Saturday, March 29, 2014

Home Schoolers - Dakota Holtzclaw and Alex Melfe

       Over the winter, I watched two underclassmen football players who play for the Columbus Crusaders. The Columbus Crusaders football team is not a member of the Ohio High Athletic Association. But they play a very competitive independent football schedule. As I continue to learn more about the Crusaders, I found that they have two players are home schooled. First home schooled players that I have met. Both attended my combines at the D-1 Sports Training Center and were impressive.
       Dakota Holtzclaw (2016) is a wide receiver for the Crusaders. Measured almost 6'7-204(NS). Could add much weight to his frame. Verticaled 29.5. Ran 4.69/40. Ran 4.63/PS. Really athletic. Moves well. Changes direction. Ran 7.9/L-C. Competes hard. Caught the ball well. Liked his video. Dakota's combination size and agility is impressive. Once he adds strength/weight and maintains his athleticism, should be a definite Division One - college prospect. Only a sophomore.
       Alexander Melfe (2017) also plays for the Crusaders and is also home schooled. Really impressed with his LB skills in his video. Measured 6'2 1/2-219(NS). Ran 4.7/PS. Ran an impressive 7.3/LC. Threw 33'5PB. Much the same as Dakota Holtzclaw, I liked the way he the way he competed. On video, liked his LB skills. Runs well sideline to sideline. Needs to continue to improve speed, but will.
       Both Dakota and Alexander will have recruiters concerned about strength of competition. But watching the video, they both do a lot of things well for underclassmen. Physical skills are evident.
They need to get into camps this summer in front of decision makers. Next fall, they need to be dominating against good competition.
       One word on home schooling. More and more parents are home schooling. The OHSAA recently added rules for home schoolers' eligibility. They also put in rules governing which schools home schoolers can play.
        I will be watching the Columbus Crusaders this fall. Another underclassman who attended my combine was Maximilian Roberts (2016) who plays WR. Should be a good trip for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Meet Kevin Ferguson and Joe Johnson

        In the fall, I see a lot of high school football games. I see players who have that something special. I call them my "OH MY! players. Two players that were "OH MY" guys tested at my combines. One in Dayton. One last week at the D-1 Sports Training facility. Both are in the Class of 2015 and both need to be in camps.
       Cincinnati LaSalle High School's Kevin Ferguson is a big time play maker from the slot position. Huge hands. Catches everything. Faster after the catch. Does not possess top speed yet, but is faster with a ball in his hands. At the combine, he verticaled 34.9. Ran 4.1/PS (twice). Broad jumped 9'6. Measured 5'9.6-193 (NS). Ran the fastest L-cone of all of the combines. 6.9. Tremendous burst. If you follow test results, he is impressive.
        Kevin is even better in pads. Like him in the slot. Catches the ball on the run. May move to corner this fall. Regardless of which side of the ball he plays, he will be special. Came to my Underclassman Showcase last summer. Not only he is a really good football player, but an even better young man.
        Do not know Joe Johnson very well. Sometimes he goes by Eric. What I do know is that he is a very talented junior at Pickerington Central High School. His test results are not going to "wow" you. But when he has a football uniform on, he can. Measure just over 5'9 (NS). Best time was 4.7/40. Ran 4.6/PS.  Best L-C was 7.6. It is March, but Joe needs to work hard getting in better condition.
         Faster with pads on. Last fall against Centerville, watched him run a player down and tackle him on the 3 yard line. Joe has it, he just has to be totally in. He needs to get in better condition and play hard every play. Needs to stay focused. Either at WR or DB, he makes plays. Needs to want to work hard to be the best.
        A good college football coach needs to take time to the total package that a college prospect. They need to be able to that extra something. Both Kevin and Joe have that extra something. Both could be special recruits.

More players. More comments about Combines

Some other players need to be mentioned before, I close the book on this year's combines. I knew some of the players before the combines, but I was also impressed with some new names. Need to see all of them over the course of this spring and summer. Camps are important for all.
Ben Snell RB (2016) - Westerville Central. Measured 5'10.6/205 (NS). A north/south runner with 4.7 speed. Needs to work on changing direction, but his strength is N/S. Verticaled 30.0. Only a sophomore, he has time to get faster. Powerful, low to the ground runner.
John Junker LB (2015) - LaSalle. A favorite of mine, but needs to find a position. Possible LB. Ran 4.5 PS. Good burst. Getting stronger. Needs to get into camp.
Colton Whited WR (2015) - Hudson. Ran 4.6/40. Excellent hands. Broad jump - 9'4. L-cone 7.0. Measured almost 6'0 (NS). Can get faster. Liked his route running last fall. Needs to get into camp to show speed and ball catching skills.
Jalen Terry CB (2015) - New Albany. Last fall, Jalen impressed me as a cover corner. Almost 5'10(NS). 4.6/40 but will get faster. Explosive - 35.9 vertical. 9'11 broad jump. 7.1 L-cone. Good hips. Also 34'6 PB. Tough on run support. Needs to get into camp to show his skills. A high rated CB for me.
Leon Eggleston LB (2015) - Southview. Under the radar. Almost 5'11.6/193 (NS). 4.7/40. Impressive 4.3 PS. and 7.2 LC. Athletic. 9'5 broad jump. Need to see more. Undersized LB. Competes hard.
Aaron Williams WR/DB (2105) - Hamilton Township. Ran 4.59 (twice). 5'10-183 (NS). Needs to work on change of direction. Explosive - 9' broad jump. Needs to get into camp. Like his toughness.
DeShawn Gay WR/DB (2015) - Trotwood Madison. 5'8 (NS). 4.6/40. Ran 4.3 PS and 7.2 L-C. Competed hard. Athletic. As he continues to rain, he will get faster/stronger. Like his potential. Needs to get into camps this summer.
Derek Dryfuse TE (2015) - Tiffin Columbian. Simply needs to grow into body. 6'4.6/212 (NS). Ran 5.1/40. Needs to add weight. Get stronger. Excellent ball catching skills. Liked him on video. Get bigger/stronger.
Mitchell Larsen DB (2016) - Fairfield. Tested well. 33.6/vertical. 4.2 PS. 7.0 L-C. 5'11-162 (NS). Good hips. Needs to improve speed, but will - 4.6. Like everything about him as a corner. Frame to add weight. If he plays well in pads, will be one of the top CB in Class of 2016.
Sean Mahone RB (2016) - Lakota West. 6'0-194 (NS). Could be one of top RB's in Class of 2016. Ran 4.65/40. Ran 4.2 PS. Good hips. 7.3 L-C. Like his toughness. Competes hard.
Tyler Traylor WR/OLB (2016) - Dayton C-J. Measured 6'1-193 (NS). 4.8/40, but continues to improve. 4.4/PS. 9'0 broad jump. Ran 7.3 L-C. Better in pads. Plays hard. Plays both sides, but for me a defender. Potential is there.
Nick Kiffmeyer WR/DB (2015) - Findlay. Needs to get into camps. 5'11.6/185 (NS). Ran 4.5/40. 4.2/PS. Broad jumped 9'6. Good explosion. Good burst - 7.0/ L-C. Needs to show skills in front of decision makers. Sleeper.
Luke Ogi LB (2015) - West Holmes. Like him. 6'0-205 (NS). Ran 4.62/40 (twice). Changes direction well for size. 4.3/PS. 7.3/L-C. Good burst. 33.8/PB. Like his toughness. Needs to get into camps. Get in front of decision makes. Sleeper
Ryan Grooms LB (2015) - Grove City. 6'1.6/228 (NS). Ran 4.9/40. Needs to get quicker, but is true Mike backer. 4.6/PS and 7.6 L-C. Like his toughness. Better with pads on. Did vertical 32.5.
Kyle Bundy LB (2015) - Granville. Plays DL now, but LB in college. Ran 4.63/40. Good quickness and change of direction. Ran 4.4/PS. Ran 7.2/L-C (twice). 9'4/BJ. Verticaled 33.5. Competes. Needs to get into camps and work at LB. Sleeper
Franas Cutchember DB (2015) Dublin Scioto. Caught my eye with 4.59/40. Broad jump - 9.5. Verticaled 32.2. Need to see more this summer.
Daniel Kwarteng WR (2015) Westerville Central. Impressive tests scores. 38 vertical. Ran 4.3/PS. Fast - 4.5/40. Needs break out year. Really had developed in the off season. Sleeper. Definitely needs to get front of decision makers. 6'2-183 (NS)
Christian McDermott RB/DB (2015) - Granville. Solid prospect. Ran 4.2/L-C. PB-31'6. Measured 5'10-198 (NS). Needs to attend camps this summer.
Marco Anverse LB ( 2015) - Troy. Measured 6'0-226 (NS). Strong upper body. Needs to be more flexible. Ran 4.7/PS. Better in pads.
Ryan Tobicash LB (2015) - Keystone. Plays LB , but could see him growing into a DL guy. Ran 4.7/40. Verticaled 31.5. Broad jump -9'2. Good hips 4.59/PS and 7.69/L-C. Measured 5'11-221 (NS).
Needs to get in front of college coaches. I need to look at video. Sleeper

Offensive Linemen at the Combines

       A surprising number of big "OL/DL Guys" came to the combines this year. Juniors some  who have offers and some are working to get the first one. Sunday's combine had the most "Bigs," but there were some at the first two also. Heights/weights based on no shoes.

Bryce Gibbs (2015) - Wellington. Constantly improved since I first saw him last summer. 6'4- 300.  Ran    a solid 5.4/40. Verticaled 24.0. Changes direction well. Cannot carry anymore weight.  
DaVon Hamilton (2015) - Pickerington Central. Gone from just a big guy to a slimmed down 6'4-282. Powerballed 37'3. Still a work in progress. Ohio University offer.
Bryce Harris (2015) - Akron Firestone. Runs straight ahead well. Needs to work on lateral movement. Good explosion. 6'2-265. Broad jumped almost 8'0. PB-33'8. Athletic.
Jacob Zinni (2015) - West Branch. 6'4-312. Almost too heavy. Ran 4.9/pro shuttle. Ran well in the L-cone test. Powerful upper body. 35' PB. Tough-guy attitude.
Alec Curts (2015) - Mount Vernon. Measured 6'3-257. Ran 5.0/40. Pro shuttle - 4.8. L-cone 7.7. Runs really well. Athletic. Needs to keep adding weight/strength. A camp guy. One of the most impressive OL guys in the combine.
Shane Maxey (2015) - Central Crossing. Needs to continue to get stronger and bigger. 6'2-252. Ran 5.25/40. Ran 7.9/L-cone. Like his potential,
Daylen Neese (2015) - Meigs Local. First saw him at OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament. Athletic. Good balance. Ran 5.1/40. Measured 6'2-234. May be a "DL Guy." Needs to change direction.
Christian Eubanks (2015) - Reynoldsburg. Measured 6'3-272. Broad jumped 7'0. Athletic. Like his balance. Needs to get into camps. Like his potential.
Hunter Meece (2015) - Hamilton. 6'3-243. Athletic. Ran 4.9/pro shuttle. Verticaled 24.5. OB-35.4. Frame to add weight. Needs to get into camp. Like his potential. Natural center.
Antonio Shelton (2015) - Westerville North. Pleasant surprise. Measured 6'2-263. DL Guy. Ran 5.0/pro shuttle. Broad jumped almost 8 feet. Ran 5.3/40. PB -37'0. Really like his potential to play D-1.
JoVahn Fair (2105) - Akron Firestone.  Runs well. (5'1/40) Changes direction. (4.9/PS) Explosive. Needs to get into camps. Good upper body strength.
Tristan Roberts (2015) - Canton GlenOak. Needs to get into camp. Concerned about height, but is a center. Ran 5.0/PS. Like his toughness. Toughness biggest asset.
Evan Barker (2105) - Canton GlenOak. Like his size 6'4-287, but he really has to get in shape. Needs to improve agility. Needs to get stronger. Liked his potential, but he has work to do.
Clayton Schmerber (2015) - Centerville. Measured 6'6-213. Plays TE now. Put on 20 pounds. Ran 5.1/40. Excellent body control. Ran 7.6/L-cone. 4.4/pro shuttle. Could see him lining up at left tackle for D-1 school. Of course, needs to continue to add weight.
Chris Beech (2016) - Kettering Alter. Natural center. 6'1.6 -262(NS). Verticaled 28.0. Ran 4.8(PS). Liked his toughness last size. Needs to keep improving quickness. Like his potential.
Justin Rigg (2016) - Springboro. Measured 6'5.6-221(NS). Plays TE, but I hope he grows into an OL guy. 5.0/40. Ran 4.6/PS. Impressed me in L-cone 7.5. Needs to get stronger, but frame to get bigger/stronger. Excellent potential.
John Todd (2016) - Parma Senior. Actually watched him as a freshman. 6'2-265. Like his brute strength. Needs to work on agility. Needs to be faster and quicker. Believe he can do that. Competes hard.
Jacob Harrison (2016) - Clinton Massie. Like potential. 6'2-258. Good movement 4.9/PS. Needs to work on speed. Good upper body strength.
Justin Nelson (2016) - Big Walnut. Like his potential. Former skilled guy. Measured 6.3.6-267. Ran 5.0/PS. Power ball -35'+ (twice). Like DT, but could also see him on the OL. No varsity experience, but really like his attitude and potential.
Neal Davis (2016) - Teays Valley. Big strong OL/DL. Needs to work on straight ahead speed. Ran 5.0/PS. Potential is there, but must be top condition.
Lamont Ragland II (2105) Jefferson Township. Liked him last year. Plays DE, but would like to see him inside. 6'1-225(NS). Ran 5.0/40. Ran 4.5/PS. Power ball -34'7. Like his toughness. Excellent quickness. Potential is excellent.
Andrew Lynn (2105) - Milton Union. Need to see more. 6'2.6-234(NS). Ran 4.9/40. Excellent quickness -4.8/PS. 7.8- Lcone. Needs to get bigger/stronger.
Michael Miranda (2017) - Stow. Only a freshman, but see potential. 6'3-246. Ran 5.1(PS). Broad jumped 8'0. Ran 5.3/40.
      Really like the potential of these linemen. Hope that some of the abbreviations are understandable.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Some QB's at the MSROHIO Combines

Quarterbacks testing at combines is good for me, but the best thing I get to see them in person. Also, even with the limited time after the testing, I get to see them throw. I try not to do much suggesting, but instead, just like to watch them throw. Of course, I am always watching their "quarterback presence."
Mitch Guadagni (2015) - Hudson. Has a lot of skills. 6'2-187(NS). Fast - 4.6/40. Verticaled 35.5. Had one of the better PB throws - 34'7. Strong arm. Needs to improve release. Smart. One of my top three QB's in the Class of 2015.
Roger Engle (2015) - Lorain Clearview. Excellent athlete. Strong arm. Has been with for two years. Needs to get into camps. Biggest test will be completing balls against fast DB's. Needs to improve overall speed.
Brandon Muehl (2015) - Findlay. Definitely needs to get into camps. Almost 6'5-200 (NS). Moves well for size. 4.6/PS. PB-34'6. Threw all winter (with Ben Mauk) to get better and has done that. Like his release. Should have a breakout year.
Danny Naylor (2015) - Springfield. Needs to add weight and strength to his 6'5-166 pound frame. Like his release. Moves in pocket. Watched him for three years, but needs to add a lot of weight. Ran pro shuttle - 4.4.
Steve Ficyk (2015) - Brunswick. Liked him last fall. Manages the game. Physical tools. 6'2-215 (NS). Needs to improve overall speed. Pocket passer. Good release. Needs to get into camps. A run oriented offense. Under the radar.
Nathan Densel (2015) - Dublin Scioto. Strong arm. Good feet. Athletic. Need to see more. Like his release. Did not get to watch him as much. Liked his video. Good size 6'1-204 (NS). Camp guy for me.
Saalih Muhammad (2016) - Springfield. Like his size - 6'2-205 (NS). Strong arm. 36'2 (PB). Like his release. Needs to work on footwork. Strong runner. Last fall was impressed with QB presence. Tough. One of my top QB's in Class of 2016.
Hunter Krause (2016) - Fairfield. Like his feet. Good quickness. 7.2/Lcone. Excellent release. Like his size 6'2-188 (NS). Really like QB presence. Strong arm and will continue stronger. Like his delivery. One of my top QB's in Class of 2016.
Elijah Cunningham (2016) - Springboro. Good size. 6'2-170 (NS). Like his release. Can spin-it. 9'1(BJ). Verticaled 33.2. Needs to get overall stronger and add weight. Needs to not press himself. Potential to be one of my top QB's in the Class of 2016.
Gunner Hoak (2016) - Dublin Coffman. Continues to get better and better. Good high release. Solid arm. Smart. Good size 6'3.6/187 (NS). Like his throwing motion. One of my top QB's in the  Class of 2016.
Sam Stout (2016) - Southview. Liked his video. Need to see more. 6'1-197 (NS). Strong. Athletic. Needs to improve  overall speed and quickness. Like his passing tech. Needs reps and experience. Need to see more in camp. Like his potential.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tyler Long, Clayton Glasco, and Charles Smith

     "If you are good enough, somebody will find you." I really believe this old cliché. Although saying this is easy for me, because I am way too old to play college football. Three of the many players who impressed me at the combine yesterday really fit this quote. Charles Smith - Toledo Central Catholic; Tyler Long - Tiffin Calvert; Clayton Glasco - Pickerington Central.
      I have watched Charles Smith grow and mature as a person and football player for three years. His first two years, he played at Springfield High School near Toledo. An RB/DB with okay speed, but he really played hard. Came to my camps and combines. Last year, he transferred to Toledo Central Catholic HS. Had to sit for a few games. A knee injury ended his season. Really had lost contact with him last year. Charles attended the MSROHIO Combine yesterday. A solid 6'1-183. Still needs to improve speed-4.8. But I like his burst - 4.3/shuttle. 7.0/L-cone. Broad jumped - 8'3. 31'9 powerball. Should be playing as an inside DB this fall.
       Watched Pickerington Central twice last fall. Excellent Division 1 program in Ohio. Watched Clayton Glasco (2015) at LBer. Liked him and thought that he had potential. Yesterday at the combine, he impressed me. 6'1-225 with shoes on. Ran back to back 4.62 and 4.60. Verticaled 33.0.
4.62/shuttle - Recorded 9'6 - LJ. 7.5-L-cone. 37'9 - powerball.(one of the top throws). All of this carrying 225. What makes Clayton even better is that he has fun competing. Smiles a lot, but is "lights-out" guy with pads on.
       Years and years ago Tiffin Calvert football was huge. Declining enrollment has put them deep into the small school division. Tyler Long came to my underclassman camp last summer. An good athletic QB. Liked him last fall, but really caught my eye with his defensive skills. Yesterday, helisted 6'1-187 (NS). Ran 4.43(HH) and 4.56 (EL). Verticaled 34.5. Ran 4.4 pro-shuttle. Broad jump - 9'11. L-cone 7.2 and powerball - 33.4. Excellent attitude and will "strike" you with pads on. See him as a very good inside DB. My advice - play QB, but win a scholarship as a DB.
       Just over 425 players went through the combines this year. Of course, many did well and drew my attention. These are just three players who need to get into college camps and then play well this fall. They are fine prospects.

MSROHIO Developmental Combines - Comments

      Actually completes yesterday's combine results this morning and will have them on the website Tuesday night. All three combine results will be posted on For the most part, everything went well at all three combines. The players did an excellent job of doing what they had to do. I have been doing these combines for four years now, but I learn more every time we host one.
      Yesterday, we had over 105 walk-ups, but  I will never change that policy. Never turn away a player, because he had not pre-registered. Walk ups make registration a little tougher, but it goes smoothly. No one seems to complain. Always have thought that if the line continues to move, we are doing okay.
      Shirts. Probably the biggest lesson that I learned yesterday was that I have to order more smaller sizes. Today's world, every player wants that tight fitting look. I guess I look at myself, with no arm muscle, no chest, and lots of soft stomach, and think bigger. Being 65, I guess I was not into the tighter look. Well, I am now. This summer and next March, no more baggy shirts. I promise.
      Stay in the parents section. At Dayton, one guy kept edging out onto the field. Only one was opened, but one guy stood in the door, peeking around the corner. One guy, sprinted out to see if his son was okay with his test's time. Yesterday, we had one parent sit on a chair at the start of the 40. How does that help your son?
     Coaches. At Dayton, head football coaches showed amazing support for their players. Head Coaches from Fairfield, Centerville, Springfield, Hamilton, and LaSalle were present. Some worked the combine; some just watched their players. I thought that was impressive.
     Players. We had 173 players yesterday and the day went smoothly. Amazing to me that with such an array of talent, ages, and schools that everything always seems to go well. Players want to learn, get better, and compete. I still believe that for the vast majority of young people, if you show them respect and show that you care, you will the same back. End of five minute sermon.
     Tests results. I understand, but I do not understand. I give players the opportunity to not have their scores released. Makes sense. If I am a freshman or sophomore, tests results are not going to make you lose a scholarship. One parent asked me not release his results, because he had been sick and lost four pounds. He was concerned about the weight. Another parent of a 2016 guy asked not to have his son's scores released. Problem for me - his scores were really good. But I did not post them. I joke with the players - that no college is going to not recruit or stop recruiting you because you had some bad times at the MSROHIO Combine in MARCH.
      For most players, the college summer camps are really important. Because Ohio has no spring football, many colleges have to go on camp performances. To me what is most important, can you play football? Will you compete when the pads go on? Parents are marketing their sons through the football recruiting football websites. People get paid to write stories on internet sites.
    Still believe that everything begins with building relationships. No, I do not have to be the first one to know where a recruit is going to commit. No, I do not annoy him with questions about how a visit went. No, I do not have to know where he is leaning. All I have to know is the answer to any question he may have about the football recruiting process. All I have to know is who the "bad guys" in the recruiting media are and who the "bad college recruiting programs" are. I do.
       Thanks to all, who made the combines an attendance success and a learning success.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reagan Malas - Dublin Coffman

        One of the four reasons that I give to football players who are interested in attending the MSROHIO Developmental Combines is that they will be able to compete. For most higher profiled players that means nothing, because they have a lot of offers. But for Dublin Coffman's, Reagan Malas, he gets it.
       Reagan is the starting free safety for Dublin Coffman's football team. Listed at 6'0-182 (no shoes), he had some very good times/measurements at last Saturday's combine. 4.61 (electronic) and 4.44 (hand held). Verticaled 33.6. Ran pro-shuttle - 4.3. Broad jumped-9'10. L-cone-7.2. and threw powerball-31'.
       The times are impressive for a March combine. First time for him running the L-cone. But what is more important is that Reagan had already competed at the NIKE Combine earlier in the month. Not only did he compete, but he finished seventh in the SPARQ scoring system. Seventh out of 1,300 competitors. What is important to me is that Reagan wanted to compete and wanted to get better.
       Not only does Reagan run well and change direction, he is also a football player, not just a test taker. From his free safety position, he will "strike" you. Almost too aggressive at times. Although he would have to get better hips, he is a possible corner.  Too often, a prospect will test well, but does not play well. Or, sometimes he will test well, but not be tall enough. Not Reagan, he does all.
       As an evaluator, I have been tough on Reagan, but he keeps proving me wrong. Really enjoyed watching him compete and get better last Saturday. With a really good summer, Reagan will be on many recruiters' list.
       I need to mention another Dublin Coffman junior. WR Kyle Marcinick lists 6'1-183. First met him at my camp, when he was a freshman working out as a QB. Fast, quick, but lacked the skills of a QB who wanted to play Division 1 football. I suggested that he work as both a QB and receiver.
       Last year Kyle was a starting receiver at Dublin Coffman. Watched him run by corners. Needs to keep working on hips, but will be fine. Also a possible slot receiver, but either way, his burst and speed will really help him.
       Last Saturday's tests results. 4.52(HH). 34.1-vertical. 4.09-shuttle. 9'4-broad jump. 7.1-L-cone.
Really good tests' results. As he keeps working and getting better, times will improve this summer.
       Kyle needs to get in front of "decision makers" this summer to prove his ball skills are good.
       Both Reagan Malas and Kyle Marcinick work hard and compete. Probably not on many lists now, but will be this summer. Good luck to both.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Maurice Thomas - Talawanda High School

       One of the reasons I encourage high school prospects to try to attend my combines is to get on my radar. Not being an "attitude," but being on my radar just means that I like to see a prospect in person. Heights, weights, distances, and times are often exaggerated. Recruiting reporters often overrate a prospect just to readers interested.
       I am often asked by college recruiters, "Have you seen .... in person. Sad, but sometimes college recruiters go off of list, look at 5 minutes of video, and draw a conclusion. If the school is one that does not usually produce D-1 prospects, you can guess what they do.
       At our combine yesterday, I was asked to watch a junior from Talawanda High School. Yes, Talawanda High School. I can promise you, if I ask a college recruiter to check out Talawanda, I will get the raised eyebrow. Wonderful high school, but not many D-1 prospects.
       When a prospect is measured 5''11.6 -172( no shoes). When he runs 4.5 (electronic) 40. When he verticals 40.7 inches off a pad. When he runs a 4.2/shuttle. When broad jumps 10'3 inches. When he runs a 7.0/ L-cone. McCallister has found a diamond-in-the rough.
        Although he has always been a running back and played little defense, I put him at corner in some one on one drills. Some day, Maurice Thomas from Talawanda HS should be playing CB for a D-1 School. He is physical, recovers quickly, and can turn and run.
        Maurice needs to get into some college camps this summer. He needs to get where the "decision makers" are. Going to all of the private camps that charge money with the promise of exposure is not necessary for him. He has to get on campus.
        My combines are not meant for the prospects with all of the "offers."(??). MSROHIO Developmental Combines are meant for prospects who want to learn, to compete, to get better, and get on my radar. Maurice did all of the above.
        RB Maurice Thomas from Talawanda HS has a chance to be really good. In college, he can play corner. Looking forward to watching him compete in pads next fall.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cleveland Browns High School Combine

       For the last few years, I have been attending the Cleveland Browns Football Combine for high school players. Last Sunday, I spent the day watching football players from mostly the Cleveland area get measured, tested, work on individual drills. I had to leave early and missed most of the linemen's individual drills.
       I appreciate what John LaForce with the Browns did for me. I do not interview the top college prospects. I do not walk around with a stopwatch. I do speak to players and sometimes offer a suggestion or two. For the most part, I just watch players perform and check out their attitudes. He gave me an all-access pass. No recruiting reporters or talent evaluators present, since there were not many highly profiled recruits. For me, the day was good.
       Usually, when I am not real familiar with the talent, I use the "eyeball" test. First, not final. The first cat was junior Richard Worship, listed 6'2-235, from Valley Forge High School. Will give you his actual weight, because he is way too heavy. The potential is there to be one of the best in Ohio's Class of 2015.
      Also was glad to meet and watch Canton Glenoak's Tristian Roberts (2015). A solid 6'2 and maybe a little taller. Plays both ways for Glenoak. Actually watched him wrestle at the OHSAA State Wrestling Championships. Moved well in drills. No question about his toughness. Looking forward to seeing him in pads this fall.
       CB/ATH Dante Redwood's (2015) quickness and speed have never been an issue with me. The CB from Midview will always make plays and will always compete. He needs to get into college camps this summer to prove that a corner can be 5'9. One of my favorites.
       Need to look at some HUDL video of Berea's Justin Harris. WR/DB with speed. Caught the ball well. Like his frame. A definite D-1 prospect, but not sure what level.
       Also watched Garfield Height's junior Jameel Miller run. Good frame. Guessin just over 6'0, but really athletic. I need to see HUDL video on him. For some reason Garfield Heights is one of the schools that never sends any information to me.
        Last summer I met East Cleveland Shaw's WR Brandon Harris. Connected again Sunday. Guessin 6'3, but needs to add some weight. Excellent hands. Liked his ball catching skills. Need to see him this summer and then in the fall.
        Lakewood St Ed's had a lot of 2016 players working out at the combine. Liked the attitude of Jakob Walz (2016). Needs to get taller, but competed. Also lied tall wide receiver, Carl Jones (2016).
        Ashland High School had two players that I liked last football season. Junior OL Drew Dickinson needs to continue to get bigger and stronger, but I like his athleticism. Scott Valentine (2016) plays LB. Needs to continue to get bigger/stronger, but liked his athleticism. Only a sophomore and will need to see more.
        WR/DB Malik Porter (2016) from Mentor High School caught the ball well. Also ran well. Guessin 6'2-190. Really like his potential.
         Joey Artrip (2015) from Loudonville High School plays TE/DE. Like his size. Moves well. Need to see more of him. Passes the eyeball test.
        Taiy'von Bates (2015) an OL/DL guy from Cleveland Collinwood definitely passes the eyeball test. Rough as an unmade bed, but I like his potential.
        First time I have had a chance to watch Christian Klink throw the football. Played at St Ignatius part of last year and now plays for Holy Name. Strong arm. Need to see him this summer.
        One of the QB's that I really liked is a freshman at one of the smaller schools in Ohio. Plus the football program has struggled. Guessin 6'2-185. Throws the ball well. Like his basic throwing skills. Lots of potential. Does not need his name out there yet.
        With just over 250 players, I have missed some in this blog. North Ridgeville's Ben Rankin, Wally Hedberg, and Jonah Bowden. Sophomore RB Gerett Choat from Avon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Football Players at OHSAA Indoor Track State Meet

The OHSAA Indoor Track State Meet has really grown in popularity the last few years. The University of Akron hosts the event. The facilities are tremendous and the people do a tremendous job working the meet. Special thanks to Carey, Ohio's John Nickel for helping me to get credentials.
    Talked for just a few minutes with Lakewood St. Ed's, Shaun Crawford (2015). May not be the tallest cat around, but is strong, compact, and fast. Finished 4th in the 60m dash. Last year I saw hit a wide receiver from Moeller. May have knocked that receiver out. A 5'9 guy with speed and toughness. Headed to Michigan.
      Track star Thomas Worthington's Jalen Wells finished second in the 400 with a time of 49.3. Liked him as a football player, track may be his ticket. Scholar shipped as a WR, but he can run.
      Michigan State bound, Vayante Copeland is a special person to me, both as a football player and person. Ran the lead leg in the victorious 4X400m relay and the third place 4X200m relay. Getting bigger and stronger, and, of course, faster. College coaches should have given more love, sooner.
      Denzell Ward (2015) WR/DB from Nordonia High School looked good in the long jump. Jumped 21'1. I really like his potential as a top CB prospect, but need to in him camp and with pads on. Liked him last fall.
       I did not realize that James Daniels (2015) from Warren Harding High School was such an explosive shot put guy. Almost 6'4, but carrying about 280. Needs to firm up his body, but he is powerful. Put the shot 55'10. Uses the glide technique, which impressed me. He is a top 6 OL guy for me in the Class of 2015. One of the guys that made my trip worthwhile.
       Although he did not place, Glenville's Erick Smith (O-State bound) qualified in the triple jump. Joked with him about my rating him the best player in the 2015 Class. He said that I told him that last summer. Anyway, I would go to war with him.
        Stayed long enough in the afternoon, to watch Parris Campbell (O-State bound) win the 60m dash in the D-2, D-3 Finals. His time 6.85 would have placed him 2nd in the big school division. Just a thought. Another favorite of mine, he has been playing basketball all year and has not properly trained for track. Amazing speed and competitiveness.
        Another shot putter who is also a 2015 football recruit is Robert Landers from Wayne High School. Guessin 6'1-280. Powerful and really good balance. Offensive lineman, but could play some defense next fall. Like his attitude.
        Although he did not make it to the finals, Ethan Tucky (2016) from Delaware Hayes High School looked strong. Plays LB at Hayes. Listed 6'1-210, but may be a little bigger. Needs to improve athleticism, closes well. Will be a high rated prospect in the Ohio Class of 2016.
         Austintown Fitch's, Darrin Hall (2105) ran on a relay. Possibly the top RB in the Ohio Class of 2015, he seems to get bigger every time I see him. Big and powerful. More of a straight line runner, but he is getting more flexible.
         I took some names of more football players who were at the meet. Too early to put their names out. Sophomore Caleb Anthony could be a rising star at Centerville High School. Watched him return kicks and punts last year. Really like his play making ability.
        Apologize for missing somebody. I will not miss anyone during outdoor track.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

MSROHIO Developmental Combines - 2014

       Next Saturday, will be our first combine this spring. I am always experimenting with my combine schedule, and this year is no different. We are holding two at the D-1 Training Center on SR 23 north of Columbus. One on Saturday, March 15 and one on Sunday, March 23. Southwest Ohio has always been good to me, so I scheduled one on Sunday, March 16 at the Kingdom Sports Center near Franklin. But I really want to speak to McCallister's reason for combines.
      Last week I received an email from a parent whose son put up some good numbers at the Nike combine in Massillon, and he wondered if coming to my MSROHIO Developmental to better his scores was worth it. Also wanted to know if a participant could have his scores erased if they were not good.
      No, coming to my combine just to better his scores was not worth it. Yes, a participant does not have to record his scores, if he choses not to. To better one's scores is not the purpose of my combine. I returned an email stating that it was not worth it.
      I began the idea of holding combines probably five or six years at the Ohio State Football Camp. A lazy GA was timing the Pro Shuttle and most campers had little clue as to how to do the test. Not once did this GA take a minute to give some pointers. Of course, I tried to help the embarrassed ones who screwed up. This same GA is now a head football coach on the college level. What do I know???
      I have no ego when it comes to marketing the MSROHIO Developmental Combine. I am just a "mom and pops" organization. The purpose of the combine is 1) Learn 2) Compete 3) Get Better and 4) Get on my radar.
         Learn - Because college summer camps use all of the test that we do, learning how to do each test is important. Learning how to start in the 40 is important.  Sometimes they time certain test and sometimes they use some of the tests as agility football drills. But there is always somebody watching a camper do the drill. With some of our tests, if we have extra time, we may do the test 3 or 4 times. Learning is the important thing.
        Compete - Everybody should love to compete. Compete against himself, as well as compete against other campers. I learn a lot about a camper when he competes. With the way, I run my combines, campers get to meet other recruits and make new friends. Plus, all of the time, they are competing to get better.
         Get Better - The goal of every camper is to get better. By June, they want to be able to really test well. Testing well draws attention. Honestly, I really like having underclassmen attending my combines. Learn at early age. Compete against better players. Continue to get better. Doing drills over and over, becomes a habit. When I have freshman and sophomores testing, I know that they should continue to get better and better.
         My radar - Not a selfish reason. With so much noise out there, tests and measurements are often exaggerated. Now I see them and know each one's results. I do not need the high profile recruit with a bunch of offers. Meeting them is nice, but I need to see the recruits who are D-1 guys, but have not received the recognition yet. If a player does well, I will get him on my website. Plus, I will tell the college coaches.
           I have good people running my combines. Because it is Nike, does not mean their people are any better than mine. Nike does a nice job, NUC is another story. I do not advertise that recruiting reporters will be in attendance, because they are not.
          Looking forward to next Saturday. A big OL guy from Watkins Memorial came to our combine a few years. Will be a starting offensive linemen at Kent State this fall. "Big is not always better." Getting better is the key. You will do that at an MSROHIO Developmental Combine.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Some Names for the Class of 2015

        Over the last two weeks, I have been working on a top 200 list for the Ohio Class of 2015. For me, since I have not been able to closely evaluate every prospect, the list is just an early one. Do these prospects in the Ohio Class of 2015 deserve to be on the list?
Joe Burrow - QB from Athens HS. Continues to get bigger and stronger. Tall 6'4. Manages the game. Can really "spin-it."
Marcus Copeland - LB from Bedford HS. Watched at the state wrestling tournament last week. Listed 6'1-200. Powerful and runs downhill well. Needs to be better at changing direction. Tough.
Jeffery Christian - CB from Colerain. Excellent hips. Fast. Listed 5'10-175. Typical tough DB from Colerain.
Darrin Hall - RB from Austintown Fitch. Just something I like about him. Bigger and stronger. Fast. Good burst. Gets better as the game goes.
Elijah Taylor - DL from Moeller. Much the same as Jordan Thompson, but bigger. Listed 6'3-275, but bigger now. Excellent burst. Plays pad-under-pad.
Justin Hilliard - LB from St Xavier. Listed 6'1-225. Has made big strides. Moves well. Good sideline to sideline, but probably an ILB. Would like to see him get nastier.
AJ Harvin - FB/LB from Marion Franklin. The best FB prospect in Ohio. Under 6 feet, but weighs 245. Powerful. Plays LB also. Most powerful RB in his Class.
Tyree Kinnel - DB from Wayne. Natural DB. Good hips. Smart. Understands. If he gets faster and better hips, could be a corner. Now a FS.
Chris Green Norwood - LB from Toledo Central Catholic.  Best, most active LB in the Class of 2015. Fast, tough, and loves to play the game.
Dre'Mont Jones - DE from St Ignatius. Big, long, and quick. Excellent off the edge. Possible TE, but a DE first. Needs to learn to change direction.
James Daniels - OL from Warren Harding. A little short, but athletic. Strong and has good feet. Natural center.
Eric Johnson - WR/DB from Pickerington Central. Have always liked his toughness. Runs well. Good burst. Excellent hips. Needs to stay focused and commit 100%.
Reggie Rodgers - WR/DB from Massillon. Do not know if he is fast enough, but plays fast. Tough. Excellent ball catcher. Runs well after catch. Just something I like about him.
CJ Conrad - TE from Keystone. Needs to get bigger and stronger. Excellent hands. Deceptive speed. Needs to be more flexible.
       These are just a few of the players that could be on my list. Before I upset some people, there is no hidden agenda here. For me, it is way too early to list a top ten. The early list of 200 should done April 1.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament

       Thursday night I spent four hours watching the first round of the OHSAA Wrestling Finals in Columbus. Watching high school wrestling is fun, and I really respect the hard work that goes into being a wrestler. I will admit that I do not see as many contests that I should. I have yet to scan the final results from yesterday, but I saw some wrestlers who are also really good football players.
      Heavyweight OL/DL Nik Urban (2016) from Willoughby South was aggressive and moved well. Liked his balance. Good knee bender. Will be one of my top linemen in the 2016 Class.
      Another heavyweight, Elyria's Kevin Vough is only a freshman. Guessin 6'2-250, really like his football potential. Aggressive. Really showed good balance. Just the fact that he is coming out of NE Ohio says much about his toughness.
      Marquise Copeland LB from Bedford wrestled well at the 220 pound level. Seems to have slimmed down some. Liked his quickness. Actually moved better than I would have guessed. Never questioned his toughness, but at 6'0, he really has to run well. Member of the 2015 Class.
      Matt Stencel from Oregon Clay wrestled at 182 pounds. Only a sophomore, this was the first time that I had seen him. Tough. Good quickness. Competitive. One I definitely need to get to know.
      Toledo Central Catholic's Jquan Fisher was talked into coming out for wrestling this year. An all- conference football player, the junior wrestled heavyweight. Really like his toughness and aggressiveness. Do not know how tall he is, but he plays big.
      Meigs High School has a potential scholarship football player in junior Daylen Neece. Daylen also good on the wrestling mat. Guessin 6'4-220 I like his potential. Will know more after I watch him at my combine in two weeks.
      Akron St Vincent St Mary's Dre'k Brumley (2015) wrestled well at 220. A starter on the state championship football team. Listed 6'0-245 during football, Der'k was a strong DT. Played pad under pad and had good leverage. Does much the same on the mat. Should be one of the top DL guys next fall.
       Of course, there were more high school underclassmen football players wrestling last Thursday night. Monday, I start calling head football coaches to find out more about some of the ones who I am not familiar with.