Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two of the Top OL Guys in the Ohio Class of 2015

       Yesterday, I may have seen two of the very best offensive linemen in the Ohio Class of 2015 at the Sims/Cofield Camp at John Carroll University and at Chris Chambers Camp. Nordonia's offensive tackle, Cameron Bell, and Warren Harding's, James Daniels. Both prospects look the part, work hard and possess good skills for so early.
      Had read about Cameron last spring and then received a call from his high school coach. His coach wanted me to evaluate him. Anybody listed at 6'8-340, I just have to check out. Do not know if those are his exact measurments, but close. Huge! After watching him throw the shot and discus, his footwork was of a major concern for me. Bad. But as I watched his video,  pass blocking and his feet were okay. As I watched him yesterday, I believe that he can be a natural left tackle. Footwork much improved. Used his hands for good separation. Liked his lead block technique. Seems to getting more aggressive. Most of all, he is just going into his junior year and is at least 6'7 and 315 pounds. Should be one of the top OL guys in the Class of 2015.
       James Daniels is listed 6'3-250, and may be close to that. Very athletic. Was working out with the linebackers at the Chambers Camp. Natural center. Quick feet. Strong upper body. Excellent work habits. Watched him against Cleveland Heights last yea and he played well. Only a sophomore, but he well against really good competition. Good leverage. Good bender. Can anchor or move the pile. Plays low. Yesterday, I saw alot  athleticism. James should be one of the top OL guys in the Class of 2015.
       Since I am not into the "offer game," I do not know "who" or "how many." What I do know is that Cameron and James are only juniors and have much to work on. However, with that being said, if they continue to work hard and get a little nastier, they will be big time recruits. They are benders and finishers. They seem to have really good character and excellent work habits. Definitely BCS recruits.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rob Sims - Barry Cofield Give Back

       Today, I made my annual trip to the Chris Chamber's Catch 84 Foundation football camp for Cleveland area high school players. Individual drills in the morning and 7on7 competition in the afternoon. One of the coaches mentioned that Barry Cofield was holding his Big Man's Camp at John Carroll University. Since Chris's camp was all day, I drove the 15 minutes to the Cofield camp. Smart move.
       Introduced myself to Barry Cofield and asked if I could walk around and watch players. He told me,"Of course." He did an excellent job working with D-linemen. Patient and to the point. The t-shirt also had the word Sims as part of the camp. When I went to the other end of the field, I immediately recognized former Nordonia HS star Rob Sims. At the water break we chatted for a few minutes. He remembered me and said some nice things about me to me.
       During his high school years, I did not know Barry, as well as I did Rob. Barry played at Cleveland Heights and went on to start 36 games at Northwestern. Now he is the nose tackle for the Washington Redskins. Really athletic, as I remember, and a big body. Also was an award winner in basketball. At Northwestern, he earned 2nd team All-Big Ten. By today's standards he would have been a 3Star, maybe 4Star. Not nearly the "Wow" that the more high profile Ohio players gad, but a very solid prospect who was smart and worked hard.
       Rob Sims is now beginning his eighth year in the NFL. Currently, a starting offensive guard for the Detroit Lions. I remember him well as an offensive lineman at Nordonia High School. Really athletic, but overweight. Excellent attitude, but overweight. Worked hard at Ohio State. Not flashy, but solid and a very consistent blocker. Could always move his feet. Drafted in the 4th round by Seattle. A 4th round draft choice had better work hard and that he did. I mean seven years in the League!!! Big, but not overweight now.
       I have tremendous admiration for "high profile guys" who take the time to say,"Hi." More importantly, who are willing to give back to the community. Alot of "high profile guys" will give you the lip service, but do not follow-up. Rob and Barry follow up. Plus, when they follow-up, they can communicate with young people. Not only can they communicate, but they carry "respect," by the way they teach.  
      Rob Sims made my trip to John Carroll very rewarding. Honestly, when he was in high school, college coaches told me that his mother fed him much too well. And she did. He has worked had to get where he is today, which should be a lesson for every young player. Plus, he threw me some love today with his comments. Even at 64 years old, that is nice to hear from people that I respect.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Meet Arin Pruitt - RB - Brookside High School

        As I travel around the state, I really look forward to watching football players do their thing. Doing their thing could be playing in games during the season, running track, playing hoops, or competing at  college or private camps in the summer. Time consuming, but time well spent.
       Also I would tell you, at times there are not a ton of D-1 potential players at the college or private camps. Parents and prospects think they are D-1 guys, but sometimes they are not. O-State had over 800 campers at their senior camp last week, and I wonder how many D-1 campers (no-brainers) were in camp.
       Last weekend I attended Lauren's First and Goal Camp in Westerville. A coach pointed out a RB to me, and I watched him for awhile. In shorts/t-shirts, who knows? Not great speed, but ran well enough. Competed well. Liked his attitude. Watched his highlight video earlier in the week. Really liked the way he played on video. Need to see him play early this fall for real.
      As I often do, I like to chat with parents. Honestly, if a scout knows what to look for and what questions to ask, he can alot from parents. Both good and bad. His mother seems to have it sorted out. Spent about ten minutes telling me about her son. From my head football coaching days, I still keep a fine line between parents and me. Works much better that way. His mother followed up with an email with more information. I appreciate her interest in making her son better and listening to my ideas.
      Meet Arin Pruitt. (No relation to the Pruitts of Cleveland Browns fame.)
      During his sophomore year Arin played linebacker and running back at Brookside High School in Lorain County. Played well and received some recognition for his talents. Listed 5'8-190, he ran inside the tackles well. Feet always moving. Good vision. Some burst. Did not have top end speed, but had game speed. Tough after first contact. Video was okay, but competition was not as good as it needs to be.
       Last year as a junior Arin played for Manatee, Florida and in a very tough Division 1 conference. Tough football. Arin started at ILB, at 5'9-190. Liked his highlight video. Runs downhill and finds the football. Drops into coverage. Needs to play alittle faster and change direction better. But his motor runs all of the time. Best of all, he finishes plays. Plus competition was excellent.
       This summer, Arin has moved back to Lorain County, and he will again play both ways for Brookside High School. Should be exciting for him, but he must dominate the games. Not in a selfish way, but in a competitive way. By that he must make plays all of the time, and play hard every down. The first three games are important for him.
       Can he play Mid American Conference or better. Don't know, because I need to see more. Do know that the colleges know about him and will be watching. His junior video at Manatee HS should get coaches' attention. If he maintains his weight and can improve speed (some), he has a chance to be a Division 1 recruit. Actually, I looking forward to seeing him in pads and will say more in September.
       I would have never seen him in person, if I had not been to Lauren's First and Goal Camp. I would not have met his mother. I would not have heard his story.  Of course, I went to the Camp  to support pediatric brain cancer research. Watching all levels of talent and all ages compete is always good. But exposing readers to Lauren's Camp is even better.
       I have told readers before to see the movie "Trouble with the Curve." Great movie. A football scout needs to be like Clint Eastwood's character. Beat the bushes and watch talent in person.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quarterbacks - Just Some Thoughts

       Traveled to Cleveland St Ignatius High School yesterday to watch QB's do their thing at the Camp of Champions Elite QB/Receiver Academy. The camp is a skills camp to teach techniques and drills to help a player self-correct himself during the season.
       The staff includes Joe Perella, the Director and QB coaches: Nick Restifo, QB coach at St. Ignatius - Elvis Grbac, former NFL QB -Tom Arth, new head coach at John Carroll University and former NFL QB - Russ Jacques, former college QB coach and now head coach at Strongsville. There were receiver coaches, including good friend, St Ignatius head coach, Chuck Kyle, but I really wanted to learn more about developing a quarterback.
       First, as I have said before, I may have been one of the best touch-football QB's ever to come out of Upper Sandusky in the 60's. Of course, you had to count 1-1,000, 2-1000, 3-1000 before you could rush me. I love to study QB's. Because of the weather and a QB prospect playing other sports, producing top BCS QB's in Ohio is tough.
       My problem yesterday was that there did not seem to be many QB prospects getting fine-tuned. Thought that there would have more QB's in camp working on skills. Liked some of the younger ones, but did not see alot older ones. With the quality of QB instructors on hand, older QB's would have benefited from some little tips. No big deal, I guess, but I just thought more quarterbacks in the Cleveland area would take advantage of the three day, 1:30-3:30 sessions.
       Maybe their cost. $80 for three days, including a t-shirt. Do the math. A little over 13 dollars an hour. There are QB instructors getting 135 dollars an hour. A few years ago, I was asking in the Columbus area about getting a QB instructor to work my camp. I was told the going rate for 4 hours was between 225 to 250 dollars to do the camp. Of course, I jumped on that deal.
       Right now, in the Ohio Class of 2015 quarterbacks, none to seem to "stand-out." By that I mean all need work and reps. Alot of reps. Last year's Class of 2014 QB's is going to surprise college coaches in two years. Potentially there is a freshman (2017) QB who if he keeps working and handles all of the "noise" of recruiting and all of the recruiting reporters brown sugar, could be very good. At the end of the day, "Braxton Miller" level good.
       Rambling some, but I just wanted to stress the importance spending time on quarterbacking. Camps or extra instruction is really important. Do not spend the top dollar that some of these "QB guru's" demand. Do not meet with an instructor five days a week. Do not meet with a QB guru during the season to breakdown film.(This is what your coach gets paid to do). Work on technique and reps.
       For me - Everything starts with footwork. When a QB is with a coach, footwork drills are huge. Arm strength is really important. But "core muscle development" is where arm strength improves. There is a high profile QB in the 2014 Class who really needs to work on core muscles to improve arm strong. A three sports guy, but he really needs to develop the core muscles.
       Young quarterbacks - try to find someone who really understands quarterbacks and can get his points through to you. This can be your high school coach, a person who has played QB in college, or a person who has played and been successful at the QB position. Ben Mauk in Kenton, Ohio would be good. He does well for me. No need to spend "big money." No need to have three different guys in "your ear." But there is a need to do extra work to be good quarterback.
       One final note to quarterbacks. When you make your highlight video, include as many third down conversions as you can. College coaches like to see QB's make those third down plays.
       Looking for an over 60's touch football league, but afraid the arm is dead. Maybe I will move to linebacker!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lauren's First and Goal Camp - More than Drills

       As I did last year, I spent some time last Saturday at Lauren's First and Goal football camp held at Otterbein University. Evaluating high school football players is what I do, but both this last year and this year is more than that to me.
       The beauty of this camp is that college coaches are donating their time to teach football to high school football players. Of course, they do some evaluating, but as I watched, they were more into instructing, than evaluating. No screaming. No sarcasm. No attitudes. Just, young (and old) college football coaches doing their thing - teaching the great sport of football.
       Players of all age groups. Players of all skill levels. Players from a variety of backgrounds. Players from other states, not just Ohio. Best of all, players were busting their donkey in every drill, while still encouraging each other. In the heat, both coaches and players were spending a day to get better. Coaches - better instructors. Players - better football players.
        Do not know how many potential Division 1 players were in attendance. Too early to tell about some. For me this was a time to watch drills and watch players work. Also was able to talk with some of the campers. This early in scouting, just talking with prospects is huge.
        Lauren's First and Goal is a non-profit organization started in 2004 by John and Marianne Loose in honor of their daughter Lauren who is a 16 year old pediatric brain tumor survivor. Since its beginnings, LFG has raised more than one million dollars toward its misson to provide financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services. LFG also offers financial support and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer. For me, LFG has increased my awareness of the disease.
       The registration fee is 30 dollars. Any donations above that are accepted. All proceeds benefit Pediatric Tumor Research and Cancer Services.
       Next year the camp should again be in Westerville and close to this date. Often the problem is there are so many college football camps for players, and many are "camp tired." Yesterday. the OHSFCA State 7on7 was being played in neighboring Dublin Coffman. Hard to find an open date.
      Next April, I would start checking their website. Regardless if you consider yourself a college football prospect or not, the Lauren's First and Goal will help you "get better." Plus the money is not helping to support a college football program. All proceeds help the program to fight Pediatric Cancer. From personal experience, anything that battles cancer of any form, I am in. See you next year.

Charles Holland (Who) - Columbus West (Where)

       Yesterday at the OHSFCA State 7on7 Championships, a former coach at both the high school and the college level walked up to me about half way through the day and asked me if I knew Charles Holland. Of course, I answered, "yes." Charles Holland is an under-rated wide receiver for the Columbus West football team and who could one of the best WR's in the 2014 Ohio Class.
       I went on to say that I first watched him at the Kenton 7on7 tournament two years ago, when he was a sophomore, and at that time, I really liked his potential. The only thing that I questioned was his motivation to work hard on every play. But he could catch anything at his wide receiver position.
      This former coach who also has worked on very high level college football programs thought that he was one of the top players in the tournament yesterday. Charles to him was a "wow." He went on to make some comparisons to some of the other WR's in Ohio over the years. I respect this coach's ability to evaluate, but he acted like he had discovered a diamond in the rough.
       The problem is that I have been pushing this 6'3-185 wide receiver for two years. Maybe it is his laziness, maybe his grades are borderline, and maybe he has not had the chance to get into camps. But, I have seen major colleges take prospects with worse attitudes and worse academics, but less ability than Charles Holland. Chris Carter's son was a prime example. Great skills, but no work ethic.
      My contention has always been that many college coaches can not project what a player can be long term. Coaches read the Rivals list and that is it. Also, coaches get caught up in the "star" silliness. Charles Holland is not a "five star." Who else is recruiting him? I hear that alot. It does not matter. Finally, I really believe that if Charles was at a school like Glenville, Trotwood, Wayne, or even a private school, everybody would have evaluated him, or at least checked him out. Look what happened to the DB from Thomas Worthington High School last year. He wore glasses and was a polite kid, but he could run and would try to "smack" you. He got playing time as a freshman at West Virginia last fall, was not highly recruited hius senior year. If he were at Glenville, different story.
       "Offers" are a joke anyway, but Charles has no offers. Kentucky is offering everybody. One school offered my mother, but her arthritis eliminated her. Of course, if one school offers, many wuill follow. If Michigan offers, he will become a "four star."
         I talked with Charles, yesterday. At first, he acted like I had big time bad breath. You know the look away treatment, like I am wasting his time. Maybe I was, or maybe he was wasting mine. I told him that his lack of enthusiam stunk, that his motivation was poor at times, but that he was the best receiver in Central Ohio. He made some outstanding catches yesterday.
        I do not know if anything that I said will register with Charles. Afterall, I am just some 64 years old man trying to make kids better. Charles is going to do what Charles is going to do. But I realyl hope that it does.
       More importantly, I wish colleges would do a better job of finding the "one star," who has tremendous potential. Charles Holland might be one of those propects.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Ohio-Michigan Border Classic High School Allstar Game

      Today, the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association's regional directors will give final approval for the first ever Ohio-Michigan Border Classic Allstar football game to be played next year.
      The game will be played on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at Donnell Stadium in Findlay, Ohio. Each team will consist of  forty players and six coaches. The selection process will be much the same as Ohio coaches used in selecting players for the former Big 33.
      Preparation has been going on for almost six months to make this new high school allstar football game between Ohio and Michigan possible. Representatives from both Ohio and Michigan, from day one, have emphasized that this game is to build relationships with coaches and players from both states. No "Border Battle, no "war,' and no "UM-OSU" Rivalary talk. The game will be hard fought and competitive.
      There will be a press release in early July with more details about the Ohio Michigan Border Classic. I have been fortunate to be working on this game and am putting this blog entry out to make sure readers get the correct information.

Friday-Saturday - Lots of High School Football

      Alot of "things" going on today for me today and tomorrow in Columbus, Ohio. Alway fun to travel down SR23 to C-bus. Have to stop at the McD's in Delaware. Service is slow sometimes, and how slow can it be, when I only get coffee and a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel? Next stop D-1 Training Center to visit with my top assistant, Charles Gresham.
     Today, I am going to visit the Senior Camp at Ohio State. Was not going to, but changed my mind.  Need to be in Columbus for the Hall of Fame recognition dinner tonight, so why not stop at Ohio State University to watch high school players from all over show their "stuff."
     Many high school football players will be going through drills with the hopes of getting "noticed." The Ohio State coaches, obviously, know who they really want to see again. For some prospects, this is a very important time. They have been told that they will get a "solid offer," if they perform well at this camp today. Up until this time, the some early offers were considered "soft," or "conditional," based on how will they perform today at this camp. Now, if a coach tells you after this camp to "keep working hard in the first three games this fall," you might be in trouble. For me, I want to see underclassmen. Plain and simple. Underclassmen should be not be in this camp, but they will be.
      Also, today, many coaches from the Mid-American Conference, and other schools in Ohio will get a chance to evaluate players. This idea was instituted by former head coach, Jim Tressel. I applaude it, but with the numbers situation and recruiting getting more aggressive, I believe the format will change next year. In fact, I can see other changes made in the summer camp program at O-State.
      Also need to stop at the Ohio High School Football Coaches regional directors meeting at the Hilton. I am privy to sit in these meetings. My part is to answer any questions regarding recruiting. Plus, I can give my "two cents," on any discussion. Sometimes "two cents" is a stretch. Really, attending these meetings keeps me up on my relationships with the Ohio high school football coaches.
      Tomorrow morning will be attending a football camp at Otterbein called the Lauren's First and Goal Camp. I attended last year and there were over 250 players in attendance. Another chance to see players and build relationships. All proceeds go to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research & Center Service. Volunteer coaches from D-1. D-2, and D-3 schools are in attendance.
      Later in the morning, I will be traveling to Dublin Coffman to watch teams in the State 7on7 Championships. Something like 36 high schools from Ohio will be represented. Alot of talent and tough competition. This tournament is now considered a National Select 7on7 Qualifier . Do not know much about that. Of course, some high profile recruits will be playing in the tournament.
     When I get back to Upper Sandusky, my plans are to hug my 16 month old female lab Hunter. Following that I plan to see "Man of Steel," with my friend Tina. Should be a good two days, with plenty of high school football.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Satellite Football Camps

      College satellite football camps are  done for another year. These satellite camps are both a good and productive time for me. Much can be gotten from these camps. As usual there were good camps and bad camps.  Satellite football camps are and will continue to be very popular.
      Satellite Camps - Primarily Mid American Conference schools take advantage of this opportunity to bring a camp to the prospect. Some schools, like Ohio University, do just two. They are in  Cleveland (Mentor)  and in Cincinnati (Mason). The University of Toledo is all over the state. At least six different sites, including Cincinnati (Withrow), Dayton (Trotwood), Westerville Central, Massillon Washington, Baldwin Wallace, and Girard. Bowling Green State University travels much the same path as Toledo. Some schools like Youngstown State travel, but the MAC schools would be the ones to attend.
      These camps will test a prospect, put him through football related agility drills, and do the important one one drills. Every drill is lead by the college position coach. The head coach roams the field and has a chance to see all of the talent. The "basic combine drills" are good, but for some campers, this gets to be redundant. For example, I was at a satellite camp last week that started at 6:00PM. At 8:25, they were still testing and had yet to run a football related agility drill or had yet to run a football one on one drill.
      Another positive is that some MAC schools bring in D-II and D-III coaches to evaluate players and to help run some of the drills. In a camp with 200 players, many will be D-2 or D-3 level players. The problem there is that some of the younger coaches at this level do not know how to evaluate. They are not aggressive and spend more time talking. Of course, many coaches on the D-2 and D-3 level can and want to evaluate.
      I used to believe attending the one day camps at the BCS level schools was good because Mid American coaches were there. Even some "decision makers" were in attendance. Now I am not so sure how valuable that is. Getting prospects on campus is huge for both the college coach and the prospect. Unless you are a top prospect who really needs to be evaluated by the major college coaching staff, I am starting to question "why."
      Next spring go to the college's football website. Check out satellite camps. Check out the dates. I must warn you, as in anything else, there are good ones and bad ones. A recruit also needs to get on campus. If you are a senior to be, never go more than one day to a camp. Michigan does a tremendous job with their camp, but four days is a long time. But, for any school to recruit you, you almost always have to go their camp. Sad, but I really agree with practice.
      For my uneducated opinion, I believe in satellite camps. For the bang for the buck, they are good. Now for the most part, they are held on high school fields, not in or on college fields. But your purpose is to get evaluated, not dream. But eventually, you will have to get on campus.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Some MSROHIO Campers - Ohio Class of 2015

       The MSROHIO Underclassman Showcase on June 9 was a huge success. Numbers were surprisingly huge. Excellent instructors. Really good weather. Some talented players, actually in all classes. Most of all, the showcase was a chance to see alot of players who needed to identified and have their name "put-out" there.
       Really hard in just one four hour block to evaluate 224 players.  Also hard to really rate a player going into his sophomore. Also had some members of the 2017 Class workout. Just a quick look at some of the members of the Ohio 2015 Class.
       Austin White - Wadsworth - DB. 6'1-193. May be OLB. Strong. Closes well. Improve speed.
       Ben Cooper - Westerville Central - DL - Strong upper body. Explosive. Work on agility.
       Bryce Harris  - Akron Firestone - OL/DL - Explosive. Strong. Intense. Work on agility.
       Brennan Fannin - Crestwood - RB/DB - Quick feet. Fast. 5'10-178. Liked his intensity.
       CJ Conrad - Keystone - TE - 6'5-218 - A top TE prospect. Athletic. Fast. Excellent pass catcher.
       CJ Stalker - Lakota West - OLB - Excellent burst. Tough. Changes direction. Will get bigger.
       Chandler Cotterman - Anna - OL - 6'4-296 - Good pop. Good feet. Strong. Powerful. Sleeper.
       Chris Allen-Spiller - Eastmoor - CB. Quick feet. Burst. Short. Good recovery speed. Competes.
       Clayton Schmerber - Centerville - TE. Project. Add weight. 6'5-200. Athletic. Look at DE.
       Dante' Jones - Lakota West - WR. Excellent ball catcher. Separates. 6'1-188. Improve 40 speed.
       Dante Redwood - Midview - CB. Fast. Good burst. Short, but competitive. Work on hips.
       David Cooper - Gahanna - OL. Good frame. Get stronger. Improve speed. Like potential.
       Ethan Griffith - Vermillion - DL/OL. Raw, but tough. Good feet. Improve overall athleticism.
       Evan Barker - Canton Glen Oak - OL. Strong. Powerful. Needs to improve speed and athleticism
       Guy Victoria - Springfield - LB. 6'3-215. Strong downhill player. More athletic. Improve speed.
       Isaac Sherman - Ironton - OL. Big(6'3-296). Powerful. Good feet. Tough. Improve athleticism.
       Jack Palumbo - Hudson - RB. Ran 4.28shuttle. 4.6/40. Tough. Good burst. Improve quicks.
       Jack Schroer - New Albany - TE/DE. Good hands. Growing. A football player. Improve agility.
       Jacob Zinni -West Branch - OL. Powerful. Good feet, but needs to be faster. Strong. Tough.
       Jared Rettig - Lake(NW) - QB. Getting stronger. Accurate. Good feet. Strong arm.
       Lucas Maynard - Teays Valley - DE. Needs to get bigger/stronger. Improve speed. Tough.
       Maleek Richey - Westerville Central - DE. 6'4-242. Athletic. Bender. Explosive. Improve speed.
       Marcus Bailey - Hilliard Davidson - LB. Fast. Athletic. Explosive. Tough. A top LB prospect.
       Mitchell Guadagini - Hudson - QB.  Spin it. Improved feet. Athletic.Possible top 5 QB in 2014.
       Nate Childress - Rossford - OL/DL. Good feet. Bender. Strong. Will continue to get big/strong.
       Regan Malas - Dublin Coffman - DB. Fast. Good burst. Tough. Tough. Closes well.
       Ryan Grooms - Grove City - LB. 6'3-226. Strong. Gets downhill. Changes direction.
       Scott Garrison - Centerville - DE. 6'3-232. Strong. Tough. Needs to improve speed.
       Tristan Reichelderfer - Kenton - LB - 6'4-190. Long. Athletic. Frame to add strength. Competes.
       Tyler Traylor - Dayton C-J - WR. Big WR. Strong hands. Athletic. Needs to improve speed.
       This was the Ohio Class of 2015 list that we came up with. Omitted some QB's, like Garrison Flora (Cloverleaf), Kyle Kaparos (Upper Arlington), Rytan Gallagher(Solon), and Tristian Cox(Ironton). Need to see more.
        Looking forward to watching these prospects this fall, among the many I will evaluate.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Facebook - A College Recruiter's Source

I just read a post on Facebook from a high school football player and just defriended him. No big deal, of course, because I am just a person interested in the football recruiting of Ohio high school players. But, moreso, I am interested in a recruit's well-being more than anything else. Football recruiting, as dishonest as it can sometimes be, is still a very important part of a young person's life.

I listen to a talk given by a D-1 college coach  a few weeks ago.  His talk centered on "Perception vs Reality in Football Recruiting." One very interesting area - Facebook. He stressed the importance of high school coaches educating their players on what to do and what not to do on Facebook. He even went sofar to ask coaches "to warn" their players that college coaches check Facebook almost every day.

When comments get "dirty," or distasteful, a prospect's recruiting status can be affected. Pictures that are distasteful or suggestive can produce the same effect. Once on Facebook, all can see or read.

College coaches use Facebook all of the time. College coaches have told me that NOW, the most important communication for them is correct cell phone numbers. Obviously for texting. Getting twitter handles is also important. They tell me that they can get almost everything else through Facebook.

To make the most positive impact on coaches, recruits should post positive comments about themselves and what activities they are involved in both inside and outside of school. Post pictures that tell something about you. No distasteful pics.

Here are some general rules for posting on Facebook:
      Do not use obscene language.
      Do not post any information when you are upset.
      Do not use violent or threatening comments.
      Do not refer to women in derogatory words.
      Do not use derogatory or discriminatory words to describe someone else's race, even your own.
      Do not post information discussing behaviors such as sex, drinking, or getting high.
      Do not post provactive pictures.
      Do not use derogatory or discriminatory words to describe someone's sexual orientation.
      Do not post anything that displays you violating your school and team conduct policies.
I took these from a book presented by the National Guard for High School Player Development. Like any good set of rules, they cover everything.

When college football coaches tell me that they rely on Facebook to learn more about recruits, I feel that these general rules are important. Maybe common sense to most young people, but I read post that are outright distasteful and inappropriate. College football coaches read the same posts.


Monday, June 3, 2013

The NIKE Thing

       One of my friends whom I respect was telling me about the NIKE camp this past Saturday. I am always amazed how much stock high school football player evaluators put in shorts and t-shirts. I see it college football camps for high school players every year. Is it easier to block or ruch the passer with no pads on? Is it easier to pass when no one is rushing? Is it easier to catch when no defender is going to hit you? Camps are good for intial evaluations, but wearing pads does make a difference.
       A big offensive lineman from Ohio was having trouble blocking one of the best DL guys in the country. (At least that is what people say). Since I have not seen every high school DL guy in the country, I really do not know.) First, that OL guy from Ohio is putting the shot and throwing the discus in the OHSAA State Track Meet this weekend. I wonder how much time he has worked on pass blocking this spring. Secondly, without pads and doing the same technique everytime, how easy does the DL have it. I guess what annoys me is all of the experts' comments out there.
       Last summer, Mitch Trubisky (Mentor) and now quarterbacking at North Carolina did not do well at the Elite 11. Big deal. But the experts were quick to be negative. Mitch did not have perfect technique. Plus it was May and not November. But Mitch could move the chains and make big plays. He was a tremendous leader. But he was not good enough for the Elite 11. Was he an O-State QB, no, because he was a big runner/passer.  But will he get a chance to play on Sundays, of course.
       For some reason, I have always liked Taco Charlton. Honestly, he is a character, but he is going to be a very good college player. People told me he was terrible at the "Opening." For one thing, he could not wear shoulder pads.(OHSAA ruling). Everybody else did. Did that leave him at a disadvantage? Also, he went through the "recruiting crap," and could not handle it.
        I am really starting to be concerned about an early commitment recruit to a big school in Ohio. Liked him alot on the football field. Really, really young for his class. Fast, but needs to be alot stronger. My big concern is when I see him now, he is playing the "swagger" game and he should not that. I thought he was offered too soon. He seems to be a "good cat," but right now he should forget about the recruiting process, and commit to being the best that he can be. Yes, I saw his show at the NIKE Camp.
       I have tremendous respect for Toledo Central Catholic's DeShone Kizer. Watched him play QB as a sophomore. Watched him last year. Have watched him on the basketball court. Also saw one baseball game. Has not been offered by some of the schools in the Big Ten. They are evaluating him, but no formal offer. LSU and Alabama have. (I will not go there.) Talked to him briefly before the NIKE Camp. DeShone has to dedicate himself to getting stronger "core muscles." If that means no AAU basketball or summer baseball, then no AAU basketball or summer baseball. His choice. He has all of the tools, but arm strength. And, yes, I really do not care what the NIKE experts say. But, as from our conversation, DeShone knows how much I respect him.
       Chayce Crouch QB from Newark Catholic threw some nice passes at the NIKE Camp last Sunday. He missed the Elite 11 on Saturday, because he was playing in the Regional Finals for Newark Catholic's baseball team. Is he there yet, heavens no, but he has a chance to be special. Like his accuracy in the short time that I watched him. What I like most is that he has worked on his footwork and will continue to get better. Leadership? just watch him play.
       Finally, the NIKE stuff gives kids a chance to compete and also to see other players from all over. But doing well at a NIKE thing is just like being a five star or a four star. There comes a time when you have to put the pads on and compete at the college level. All of the marketing and recruiting sites stories are fun, but there will be a time when a football recruit has to "perform."
       My uneducated advice is simple. Blot out all of the "noise." Work hard to get better. Smile when you read that you are a bigtime recruit, but consider the source. Do not get stressed out, if the phone calls start coming less frequently. Finally, only worry about things that you can control. What recruiters think, you cannot control. BUT how hard you work, you can control.