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Development is the Key


By now, most people who read my blogs on my website, realize that I really enjoy evaluating Ohio high school  football talent who have the potential to play D2 or D1 football. Of course, I am the “long in the tooth” guy when it comes to doing evaluating.

Last Sunday I was fortunate to watch some of the best high school talent in Ohio. Not all of the best, but some of the best. Excellent players at all positions. Maybe some of the strongest were the offensive and defensive lines. OL guys like, Nolan Rumler, Zach Carpenter, and Zeke Correll.

The above mentioned are getting recruited nationally. Top billing. “Offers” from just about every college program. Deservingly so, because they are big, strong, and move pretty well for February. Zeke Correll tweeted that “he dominated.” Oh well, I did not see that, but he is good prospect.

Ohio high school football puts a lot of players into the NFL. Some names, the average fan does not recognize. For example, the New England Patriots have an offensive lineman from Kettering Alter High School. A solid high school player who went to North Carolina State. “Bought in” and really developed in a solid NFL prospect.

Taco Charleton had many doubters(including some close to the program) but he developed at Michigan and now is playing with the Dallas Cowboys.  I always liked him. A little moody, but tons of potential.

Mitch Trubisky, according to many, would never play at North Carolina. Doing okay with the Chicago Bears.

Here is my point and I harp, plead, and even preach to Ohio high school players. Work hard. Work hard. Work hard. Control what you can control. Some potentially scholarship recruits are not at the same level today as, maybe Noland, Zeke, and Zach are, but thru work they will eventually be on that level. Eventually.

You can not control what 24/7 ranks you, which is bogus anyway. You can not control how college coaches are going to evaluate you. You can not control who throws out an “offer,” which is also bogus. You can not control what local sports writers write about you.

Work hard. Work hard. Work hard. Be smart- no silly bad judgment plays. Get into camp (simply a must). Buy into developing and getting better. The playing field starts to level off.

The mentality for years was that Ohio State was the measuring stick. Not good enough for Ohio State?? Football players were raised to believe that the best prospects in Ohio – naturally went to Ohio State. Maybe the “Star System” works that way, but I do not feel that is the case anymore. There are more schools than O-State that can get a player to the NFL. Work hard and develop.

Get into football programs that are the “right fit.” It is not always the higher profiled programs, but the ones that develop players. If you want to go bowl games, travel first class, and be a part of a high profiled team, but never play, there are programs out there. If you want to develop into a very good player and enjoy playing the game,  there are programs out there.

I have watched two good high school offensive linemen who have the potential to grow and develop into very good college OL guys. Not there yet, but will be good college players on the BCS level. Over the course of the summer, they will collect more offers, as they develop. –

Jay Amburgey

Junior Jay Amburgey from Reynoldsburg High School is listed 6’4-265 and growing. Good feet. Good frame to add weight and strength. Going to play both sides of the ball this fall, but should be a better prospect as an offensive lineman on the next level. Of course, he is competitive and tough. Just received an offer from Cincinnati.

Junior Cam Craig from Dublin Jerome was 6’1 as a freshman, but now is just over 6’4 and weighs 280. Watched him this week play basketball. No means a top basketball player, but he worked hard. Moves his feet. Gets up down the court. The same as Jay – competitive and tough.

Cam Craig

All five of the OL prospects that I have mentioned are going to be good college (BCS) linemen. Some like Zeke, Noland, and Zach are physically near the top of the size requirements and measurable. Cam and Jay pass the eyeball test, as well, but need to keep developing. All are scholarship players, however.

The point. For the majority of high school football players in Ohio, continuing to work hard to get bigger/stronger/faster is huge. “Focus on the prize.” “Whatever it takes.” “Control what you can control.”

The Star system is good for publicity, good for recruiting reporters to earn money, and good to bring recruiting fans to a recruiting website. But developing as a football is so much more important.


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