I have probably said this before, but I always remember former Michigan football coach Gary Moeller telling me — “Tell me something about a prospect that I can not see on video.” This is so important to what I do in evaluating players.”
This is some of the best advice that I have received over the years. Close to 30 years to be exact. Talking with a prospect for 10 minutes tells me a lot about him. Watching him on the sidelines or in pregame is huge.
My ten minutes with Olentangy Orange’s DE Zach Harrison today was fun. Enjoyable and enlightening are maybe better adjectives. I did interrupt his lunch, but just for few minutes.
At 6’5-240, long and strong, he could not only hurt me, but having run the 200 meters in 21.9, he could catch me for messin with his lunch time. I get the feeling that as long I was not in shoulder pads and helmet, I would be safe. My thinking is that he was one of those guys who acts like Clark Kent until he steps over the white line. Then the Superman cape comes out.
School is important to him. Concerned about “how to study,” but wants to do better. Good student, but wants to get better. We are talking in the 3.5GPA type good student who wants to get better.
When I asked him – what advice he would give a 10th grader who was beginning the recruiting process, much Zach did, his one word answer – “overwhelming.” Really believe that Zach is taking the process slowly, but carefully. Good for him.
Also gave him my advice about keeping everything in perspective. Obviously, hard to do when he has recruiting reporters always wanting to be the first to know about anything he does. Hopefully, he keeps those people in line or at bay. He does not need them now.
On the football field, he can be dominating, but he has some work to do. Fast off the edge, but needs to be better with his initial quickness. Strength and length – good. Runs QB’s down, regardless of distance. Needs to improve separation and improve his hands. Needs to improve hips and change of direction. Zach will be fine.
When he plays to the field side, he grabs the cape. Coming off the edge is his strength. QB beware.
Off the field – Good character guy. Made eye contact when I talked with him. Enjoyed talking about school. Listened when I asked him silly questions. Was patient with me, even though it was his lunch time.
As for favorite schools – you know that I do not care about that! Did not ask him. Irrelevant to me. My concern here is that he really study the “culture” of the schools that he is considering. Who can develop him as a football player? Who can develop him as a person? Who will be there to listen, when the huge speed bumps appear? Culture is a huge in choosing a school.
I do not know if Zach Harrison is the best football player in his Ohio Class of 2019, but he is the best and top recruit. Can name his school. As he continues to develop, he will make money some day playing a kid’s game.
For me -Always good to visit with young people. Always good to visit with athletes. Always good to visit with high school football players. Always good to visit with good character – high profile football recruits. Zach Harrison is in each group.
Try to catch Olentangy Orange High School at a big invitational track meet this spring. Watch Zach as he gets the baton at anchor in the 4X200 and sprints the last 180 meters. An amazing talent.