In the last three days I have received four emails about a sportswriter from Detroit named Mick McCabe. I do not know who he is and could care less. I guess he is providing his expertise about high school football combines. Realize – I did not build up my scouting service listening to sports writers.
Anyway, this guy took some shots at combines. “If you think college coaches pay attention to anything that happens at these combines, you are delusional.” His quote. Oh my! College coaches pay for this information from me. Some have had questions about performance. Some have contacted recruits, saying McCallister reports that you did well at the MSR combines. I know that a former head coach at Ohio State had questions. Maybe they do pay attention sometimes.
To a large extent, combines provide content for media recruiting writers to use on their sites. They write stories about some of the top performances. The reporters give free exposure to participants. When they start trying to evaluate a player, I always am concerned. Really, of all the ones who do this, from Rivals, Scout, and 247, there is really only one guy who gets it. Reporting on players gives a player some exposure, but I hate to see reporters trying to evaluate them.
Under Armour and Nike run combines, but so much of that is marketing. I find very little value in a SPARQ score. When the NFL does it, I will look into it. When you go to a NIKE combine, you also get a chance to join a recruiting service for upwards to 1500 dollars. You can buy shoes and shirts as well.
MSROHIO Developmental Combines.
First and foremost, the MSROHIO combines and Camps are not money making scams. Last year a parent/coach called my Underclassman Showcase – “just a money-maker.” It rained the whole time, so I changed the camp schedule. After he ripped me in an email, his last comment was – “just a money-maker.” I hardly ever respond to stupidity, but in this case I did.
Insurance costs me 1,440 dollars for the combines. Shirts cost me a lot. Putting sponsors names on the back makes them look like “billboards.” Plus I do not want sponsors. I pay my help well, because I expect them to do well and I want them to come back. I usually rent the facility. Trust me, combines are not big money makers.
Combines should be an educational tool. The tests that we do are basically done in every college summer camp. I want the my prospects to understand just how the drill works. We make the prospect do the drill completely. Nothing for our workers to let a player have three or four chances at one test. What difference does it make? If he does it wrong, he gets another chance. More so, he is required to do it over to get it right.
Yes, we actually put lines down on the pro shuttle. I have been to combines where there were no lines for the pro shuttle. Yesterday, there were no lines. That is amazing to me. How do you get an accurate time, when you do not touch the line? We have judges making sure they touch the lines. No touch – no time. Go again. In Toledo two years ago, a sophomore ran a 3.9 pro shuttle. Not possible and no lines.
No bench press. Time limits. Can be dangerous at times. We use the medicine ball. Just as good a way to measure explosiveness and upper body strength as a bench press. Much safer. Knees on floor and the player simulates a chest pass, but he angles at least 45 degrees. Each player gets as many chances as time allows.
We vertical off of a pad which gives a height. Saves time. Not as accurate as the “slats,” but gives a good indication of high a player can get. Of course, there are ways to cheat by bending your knees. We try not to count those attempts. We actually had a head coach in Southwest Ohio a few years ago telling players how to cheat. Oh my!! What would be purpose of cheating?
On the 40 yard test. The 40 yard test tells me whether a guy is fast or slow. I like to watch a player’s face as he runs. The 40 test does mean not too much to a big OL/DL guy. Except I like to watch his athleticism. Also like to see if he is tough enough to finish strong. The 40 yard test is a solid indicator. The best time to run it is with pads on and a football at he end of the race. Run two fast guys, but see who picks up the football.
Who is timing a really important. I do not use coaches. My timers are skilled and have a lot of experience. We also use the electronic timer, to give the player an idea of the difference. In Cleveland a few years ago the 40 was really 37 yards. Makes sense. The guy running it also was a speed trainer. Good times were had by all!!
Actually, I have parents complain as much about measuring heights/weights as anything else. Stocking feet. We get a very accurate height and weight. Colleges want this. A few years ago in C-bus we had a parent complaining about the height. Said that it was 2 inches short. I was concerned because I put the tape measure on the wall. As we checked it he was right. Not two inches off, but 1/8 of an inch. His comment-“How do you get colleges to stop, if you tell them correct height. A woman told me once that the doctor measured her son two inches taller two weeks prior.
Nike, Under Armour, and all of the other recruiting service combines are probably the ones for players to attend. Ours is just a “mom and pops” outfit. Small time. We do not have the fancy SPARQ scores, or internet media recruiting services evaluating players, or awards that give a player a chance to attend a national combine. If a player does well at an MSROHIO combine, he does not get considered for a National All Star game next December.
MSROHIO Developmental combines are actually pretty simple. All you have is a chance to learn, to compete, and to get better. I am guessin, if a player does well, some colleges might find out about his performance from an honest source.