Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Pro Draft - Signing Date

      Everytime I see the words "under the radar," my first question is usually - "whose radar?" A recent headline in the C-bus Dispatch mentioned NFL radar. Of course, I read the article to find "whose radar." In this case Urban Meyer referred to the NFL staffs. With college recruiting, I always feel that it is the "media radar."
      Was Kenton's Noah Furbush under the radar? Not my radar. Because the recruiting media did not know about him was because many recruiting reporters go by college lists. If a college coach did not know, they need to work harder. Plain and simple. Maybe not in the NFL, but in college recruiting "under the radar," is a cop out. To some extent, I know what Coach Meyer must be feeling to have some Buckeye players not get drafted.
      In high school, good football players get their hopes up in the recruiting process. Players start getting texts and emails from college coaches. Part of the recruiting process means getting written about by internet recruiting sites. Good exposure, but then some of those recruiting reporters "blow kids up" and should not.  College coaches stop by the school. The coaches are not supposed to talk to the players. That is a "bigtime joke." The "bump rule" is in effect. Then one of most storied programs in the country stops by the school. That could be schools like Nebraska, Michigan, Alabama, LSU, or Ohio State. Moms and dads, as well as the prospect, get crazy. Sometimes justified, sometimes not.
       Urban Meyer said with the NFL Draft, "everyone gets their hopes up, and no one really knows until people start selecting names. This happens "bigtime" in college football recruting. I get calls from parents all of the time. I get calls from high school coaches. "What does this offer, really mean/" "They told us that he was on the board." They want him to come to camp." They like him at camp, but they want to see the first three games." "This a conditional offer. If you come to camp and do well, then this will be a real offer." "Who else is recruiting you?" "Did _____ offer you?"
      NFL prospects work out at the NFL Combine. Colleges have their own ":Pro Day" for NFL Scouts. High school players go to college summer camps and to combines. Stress big time. All of this is good. But video does not lie. You have to make plays and play fast.  A "decision maker" has to like you. Most times you have to fill a need. Honestly, I just wonder how many young coaches at either level really understand "what to look for " when evaluating a prospect.
       Urban Meyer has really good relationships with many coaches and executives in the NFL. With his success, he should and what he says is very credible. And it should be. He said that he "vouched for the ability and the character of all the seniors." Obviously, he is correct. But high school coaches do the same thing about their college prospects. When I talk to college coaches, I give my honest opinions and thoughts. But just like with Coach Meyer sometimes that is not enough. Now I am not on the same plateau as Urban Meyer, but have the same opportunity to give my thoughts on college prospects.
      The NFL Draft and Signing Day travel the same path in alot of ways. Simply too much "noise." Both college and high school coaches can lobby for their players. Too much dishonesty. Too much "smoke." Too many "self-proclaimed "experts.
      The answer is that if a prospect on either level continues to work hard, he has a chance. If some coach likes him or he fills a need, he has a chance. I still believe a person needs more than talent, but talent will get him "in the door." If that does not work, get a real job. (humor)

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