Friday, May 31, 2013

MSROHIO Underclassman Showcase Preparation Good

      With just over a week away, the MSROHIO Underclassman Showcase is looking to be in good shape.
      For two years, the Showcase was held at Dublin Scioto. The coaches at Scioto were really helpful. Last year, I wanted to make it more available to young football players by using three separate sites, and by holding two of the Showcaes  during the week. Not a good move on my part.
This year back to one Showcase, and Thomas Worthington High School is hosting the event.
      Pre-registration has been good. Surprisingly, the field of quarterbacks is really good. Some came to my combine and threw for about 35 minutes. Hard to mention names, but I will after the Showcase. Possibly my top three quarterbacks in the Ohio Class of 2015 will be in competing. Part of that early interest could be that Ben Mauk works with my quarterbacks. Not only was he a successful QB on both the high school and college level, he is an excellent teacher.
      All positions have some excellent college prospects in the mix. Some really good young linebackers. Not so sure that the linebacker classes in 2015 and 2016 will be the best in years. Of course, I know that it is early.
      The only real conflict is Ohio State is having its Rising Seniors Camp that day. I was told that O-State coaches would like to have their underclassmen attend their two day Skill and Big Man Camp. They had to change the name this year, but this has always been their two day underclassmen camp. Of course, I have heard that some coaches want some younger prospects go to the senior camp to go against the "big boys." That does not make sense, because at the two day underclassmen camp the 2015 group will bet more individual attention.
      A very good OL prospect will miss because he also plays in an orchestra and will be in Wisconsin. Two young men are going on mission trips. Trust me, what they are doing is more important than an afternoon at the MSROHIO Underclassman Showcase. West Virginia has a senior camp that day, but since they buy my service, I understand.
       No closing on pre-registration. If you have any questions, please go to or contact me.
       As with my combines in March, nothing flashy, no false advertising, and no padded results. Just excellent workers and well organized. The proshuttle will have lines. The 40's will not be 37 yards long. Timing will be done by qualified timers.  Just a promise that a propect's name will get out there and a camper will be treated fairly and honestly.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

OSU Bound Billy Price - Football and Track Guy

      As I congratulated Austintown Fitch two sport star Billy Price, we both agreed that "it has been a long time." First saw Billy his sophomore year playing OL/DE for Fitch. Remember that he ran well, but, at the time, thought that he was alittle over-rated by the internet media. Liked him better his junior year. Also was impressed with his power at the State Track Meet last year. This year he was a dominating player in the game that I saw him play.
      All Billy wants to hear is defense. All along, I have looked at him as a very good offensive center prospect. Listed 6'2-290, but he may be bigger than that now. Excellent explosion. Strong hands. Like his quick first step. Not as tall as most linemen, but he has such leverage. Maybe a 3-tech guy on the DL, but still like him snapping the ball.
      Last night he came to the Regional track meet with a best 190 feet discus throw. Last night, he tossed the discus 187 feet. That throw was in the finals. Friday night, he brings a 57'7 shot put toss to the Regionals. Strong back, but  quickness and explosion is just as impressive to me. Looking forward to watching him the OHSAA State Track Meet next weekend.
     As I watched him last night, I was really impressed with the way he handled himself around the ring. No tough guy swagger. No fist pumping. In fact, he talked with his number one challenger. Communicated well with the officials. He just did his thing, with no show. After the event, he made time to talk with people.
      Billy committed to Ohio State University and will be reporting this summer. Do not know for sure where O-State football coaches see him playing. If he wants to play defense, I am sure that he will get his chance. At the end of the day, he very well could be lining up at center.
      I will say Billy has been one of the tougher young men whom I have worked with for a while. Tremendous young man, but we were never on the same page. Quite possibly, he thought of me as a recruiting reporter. Or, he may not have agreed with my thoughts about the center position. Whatever the case, I have watched him grow over the last three years into a very good college prospect.
      "It has been a long time,"and I have tremendous respect for what he has done as an athlete. His character speaks for itself.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Motley and Clark Lead the Way for Davidson

       Saturday was a big day for me. Spent a few minutes with my grandson, Brady, in the morning.    Spent most of the afternoon at the Divison 1 District track meets at Hilliard Darby. Spent the early evening at Brian and Erika's home, and, of course, zeroed in on my granddaughter Cora. On the way home stopped at the D-1 Training to watch Chuch Gresham work out some football players. The grandbabies were super , but want to comment on some of the track guys whom I watched.
       Three Hilliard Davidson football players have helped form the nucleus of their track team. The Hilliard boys tied for District champs by winning the 4X400 meter relay. Dametrius "DD" Clark was more a blocker in Davidson's run offense, but look for him to be "the ball carrier" this fall. He ran on the 4X100, the 4X200, and the 4X400. Big strong, and fast. A "sleeper" at running back. DaMarcus Nelson (2014) ran on the relays and also ran the 300 meter hurdles and placed second. DaMarcus has not played football for two years  but ran AAU track for two summers. I have no idea as to how good a football player that he can be. But he is squeezing 6 feet and wants to play CB. Watching him run, I know that he competes and runs well. Hope to see him in camp this summer.
      One of my favorites in the Ohio Class of 2014 is Hilliard Davidson's DB Phillipie Motley. Always considered a track guy playing football, but that has changed. Saturday, he finished second in the 100m at 10.78, second in the 200 meters in 21.7, and ran anchor the first place 4X400 meter relay team. Liked his toughness and his recovery speed last fall at corner. Wish he were just alittle taller. Better run stopper than people think. At the end of the day, could be one of the best corners in his 2014 class.
      Ohio State bound Darren Lee from New Albany finished third in the 100 meters. A football player getting faster by running track. Darren warmed up hard and was really focused. Ran 11.1, after running 11.38 in the prelims. I have always liked his attitude. Think that he will play special teams early for the Buckeyes. He is tough and plays with every inch of his ability. Not always pretty, but he gets it done. Tremendous competitor.
      Two members of the Ohio Class of 2016 impressed me. Both linebackers and both good size. Delaware's Ethan Tucky  and Reynoldsburg's Mark Gordon ran on relays and ran hard. Tucky came to my combine last March. Both, if they continue to work hard and stay focused, will be D-1 recruits.
       Impressed with the effort of some other football prospects. Mount Vernon's Logan Rhea did not quality, but ran hard in the sprints. Need to see more, but also liked sophomore Trae Johnson from Canal Winchester.
       Good day for track. Heading to the regional meets at Austintown and Bedford this week.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Some Thoughts on Concussions

       Over the weekend one of my old teammates from high school was in Upper Sandusky to celebrate his 50th year as a graduate from Upper Sandusky High School. Not my 50th, but his. As we talked about the "good old days," the subject of concussions came up. He wondered about all of the publicity surrounding concussions in high school football.
      Back in the day, we were told that we got our "bell rung." We sat out a few plays and then went back into the game. A headache was just part of the game. Of course, I am not saying we were expected to play with headaches, and really no one was at fault. That was just the way it was. I actually remember wearing ling sleeve, heavy material in August practices. Plus, we were told to take salt tablets after practice. If you had to get water, your were a ________. Thank goodness for education. Honesty, that was all that anybody knew and , for the mostpart, no one was to blame.
Back to concussions.
       A concussion is a brain injury that is not only caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head, but also to the body. Remember, just getting hit really hard to the body can cause a jolt to the brain. A concussion can occur not only in practices or games, in any activity or sport. You do not necessarily have to be knocked out to receive a concussion.
       Most, football players with a concussion get better and return to action. But like all injuries, time to heal is really important. The brain needs time to heal, just as muscles do. My best advice is wait until a doctor releases. In Ohio high school sports, new concussion rules are taking effect this fall.
       Unlike other injuries, concussions, obviously, cannot be seen, but there are symptoms that might suggest that you have a concussion. After an injury, you may not feel right, and this feeling could last for days, or even weeks. I did not research and found this list of symptoms from a National Guard sponsored publication.

           Headache or "pressure" in the head
           Nausea or vomiting
           Balance problems or dizziness
           Double or blurred vision
           Light or slight noise bothers you
          Feeling sluggish, hazy, or groggy
          Difficulty paying attention
          Memory problems

      If you think that you may have a concussion, don't hide it. Tell your coaches or your parents. Make plans to get a medical check-up. Give yourself plenty of time to recover.
There is no such comment as he got "dinged," or got his "bell rung" anymore. And remember - a concussion can occur without a blow to the head. Follow the rules and use common sense in competition.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Jalin Marshall - A Future Buckeye

       Last Wednesday, I watched the Greater Miami Conference Track prelims at Mason High School. Also on Wednesday, as most conference meets go, some of the field event finals were held. This was my first chance to see O-State bound Jalin Marshall. After his long jump competition was over, I talked with him a few moments.
      As with almost everyone who evaluates high school football players, there are just certain high school players whom you grow to respect. Jalin is one of those guys for me. I respect him and everything he stands for.
      First watched him his sophomore year at Middletown. First game of the year and Jalin was working the spread offense. He ran, dodged, and found the endzone more than once. Although he did not have the Braxton Miller arm strength (and still does not), I thought he threw well enough to make defenders honest. But he had the "wiggle," and he could "Wow" you. He had the "it" factor.
     With a new head coach and a new offensive scheme, Jalin came up under center his next two years. Watched him last year against St Xavier in his first game of the season. He almost single-handedly beat St X. Long runs. Explosiveness. Hips. Great determination. Middletown lost, but Jalin was still Jalin to me.
      As with some high profile propects, too many people were tugging at him. Too much noise! Some close to home and some distant. As usual, most of the noise was useless and not needed. But I fear that he got caught up in the "bad side of football recruiting." Already committed to play at Ohio State University, maybe the "noise" worked on him. Just a guess, but he may have gotten caught up in the media hype.
      When I first watched him last Wednesday, I was afraid my guess might have been for real. He had the "Tiger Woods" look. No smile. No communication with anyone. The bad dude swagger. I talked to him briefly before he competed. I sensed that I was another "noise." Bad for me. After competiton, I waved good-bye and wished him well, because he was using his cell. Most impressive- Everytime he talked with his coach, all business, and  listened to his coach.
      I forgot to mention that Jalin is the defending state champion in the long jump. His first jump last Wednesday was just over 23 feet. Big time jump. He won the event.
      As I was watching the sprints, Jalin walked over and we talked for awhile. Some of the "stuff" is between Jalin and me. He talked about Ohio State wanting him to play the H-back position. Even though he was a second team all conference basketball player, he worked out 4 days a week and that is evident. Bigger and stronger. Guessing 5'11-205. Needs to get a little faster, but he should. But long jumping consistently in the 22's is pretty good for his size!!
        When I asked him about not leaving early at semester, his answer was impressive. "Just had a lot of things that I want to do and  to finish at Middletown. Enjoy and high and sports." Jalin is not one of those guys who should have left early. Now, hopefully, he can defend his state champion long jump title.
         As we parted, he acted kind of surprised when I told him that he was my number one recruit in the Ohio Class of 2014. Also surprised him, when I said that he potentially was a better passer than people give him credit. If you check Urban Meyer's record he likes QB's to be 6'2 or 6'3 and be a better runner than passer. Jalin will not line at QB at O-State. As of now, he will line up in the slot and catch, block, and run. That he will do well. He still has the "it."
       Once again, in this case, Ohio State recruits Ohio State. He told me that he never really considered any other schools.
       By the end of the conversation Jalin was grinning and laughing. But I guess Tiger does that once in a while. Ohio State fans will like Jalin Marshall.

Back to Work on the Blog

      Just sat down on this Sunday afternoon, and, honestly, the first time in awhile I really feel that I can concentrate on some blog entries. I always go to early church on Sunday and that leaves the whole day open for me to think and relax. As many know, I live on four acres, south of Upper Sandusky, and still think that I can do all of the physical work that needs done around here. Just about have the outside under control. Back to football.
       The MSROHIO Underclassman Showcase is coming along well. Pre-registration is going well. Jnue 9th on a Sunday, and I thought that would be a less conflict day. I think Kentucky is having a one day. I know West Virginia is, and I am losing a really good linebacker (2015) to that camp. I can handle that, because WVU does a really good job. Kentucky, oh well? Working on QB's really hard. Ben Mauk and Matty Daniels work with the QB's. Have some huge OL guys coming. Also have some really good LB's coming.
       As part of what I do, I like to visit with head football coaches around the state. When one has been doing this business as long as I have, unless you are a "village idiot," you develop a good relationship with almost every head coach out there. The Cincinnati area has alot of veteran younger coaches who do a tremendous job. Always fun to visit them, because they show me alot of respect. Probably because I am old enough to be their father.
       Just finished thhe earliest and the most detailed underclassman list that I have ever put together. The Ohio Class of 2015 has almost four hundred names with contact information and measurements, including GPA's. I also put an early rating on these prospects. Of course, way too early to take the rating serious, but gives the colleges and myself an idea of where to start. Also have almost one hundred prospects in the Ohio Class of 2016. As crazy as it may sound, I have twelve propscets from the Ohio Class of 2017. Be advised that the high school coach has given me these names. I did not get them off some Rivals or Scout list. Of course, the hogh school coach is much more crediable.
      Have been attending alot of track meets this spring. Watched two baseball game. The district track meets are this week. Plans are to be at Nordonia on Tuesday. Watched and talked with OSU bound Jalin Marshall last Wednesday. Also had a chance to watch one of my favorites run recently. Hilliard Davidson's Phillipie, listed 5'11-170 is quickly establishing himself as one of the better CB's in the Ohio Class of 2014.
       I want to compliment Troy's Alex Dalton (2014). His dad told me that he committed to play football for Oklahoma. Plans are to play center. Alex has worked hard and that work should pay back big for him.
      We have encountered two speed bumps in the planning for the Ohio-Michigan  -" Borderline Classic." The game is to be played next summer. Things, I am sure, will workout.
      Finally, one of my top assistants in the combine/camp world just finished acting in a new movie to be out next year. Do not know too much, but Charles Gresham will be in the movie as a football player. He still looks good in a football uniform. Congrats to Chuck, but now he is back to his fulltime job as Director of the D-1 Training facility north of Columbus.
      Take care. Need to do some phone work. The blog is back.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do Freshman need Exposure?

       Actually reaching for a decision that I thought that I would never wrestle with in regards to exposing freshman, or in this case the Ohio Class of 2016. With my combines and with watching track meets and, last winter, with watching basketball, I see them. They are talented, but they are only freshman.
       In my Super Directory, I list  both freshmen and sophomores. But do I put the members of the Classes of 2015 and 2016 out there for the public? Right now I have 8 members  of 2017, but I would not even think of putting those names out. I have not actually seen them, but have received information from their coach.
       Last Saturday, I watched a freshman from Northeast Ohio put the shot put and throw the discus. His PR's are just over 52 feet and 142 feet, but Saturday was not a good day. Probably squeezing 6'1 and weighs 260. Started varsity all last season for one of the Division I programs in the entire state. Carries a 3.5GPA. Excellent explosion in the shot. Also watched him on Hudl. No brainer.
      Another freshman in the Cleveland area will be a starter on the o-line this fall.. Listed 6'4-240. Excellent feet.  3.8GPA. Also a discus thrower. Plays for another top D-1 program in the state. According to his head football coach is a "no brainer."
      A quarterback (2016) from Central Ohio caught my eye at my combine. Measured 6'3-180. Needs some fine tuning, of course, but I really like his potential. He is coming to my Underlassman Showcase.
      An OLB (2016) came to my combine in Zanesville. Listed 6'1-185. Runs really well. Changes direction. Saw him play on special teams last year at the game that I was watching. Tough. Toledo area has another OLB (2016) who really tested well at my combine. Great attitude. Big, strong. Listed 6'2-215.
     Another QB in the Class of 2016 came to my combine both his 7th and 8th grade years. Played last year as a freshman in Dayton area. Also in Southwest Ohio a high school has a freshman who started in three varsity sports. Tremendous athlete. Tough competitior.
     These young prospects need to be exposed the right way. They do not need to be "blown-up" as  great prospects. I do not need a certain amount of "stories" to make money. I do not have to be the first one to write about these young men. As long as the colleges are aware of these young men, I am good. But, young high school college prospects will get enough media attention over the years, but does it have to start now?
      Interesting problem. Any comments? Remember this is not a "message board."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Holley Brothers from Whitmer

      Last night, while I was watching the Knight Relays at St Francis High School in Toledo, I met a college coach from Kent State. As we chatted, I asked him how long that he had been in Toledo. He answered that he had attended the funeral of the Holley boys' mother that day. He had been talking with the boys' father and both boys were competing in the meet, so I was totally surprised.
      I first met Nick amd Nate Holley at my first and only football combine in Toledo. They were sophomores and had a Michigan address, which I thought was unusual. I found out later that they were in the process of transferring to Toledo Whitmer High School. They competed hard that evening, which turned out to be their persona for the next three years.
      Both played some their junior year on Whitmer's outstanding football team. Last spring, I watched both do their thing in track. This past fall both brothers had a huge hand in the success of the Whitmer football team's finishing runner-up to Cincinnati Moeller in the Division I state football championship.This past basketball season, they used that same aggressive attitude on the basketball court. Both were bench players, but came into games with energy.
      Neither brother fits the "size chart," for being high profile football recruits. But they play with high motors and in fifth gear most of the time. Nick was an athletic QB, but not a thrower. But run with the ball, he did. He will be slot receiver for the Kent State Flashes next fall. Brother Nate was a force on defense from his SS/OLB position, and also will be defense at Kent State next fall. Excellent closing speed.  Yes, both earned scholarships to play football at Kent State. For sure, excellent "program guys."
      Although being at the track meet last night was healthy for all three (including dad), the brothers went beyond the football, basketball, and track competition highs that they have enjoyed for the last four years. They ran last night for the "love of our mom." As Nate said," Mom would not miss anything. I believe she was here today."
      Hours before the Relays last night, the Holley brothers attended their mother's funeral. Lori Holley died one week ago. Yet the brothers did what I have grown accustomed to seeing them do their whole careers. They competed with their "track family" and helped Whitmer to a tough third place finish last night.
      Having lost my wife to cancer almost ten years ago, I can relate to Nick and Nate to some extent. Of course, my kids can really understand. True competitors just "get it." In tragedy, as cold as it sounds, we just need to "get on the horse," as soon as we can. My deepest sympathy goes out to the Holley family, but with that competitive nature they Holley brothers have, in time they will be okay.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Last NFL Draft Comments

      Listening to NFL Draft experts has been amusing to me, but my real interest is what colleges these drafted players come from. Not that I am familiar with every football playing college in the country, but I find it refreshing just how much pro scouting departments do, in turning over every stone. When Clay Belton (University of Findlay) signs as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins, I am impressed with the scouting departments work.
      Also with every draft, following the players with Ohio high ties who get drafted in the first seven rounds is really interesting. All have a story, and I know most of the stories, or at least parts of the stories. Amazingly, too, they all come from different backgrounds.
      John Simon - Cardinal Mooney - Ohio State - Baltimore - 4th round. Did a blog on John. Really liked him at Cardinal Mooney. Read the blog to find my comments.
      Zac Dysert - Ada - Miami (Ohio) - Denver - 7th round. A steal for Denver. Watched him at Ada High School throw the ball almost every down. Strong arm. Athletic. At Miami had probably with worst supporting cast of any QB in the Draft. Felt sorry for him against Kent State his freshman year. Huge upside.
      Micah Hyde - Fostoria - Iowa - Green Bay - 5th round. Excellent athlete at Fostoria High School. Actually played QB and DB. Starter in basketball and baseball. Needed to get bigger and stronger. Natural instints as a DB at Iowa. Excellent anticipation. Really believe he plays with all of his ability.
      Travis Kelce - Cleveland Heights - Cincinnati - Kansas City - 3rd round. Excellent athlete. Thought he even played some QB in high school. Tough competitor. Had some off the field issuses at UC. Left the team. Given second chance. Excellent blocking TE and ball catcher. Tough. Has worked hard getting his personal life together.
      Eric Herman - Toledo Central Catholic - Ohio - New York Giants - 7th round. Solid OL guy coming out of high school. Short, but really developed at OU. Played freshman year and made himself a draft choice. Example of "hard work pays off." Honestly, surprised me and , maybe Ohio University how good he became after high school.
      Brian Winters - Hudson - Kent State - New York Jets - 3rd round. Have always liked him. Big, strong and really good feet coming out of high school. Good bender at left tackle. Played early at Kent State. Needs to play hard every down. Physical tools are there. Like his future.
      Le'Veon Bell - Groveport Madison - Michigan State - Pittsburgh - 2nd round. Watched high jump 6'1 and he had "no clue" what he was doing. Ran between the tackles well. Needs top speed, but has burst through LOS. Power back. Made himself better. Durable. Might be able to be a three down back for the Giants.
      Tank Carradine - Cincninnati Taft - Florida State - San Francisco - 2nd round. Actually went to Illinois. Entered a JUCO. Finished at Florida State. Athletic big DE. Runs well. Strong. In high school - a specimen. Academics hurt. A dominating player in high school, but never in condition. Has the toughness for the NFL.
      Spencer Ware - Cincinnati Princeton - LSU - Seattle - 6th round. An excellent QB at Princeton, but 5'10-215. Tough strong runner. Gamer. Needed to get away from Cincinnati handler influence and did. I worried about his RB ability, but  was wrong. Durable at LSU. Needs to be careful away from football. Hope he does well.
      Right or wrong, I sometimes use the NFL Draft as example for college prospects who do not get "signed" by a college that both they or their parents want them to attend. In Ohio,  Michigan, Notre Dame, or Ohio State seem to be the "bench mark" programs.  As I tell "kids" all of the time, a scholarship is a scholarship. Work hard in college, and who knows. Most of the time, "if you are good enough, someone will find you." Up to you to compete and become the best that you can be.