Sunday, July 27, 2014

A New MSROHIO Website Soon

        Ever since, I had my first website created, I have asked the webmaster to do much of the work. I  had little knowledge and cared little, because I was too busy. Over the last two months, a website guy in neighboring Kenton has been working on a website user friendly for me. I have changed my agenda.
        By the beginning of the week (hopefully, Monday), there will be a new msrohio website. Really contains everything that I want in a website about Ohio football recruiting. Information is readily available. I will be able to do my own posting, but will still have help from a good friend when needed. First, I need to thank my daughter for so much work on the former website.
        The blog that many people claim to read is on the front page. I mean right there. Former blogs will be easy to read. The McCallister Blog has become an important part of my website.
        As you will see, many of the same features will still be available. "Around the State," will concentrate on the actual season, but will also have stories out of season. Both the camps and combines have their own section. Players will still be able to send information.
        This site will also work with HUDL and post a players highlight video. This will not be open until the late fall. I did not see the need to put last year's player highlights up on the new site. Colleges will use this sight, so last year's highlights are old news. A player's highlights will be available to the public for viewing all year round.
          Many parents send emails thanking me for helping them in the recruiting process. High coaches have done the same. Some parents have asked that I post what they say. As you can guess, I am not into that. If a person ask that I post his email, I will. But it is not something that I will solicit.
           A couple of notes:
                   1. is not an Ohio State site. I have had readers suggest that I do more with OSU recruiting. I do blogs on OSU recruits and the OSU recruiting sites post them. Then they beat me up on message boards. What's up with that?
                   2. My writing style is not going to change. There is such a thing as using a fragment in a correct way. I omit words. I need to use smaller paragraphs. Readers should be looking for information and insight, not proofreading.
                   3. I am a "kids-guy" to a fault. Never be a afraid to contact me with a question about the football recruiting process. Now if the question is about rating Ohio State's recruiting class, check with the experts. I was told that a guy on an OSU message board said that McCallister can "rate the Bluffton-BGSU recruit level kid, but evaluating BCS level kids was over his head." OH WELL.
          Over the last few years, I have experimented with other areas of football recruiting. Camps, combines, and speaking on recruiting are some of the other areas. The new informative website is really exciting for me.
                  The McCallister Scouting Report continues to grow in new areas, but as I get older, I realize that I cannot do this forever. For now, we are "good." Some of the credit goes to a person who a few years ago wrote, " the old school guys are being replaced by the young, modern tech young guys." Remember - "Trouble with the Curve."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Miami Tradition

        Driving down 127 to Miami University last Thursday night brought back wonderful memories of the old days at Miami of Ohio. The days of Randy Walker and Terry Hoeppner were the times that I will always remember. Actually, I had not been back,  only once since Shane Montgomery resigned as head football coach.
       The first time that I was introduced to the late Randy Walker, he kind of gave me a shrug and went about his business. I had only been in the business for a few years. I would see him occasionally, but the nod was sufficient for him, but as time went, I was able to "gain his confidence and trust." He took me around in his golf cart, at one of Miami's high school 7on7, which was the ultimate high for me. We talked about high school players for an hour. The nod was gone and, in my eyes, I had arrived.
        The late Terry Hoeppner was the real deal. To me, he was the ultimate head coach. Tremendous personality. Tremendous motivator. Time to talk to anyone. Honest, probably to a fault. We got to know each other while he was an assistant coach, or really while he was the DC. Different than many head coaches in that he was approachable. Just so down to earth. Promised Ben Roethlisberger that he would be a QB, not a WR or TE. I could talk with him anytime.
        Both of these men moved from Miami onto the  Big Ten. Randy to Northwestern and Terry to Indiana.  Both died at early times in their careers. Randy died of a heart attack. Terry lost a battle with cancer. Both men where what football coaches should be all about. Simply put, "When they spoke, you listen." Both had senses of humor, but could get after it, when needed. Both could communicate and recruit.
        New head coach Chuck Martin invited me to the first football camp under the lights back in the spring. I do not know him as well as some head coaches, but he made me feel welcomed. Talking to the staff, everyone understands the Miami tradition, which is huge to me. Former player and assistant coach Joe Palcic is back coaching linebackers. My two cents - I am impressed with his combination of young and older staff. Impressed with some of Coach Martin's thoughts, and he does have a solid plan on recruiting. Sorry, but Miami needs get back recruiting Ohio.
       Back in the day, Miami would hold three Saturdays of 7on7 in the month of June. The last Saturday was the most talented. We're talking on the average of 25 teams. For me, the time was huge. During team breaks, I could talk with players, as well as the high school coach. Plus players and teams got better.
        For some reason, when Shane Montgomery resigned, the new staff did not feel that 7on7's were necessary.  Rumor has it, that a 7on7 could be back next year. If it is as organized as the "Under the Lights Camp" last Thursday, happy days may be coming back.
       I know many of the coaches at the MAC schools, especially the ones in Ohio. Their programs are either there or getting there. So many good head coaches. Miami has struggled of late and has much work today. If Thursday was any indication, the Redhawks should be joining the mix soon.
       But I do miss, Randy Walker and Terry Hoeppner. Now, we were not close friends. But we talked about football and football recruiting. Most of all, they were "just guys." Excellent head coaches, "just guys." Refreshing to me in this era of college football.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Joey Galloway - Sharing his Knowledge

       Two months ago, I received a call from Joey Galloway inviting me to a football speed camp that he was going to hold near Bellaire, Ohio. his would be his first effort and he invited me. Last week I made the trip.
       Joey had texted me after the first day, that the attendance was not what he had expected, and he was not sure that the trip would benefit me. First, I made the commitment earlier and would fulfill it. Second, I do not get to the Bellaire area often and thought that I might find a "diamond-in-the-rough." Lastly, I wanted to see the "highly profiled" Joey Galloway work with kids and see what kind of teacher he was going to be.
      Hopefully, most Ohio State people are familiar with Joey Galloway, the All-American receiver back in 1994 from Ohio State University. Joey went on to the NFL, playing for Dallas and Seattle and then bouncing around for a few years.
       Now a retired NFL player, I believe he is doing some football broadcasting. A little nugget - As a high school senior at Bellaire High School, Joey's picture was on the cover of one of my first recruiting magazines.
       Rumors are Joey is serious about wanting to work with young athletes on "speed training." I wanted to see him in action, so if I am ever asked about his communication skills, I can give a truthful answer. Knowledge, I guessed - no problem. Ability to communicate his knowledge to campers - different story.
       Joey Galloway can get his ideas through to players. Some "high-profiled" players cannot and I see them all of the time. He talked on the 40 start, among other subjects.  Demonstrated every drill. A hands-on guy. He encouraged every player to work hard and hustle. Called them by name or gave them a nickname.. Excellent communicator. Most of all, he seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Definitely not a "token star" just making an appearance.
       Talked with him some after the 3-day camp was over. Now living in Columbus, his hopes are to get some "speed camps" going in Central Ohio. If he shows the same attitude and communicates his knowledge to players as did at this camp, he will have few problems. His name sounds sweet to the older Buckeye fan.
       The drive to the Bellaire area was long, but easy. Watching a "high profiled" star working with kids was worth it. Really glad and fortunate to be invited to be personally invited to Joey's first ever "speed camp." Really, really happy that I did not have to watch some "self-anointed" super star parade around, acting like he was giving kids a break to be there. They are out there.
       If you read about speed camps in Central Ohio next winter and you see Joey Galloway's name, check it out. It may not be for what you are looking, but you should at least check it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mansfield's Head Football Coach Deserves Better

        Before you read this blog entry, I must tell you that I spent 31 years in one of the best professions in the world. I was a teacher. Working with kids at levels was fun. I spent the last 12 years at the junior high level. I understand unions, both the good and the bad. I understand administrations, both good and bad. I understand teachers, both the good and the bad ones. Finally, I understand teaching has changed, both good and bad.
        Mansfield High School hosted a 7on7 competition today, and there may not be a collection of college talent at one site like there was today. Quality coaches. Registered officials. One turf, one grass field. Recruiting reporters all over. College recruits. Excellent quarterbacks. Teams: Mansfield Senior, Massillon, Trotwood Madison, Springfield, Glenville, Eastmoor, Akron Kenmore, and Westerville North.
        Before I left I wanted to make sure that Mansfield Senior Head Coach Chioke Bradley knew how impressed I was with the whole deal. I told him that to put this 7on7 competition together must have a lot of work. To sell Trotwood and Springfield must have taken work. Central Ohio had two teams there. Registered officials were paid to work the game. All in all, a great way to sell high school football in the city of Mansfield.
         I also told him how impressed with and proud of him in how he has developed the Mansfield program. Years ago they were a bad football program. No numbers. Not many athletes. Not many Black athletes. Not much discipline. Not much structure. As I said, not a real good program. The days of Stan Jefferson's successful teams were gone.
         Coach Bradley played at Mansfield Senior. Received a scholarship to Bowling Green State University. Played with all of his ability and did well for the Falcons. Came home to Mansfield and, eventually, took over as head football coach at Mansfield. Hometown boy giving back to the community.
         Coach Bradley worked hard on discipline and on fundamentals. More importantly, he worked on making the football program attractive enough to get students wanting to play. Last year, as a reward for his hard work, Mansfield Senior made the playoffs. For me, the Tygers now look, act, and play like a well coached football program.
         After I paid him the compliments and patted him on the back, I asked me to do one thing. "Tell my superintendent what you just said." Why? The school superintendent told him in April that his job was eliminated. Not football, but his job within the system.
         I do not know anything other than his position was eliminated. Obviously, I will not make time to research the situation. Nor is it any of my business. This is not the first school to do this, nor will it be the last. I understand the financial problems with school systems. I understand unions and "last in, first out."
         Finding quality people to coach young people is hard. Too many hoops to jump through. Too much time. No teaching openings. Finding African Americans who can or will come back and work with inner city sports is really hard. I have watched the inner system for over twenty five years.
Good, young role model Blacks are coming back to coach inner city. I applaud them.
         Are we really concerned about what is best for young African American students? We have inner city coaches who are willing to do what it takes. Is there a way to make it work? Watching inner city sports for many years, I kind of "get it." But I drive to a home south of Upper Sandusky. I leave the inner city. Mansfield is not inner city, I know.
         As I said earlier, I do not know the Chioke Bradley story, but I know he works well with kids, instills discipline, and understands football. He works hard to promote his players to college coaches. Somewhere in educating young people, I wish there was a way to keep the "Chioke Bradley's" working with young people.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The University of Findlay Football Camp

      Last night I really enjoyed myself at the University of Findlay's first football camp under the direction of Head Coach Rob Keys. Not only was it enjoyable, but also profitable for me. Over 170 campers attended. Recruiting coordinator Kory Allen was the camp director.
      In May, I visited the Ashland University football camp. The camp was organized and instruction was really good. This Sunday my plans are to go to the Ohio Dominican University football camp in Columbus. All three schools are D-2 schools with very good football programs. The Division Two level football is really good in Ohio and as the popularity of these camps continues, D-2 programs will continue to get stronger. Move over Michigan D-2 schools.
      The UF Camp was opened to campers entering  9-12 grades in the fall of 2014. The camp was an all positions camp. There were D-1 prospects in both the Classes of 2015 and 2016. For me, I was also able to identify some prospects in the Class of 2017. At this time of the year, anytime I can get information on younger prospects, it is like Christmas time.
      A lot of running, which is good, because I can learn a lot. Find the "benders," find the "burst guys," and find the "change of direction guys." Best of all, I find the guys who want and who do - compete. Good to see players who compete and who show energy.
      Players also were able to do position specific drills and one-on-one drills. Coaches had a lot energy, which spilled over to the players.
      Impressed with a big OL guy from the Toledo area. He ran well and "hustled." Impressed with passing of two QB's. One a junior and one a senior.
      Need to mention one camper. Troy LBer, Marco Anverse has worked really hard over the years to "get better." First watched him as a sophomore. He attended both my camps and combines. Last year he played DE for Troy High School. Believe that he is moving to his natural position of LB this fall. Regardless of position, Marco loves football and will compete. Also really like his improved over-all attitude.
     My policy is to seldom report on campers, because I am a guest. What I see, I keep for my own information. Although my opinions on players have no value, I feel silly being a guest and then giving out information to other colleges. But, there were some really good prospects working out to get better. For others, they got camp experience and a chance to get noticed and to get better.
      For their first "rodeo," the football staff at the University of Findlay did a really good job with their Football Elite Prospect Camp. They were able to involve members of the UF football team. Also visiting coaches were able to help with evaluations. Most of all, campers got coached, got noticed, and got better.
      Division Two football continues to grow and get better in Ohio. High school camps like Findlay and Ashland support this thought. Hopefully, ODU's camp this Sunday will add more support.
      Finally, from a "burned out Oiler," check out the facilities. They have changed some since 1971.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chris Chambers Foundation Football Camp

        Yesterday, I made my annual trip to Bedford High School to evaluate campers at the Chris Chambers Foundation Football Camp. Now retired from the NFL, Chris lives in Florida, but comes back to Bedford to host his camp every June.
        First met Chris when he was staring at Bedford High School as a wide receiver. He went on to Wisconsin and later to the NFL. With all of his success on the football field, he is still the same Chris Chambers who I knew in high school. Class act!
       Ted Ginn, Jr worked the wide receivers at the camp. Just talked with "Little Ted" for a few minutes, but he seems to be happy with the Arizona Cardinals. As I would expect, he just enjoys working with kids and trying to make them better.
       A lot of good young prospects were on the field, but for most, I need to see more  this fall. Spent a lot of my time watching the younger players. However, there were some older ones who continue to impress me.
       Warren Harding's James Daniels (2015) came to the camp to work out for his Uncle who helps run the camp. The camp is for skilled players. Being 6'4-280, James is an OL/DL guy who among others has been offered by Ohio State and not a skilled player. But he ran in all of the drills and ran well. Good bender. Strong. Best of all, good character kid. Non committed now. Just has something that I like about him.
        Brandon Harris (2015) from East Cleveland Shaw recently committed to Bowling Green. Bowling Green offered him as an "athlete." Honestly, they got a "steal." Guessin 6'2-205 and he is all over the field. Can run, catch, and change direction. Really competitive. Will either be a receiver or an inside DB. One of the best players at this camp.
        Linebackers Marquise Copeland and London Cloud both in the 2015 Class at Bedford played well in 7on7 competition. Both strong and fast enough. Of course, they are more effective with pads on. Marquise is going to Cincinnati and London will play for Ohio Universty. Have watched both since their sophomore years.
       Former Glenville linebacker Matt Draper is playing his senior year at Brush High School. As a sophomore, he drew a lot attention as an LB. Surprised that he has gotten heavy and does not run as well. Honestly, I am somewhat concerned about effort. Although just a camp, he needs to be more focused and get better.
       Chawntez Moss from Bedford has the quickness, burst, and speed that a coach likes in a running back. Only a junior, I really like his physical tools. Guessin 5'11-190. Guessin 4.6 every time he runs the 40.  Also like his toughness. This fall, I am looking forward to see him getting around the corner, because I know that he can run between the tackles. Could be one of the tops in his 2016 Class.
       There is just something about Glenville QB Marcus Drish. Guessin 5'10-185 (at least). A back-up last year as a sophomore, this will be his time. Strong arm. Good feet. Deceptive speed. Really athletic. Good enough to be a receiver. Like his leadership skills. Once he gains some game experience, he should be okay.
        As I said earlier, I like the potential of many of the younger players, but too early to mention them. East Cleveland Shaw has two good young prospects. Bedford has a sophomore WR/DB planning to go both ways. Just too early.
        Chris Chambers always runs a disciplined camp. Actually, we talked about working together on some ways to get kids better. That would be interesting.

Monday, June 23, 2014

OL Commit Kevin Feder from New Jersey

       Read in the Dispatch this morning, that Ohio State received a commitment from a big offensive tackle from Don Bosco High School in New Jersey. Actually he had committed to University of Miami back in December, but "flipped" after attending Ohio State's camp  I watched Kevin Feder at Ohio State's one day camp last Thursday. The more I watched and learned about him, the more impressed I became.
       I watched with some caution, however, because had only rated him a three star. He was only ranked 18th best prospect in New Jersey and the 82nd best offensive tackle nationally. Because I put so much credence in the recruiting sites like, Rivals, and 247sports, and the "star" system, I was afraid that I was wasting my time. (Hopefully, reading my "stuff," you realize the sarcasm here.)
      An leg injury last year and the fact that he only played defense at Don Bosco High School, made the judgment of OL coach Ed Wariner's unique. At Ohio State's camp, was the only real offensive blocking that he has done. Listed 6'9-310, so probably 6'8-300, the cat can run. Fastest OL guy at the camp. This was proven by a sprint at the end of camp.
      Watched him a lot. In the one on one's, which for the most part is a waste of time, he did okay. He was beaten off the edge a few times. But he bends well. Feet are okay. Does not play basketball. If you keep remembering that this camp was the first time that he lined up on offense or that he is listed 6'9-310 and trying to block smaller quicker DE, you realize Ohio State has a possible big time player.
       For me a "no-brainer," because I like long tall offensive linemen, who can move their feet and have the potential to add lots of weight. Sounds silly, but he is almost a "freak," because he runs so well and has the potential to get huge. Plus he is smart. Another silly comment, but if he keeps working and is coached well, he will make money on Sundays. But what do I know, I told Taylor Decker the same thing.
       Since this is not an Ohio State recruiting site, I really am not applauding the work of Ohio State. They did some work, however, and Ed Wariner saw what I saw.. The point that I am trying to make is that the "star" system is meant to be entertaining. Please do not take them seriously. Smile, but please do not take them seriously. Some college want the "splash, which is scary.
       Kevin Feder believes that he is a potential 5-star, but is rated a 3-star. If he keeps working hard and stays focused, he will be a top left tackle at Ohio State University. If he keeps working hard and  stays focused, he will make money on Sundays. That is good enough for me.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Thank You Urban Meyer and the Ohio State

        Although I am going to attend three college football camps in July, the college camp season is over for me. In some ways, I am glad, and in some ways, I will miss them. Quickly reminding myself about standing out in the sun for six hours, maybe I will not miss them at all.
       All of the camps that I attend are good. Whether it be Michigan's large number, the satellite camps of BGSU, Toledo, or Ohio University, camps for me are what I make them. Hopefully, I make them good. Have not been to Michigan State or Notre Dame lately, but they are good, as well. From what high school coaches and recruits tell me, they are all good.
       I often get asked, "What camps should we attend?" My answer, " 1. They are all good. 2. Go to the camp that the schools you are really interested in are hosting. 3. Go to a smaller camp. 4. Go to a MAC satellite camp to save on travel expenses."
       Years ago former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel began allowing Mid American Conference staffs to come a senior camp. Two assistant coaches from a college would help at Ohio Sate, but Tressel opened the gate. Full staffs eventually were allowed to evaluate.
       A practice at many schools is to allow assistant college coaches work bigger BCS schools. The Division 2 colleges will allow Division 3 schools to work their camps. Satellite camps will allow both D-2 and D-3 colleges to work.
       Coach Urban Meyer, when he first came to Ohio State, had some different views on allowing complete staffs to evaluate prospects. Not only that, he was concerned about college assistants working the camp. This past winter I had even heard some "stuff" that he was going to change some of the format this summer. Although I do not always agree some of Coach Meyer's ideas, I can see his point.
       The purpose of this blog entry is to thank the Ohio State staff, and, of course, Urban Meyer, for putting on the best camp that I have been to, since Coach Meyer's been on the scene. Being an Ohio high school football "kid's guy," the camp was good. 1 A solid turnout. 2. A variety of prospects in the Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017, and some from the Class of 2018. 3. Really good instruction.
       Mid American coaches, including some head coaches, were allowed to walk around and evaluate. Urban Meyer was giving many high school players a chance to be evaluated by other D-1 schools, and mostly schools from Ohio. Of course, no BCS schools, other than Ohio State. were present. Will not put a number on how many recruits OSU was really evaluating, but I really appreciate the fact that so many campers were evaluated by other D-1 schools.
        Finally, I enjoyed the freedom that people were given. Of course, parents and observers had to stay behind the red lines. Recruiting reporters were allowed more freedom. Most importantly of all, I was allowed to roam within reason. Huge for me. Keep my mouth shut and my ears and eyes wide open.
       This blog is not a knock on any other BCS schools and their camps. Especially the ones that pay for my service. Anytime so many college staffs, regardless of Division, can evaluate players, mostly from Ohio, every high school football coach in Ohio should be pleased.
       Thank you, Urban Meyer and Ohio State football staff for hosting such an event.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Some Campers at the Showcase

As I blogged earlier in the week, getting really good looks at football players in continuous rain is really hard to do. When no testing is done, and when few agility drills are run, evaluating a prospect is difficult. However, players got to "ball" for almost three hours, and they really seem to enjoy that.
Offensive Lineman
     Jeff Nogai - Johnstown HS -  Passes eyeball test. 6'5-291. Needs to keep working on feet.
    Elijah Woolam - Jackson HS -  Like size. Saw him play last year. Good feet. Better bender.
    Dylan Murphy - Watterson HS -  6'6-262. Explosive. Strong. Be better bender.
          Like potential.
    Nick Rosi - Olentangy Liberty HS -  Good feet. 6'2-245. A freshman with lots of potential.
    William Strawser - Olentangy HS -  Hurt ankle and did not see many reps. Potential.
    Andrew Rosi - Olentangy Liberty -  6'4(almost)-215. Athletic. Excellent frame. Competes.   
          Huge upside. Will be either one of the top TE's or DE or OL's in the Class of 2017. A top
     Dalton Strunk - Lakota East HS -  Big frame. Good explosion.
     Seth Vargo - Danbury HS - Strong arm. 6'2-190. Needs to work on release. Like his    
    AJ Hughes - Revere HS -  Strong arm. 6'3-203. Needs to work on technique. Potential.
   Alec Foos - Bellevue HS -  Measured 6'0-165. Needs to get stronger, but like his release.
   Dustin Crum - Midview HS -  Like his potential. Needs to work on technique.
   Kyle Vantrease - Stow HS -  Strong arm. Measured 6'2-197. Really like his potential.
   Zach Larkin - Hamilton Badin HS - Strong arm. 6'4-190. Like release. Improved arm strength.
          Toughness surprised me. Could be one of the top QB's in the Class of 2016.
   Gunnar Hoak - Coffman HS -  Keeps getting stronger/bigger. Quick release. Like his release.
          Will be one of the top QB's in the Class of 2016.
   John Henry - Marietta HS -  Athletic. Strong arm. Need to see more. 6'3-200. Really like his   
   Trent Burke - Westerville South HS -  Continues to improve. Strong arm. 6'1-193.
  Running Backs
     Antwuan Johnson Dayton Dunbar HS -  Excellent hands. Good hips. 6'0-213. If he keeps    
              focused will be one of top RB's in the Class of 2018.
     Daniel Banks - Nordonia HS - Both RB/CB. Track fast. Excellent hips. 5'9-155. Will be one
              of the top recruits in the Class of 2017.
      Stephen Headings - Coffman HS - Strong runner. 5'11-207. Need to see more. Like his
      Nick Cox - Wellston HS - Strong runner. Fast. 6'0-185. Need to see this fall.
      Terrell Washington - Thomas Worthington HS -  Athletic. Quickness. Also plays QB.
             5'11-187. Need to see more.
      Erik Davis - Rossford HS - Also plays DB. Fast. Tough. A better DB prospect.
      Robert Fusner - Central Crossing HS -  6'1-209. Runs well. Liked his lateral movement. Tough.
       Landon Hall - Wapakoneta HS - Runs well. Athletic. Wrestled at State Meet. 6'2-185. One to watch.
       Roen McCullough - Kilbourne HS - One to watch. 6'1-216. Like his toughness. Runs well.
       Derrick Harvey - Buchtel HS - Fast. Like lateral movement. 6'1-198. Competed hard. Like potential.
       Jarrid Fisher - Lakota East HS - Runs well. Like his toughness. Started as a 10th grader.  Really like potential.
       Andrew Malick - Westerville North HS - Closes well. 6'1-211. Need to see more. Competed hard.
       Griffin Hoak - Coffman HS - Like his toughness. 6'1-195. Runs well. Good hips. Could be one of the top five LB's in the Class of 2018.
Defensive Lineman
      Chris Williams - Wellston HS - Powerful. Good burst. 6'1-265. Ran well for size.
      Antonio Shelton - Westerville North HS - Excellent quickness. Explosive. Strong. Needs to
           work on balance, but will be okay. Could be really good.
      Ryan Strawser - Olentangy HS -  Athletic. Good balance. Needs to get bigger and stronger.
     Collin Brown - Upper Sandusky - Explosive. Strong. Powerful. Needs to continue to work on technique. 6'2-280. Sleeper.
     Travis Sanders - Thomas Worthington HS - Need to see more. Strong. Good balance. Be better bender.
      Dalton Jordan - Thomas Worthington HS - Strong. Athletic. Need to see more.
Defensive Backs
      Jatairis Grant - Akron Garfield HS - All of the tools. Fast. Good hips. Recovers well. Fast.
           Will be one of the top CB's in the Class of 2016. BCS level. Special
DeJon Jordan - Walnut Ridge HS -  Fast. 6'1-192. May grow into an OLB.
Michael Ayers - Walnut Ridge HS - Needs to get faster/stronger, but should. Getting faster.  
          6'2-150. Liked his attitude. Good hips.
Brendan White - Olentangy Liberty - HS - Wants to be a wideout. If he continues to get
          bigger/faster, he will be one of the best FS in the Class of 2017. Smart. Tough.
Wide Receivers
Cole Virgin - Elyria Catholic HS -. Need to see more. Good size. Excellent hands.
Jacob Dues - Minster HS -  Athletic. Catches well. Speed? One to watch.

       I have made all kinds of excuses for my not doing a good job of evaluating many of the campers at the Showcase. My coaches gave me many of these players to watch. Tried to see most. Obviously, I have missed listing some. All of the campers are on my list. If I can, I will list some more names in a blog next week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Brief Summary about the Showcase

       After the Showcase last Sunday, I have spent the last three days doing the "satellite" college football camp circuit. For people looking for the Showcase summary and names, something should be up by Friday morning.
      Due to the weather, evaluating players was somewhat difficult.
      Testing was eliminated. Just could not see running 40's and the proshuttle in the rain. Players could slip and hurt themselves. Times would not have been as fast. I wish that I could seen some of the DB's and WR's run, but not worth the risk.
      Wet floors caused me to have the players measured in shoes, which I do not like to do. Not as accurate. After about 45 players getting weighed, it was discovered that the scales needed adjusted. - 12 pounds too light. Of course, not as accurate.
      After registration was completed, wind caught the tent and water poured over the registration forms. Still have the cards, so all was not lost.
      Along with not doing testing, I also skipped the football agility drills and went straight to position specfic drills. I really like the agility drills as a way to evaluate prospects. Also we use the same agility drills, that most of the colleges use, which helps college prospects get ready for camps.
      Hopefully, because of the rainy weather, we only had 141 campers. But the campers  played football for almost three hours. The OL/DL guys went "one on one" for a long time. Along with the agility drills, and the indivdual drills, they spent alot of time "getting better."
       Quarterbacks got a ton of work. Footwork drills. Lots of throwing. Only McCallister would still push QB's to throw hard and accurately, even though the balls were totally soaked after being in the rain for 3 hours. The QB talent impressed me. Really like the potential of some of the young QB's.
        Some good young LB'ers worked out. DB's and WR's were good. Although only going into their freshman year, two of the "potentially" top players in the Class of 2018, worked out. Of course, as silly as it sounds, these two are going to be good.
        I have already started working on changes for next year. Some areas, I need to do a better job of explaining to coaches want I want. We lost some of the underclassmen to college camps held on the same day. To some extent, I understand. A young lineman travels to Virginia Tech? Underclassman need exposure and only a few camps in the Midwest can do that. Last year, the weather was really hot. This year the weather was really wet. Two major changes are possible and could really help attendance.
         Bottom line - players seemed to enjoy the work. Received some nice emails from parents. As long as the McCallister Scouting Service can help "kids" get better the right way, can help "kids" get educated about football recruiting the right way, and can help "kids" get exposure the right way, we should be okay.
         Some campers' names and some brief comments about them by Friday. Now to Paul Brown Stadium for some football.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Choosing Between BCS and MAC Schools

       Last summer, I asked Marion Local head football coach Tim Goodwin if he ever has aspirations of moving up to a bigger school head football coaching job. He thought for a moment and answered that he does at times. But his next comment was - " I do, but winning a state championship at Marion Local is the same as winning one at a big school. A state championship is a state championship." Big is not always better.
      For me, earning and accepting a football scholarship at a Mid American Conference program is still a football scholarship. I read where recruits are going to places hours away to just because it is a BCS school. Last year a receiver in Southwest Ohio was all set to go to Kent State. A Big Ten school came in really late. He made the "flip," and I was disappointed. Of course, I had only had a partial scholarship when I went to college in 1966. Two things stopped me from earning a full scholarship- Fear of getting hurt. A serious lack of ability. Other than that, I was good.
      The three things a recruit must ask himself. One - Am I comfortable here? If I break my leg, will I enjoy campus for four years? Two - Relationships - Can I play for this coaching staff? What are my teammates like and is it a good fit? Three - Is the head coach's job reasonably secure? Does he have to win next year? Will he move up the ladder to a bigger school?
      Last night, while watching players at Bowling Green's satellite camp in Columbus, I was told that two players that I really like had committed to a MAC school. Both of these recruits have a chance to be really good. I mean really good. But the non verbal, I got from some people was that they have committed too early. One person promised that some BCS schools will "be in for sure." But both parents have told me that they just love the school.
      Let it go. If the players like the school, then let it go. They are the ones who are playing ball. They are the ones going to class. They are the ones who need feel a "good fit." Not the parents. Not the high school coach. For heavens sake, not the "handlers."
       So often a high school recruit will go to a place like Boston College. Red-shirt the first year. Red-shirt freshman the second year. No playing time, the second year. Depressed. Grades suffer. Quit football. Back home. This does not happen all of the time, of course, but it happens more than you might think.
        Big is not always better. Maybe for a recruit's internet following and a dad's ego, but not in what's best for the recruit. If getting a chance to play in the NFL is a goal, every year it is proven that players from all levels of college football can get a chance. I research players with Ohio high school backgrounds who get drafted in the first six rounds. You would be surprised.
        If just wanting to be a part of BCS football team, but have little chance of playing for three years, take the scholarship. If mom and dad really encourage you to go BCS, you might have to take it. If your high school coach encourages you to go take the most impressive offer to make him look good, you might have to take the highest offer. Bottom line, however, you the player have to be comfortable and like the "fit."
        Again, easy for me to give an opinion, because I do not have to make the choice. Because of fear and lack of talent, Michigan or Ohio State was not an option. Also, opinions are just like noses, everybody has one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thoughts on the NIKE Football Camp

       Time to move on from the NIKE mystic of the combine last March and of the football camp last Sunday and Monday.
       But first, both the NIKE Combine and the NIKE Football Camp are tremendous marketing venues. I mean shirts, shoes, and other things for sale. Players get a free shirt and a bag and whatever was in the bag. HUDL, a video service that has taken by storm has also partnered with NIKE. Of course, NCSA was making their pitch. Be careful.
      First, I will say that the NIKE Camp is a really a good way to get better and improve your football skills. Really a good way to compete. Really a  good way to measure your talent against other talent. Really a good way to get some type of exposure. Most of all, it is FREE.
        A parent came up to me and asked when they were going to test. Test? She said that her son had scored well in the SPARQ at Massillon and wanted to improve his scores. Problem - they do not use SPARQ at their camp. After telling her that, much disappointment. Time for football drills and one on ones. Time for football and no more combines.
       Also had a parent from Maryland asked me to evaluate her son. A sophomore - short, solid arm, but that was all. I said that in such a short time, I could not evaluate her son and appreciated her speaking with me.
       A mother talked to me about her son, a senior to be from Northwest Ohio. Colleges are in contact with him and he will make the camp circuit. Her concern was that he was not "ranked" by any recruiting site. My answer, "Big Deal." If he has college coaches communicating with him, he will be okay. Rankings are only important to fans and college head coaches wanting to make a slash.
       Actually felt bad for the campers. For some reason NIKE must feel that the more non-football related drills that they do, the more parents, players, and fans will be impressed. The players were really tired, and one-on-ones had not really started. Football work drills are really important for all positions, but how long does it take for a "solid evaluator" to see what he needs to see.
       Speaking of one on ones. OLvs DL. If a DL guy does not win most of the time, he is not very good. If an OL guy gets beat more than he wins, so what. What I look for in DL guys - does he keep his feet moving, does he bend, and does he punch? Most important - does he have fire in his eyes. What do I look for in OL guys. Does he bend, can he slide, and does he lock out? Most important - does he hate to get beat.
      Speaking of one on ones part 2. DB's vs WR's. A DB always lines up nose to nose to the receiver. Almost touching him. Is this offsides in a real game? Of course. DBvsWR turns into a wrestling match. Move the defender 3 yards off. Now watch his backpedal, his handcheck, and , most of all, his recovery speed.
       A dad sent me an email this morning, including the evaluation that someone made of his son. He had never heard of his son, until the camp, but knew that his school did not throw much. The problem with many recruiting reporters is that do not watch as many prospects as they should. They rely too much on who the college assistant coach tells them to watch. And, yes, that is the way it works most of the time.
       Finally, with NIKE it is a marketing business. Granted some players get exposure. Usually, the ones who have the "big time commitment," or who have the huge offers, or who are rated 4 and 5 stars, are the ones headed to the "Opening.
       As I said earlier, NIKE combines and camps give players a big chance to get better. Ninety percent of the parents should go into this process with "eyes wide open." The one choice who goes to the "Elite Eleven," might be out of reach, unless your son has verbaled to a big time program. Getting invited to the Opening is tough, but possible. Warning - you do not have to go to a NIKE football camp to get invited to the Opening. Glenville kids did not.
        Anytime a player has a chance to get better, he should really look into it. NIKE is probably the best dance.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Joey Burrow Commits to the Buckeyes

       Congratulations to Athens High School's Joey Burrow on committing to Ohio State, yesterday. Although, I have not talked with him, the Buckeye offer was the one that he really wanted and was hoping for.
       The Ohio State coaches talked with Joey Tuesday morning and offered him. After making phone calls to his dad, who is the DC at Ohio University, his mom, and brothers, he called Ohio State to accept the offer.
       Supposedly, Ohio State told him that they were going to revamp their offense some to allow for more drop back passing. That was told to me by a reporter, but not by an Ohio State coach. Joey is more of a pass first, run second QB. He runs well enough to "escape" pocket pressure, but his arm is his major asset. But he can "spin-it."
      After watching video of his sophomore year, I drove to Athens to watch him on the basketball court. Really liked his poise and leadership. Last football season, I saw him destroy a sound Jackson football team with his arm, as well as with his legs. Strong arm. Can make all throws. Smart. Athletic. Really competitive. At that time, I think that he had two offers. Also at that time, the only person who agreed with me on Joey being the a top QB prospect in his Ohio Class of 2016 was Dave Berk.
       Joey had seventeen offers, before getting the Ohio State offer. No, he was not under the radar. Joey had a less than productive Nike Camp last summer at Ohio State. Nerves got the best of him. Actually he grounded some throws. Needed to improve "core muscle" strength. When I saw him last fall, he had gained twenty pounds and really gotten stronger, especially his "core muscles."
       Not to my surprise, many big schools backed away because of the Nike showing. If they would have watched him play in person last fall, hopefully, they would have been smart enough to see his improvement. During this past spring, Joey started receiving BCS offers. Ohio State watched him throw and liked what they saw.
       Watching Joey develop and mature over the last three years has been enjoyable. Given the opportunity, he should have a nice career as a quarterback for the Buckeyes. I wish him well.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Silence During the National Anthem

         I live on four acres just south of Upper Sandusky in Wyandot County. Enjoy visiting the cities, but I a small town guy. Really I am a country guy, but enjoy the small town life. Today was a good day to really appreciate where I live.
        Hunter (my lab) and my friend Tina stood and watched all 15 minutes of our local parade. The mayor. The local high school band. The color guard. The Memorial Day speaker. Some youth programs. Really that was about it. But all was fun.
        On to the park for the Memorial Day service. The guest speaker was  retired Lt. Colonel Mike Emerine who gave a brief history of the some of the Wyandot County men who were killed in the different wars. Not all on the list, but he did mentioned some family names. His talk was both interesting and brought back some old memories. Mike and I spent many hours playing sports at Upper Sandusky back in the 60's and are still good friends to this day.
        Being around sports for over 50 years and attending many high school games during the fall, I have heard the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, just a few times. Today was different. As we stood, no one was asked to "remove their hats." The announcer did not give the generic - "Freedom, like no other." Everybody stood, and with the band and the vocalist, sang the National Anthem.
         What I am not used to is that there were no sounds, other than the music. No people talking, no high school fans chattering, no adults talking on the sidelines, and no players were still talking on the sidelines. No crowd cheers before the music was finished.
          Better yet, although I do not look around to watch people, everyone between the flag and me was looking at the flag and standing still. That, I am also not used to. Nobody had his/her head down. Nobody was looking over the crowd. Nobody was walking to the concession. No teams were still warming up in the distance.
          One of the worst examples of some one staring at the floor during the National Anthem was at a varsity basketball game in Holmes County two years ago. The head coach was between the flag and me. He never looked at the flag. Needless to say, I emailed the AD, and , needless to say, I never got a response.
          Silence and everyone looking at the American flag. Oh my! That does not happen very often anymore.
          As a head football coach back in the day, many times my mind was not on the Star Spangled Banner. As a scout watching a game on the 100 degree turf in August, my mind is not always on the game. As a scout watching a game in late November or early December in cold weather, my mind is not always on the Star Spangled Banner. Removing my hat in the scorching sun or in the freezing cold is not something I really am into.
         I have this thing about freedom. I have only been to Canada and no other country. I have not experienced the freedoms of other countries. I appreciate the freedoms that I have in America enough, that standing still, removing my hat, and looking at the flag for a few minutes is do-able.
          Today was a wonderful day. Thought about three of my friends who were killed in the Vietnam War. Listen to the speech of my childhood friend, Mike Emerine. Remembered that I get disgusted at times with how society is changing. But, at 65, I always am always thankful for the freedoms that I have.
           Back to football tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gavin Cupp - Another OL Guy in the Ohio Class of 2016

       Finding and evaluating high school football players is a never ending process. Case in point. I have over 350 college prospects in the Ohio Class of 2016. Today, I visited with a young man who could very well be one of the top offensive lineman in his Class of 2016 and was not on that list. But he is now.
       Two days ago I received a text from a college coach asking me if I knew anything about a lineman from Leipsic High School. The Leipsic Vikings play in a smaller school conference, primarily in Hancock County. My only answer was that he made 2nd team - Northwest District as a sophomore. He was listed at 6'5-275 and played for a school that has less than 100 boys enrolled.
       Gavin Cupp was a very pleasant surprise for me this morning. All of 6'5 and a slim 275. Tremendous attitude. Looked me straight in the eye as we talked. Shoulders square. Huge hands. Really believe he understands the early recruiting "crap." At least more than some. Understands the new eligibility changes. Believes that the most important criteria in choosing a college is " a good fit."
        Only looked at a little video and really need to see him in camp. Here is what I know. Really 6'5-275(maybe 6'6). Second team all league in baseball as a catcher. A 6'5-275 catcher. Very solid basketball player. Rolled an ankle in football, but played varsity basketball. Carrying a 2.4GPA but really wants to improve big time and will. Taking ACT this summer.
         Gavin's dad played football at the University of Findlay in the "Strahm Years." Also played for the Cincinnati Bengals as a replacement player, during the NFL strike. Dad understands the game to the point that he taught Gavin long snapping at an early age, just to give him an additional skill.
          Talking with his former head coach and, also with his principal, Larry Black, Gavin has a lot of support and is getting the right support from the right people. I warned him of the recruiting website media once his name gets out there. Of course, the recruiting stuff is a different animal. But Mr. Black is a seasoned educator and "gets it."
          Leipsic was not as much of a drive as Sciotoville Community School, but the results were the same. OLTyler Gerald (6'5-300) from Sciotoville Community School is drawing a lot attention and even has an offer from Ohio State. Kind of early, but that is not my worry. Gavin Cupp (6'5-275) will be getting attention soon. Is he Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State good? Don't know yet. Need to see more and see him with pads on. A definite scholarship guy.
          I do know that BCS schools are realizing that not every  major college prospect has to play for a Glenville, St Ignatius, or Moeller type program. Obviously, most do, but a Gerald or Cupp can make things exciting.
          " If you are good enough, someone will find you."

District Track Meets - Another Source of Evaluating

        District track meets will be held throughout Ohio this week. Next week regionals. The state meet will be run on June 6 and 7. A busy time for me, because I like to see as many athletes that I can. Being a former track coach and a licensed track official, it is also a time to renew acquaintances.
       Last Friday, I traveled to Centerville to watch GWOC conference track meet. Bad weather and a lot of teams made for less than ideal conditions to evaluate talent. Still watched some solid football players who participate in track.
        Good to see Troy High School's Alex Dalton now an Oklahoma Sooner. Known him since his sophomore year when he came to my combine. Three sport guy and have seen him play every sport. Like his power and quickness. Competes hard and shows toughness. The best thing for Alex is that he will be facing tough competition every play in practice and games.
       Miles Hibbler RB from Troy High School is fast. Stumbled out of the blocks, but collected himself and ran well. Short, but not small. Last year I liked his burst, balance, vision, and "5th gear speed." Believe that he is committed to Kent State.
        One to watch - Caleb Anthony - Class of 2016 from Centerville High School. First saw him play last year as a sophomore. Returned kicks and played some RB. Good size. Excellent athlete. Around 15.1 H H. Continues to get faster. Tremendous attitude. Carrying a 4.0GPA this term.
        One to watch - Chris Fobbs - Class of 2015. Getting bigger. A DB growing into an OLB. Fast. Liked his toughness last fall. Needs to get his "ducks in a row." Improve grades. Stay totally focused. Honestly, he has some issues, but he is one of those guys whom I believe has a chance to be good. Just something I like about him.
         One to watch - Ryan Lucas - Trotwood, Class of 2015. Fast and faster after catch. Like his quickness. Great attitude. Do not know what schools are in, but he needs to get into some camps to show his talents. Good prospect.
          One to watch - Robert Landers - Class of 2016 and plays OL/DL for Wayne High School. Powerful and explosive both in football and track. 58+ shot put guy. Shortness will hurt some. Guessin 6'1. Could be a center on the next level. Good balance and good feet. Tremendous work effort.
          Two to watch - Too early to talk much about the Motley twins from Centerville High School on the football field. Illyas and Xavior are in the Class of 2016 and will be good football players for the Elks. For now, both are excellent "20 foot" long jumpers, with good speed. As they grow, speed will increase, as well as overall strength.
          One to watch - Saalith Muhammad, a member of the Class of 2016, could develop into one of the finest athletes in this Class of 2016. Played QB at Springfield Shawnee last fall. Measured 6'2-205 at the MSROHIO Combine last March. Needs some fine tuning as a QB, but will get that from  Coach Chris Wallace this year. No one wants to hear this, but if not a QB, he would be a an excellent DB at the next level. That is at the highest level. McCallister being McCallister. Tremendous attitude.
         Apologize for not mentioning more prospects, cold and dampness, along with not doing my homework, made my trip short.
         Did get to visit with the new head football coach at Centerville High School, Rodney Roberts. Of course, he is excited about his new job. No, Luke Kennard is not transferring to Centerville.
         Talked with Dave Berk, the top football talent evaluator in Southwest Ohio. Berk is a football guy, so seeing him a track meet surprised me somewhat.
         Every trip is what I make of it. This was another worthwhile one.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NCAA - Academic Preparedness

       The NCAA has made some new changes in the  eligibility standards for prospective student athletes and have increased standards.
       The latest changes in eligibility standards will apply to this fall's high school freshman class, but their full effect will not be known until 2016, when those students prepare to step foot on college campuses. The changes are really drastic- a jump in the required minimum GPA from 2.0 to 2.3 and, more challenging, a rule that requires high school athletes to complete 10 of the 16 required core courses before their senior of high school.
      For those who can meet the old standards but not the new ones, there is a recourse. The NCAA is calling it an academic redshirt, a sort of variation of a partial qualifier. Students may receive a scholarship and will be eligible to practice with their teams but will not be able to compete. Provided they pass 9 credit hours in their first college semester, they can compete the next season as a redshirt freshman.
     The intent is simple: The NCAA and its Eligibility Center no longer want to see transcripts in which athletes essentially backload the better part of their academic curriculum at the end of their high school careers.
     Now the NCAA is demanding that high school students follow a typical pattern in which learning is built on prerequisites. Before, students could take geometry before algebra. Another example, students could take English Four, at the same with English Three.
    To support this move, the NCAA's research - 43.1 % of men's basketball players, 35% of football players, and 15.3 % of all student athletes who enrolled as freshmen in 2009-10 to play Division One sports would not have met the 2016 standards.
     I read this article, but do not have time to discuss the pro's and con's. But in doing some more research, I found the most basic information about the new standards.

Go to

NCAA Initial Eligibility//

I am still learning about these new changes, so be patient with me.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ashland University's First Camp

       Sunday afternoon, I traveled to Ashland University to watch their first football camp. The "Rising Star Camp." Always fun to watch high school football players working to get better. Also, I always enjoy chatting with the Ashland coaching staff, as well as the high school coaches.
      As a guest at the camp, talking about players publically would not be my style. There were players from grades 9-12. Of course, the majority of prospects were upcoming seniors. Every drill that the prospects did, they will do all summer long. Great way to get better. And, yes, there were some prospects that needed to be evaluated.
       I often get asked about good "Quarterback Camps" for high school players, especially ones for the younger prospects. Naturally, I think that what we do at the Showcase, is as good as any. More individual attention, more reps, and no "over coaching." As far as private camps, to me, way to expensive for what you get. A guy in northeast Ohio charges at least $75 per hour. Really pricy. Rewards ??
       Ashland assistant football coach Tom Stacy will direct a youth QB camp at Ashland University for grades 5-8 on Tuesday, June 10. Coach Stacy works well with quarterbacks. Watching him work with QB's, his patience and knowledge always stands out. On Wednesday, June 18th, he will direct a Quarterback "Shotgun" Camp, at Tiffin Columbian High School in Tiffin, Ohio. Drills, skills, and fundamentals - all from the gun. Costs - $40. Contact Coach Stacy at 330.309.9880.
        As most people who read my blogs know, I really respect Division II football. With that being said, I want to mention All position camps at three very good D-2 programs.
         The University of Findlay will host an "Elite Prospect Camp on Monday, July 7. The camp is opened to grades 9-12. Registration begins at 5:00 and Camp starts at 6:00. This is an all positions camp. Campers will be working with not only the Oiler staff, but other collegiate coaches, as well. Email
        Ohio Dominican University will host a junior/senior camp on July 13. Registration is from 1:00-2:00. The Camp will run from 2:00-5:00. Position specific drills. Agility workouts. Speed instruction. Big man competition. One on one competition.
        Ashland University will hold an Offensive/Defensive Skills Camp on June 12. This camp is for QB-WR-RB-TE-LB-DB in grades 9-12. . On July 23, Ashland will hold a Big Man's Camp for grades 9-12. For more information go to
        As I always say, "big is not always better," especially for younger prospects. Plus, these three schools have played some good football in recent years.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Congrats to Cody Latimer

       Over and over I repeat that being a 5star or a 4star rated football prospect is nice, but, too me, a highly overrated way to promote prospect. Over and over again, the size and/or the wins/loses of the college football program is often overrated. Getting a college football scholarship is important and getting better is important. Finding a coach and program who can make you better is the key.
      Every year, after the pro football draft, I research the success of the players with Ohio high school football backgrounds. First, check the first three rounds and then the last four rounds. Amazing how many Ohio players drafted who were not "4 or 5 Stars." Also, amazing is the number of players who did not play college ball at perennially top 20 programs, but get drafted in the first three rounds.
      As I glanced at the cover of the USA Today paper this morning, I thought that I recognized the name, Cody Latimer, who played football at Indiana University. After I arrived to my office, I checked the name and, sure enough, Cody was an Ohio guy, who played his high school football at Dayton Jefferson High School, west of Dayton. He went on to play football at Indiana University. Draft people talk about the surprising Cody Latimer.
     Ironically, Cody was more serious about basketball in high school. He was a very good basketball player. Big 6'2-200 wide receiver. In high school, just solid speed. Tremendous athlete. Excellent hands. Tough. Excellent ball catching ability. Raw talent. Rough as an "unmade bed."
     Now listed 6'2-215 and still raw and learning the nuances of the game. Tremendous body strength for a wide receiver. Improved 40 time - 4.4 or better. Pro Scouts like his combination of size, strength, catching ability and toughness.
     Stats wise - caught 72 balls for just over 1,000 yards. Against Illinois, he caught 11 balls for 189 yards and three TD's.
     I could not find any "star" ratings for Cody coming out of the small school Dayton Jefferson High School. According to Dave Berk, he was a 3-star, but at the time, Berk did not rate Ohio players. Berk would have done a better job.
     My point is that if you work hard and have some talent, do not worry about star ratings. Work and make yourself better. If you want to be a "part of, " of a top BCS school, and not get much playing time, but still enjoy being a "part of"  of a top BCS school, then commit to that school. Mid American schools and lower level conference schools can prepare you for the next level.
      Congrats to Dayton Jefferson's Cody Latimer. Regardless of draft results, he has done well. And to think, he was only a "three star." Over and over, I say, "If you are good enough, someone will find you." Over and over, I also say, "Big is not always better."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Breck Turner - RB from Norwalk High School

     Since Bellevue High School is only about 45 minutes from home, I made the trip this morning to watch the field events and prelims at their invitational track meet. Due to having to wait for one and half hours for the finals, I came home to work outside on my four acres of land.
      Saw some players, especially from Fremont Ross and Bellevue. The "cat" that really impressed me the most was Breck Turner from Norwalk High School. Guessin 6'0-205, Breck is one of the top RB's in the Class of 2015. Also had watched him on the court, as Norwalk is a state champion on the basketball court. Since I do not pay much attention to stats or individual awards, I can not help much there.
       What I know is that he has excellent vision and has a good burst. Durable. Makes plays. On the basketball court, he was much the same way. In track, he runs anchor, a leg given to the fastest and most competitive runner of the four. But coming from Norwalk High School and, although Norwalk has a very good program, he will need to prove to top BCS schools that he can play at that level. Already has proven that to some mid-level majors.
       Talking to him for only a few minutes, we briefly talked of "offers." But he has six from the Mid- American Conference. We talked basketball. We talked track. We talked some football. Although he is a running back, I did warn him, I liked him as an OLB. (McCallister being McCallister). But Breck is a scholarship football player. To me, top RB's better have the total package. Schools recruit one RB and 4 LB's. Breck could line up on either side.
       Grades are good. 3.3GPA. 20 ACT. Told me that was the first time that he took it. Is going to retake the ACT to get a better score. I joked with him that I could name a few recruits who would take that 20 score in a heart-beat. His mother is a teacher. Of course, he probably does his homework every night.
        Above all else, I walked away really impressed with his persona. Articulate. Smart. He even used some words that, for some, might require a dictionary. Communicates well. Had nothing but praise for a freshman punter at Norwalk. Talked positive on every subject.
        I reminded him about the importance of getting into summer camps. Told him to both: 1- go to camps with different college coaches working the camps 2- go to camps that are seriously recruiting him and that he is serious about. Do not go to some camps just because they are top rated BCS schools. Waste of money for him, but not for them.
        Funny comment. When I reminded him that he needed exposure, because "Norwalk is not like "a Glenville," I got a quick response. His quick answer - " I can play with those guys." My quick answer - "I do not mean that. I mean that many college coaches stop at Glenville ever year. How many stop at Norwalk every year?" And, yes, I believe he would do well at "a Glenville."
       Before the recruiting sites call him "under the radar," he is not. On my radar and tonight he will be on more college list. The only reason that recruiting sites use that term is because they did not know about him.
       Talking with Breck Turner was refreshing for me. As Bill Belichick says, " I only know what I see." McCallister liked what he saw.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Is Spring Football Near for High Schools?

       Last night at the Miami Valley Football Coaches College Night, I learned that Ohio high school football could be a little happier after the May 12 meeting of the Ohio High School Athletic Association's monthly meeting. Spring sports coaches in track, baseball, and lacrosse may not be quite as happy.
       Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer last month at the Ohio State Football Clinic expressed concern that the Ohio high school football coaches needed more instruction time to work with their football players in the off season.
       Recently, the OHSAA has allowed all sports to be able to instruct four players at one time. The OHSFCA's regional directors would like to have more players at one time. Maybe as many as seven.
       Last month, Urban Meyer met informally with Commissioner Dan Ross. On May 12, Coach Meyer is scheduled to meet the OHSAA Board. At that time, he will present his ideas.
       He is in favor of spring football and believes that high school coaches should be able to instruct their own  players in the off season. He  said at the clinic that since his son is going to be a freshman, he, also, has a personal concern.
       To me it would seem that 10 days in the spring would allow college coaches to better evaluate the high school players. Legally they could watch them work out and go through drills. Really the OL/DL could block each other.
       I am guessin ---  
        A.  Starting next year high schools will be allowed 10 days of instruction in late April and/or early May. Avoid the league and state tournaments for spring sports. College coaches would be on the road and would be able to evaluate. 
        B. They will wear helmets only.
        C. They will allowed to work with either 7 or 14 players at one time. This would allow offensive and defensive lines to work against each other. This would  allow for 7on7 competition.
        D. If a player runs track, play baseball, or lacrosse, he would have the option.
        E. Down the road. Unlimited how many players to work with.
                                       Shoulder pads will be worn.
                                       7 on 7 competition against another school or schools.
        F. Concern
                    Coach is both head coach in a spring sport and in football
                    Money and coach's stipend
                    Does a spring sport coach have the choice to release or not to release a player.

Jim Tressel was able convince the OHSAA to bring the state football championships to C-bus.  Does Urban Meyer have persuasion skills? Ha Ha! Hopefully something good  will come out of this and will benefit all players and all sports.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Recruits Scheduling Camp Days

      Earlier in the week, I received a call from a parent who is trying to arrange college camp days for his son who is a DB in the Class of 2015. His son is a solid prospect, but needs to get in front of decision makers. College coaches need to see him.
      The prospect plays in a smaller school football program and needs to be seen by college coaches. BCS schools are involved with this prospect. College coaches have assured me that they like him, but need to see more. I believe them and I also believe that he needs to workout for them.
      The problem - Dad is trying work a schedule so that his son can attend the NIKE football camp in C-bus in early June. By going to the college camps, he probably will miss the NIKE Camp. When he asked me my thoughts, the answer is simple. Nobody at the NIKE Camp can offer him a scholarship. What is worse - many of those people at the NIKE Camp are no better evaluators than I. Trust me, I am nothing to write home about.
      NIKE Camp is a nice marketing tool. Get kids' names out there. Honestly, is probably the best at what it does. But NOBODY can offer a prospect a scholarship. Obviously, if a player goes to a college camp, he could earn an offer.
      Sometimes a player can hurt himself at a non college camp if he does not do well. Maybe his times are not as good. Maybe a recruiting reporter writes a bad report. Very few recruiting reporters are good talent evaluators. Maybe the evaluators do not like him for some reason.
      NIKE, as well as some other marketing camps, say that if a player performs well, he has a chance to go to the big show in Oregon. Of course, I can not proof it, but NIKE people already have an idea who they want going to the big show.
       I guess I understand what goes through a parent's head, but when their son his asked to workout in front of decision makers, he needs to do that. I mean NIKE Camps are good, but a player trying to get an offer, should  NEVER substitute his only chance to get in front of a BCS coach to go to a NIKE Camp.
       I would hope that even the powers to be at NIKE would agree .
      My other concern is about players spending time and money traveling to camps outside of the Midwest. Actually I just lost a top member of the Ohio Class of 2016 who was coming to the Showcase. He is going to a camp at Virginia Tech. A junior to be going to Va Tech? Now if it was a school in the Midwest, I could better understand. Only a sophomore.
      If this prospect was a member of the 2015 Class, I understand. As a junior he needs looks.
     Finally many of the BCS schools in the Midwest have Mid major and Mid American coaches working their camps. More exposure.
     Of course, I think that I can do more for an underclassman prospect and get him more exposure than a school outside of the Midwest. But it is what it is. And, I love the Midwest and, but for a few exceptions, most Ohio players eventually play in the Midwest. Because of my respect for the OL coach at Rutgers and the DL coach at Syracuse, these would be two exceptions.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Moeller QB's and a Trip to Cincinnati

        First trip to the Cincinnati area, yesterday. My goal was to be at Moeller High to watch quarterbacks, Matt Crable (2015) and Thomas Macvittie (2016), throw after school. On the way, I made stops at Lakota West, Fairfield, Princeton, Winton Woods, Colerain, LaSalle, Elder, and Moeller. Would have stopped at St Xavier, but they are on spring break. Will make that trip in two weeks to also stop at Anderson, Loveland, CHCA, and some others. When you have been in this busy as long as I have, trust and are important.
       Last night was only the second time the Moeller QB's have thrown outside, but I really like both. Junior, Matt Crable, gets the ball out quickly. Good feet. Like his delivery. Gets his hips involved.
Sophomore, Thomas Macvittie, is a little more mechanical, but throws a good ball. Listed 6'4 and has run a 4.5/40. Like his release point and quick release. Stands tall. Both QB's have the "QB swagger," that I feel is really important. They both handle themselves well.
      Tight end Jake Hausman (2016) was impressive last year as both a pass catcher and blocker at TE. Listed 6'5-245. May not be quite that size, but has frame to add much good weight. Made some catches last night that were impressive. To me, he has natural pass catcher hands. For me, the best TE in the Class of 2016.
      Former TE Ryan Smith (2016) has found a home at DE. Listed 6'5-245. Really ran well. Good balance. Most impressive - Ryan may someday get big enough to move inside. Toughness is a strength. For me, potential to be a top inside guy is there. Will be a high recruit.
      Another sophomore that I like is LB John Griga. Listed 6'2-210. Really like his feet and quickness. Need to see him in pads, but like his LB mentality. One to watch for sure.
       Although he did not run, because of a leg problem, I also met Jacob Gall, a freshman OL/DL who measures 6'2-305, and definitely passes the eye ball test. Like to see him at 295, but he carries his weight well. Strong upper body. One of two freshman to ever play varsity for Moeller. Brother of Jacob Gall, now at University of Miami.
       Of course, I have to mention DL Elijah Taylor (2015) who continues to physically develop into one of the top DL guys in Ohio. Listed 6'3-280, he moves well. Like his balance and quickness. Last fall, I thought he did not realize how good he could be. He seems to be "getting it " now. Of course, no pads, yesterday, but I really like his potential to be really good.
       Just missed LaSalle's workout, but did see QB Nick Watson throw some balls. Liked his last year as a sophomore. Now he is squeezing 6'1. Gets ball out quickly. Can throw deep ball. Also like his ability to escape and run.
       Also at LaSalle I had a chance to formally meet Jordan Thompson. Listed 6'2-250. Colleges like his ability to run around and make plays. I like his toughness and athleticism. Excellent burst. Seems like a really good character guy.
       Maybe the early top 2016 QB prospect in Cincinnati is Coach Doug Ramsey's son Peyton. Listed 6'2+, he started every game as a sophomore. Works out on odd days, but I have seen enough to really like his potential. Although his arm is good, his decision making and leadership are excellent.
       Another sophomore QB in the Cincy area is Hunter Krause. Listed 6'3, Hunter threw at the MSROHIO combine in March. Like his throwing tech. Smart. Just needs to mature physically and get stronger. Of course that will happen. Also son of a coach.
       The trip to Cincinnati was profitable for me. Anytime I can visit with coaches and build relationships, the time is well spent. Coaches are giving me names of really top eighth graders to watch. Of course, I will not make them public, but it starts my list.
      College coaches ask me all of the time, "Have you seen --- yet?"  Anytime I can see players workout, or play another sport, or really just "eyeball" them is huge for me.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Contact Spring Football - Ohio ?

       Opened the Findlay Courier last week to read the sports pages and, "boom!" headline - "Banging the drum for spring football." Long time friend sportswriter Dave Hanneman wrote an article spring football for Ohio high schools.
       Sub-heading - " OSU coach Urban Meyer wants to see Ohio HS spring grid drills."
Yes, Urban Meyer is pushing the idea to have an entended period in the spring to run football practices. No, a two week period in the spring to wear equipment and practice football will not happen, and should not happen.
        Good conversation. Florida and some southern states have spring football. I guess, it is the real thing and works for football. In the "ideal world," probably not a bad idea. But in the real world for Ohio schools, probably not a really good idea. Problems.
         Coaches - Many schools have a hard enough time to find quality football coaches who can actually coach kids and communicate with them. Old school coaches who spent a lot of time on the game are retiring. Young coaches with young families watch the clock more than they should. Now they will ask coaches to spend two weeks in the spring, but also ask their time in getting ready for spring ball.
         Football budget  - Spending money on sports is tough now. Pay for play. Not only at smaller schools, but even schools like Lakota West have instituted "play for pay." Will football players have to pay additional money to participate for two weeks in the spring?
         Coaches' salary - How much will the football coach's salary will be for those two weeks. Will it be part of  his regular stipend for coaching in the fall. Many coaches already have half of their summer taken up with 7on7 and team conditioning.
         Spring sports coaching - Many coaches coach a spring sport, either as a head coach or an assistant. How would this work? Will the coach have to take a break in his spring sport to coach two weeks of spring football. Actually, more than two weeks, because there would be pre spring football practice planning. Two very prominent football programs in Cleveland are coached by men who also coach very respected track programs in the spring. How would this work.?
         The athlete - Top sprint star is also a top football player. Does he risk getting hurt in two weeks of spring football and miss the rest of track season and a chance to win the 100 meters at the OHSAA State Meet? Does that top pitcher who is also a QB miss two weeks of baseball to play spring practice?
         Practice equipment - Do the helmets get reconditioned for a second time? Does the practice equipment get replaced for a second time? Costs of maintaining practice facilities?
        The list goes on and on.
        Last  December, Assistant OHSAA  for football, told me that my QB/REC camp was a violation of Rule 7.8. I accepted his ruling, but did not agree with it. Costs me in the area of $400. But since I am a just a guy, tough luck John. When a person from a prominent high school in Cleveland called the OHSAA; When the Cleveland Browns called the OHSAA; When a rep from Ohio State football called the OHSAA; A different rule was now in effect and for some reason my camp would have not been a violation. But nothing was ever said to John McCallister, because I am just a guy. The answers were given to me given to me at the OHSFCA Regional Directors Meeting. Thank goodness, "Real Guys" got involved.
        What the majority of high school football coaches want is more freedom to work with football players in the off season. Work on QB drills on a Sunday afternoon. Work with linemen after school on pass techniques. The OHSAA has a new rule into effect that a coach can work with four players at one time in the off season. This would be for all sports.
        The other major concern that I have is the "AAU scare." Legally or illegally mover 7on7 teams are being formed in Ohio. All-star teams who will play teams from other states. Big in Cleveland. If the 7on7 is one high school team, for example Kenton, no problem. Coaches coach their own players. All-star teams. People other than the players' high school coaches coach the team. Now the mentality of AAU and "handlers," Not good. Now - "who is coaching your son?" AAU basketball, once thought to be good by high school coaches is pout of control. Who is  making money????
       Years ago, the OHSAA under a different commissioner put in rule 7.8, to limit the amount of strength Ohio high football coaches were getting. The OHSAA feared that high school football would get too strong. Hopefully that rule is no longer in effect and rule 8.3 is now the rule to follow.
       Spring football like football teams follow in the Southern state is not the answer. More time (legally) for high school football coaches to work with their players in the off season is the answer. Seven at a time is a good number for high school coaches to work with their players. Last year I saw a team  near Toledo going team offense against team defense in April. Not so good. Of course, they are not the only high school guilty of breaking the rule.
       Remember - " McCallister is"Just a guy." But I hope "Real guys," use good judgment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer Football Camps

        I get emails and phone calls about the best camps to attend this summer. Do not know if there is a best answer. Of course, I would never put my choices on paper, but I will tell a parent or player, if they ask. Really all are camps are about the same. Big is not always better.
        Still get some questions as to whether I have any more combines scheduled this spring. I do not. For me the window is so small between wrestling, basketball, track and baseball that I try to do the MSROHIO combines in March. Really, any combines now, are really a waste of time. Too late. Focus on college summer camps.
        Had a parent call me just last week, because she did not have the correct password for some application for one of the national recruiting sites combine coming up soon. My answer "no big deal." What do these sites have to offer? Take your picture, put you on a list, and get contact information. I guess it is nice exposure, but I would not fret about not being able to participate. Her son was at our combine in March. He is going to be fine.
        Someone told her that "offers" are really important now. "If you do not have offers now, the chance of getting a scholarship is really lessens." SILLY! Most of the people who follow my thoughts, know that offers really overrated now. If you bust your butt at a camp and get an offer from your camp performance, then we are talking serious stuff. If the coaches tell you "to keep working hard and play well the first two games," then you are probably not on their 01A list.
        College coaches in the Midwest have to recruit from summer camps, because Ohio has no spring contact football like Florida and some other states do. It is what it is. That is why when a prospect goes to a camp, he needs to be first in line, finish every drill, compete hard, and show good character. Those are the type of things good evaluators will or should be looking forward to.

Choosing Camps
1A. If a player is going into his senior year, going to any camp for more than one day is not profitable. In one day, a college coach can see what he needs to see. One day is a lot less expensive. Time is of importance. Go to as many as he feels that that he needs to get exposure. Going one day will allow him to space his camps giving him some down time. Finally, he will get more attention, because of the time limit.

1. If a college out of state has offered you a scholarship and you really like the school, then you have to camp, at least one day. If a school like Iowa offers and you like them, go. Same with a Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Illinois, Purdue or Northwestern or a Buffalo or Syracuse. It is a trip, but you need to make the trip to do your own evaluation of their coaching staff's attitude. Have Mom and Dad check everything, too. See just what the coach is like when he is coaching. Same way with the head coach. See how well he communicates, when he is not sitting in your living room.

2. Locally, Ohio State has five different opportunities to camp for position players. Three one days. One called a Skill and Big Man Camp- This is primarily for underclassmen. Campers stay 1 and 1/2 days. Last year, they had to rename it.

3. Michigan's Camp lasts for four days. A player gets a ton of work. Of course, it is a well run camp.
If a player cannot stay that long, he can still go for one day.  Michigan State's Camp is more one day, but they get a lot of work done.

4. "Satellite Camps-" Toledo (8 sites) and Ohio University (3 sites) will travel to your area to put on four hour camps. Mostly for seniors to be, the camp is open to grades 9-12. A chance to learn, showcase, work on football skills, and compete. Sound familiar? Having been to these camps, I am really impressed with all of the work accomplished. A lot of individual attention. I am not familiar with the other schools in the MAC, because they have not responded to my requests. Guess I cannot help them. Oh well.

5. Division 2 Camps. Most people know that I have a high regard for D-2 football. Findlay, Ohio Dominican, and Ashland all host football camps on their campus. I have been to some and they do a really good job. All three schools allow D-3 schools to work the camps. Tons of exposure.

6. On exposure. I mentioned D-2 schools have D-3 schools working their camps. The BCA schools in the Midwest allow Mid level D-1 coaches to work their camps. Great for exposure. Years ago, Coach Tressel raised the bar for allowing unlinited MAC coaches access to work the camps. Not quite the same now, but still good. Excellent exposure.

7. On private camps - probably the best is the Nike Camp. Good to compete, but just so many bodies. Some coaches are just that - "warm bodies." A good camp to learn and compete. Of course, you get nice shirt. Football University - simply look at the price.

            Just some thoughts on college football camps. Most are what you make them. There are good ones and bad ones. At one satellite camp last year, the staff spent almost two hours going over combine drills. The camp was at the end of June. Remember if you go to camp  that wears shoulder pads, you can not wear them, even if it is a team camp.