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.