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Second Season: March 2009 Archives

Meet me in St. Louis, Louie

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I interviewed 22 players in St. Louis recently and was surprised to learn that Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame aren't much of a presence in the area, not as they have been in previous years. Instead, Iowa and Missouri have the most presence in the St. Louis area.

I think a lot of schools, including Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame and other Big 10 schools, are missing the boat in St. Louis. There aren't any super stars in the area but there are a lot of good prospects who can compete in the Big 10. I can only surmise that Illinois, Northwestern and Notre Dame are focusing on other areas.

For example, 6-3, 230-pound defensive end DeRon Flood of O'Fallon, Ill., just across the river from St. Louis, likes Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. But he has no offers. I think he is Big 10 material.

NCSA for one-stop shopping

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I used to watch 50 films a day and college coaches, as many as 10 a day in the 1980s and 1990s, used to come to my house during the May evaluation period to watch as many prospects as they could in one sitting without a bag of popcorn. I don't think Roger Ebert ever watched as much film in one day.

But times have changed. NCAA rules have limited the time they can be on the road and I have to be on the road more than ever before, making trips from coast to coast to personally interview the top 1,500 seniors each year. There just isn't enough time to conduct the film sessions as we used to.

So National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) is a natural progression. Chris Krause, who founded the Chicago-based in 2000 and has been in the recruiting business since 1989, has come up with a unique concept that will benefit college coaches and high school athletes.

Why Florida is so dominant

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If you are a tourist, you love Florida…the Gulf Coast beaches, Disney World, golf, South Beach, Palm Beach, Daytona Beach, fishing, shopping on St. Armand’s Circle or Worth Avenue, Key West, Cape Canaveral, the Grapefruit League.

But if you are a college football recruiter, you love Florida even more. Florida produces more college prospects than any state with the possible exception of Texas. The Chicago area produces as much talent as any city in Florida—Miami or Tampa or Jacksonville or Tallahassee or Orlando—but the rest of Illinois isn’t comparable.

In Florida, every small town—from Apopka to Senffner to Eagle Lake to Frostproof to Pahokee to Mount Dora to Deltona to Okeechobee to Cross City—has a big-time football player. Football is so important in the state that every community is galvanized around the high school coach and his program.



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