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Recruiting and Post Season Awards


As Columbus Dispatch high school sports writer, Steve Blackledge and I chatted last Thursday at the Pick Central game, he said that it was time for the All-District nominations. From there they would go onto to select the Central District football team.

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 8 districts. 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. But he talked with 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.

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.

Finally, last year a quarterback put up super numbers. Team was undefeated and lost in playoffs. Really a defensive player, but also an athletic QB. All-District player of the year. First team All-Ohio as a quarterback. No D-1 scholarship offers as a QB. MSR did not rate him high as a QB. Loved him as a defensive SS. Long story – but he his playing defense at a D-3 school.

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. Gets him recognized.

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.

Like so many other ” stuffs” in the football recruiting process, put the award in perspective and move on. Control what you can control.


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