The good college football recruiting staffs turn over every stone, and more and more they are getting better at this. Of course, with the internet and social media the work is a little easier. I love finding the diamond in the rough.
Tuesday night I made a chance to see Levi Gazarek play baseball. He also plays basketball and football. Of course, I am interested in the football side of him. Three sport athlete playing in a smaller high school sports program. In fact, the football program struggles at times. But not Levi Gazarek.
Guessin 6’5-220, he played shortstop last night. Usually pitches. Pitches well enough to draw D1 college baseball coaches to his games. When everything is on the table, Levi will chose between baseball and football. Right now the choice is 50/50. Also a good basketball player.
His baseball coach is his dad, Marty Gazarek, but not a “helicopter dad.” I really enjoyed chatting with him, as well. Dad played college baseball at Indiana University. Played Triple AAA baseball and rumor has it, that running into an outfield wall also stopped him from getting to the Majors.
Football and Levi. Last year he played quarterback at North Baltimore High School. The was the best athlete and playing QB gave his team the best chance to win. In the years before, he was a wide receiver. Not a scholarship quarterback, but he will be a scholarship tight end. Soft hands. Solid speed. Really athletic. And 6’5-220.
The HUDL Hi-lites from last year were at QB. He showed the ability to run. To make good decisions. To pass the ball accurately. If he was going into his senior year with 3 years of quarterbacking, maybe a different story. I watched the 10th grade Hi-lites to get some ball catching ability.
As a sophomore receiver. Speed to get deep. Good ball catching skills. Breaks tackles. Like his route running awareness. Catches in traffic. Needs to get bigger/stronger/faster. Needs to get better at football agility. Need to re-direct. Needs to improve burst. Raw but talent is there.
Levi carries a 3.5 GPA and does not have his ACT score back yet. Plans to either major in business or education. Listening to him, I am guessin studying to a history teacher and coach. Ultimate job – A high school athletics director and coaching baseball.
Loves both baseball and football. Both are unique in their own ways for him. Football – loves to compete. Loves the speed and action of the game. Loves the physicality of the game.
Hi advice for freshman football players. “Do not get caught up in the moment.” Work hard on getting stronger. Buy into the program and what it takes to be successful. Work really hard.
Levi has to improve his overall speed. Needs to get bigger/stronger. Needs to improve his football agility. Needs to improve his change of direction. I think, he gets it and understands how he needs to improve. Plays a lot of travel baseball in the summer, but will need to do some some college football camps, as well.
Bowling Green has told him that he can play both sports. Pitching is his favorite position in baseball. Tight end in football. Some schools have talked about a type of movable TE position.
BGSU has offered. Other schools like UC, Toledo, and Eastern Michigan are keeping him really warm. The Air Force wants him as a QB.
When talking about colleges, he kept saying the “best fit.” I am guessin that he wants coaches who treat players with respect, who relate to their players, and who can make him better. The culture will be good.
I really enjoyed meeting and talking with Levi. Believe he is mature and focused. Believe that he has a little “nastiness” in him. Believe that he is athletic. Believe that he has “competitive maturity” in him. Believe that he does have talent, but needs to improve football ability.
I drove to Patrick Henry High School to turn over a stone. Levi Gazarek needs exposure. The trip was worth it.