio. It also speaks highly of the quality of the young men who at first are not selected, but will come back to play as  replacements.

Again, hats off to Bill Albright and the coaching staff. So much preparation goes into this game. Behind the scene, I am alittle involved in this game. Good players with high character are really important to the overall success of the game. Thanks, "Big 33" team.

Lauren's First and Goal

Attending high school football games has always been the major source of how I evaluate college potential high school football players. Obviously, I also watch players play other sports, participate in 7on7's, and perform at different camps out there. Yesterday, I really enjoyed watching nearly 500 student athletes participate in the Lauren's First and Goal football camp held at Otterbein University.

Otterbein assistant football coach, Joe Neimth invited to come to the camp and at first, I was not sure about going. Private football camps, for the most part, are a scam to take your money and, for me, a joke. After players attend the Shuman National Underclassmen Combine, most parents agree with me. But the Lauren's First and Goal was different and I was glad that I attended the one day camp.

The Camp is a labor of love, started in 2004 by John Loose in honor of his daughter, Lauren, a 15 year old pediatric brain tumor survivor. Since its beginning, LFG has raised more than one millon dollars toward its misson to provde financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services. LFG also offers financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer. Lastly, money helps increase the awareness of the disease.

Yesterday players from 120 different schools, from 12 states, raised more than $16,000 dollars for pediatric brain tumor research. I was told there were around 135 college coaches working the camp. On their way to do a satellite camp in Cincinnati this morning, the Kent State staff stopped to work the camp. What a good way to check for any high school player "slipping thru the cracks."

As I talked with founder, John Loose, he voiced some concern about attendance. There were around 500 campers with all skill levels represented. Alot of kids are almost camped out. Good college football camps are everywhere in Ohio. The Mid-American programs are doing the "satellite thing," which is huge. O-State just finished their 3-day position camp, and have their underclassmen 2-day, and their last senior day this Saturday. Michigan started their camp yesterday.

Anytime a player, regardless of age, has a chance to get better, a chance to compete, and a chance to get evaluated by college coaches, he should go for it. Plus, if a player has a chance to get evaluated and talked to by John McCallister, that is "icing on the cake." For you that know me, I am "messin with you." For you that do not know me, I do not take myself too seriously.

One note-- I meet and speak with alot of young men at camps. If had not attended the LFG camp, I would not have met Logan Rhea, a 5'10 DB from Mount Vernon High School. Logan is in the Class of 2014 and carries a 3.7GPA. Had him on my 2014 list, but meeting both Logan and his mother was nice. Last night, Logan went to and completed a questionaire for me.

For my two cents, the Lauren's First and Goal camp is well worth a Sunday of fun. Not only is the camp experience worthwhile, but anytime money can be raised for such a worthwhile cause, one day of more football is good.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Practice, Practice, and Practice Testing and Agility Drills

Last night ended 2 and 1/2 days of watching "satellite camps" directed by some Mid American schools. Spent most of the time in Northeastern Ohio. The camps were well organized and the coaches did an excellent job of directing drills and coaching individual positions. Toledo, Bowling Green, and Kent State were the colleges involved.

For me it, attending these camps and evaluating the talent is what I do. I also talk with some of the younger campers, when there is a break time. Comments are usually encouraging them to work hard and good luck this fall. I learn about a prospect's character at times.

Here is the major suggestion that I would leave a camper, a parent, or the high school coach. If I was really sure that I wanted to play college football, I would do specific combine drills and some other football related drills over and over and over. I am talking from my freshman year until the beginning of my senior year.

Strength training is really important for the development of young football players. Sometimes, too much emphasis is put on power lifting. Bench pressing is important, but for my camps, we use the power ball, or the old term medicine ball. Burst, extension, and strength are measured. Learn the basic rules of the power ball. Practice throwing it every week.

Players should run forties as often as they can. More important than running a true 40, is to practice the start over and over and over. Learn the correct start. Learn running form. Linemen do not get discouraged about your times. I never wanted a linemen running 40 yards on one play, because he was either going to clip or hold. But OL/DL guys you do need to work on the start and get the first 10 yards down.Skilled guys - learn running tech.

Do some form of the vertical and the broad jump every week. Learn the technique. Learn how to "stick it." Learn how to reach on the vertical.

The Pro Shuttle is used in every combine and almost every college football camp. Learn the actual first steps that you take and develop a burst. Learn how to touch the lines without sliding. Learn to finish hard.

Some colleges time the L-cone, or three cone and some do not. But almost college football camps use it as an evaluating tool. The L-cone tests change of direction and burst. Not a hard drill to learn, but do the little things to be good.

Ohio State first introduced me to the Star Drill. Four cones to form a square and are about 5 yards apart. Put a cone in the middle. A player can shuffle or run in this drill. You have to touch the middle cone everytime. Big on burst and hip turn.

Any change of direction or quick feet drills are really important. Use ropes or bags. At times, this may be one of the tougher agility drills to do. Quick feet are essential in today's game.

As I look back on camps and watch how the college coaches evaluate, quickness and change of direction are really important. They, obviously, evaluate how well a player does at his postion drills. With recruiting being and earlier and earlier every year and "offers" going out like candy, what a player does in summer football camps is huge. Look at all of the offers out there and nobody has played his senior year.

 The "Pro-Days" that I attend all do the same drills that I have mentioned. Just think how good you might be, if you really worked hard on the test beginning your freshman year.

With so many high school football players getting early offers learn the test. I am not promoting combines, as much as that's how colleges evaluate. Test well early in the recruiting process and get some looks. Repetition, just like in the classroom, makes everyone better. Practice the evaluation tests.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Thoughts on Football Summer Camps

My apologies to the young men who have attended one of the three camps that I directed this past week. This week is really a travel week for me, because I attend as many of the satellite camps and regular camps that I can squeeze in the next two weeks. MSROHIO Development Camp comments will be posted, as soon as I have time. Sorry, but I just have to see young players.

Colleges are good to me, as long as I stay out of their way and do not take pictures or video or try to interview campers. I never do that "stuff" anyways, because it is a priviledge to be at a camp. I have heard that O-State has put some new limitations to fans, parents, and media. Of course, all schools have guidelines to follow.

I get asked a lot of questions about camps. Just some thoughts on camps. Obviously, I do not favor one over the other, because they all have their strengths. Plus, I have friends at every camp.

In this day and age with money being what it is, players need to limit just how many camps that they attend. Soon it becomes overkill. Also, I have had players send their summer camp schedule. Some guys are going all over the place and back to back to back. Eventually, your body wears down. Just hope that it does not wear down at the school that you are trying to impress. QB's must be really careful. What a coach sees is what he sees.

Brady Hoke is an old friend of mine, as are some of his assistants. Michigan has a very competitive camp, with excellent instruction. Assistant coaches from college programs all over the country, and especially in the Midwest, work the camp. But four days is a long time and can get expensive. Sometimes going just one or two days is good. If you are a young player, soak up all that you can.

Ohio State covers the whole 10 yards. They have two huge senior days, one early and one at the end of the 15 day window. They also have a three day with excellent instruction. Probably my favorite is their 2 day camp for underclassmen. Great idea. Underclassmen get to stay one night in the dorm and get all of the attention from the college coaches for those two days. Everything, for the most part, is run like the other OSU Camps.

Michigan State does much the same as the other colleges, but one thing I like is that they usually hold a one day camp in later July. One last chance to evaluate players and maybe some who have slipped through the cracks or have been injured and now are healthy. Bowling Green is holding a one day camp in July this summer.

In the surrounding states, schools like Kentucky, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and  Notre Dame all are easy driving distance and run excellent camps. Here, too, alot of college assistants work these camps. More exposure and evaluation.

If you have a special interest in or connection to a school or the recruiters at that school have really treated you well, work that camp into your schedule. Syracuse comes to mind. Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota recruit Ohio hard, and although a longer trip it would be worth the while.The Ivy schools are a good place to go, because the environment is different.

Also, after you have met a college coach working as an instructor at one of the bigger camps, plan to attend a one day camp at his school. Usually, this is where the Mid American schools really do well. All of the MAC schools are usually represented at the major college camps.

Kent State does something that I really like for young players. They have a one day for the Class of 2015, a one day for the Class of 2014, and a one day for the Class of 2013. They coach the all levels the some way and put them through the same tests and the same instruction.

If you work all day and cannot get a way to go to a day camp, I know of two schools who hold Friday Night Lights. Bowling Green and Toledo seem to have alot of success with attendance. I have never been to one, but may try this summer.

Really almost all colleges are having some type of camp. Whether it be D-1, D-2, or D-3. The time is getting late for this year, but everybody takes walk-ups. If you are strapped for money, make plans for next year. Exposure is so important. Plus, attending a camp for just one day is an excellent way to check the college facilities and coaching staff. Who knows, you may not like it.

Sorry to say this, but college football summer camps are so important now. Almost a must Find a way to get it done and attend some camps. Budget your time and money. See you there!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mewhort - Super Young Man

The first time I read about Ohio State players, Jack Mewhort and Jake Stoneburner, getting arrested for urinating on a side of a building near the Muirfield Village Golf Club, I was expecting that so much more was involved. But, to my knowledge there is nothing more than three guys  getting spotted urinating on the side of the building at 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

To my knowledge there were no drugs being sold. There was no one slapped around or robbed. There was no armed robbery. There was no driving under the influence. There was no one beating up his girlfriend. There was no one shooting a gun in the air. There was no one wrestling with the police. What there was were some guys urinating onlong a building at 2 a.m. Of course, first they ran, but came back to the police. They had some "rubber-duck" excuses for running, but that was from panic.

I do not know Jake Stoneburner, an Ohio State TE from Dublin Coffman. Of course, I know who Stoneburner is, but I do not know him personally. I do not know Austin Barnard, an Ohio State student. But I do know Jack Mewhort, a redshirt junior offensive lineman from Toledo St Johns High School. In fact, at my Underclassmen Showcase at St Johns last Tuesday, I ran into Mewhort working out along the sidelines.

Not being a nosey reporter, I just greeted him and asked how football was going. He brought up the subject of being arrested, not I. Having skeletons in my own attic, I told him to hang-in and things will be fine. Jack is a very humble young man and is hanging low until all of this media coverage goes away.

When Mewhort signed with Buckeyes, there were five star(whatever that means) from Texas and Florida and Dublin Coffman also coming to the Buckeyes. I have always liked Michael Adams, but I did not know much about the other two. I knew Jack had his work cut out for him. He needed to improve his quickness and speed. I guess he was only a two star(whatever that means). He quietly did his work. He learned all of the offensive line positions, but he just could not get alot of playing time.

Jack has bought into Coach Urban Meyer's system and should do well. This incident will be a speed bump. Hopefully, a huge embarrassing lesson was learned. Coach Meyer has to discipline the two young men. Although he has a get tough policy, "the time should fit the crime."Almost as soon as he could, Jack called Coach Meyer. Of course, Meyer is not dealing with the pamperd NFL players, so there should be no appeal, but his discipline will be firm and fair.

For you who do not know Jack Mewhort personally, he is a tremendous young man. The kind of young man that you want your daughter to bring home to meet you. The kind of young man that you want your boys to talk to about work ethic. The kind of young man who represents Ohio State University.

Like I said, I donot personally know Jake Stoneburner, but he should also be fine. Jack Mewhort, I do know, will overcome another speedbump,  in becoming one of the top offensive lineman in the Big Ten. He has proved people wrong before. This two star(whatever that means) will prove that he a five star(whatever that means) in not only football , but also in character.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

MSROHIO in Toledo

My Underclassmen Showcase Camps went on the road this summer, rather than just staying in Columbus for one Showcase. First stop was last Tuesday in Toledo at St Johns High School. Next stop is in Columbus, today, at Thomas Worthington High School.

For the most part I was disappointed in the turnout in Toledo. All kinds of reasons for the small number. One school was in exam week. One school had a huge awards dinner. One school was using the day for a camp day to prepare for next week's NFL sponsored high school camp. Probably, except for Toledo Start who was well represented, the city school football programs were not in attendance.

The coaches who helped did an excellent job. I really appreciated their effort and their knowledge.

Here is the positive side of my trip to Toledo. We made the players better. Anything I can do to make players better, I will try. Watched two players who are D-1 prospects and both going into their junior year. DB Marcus Elliott from Whitmer and OL/DL Nick Demaline from Liberty Center did well. When I do the Showcase evaluations, more players will be covered.

As silly as it may seem, one of my highlights of the Showcase was a discussion I had with one of the player's mom after the camp. Her son had never run a 40 before and is going into his junior year. Measured 5'11-178. Carries a 3.4 GPA. No clue about college summer football camps. Through emails, I was able to give her some camp suggestions. Received an email from her today. She has lined up four camps for him to attend, one being Ohio State's two day camp for underclassmen.

Honestly, way too early to tell of his potential, because he has a long hill to climb. But I believe that he has a chance to play at the next level. As to which level, I do not know. But as I always say, "it is about finishing, not about where you have started."

Some of the recruiting writers get tired of me saying,"it about the kids and making them better," but that is what it is all about with McCallister. Always was and always will be. If I have helped some mother to make her son better, then the 60 minutes up SR23 and I-75 was well worth it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

College Football Summer Camps

College football summer camps have been a part of what I do forever. Back in the earlly days at Michigan and Ohio State camps were big. Always had to be careful and stay out of the way of coaches trying to instruct, but no problem. There were no football recruiting writers walking around watching campers perform. College coaches always pointed out the ones to watch and the flip side, they asked me whom I had seen.

Camps were important in evaluations. I remember seeing Boom Herron at the Michigan Camp. I liked his ability to get north/south. Had some burst and solid speed. Moreover, I liked his attitude. I have told this story before about Kirk Barton at the Ohio State Camp. No matter what you heard, Kirk had not convinced recruiters and high school coaches that he was a top guy in Ohio. He played tight end at Massillon Perry, but, hopefully, most people thought that he would be on the OL at the next level. Actually, I really knew he could be a top guy when he did the vertical jump. His concentration and focus was unreal. He turned out to be a pretty good player at Ohio State University.

My point is this. Many players are camping all over the place. And sad, but true, it is almost a necessity with recruiting becoming what it is. If you go to a camp, your motor has to run all of the time. Whether it is when you register, waiting in line for attendance, or actually doing the drills. When you register stand tall and show no bad attitude. In line for attendance, act like you want to be there. Do not act tired and show no attitude. Leave mom and dad on the sidelines. When doing the drills, be first in line. Most importantly finish the drills with enthusiasm.

Good evaluators and college colleges should be watching and evaluating players all of the time. If a college coach is more worried about bull crapping with some of his old friends, he is not doing his job. If he is getting in your face, look through him, because chances are he is not making you better. If recruiting writers are trying to interview you during actual camp time, avoid them. Wait until breaks in the camp schedule. They have stories to write and a certain number of required contents, but they can wait on you.

College football camps are to help you get better, but as most people know, camps are more for evaluations and exposure. Some colleges have offered players, but on condition that they perform well at camp. Really that is silly and wrong, but it is what it is. On evaluations, there are more people evaluating you than you think. Big schools may have guys walking around who look like casual observers, but, trust me, sometime during the camp they will be meeting with the college coaches. Someone is always evaluating you.

Although I have some reservations about this, campers are never too young to get into a camp. I watched a player recently who is in the Class of 2017. The truth. The nice thing was that he fit in with everybody else. Of course, this is an exception. Regardless of your age, check with your high school coach to see if camping is right for you. The more experience that you can get when you are young, will help you going into your senior year.

College football summer camps are important to get exposure and to get evaluated. I will say this, be selective as to what camps you attend. Parents are guilty at times of just wanting to attend big school camps, just to say that they have been there.  Players send me lists of their camp schedules. Some are ridiculous, because are planning to attend too many camps. By the time they are through 1/2 of them, they are fatigued.

Please do not forget-- Running around in shorts and shirts is good, but what a player does with pads on makes all of the difference. Too many college coaches, including Big Ten coaches, get caught up in measurments and test results. College coaches believe that they can make every prospect a major player and you know, as well as I, that is not always the case. If a coach does not show you some "love" during a camp, do not let it get you down. Play hard on Fridays and Saturdays and that should make all of the difference.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

St Clairsville's Dynamic Duo

One of the "football guys" who I wanted to see at the Ohio High School State Track Meet Friday was St Clairsville's Michael Ferns. Michael is listed at 6'4-230 and on video looks like one of the top LB's in the Ohio Class of 2014.

His U-tube videos are good, I am looking forward to making the trip to St Clairsville this fall to watch him play. Of course, RB Jaylon Brown will have my attention, too. Jaylon is 5'7 everyday and has a motor. Like his quick feet, balance, and vision.

Friday, both Jaylon and Michael ran on both the 4X100 and the 4X200 relay teams. Both teams came up just short, but both boys ran hard. Competition was pretty good, to say the least.