Some high school football coaches don't believe that it is in their job description to assist their players in the recruiting process, that it should be up to the parents to send their sons to college, that they aren't paid to provide what they claim is an extra service.
Fortunately, there are a lot fewer of them today than there were when I began evaluating players in the late 1970s. In those days, most high school coaches didn't put forth an effort to help their kids. But recruiting has become a second season and most high school coaches have become part of the new era of recruiting.
Some are better than others. Some go the extra mile to help their players. In Illinois, former Richards coach Gary Korhonen was the best. Others of note are Ken Leonard of Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Mike DiMatteo of Hinsdale Central, Steve Nye of Brother Rice, Bill Mosel of Thornton, Famous Hulbert of Proviso West and Todd Kuska of St. Rita.
I prefer that coaches offer a helping hand. Some think I should call them. But I'm a national guy. I have to deal with thousands of coaches every year. But I'll always return a call or take time to evaluate a film, without charging a fee.
I must rely on coaches who want to push or promote their kids. George Smith of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Aquinas is one of the best in the country. And his program is one of the best in the country.
I suggest that coaches should call me if they think they have a Division I player. They don't have to push a Taylor Graham or a Donovan McNabb. They don't have to push a Christian Lombard or a Kyle Prater or a C.J. Fiedorowicz. They will receive plenty of publicity and plenty of attention from college recruiters.
But 90 percent of kids who have college potential have to be pushed. If they are borderline players, a college will take the one they know, the one who has been pushed by his high school coach.
I applaud the high school coaches who call me or drive a kid to a college for an unofficial visit or arrange for his parents to take him and make highlight films and send them to dozens of schools for evaluation.
College coaches are more likely to watch a film sent by a high school coach than a parent. Some guys go the extra mile. They act like recruiting coordinators. Korhonen, for example, landed more college scholarships for his kids than they probably deserved because he was persistent and loved his players. If it was another high school, many wouldn't have gone to a Division I college.
So if you are a parent or a high school coach who thinks he has a son or player with Division I potential, make a call and make a highlight film. Somebody will answer your call and someone will evaluate your film.