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Second Season: November 2009 Archives

Looking for a scholarship?

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I recently received a note from Jasper Abbate, the father of Glenbard North defensive end Nick Abbate. He wants to know how his son, a 6-2, 220-pound senior who has been named to the Sun-Times' 25-member All-Chicago Area team, can get more colleges interested in him.

It is an all-too-common dilemma. Many parents and coaches wonder why players aren't getting much if any attention from college recruiters. They think their sons or players have Division I potential and can't understand why nobody else agrees with them. They wonder what they can do to attract some attention.

My immediate response: move real quick. You should have been moving a year ago. It is too late for me to help seniors. Most colleges are recruiting juniors, not seniors.

And the Academy Award goes to...

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The motion picture "Blind Side," based on the best-selling book by New York Times writer Michael Lewis, will be released nationally on Friday. And I'm in it--for all of about 60 seconds.

"Blind Side" is about Michael Oher, the former University of Mississippi football star who grew up homeless in Memphis, Tennessee, and was a first-round pick in the NFL draft. In the current issue of "Sports Illustrated," NFL writer Peter King rates Oher, a dominating offensive lineman, on his All-NFL team for 2009.

In his book, Lewis devotes a chapter to me, about how I evaluate high school players, my relationship with college coaches and how I helped to discover Oher and how coaches such as Nick Saban, Phil Fulmer and Lou Holtz became aware of the 310-pounder.

Pullano deserves a look

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This is the "Year of the Quarterback" in the Chicago area and most of them have performed up to expectations. I've gone on record as saying that Prospect's Miles Osei is my choice as Player of the Year. He amassed nearly 4,000 yards of total yardage and accounted for 39 touchdowns in an 8-3 season.

But several other quarterbacks stood out, including Hinsdale Central's John Whitelaw, Lake Forest's Tommy Rees, Rolling Meadows' Jimmy Garoppolo, Downers Grove South's Chandler Whitmer, Marist's Mike Perish, Maine South's Tyler Benz, Morgan Park's DaRon Brown, Montini's Brandon Pechloff and Glenbard West's Tyler Warden.

One who is never mentioned is Glenbrook South's Mike Pullano.

How about Charlie Strong?

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In our recent discussions about which candidates are primed to be the next head coaches in the Big 10, the name of Charlie Strong hasn't come up. But it comes up now. A reader, an avowed SEC fan, recommended Strong, Florida' defensive coordinator.

"Not only is he widely respected as one of the nation's best defensive coordinators, he also is an awesome recruiter and developer of athletes into great defensive football players," the reader e-mailed.

"The fact that he is an African American coach in the SEC plays to Illinois' favor. He has been a legitimate candidate for multiple head coaching positions in the SEC and time and time again he has either not been interviewed or passed over for less proven or resume impressive candidates who were white."

Some players to watch

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I've scouted some recent games in the Chicago area and I've watched a lot of film. Here is what I've seen and what I know and who I recommend as Division I prospects. It is difficult to understand why some seniors aren't being more highly recruited than they are. But, after 31 years, I've learned that is the nature of the business.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Big 10 should be recruiting quarterbacks Miles Osei of Prospect and Jimmy Garoppolo of Rolling Meadows. I think Hinsdale Central's John Whitelaw is a big-time prospect, too, but he apparently got frustrated by the process and opted to commit to Yale. So who can argue that he didn't make a good decision?

Both Osei and Garoppolo have had good senior seasons. They have been very productive. They have major college arm strength, speed and athleticism. In my view, there is no good reason why they shouldn't be offered.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Second Season in November 2009.

Second Season: October 2009 is the previous archive.

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