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.