Last week I was watching a Brecksville/Wadsworth varsity basketball game. Some guy asked me who I was scouting. Somewhat surprised me, because I like to consider myself a face in the crowd. The guy was Mike Rose who happens to be the father of former Brecksville HS football player – Mike Rose.
Talked with him for a few minutes and complimented him on his son’s football success at Iowa State University. The more I thought about it, the more I thought – great story for my MSROHIO.com. Relative underrated Ohio recruit now the mainstay of a Power 5 defense.
You see, I am a huge proponent to Ohio football college prospects that Ohio State is not the only school that awards football scholarships. More so, O-State is not the only way to get to the NFL. That is the supposed goal of every young man who plays football in Ohio. Be a Buckeye! But this is getting harder every year.
Mike Rose had really no Power Five scholarship offers until he received an offer from Matt Campbell at Iowa State. Up until that time, he had no “stars” in that silly Five Star System. After he received an offer from Iowa State, he automatically became a 3 Star. Same guy with no stars. If Ohio State would have offered, he would have gone to 4 or possibly 5 Stars. Like I said, “silly.”
Needless to say, Mike does not get caught in the Star System. Simply work very, very hard. Don’t be concerned about 40 times. Actually he never really ran a 40 for time, because he knew his 40 time would hurt his recruiting. Matt Campbell did not worry about 40 times. Simple advice – work hard and take advantage of all breaks. And LOVE FOOTBALL.
When he came in last June, he was thrown into the fire. Iowa State was short on linebackers. He knew from his first visit that Iowa State was the place. After he arrived last June, he had no second thoughts. Iowa State was the place, and he had a chance to play immediately.
For the year, as a true freshman, Mike started all 13 games at linebacker. His “75′ tackles was third nationally among “Power 5” rookies. His 9 TFL was the second best total for freshman nationally. Had 11 tackles against Iowa, a power in the Big Ten.
Mike made HM All-Big 12. First team Freshman All-American. True Freshman All-American – 24/7 Sports.
As far as being away from the Midwest, Mike said that he had no time to think about being so far away from home. From day one – he was involved with football 24/7 and was battling to be a starter from day one. “No time to think about being far from home,” he said.
The Iowa State football team is like family. His best friends are football players. They have a close knit bond. There are some players from Ohio, which makes it nice. Go to classes, work on football, or just hang out with football players is his college life. Most of all. he loves it.
Mike credits Head Coach Matt Campbell and the coaching staff with maintaining a strong player/coach relationship. He just became a member of the Leadership Team that meets every Wednesday. Coach Campbell leads the group. The whole program, including coaches, support staff, and players build a “team trust.”
Actually, Mike feels that there is more of that “homesickness” now that his parents have no games to attend. He sees them less now, but, of course, he stays busy. Having some other Ohio players at Iowa State makes for some Ohio conversations. Also, Mike has not even been there a year yet, which is a short time.
Mike left Brecksville at 6’3-230. Today he is up to 6’4 – 240. Much credit goes to his hard work, but much of the credit must go to the Iowa State football program, because they develop players. They do not get the finished product. They take the Mike Rose’s of the high school football world and develop them. Of course, Matt Campbell just has ability to see “that something” in a prospect that others do not.
I really enjoyed talking with Mike over the phone. Actually, he came to one of my combines his junior year. He asked that I not release his times, because a guy in Cleveland said that he should not release them. I thought he should, because they were good enough. Regardless, he has done well.
I deal with the Mike Rose’s too often. College coaches, especially the young ones, are more concerned about “how many stars does he have.” They do not listen to what the prospect has to say. They are more concerned about 40 times. More concerned about HUDL video. More concerned about camp performance. More concerned about measureables.
Of course, some of the above need to be checked. But college coaches need to check what a player says and what effort does he put forth. DOES HE LOVE FOOTBALL? Not like football, but LOVE FOOTBALL.
Mike Rose loves football. Apparently, Matt Campbell listened and watched his effort. By the way, Coach Campbell’s coaching credibility ????? He was approached by 6 NFL teams about his interest in coaching in the NFL.
Mike’s advice. Don’t worry being too far from home. Be sure to visit the school. Try to go to their camp. If a recruit likes the school and culture and coaching staff, playing Power 5 football is good. Of course, LOVE FOOTBALL.