July 2009 Archives

The old-fashioned way

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Some critics argue that I evaluate high school football players "the old-fashioned way," that I'm a relic of the past, that the way it was done 30 years ago hasn't kept up with the times, that today's methods are better.

Well, I take it as a compliment when they say that. Why? Because that's the way the NFL does it, the way I've been doing it for 30 years. The NFL goes out and sees kids in person and evaluates them. Today, Internet services call kids on the phone and talk to them and wait for film to be delivered to them.

The best way to evaluate a prospect is to go to a kid's high school and analyze his film with him and his coach then get views from other coaches in the area for a consensus. Collective opinions are better than individual opinions.

Best of the class of 2012?

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Football recruiting has been stepped up to such a degree that coaches and analysts already are offering scholarships to players in the class of 2011 and evaluating players in the class of 2012.

I know the feeling. Everybody has an ego in this business. They like to identify potential stars before anyone else. That's what separates the great recruiters from the also-rans. That's what separates the experienced analysts from others. As former NFL quarterback and television analyst Don Meredith once said: "It ain't bragging if you can do it."

I identified Randy Moss, Bill Fralic and Seantrel Henderson as future stars when they were sophomores, before anyone outside their local areas knew who they were. I also got an early start on Jeff George and Emmitt Smith.

Illinois strikes it big

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The recent announcement that tight end C.J. Fedorowicz of Johnsburg will attend the University of Illinois and join coach Ron Zook's football parade is bigger than most Illini fans think. Fedorowicz is the No. 1 tight end in the nation and doesn't get as much credit or respect as he deserves.

In fact, I'm not sure Illini coaches realize what they have in the 6-7, 245-pounder with 4.6 speed. Until recently, Zook hadn't been too excited about Fedorowicz' recruitment and Rivals, which is associated with Illinois' Orange and Blue website, didn't rank him among the top 200 players in the nation.

But Fedorowicz is Illinois' biggest catch since Arrelious Benn. He is one of the nation's premier athletes and should have a major impact as a freshman.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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