With the regular high school football season over in Ohio and with the second week of the OHSAA football playoffs happening Friday, the post season awards are just being released. The All- Central District teams were in the Columbus Dispatch this morning.
And as I do about every year, I wanted to get my thoughts out there about selecting Ohio All-District teams. I believe that the state is broken into 7 districts. Northeast(Inland), Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, Eastern, Central, The number of players recognized in each district varies.
Please remember that All-District teams and All-Ohio teams are not necessarily the top college prospects in Ohio. Of course, some players selected are top rated as college prospects. Some already have offers, and some have committed to a certain college. BUT some players elected to the All-District teams and the All-Ohio teams are not necessarily D-1 football prospects.
The All-District teams represent a “job well-done.” Players are (and should be) rewarded for having an outstanding season. For example, a 5’10-170 quarterback could have had a really good year and lead his team to an undefeated season. But chances are, on height alone, he is not one of the top college QB prospects. If an All-District offensive lineman is 6’0-245, chances are he will not be a top OL prospect. Not always the case in each one, but highly probable.
A few years ago, the Defensive Player of the Year had no college offers. None. He complained to me, sent me all of his stats, and sent me a ton of plays on a highlight video. He measured 6’0-205 and did not run well. Only position would have been a strong safety. He did not have the speed to play that position. Believe that he went on to play D3 football.
Also a few years ago, a player – 1st team All-District – played DE. Put him really good numbers. Listed 6’1-200. Told his dad that he needed to get faster. Needed to play every down. Needed to be more athletic. I did not promote him as a D-1 prospect. Dad and son were both upset at me. After all of this, his son had no desire to play even D-3 football. Just wanted the recognition.
Some players – to get recognition by the print media – will be first team at a different position. May be a running back has too many in front of him. The voters will put on defense. QB’s will get moved to defensive backs. Some districts have the position – athlete. Gets another player recognized, which is good.
Anytime a football player earns or receives an honor or recognition, time to celebrate. Time to congratulate. Time to put it in the scrapbook. Time for headlines in the local paper. Time to put the award on your player profile sheet for the college recruiter.
Not the time to start waiting for the D-1 college offers. Not the time to complain about getting no offers. Not the time to panic. If you are a senior and not had any “love” from a D1 program, keep working hard, but playing full scholarship football may not be there.
For the senior, the really overrated “preferred walk-on” might be a way to go, if you are All-District and have no “offers.” Be sure to use your All-District award, when asking about “walk-on” possibilities.
A positive for underclassmen is that he gets put on an early list. A “radar” list. Now this is not a “on the board list.” At least his name is out there. At this stage of recruiting, getting your name out there is huge.
I don’t know how many college support staffs work hard enough to get names, but they should. I try to see every underclassmen name on the All-District lists. Even check all conference teams for underclassmen. But I work harder and pay more attention to detail than most support staffs working in recruiting.
Finally, my last comments have to do with college recruiting services who want to charge you ALOT of money to get your name out there. They, too, go through ALL-District teams. They will look at the lower divisions harder. They will also look at honorable mentions. The players here, probably have no D1 offers but want to play college football on some level. Recruiting services should really pushing here.
Like so many other ” stuffs” in the football recruiting process, put the All-District and All-Ohio awards in perspective and move on. Let your dad brag about it, but you focus on getting better. Don’t give in just yet.