One of the most important parts of what I do is all about building “trusts and relationships.” Honestly, this part of the scouting/evaluation business. My relationships go back 30 years. Oh my!!
I am not a football recruiting reporter who makes his money talking with a player about his favorite schools. They ask questions that will feed the appetite of recruiting followers. I guess they also get a recruit’s name “out there.” A recruiting reporter needs to build a relationship to get the latest news.
My relationships are different. Any player on any high school level who has the potential to play on any college level is important to me. I try to not limit my “building relationships” to Ohio State, Michigan, or any Power Five school. Any high school level to any college level is good..
Recently, I watched a freshman from Toledo St John’s HS make plays and shoot threes for the highly rated St John’s basketball team. On the varsity level, I might add. Braydon Lichtenberg, not only is the 6th or 7th man for basketball, but he is also the starting quarterback for St John’s football team. Remember – a freshman in the 2021 Class !
Guessin 6’1-185, he needs to get stronger, especially in the “core area. ” And he will. As he progresses, he should be able to choose his sport on the next level. Braydon has all of the basic tools and mechanics of a quarterback. Makes good decisions with the ball. Understands coverage. Good release. Starting with his feet – good QB mechanics.
Looking forward to chatting with him over the next 3 years. As he gets bigger/stronger more attention will come his way.
But my appreciation for Braydon goes farther. I evaluated his dad, Bubba, back in the day. Remember him playing as a 9th grader at Thomas Worthington HS. A quarterback with the skills and mechanics much the same as Braydon.
Problem – Bubba played for four different high schools in four years. His last year was at Athens High School. The middle two years were out of state. Iowa and Maine I believe. Only really evaluated him his senior year at Athens HS.
Bubba played QB at Ohio University for his Tom Lichtenberg back in the early 90’s, I believe. Tom was the head football coach at Ohio University at the time.
Since Tom played high school football back in the late 1950’s in Cincinnati , I never was able to evaluate him as a high school quarterback. That was meant to be humor, but I did evaluate his son and grandson.
On a sad note – Tom lost a battle with prostate cancer that had eventually moved to his brain back in 2013. He was 72.
First met Tom when he coached for Earle Bruce at Ohio State University. Working for Coach Bruce was enough to gain my respect for him. You see, Coach Bruce was a disciple of Coach Woody Hayes. Earle Bruce was a good coach, but tough to work for.
Coach Lichtenberg always took his time to talk with you. I was a young high school head football coach and probably was a “pain in the butt,” at times, always asking questions. But Tom never talked “down” to high school coaches. And, again, he worked for Coach Bruce.
I remember, I caught him being a “dad” at times, when talking about Bubba. When Bubba’s name came up, I had fun messin with him.
As I talked with Bubba a few minutes at the game, I caught him being both a “son” and a “father.” His eyes lit up when talking about his dad Tom and, of course, when he talked about his son Braydon.
Building relationships is important in life and really important to me. Whether it be through football recruiting or life in general. I now know three generations of Lichtenbergs. In this case, apples do not fall too far from the tree.