The Scouting Guru has been all over the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and like always, he’s offered to share his thoughts, free of charge. Don’t hate, enjoy it for what it’s worth, which is one man’s opinion on the talent in the San Gabriel Valley.
“Great leaders don’t use people so that they can win. They lead people so that they all can win together. If that is truly your motivation, you can become the kind of person others want to follow – whether they are beside, above or below you in the organizational hierarchy.” — John Maxwell in his book “The 360 Degree Leader
Guru says: I think the great high school coaches follow the paragraph above. I was watching the NFL Network one night and they were profiling the 1969 Minnesota Vikings. And they were led by one of the greatest NFL coaches of all-time Bud Grant. Anyone that can get a team to FOUR Super Bowl’s can be called “one of the greatest.” They had a team motto for the year that was simple – 40 for 60. 40 players were committed to each other for the 60 minutes of a football game. There were signs all over the place at the old Metropolitan Stadium that had those words. And those words led them to Super Bowl III that year. Too bad they ran into a coach in Hank Stram that was way ahead of his time. So who will be the 40 for 60 team this year? Time will tell….
SPRING EVALUATION PERIOD
And so it begins. It’s the time of year that I call, “The Big Tease.” It’s time for the spring evaluation period. It’s an eight week period where the NCAA allows colleges to visit high schools for four weeks. The purpose of the visit are to evaluate prospects for the upcoming senior year and take a look at the sophomores that are going to be juniors.
Here are some friendly tips to our area coaches and players who maybe new to this and need a little guidance from someone who makes a living doing this stuff.
1) One of the things about this time of year is that if you are on a scouting/recruiting list, you are a prospect. So, your demeanor to college coaches are everything. A firm hand shake and a strong look in the coaches eyes are two of the most important things that a prospect can do when he meets with an assistant coach. Now, understand that the NCAA prohibits college coaches from speaking with players, other than to say hi. Just remember that first impressions are everything.
2) When you (the prospect) gets a questionaire, you have to fill it out. It is your way of letting the college know that you are interested in that school. It also allows the college to have accurate information on you so that they can call you in the fall. Don’t let a bad phone number get in the way of ruining your chances of getting a scholarship.
3) Make sure that you get a business card from the college assistant coach so that you can call and email them whenever possible. During this evaluation period, colleges are only allowed to call a prospect ONCE! But, the prospect can call an assistant coach as many times has he can. And the same thing goes with emailing. Coaches and players can email each other as much as they want. And that is an important thing since the NCAA has put a ban of text messaging. [Just for you to know, I am on a national subcommittee that is lobbying the NCAA to reinstate the text messaging rule with some new rules. Hopefully, we can get this done by next year.] The more that you stay in contact with an assistant coach, the more recruit able you become.
4) Be patient. And if there was ever a year for those words to take heed, it’s this year. Right now, out of our top 20 players in the SGV and the IE, only NINE have been early offer kid. It wasn’t that way last year. This is a process. Don’t let the process stress you out. Just do the best that you can and make sure that your senior tape is solid so that people (like myself) can put in a strong word for you.
1) Nothing frustrates colleges more than visiting a school with inaccurate personal information. So make sure that when you have your prospect sheet ready to go for these colleges, that all the information is accurate. Also, it’s advisable for you to have an assistant coach that is in charge of recruiting. It helps you out and it also allows him to see what the process is like. Colleges like the fact that they can contact more than one person from the school.
2) I remember when I took the job as Director of Football Operations at South Hills back in 2004 (and I was in charge of recruiting) Steve Bogan was compulsive about one thing, “make sure that every school has a transcript on our kids.” And it’s true. When a coach stops by, it makes his life so much easier when there is a transcript ready to be evaluated. So when you present your prospects to college coaches, make sure that you three things for them, a DVD highlight tape, a prospect list and up-to-date transcripts.
3) To know what an college assistant coach does during this period is to know what he is responsible to do. An assistant coach usually has four days (Monday-Thursday) to visit more than 60 high schools (that is amount of schools in the SGV and IE that usually pump out D-1 players) and find out the best prospects in his area. Plus, when you take in the fact that he has more than one area to do, it’s a little rough. A typical “out of state” college assistant coach will have this area, along with an area in Northern California and either Washington, Oregon or Arizona. And that is not to mention that since he is an position coach, he will most likely be asked to visit one school outside of his area to watch a prospect at his position work out. Yep, you would be tired too. So here is a word to the wise for any area coach, PLEASE DON’T HOLD COLLEGE COACHES HOSTAGE. There is no need to show them any film on all 6 of your players. At this point in the process, they have already seen your kids and have them graded on their boards accordingly. Just give them a DVD highlight tape, a prospect list and a transcript. These guys have long days as is it. They usually want to visit a school for 10 minutes, view your prospects and then move on. Remember, they are also on a timetable and have to get done by three o’clock. And that’s not counting the JC’s that they have to visit as well.
4) College are allowed two visits to a school. Once to meet the coaches at the high school and the other is view one practice. So, if you are spending time on the football field in the afternoon (doing spring football), make sure that you give the college coach the time and place you are practicing at. It makes it easier on everyone.
So, there it is. A few pointers to take heed on. And one more message to the juniors that are “prospects”… enjoy the process. It only happens once. Don’t stress out, just enjoy it.
OK, I pulled a goof last week. I am old enough to remember the Jim Healy show back when it was on KLAC and then moved to KMPC from 5:30-6:00 Monday through Friday. One of his favorite tracks was Howard Cosell saying, “Who goofed I’ve got to know?…”
Well it was me. This Saturday is the Nike Combine at Veterans Stadium at Long Beach City College. If you registered online… you might want to get their by 8:00 a.m. We pump out more than 1,000 kids by the time the day is done. If you are walking up without pre-registering, a good time to be there is t 11:00 am.
And Sunday is the biggest day on the camp/combine circuit in Southern California. It’s Nike Camp at USC. The day gets started at 9:00 with registration and heights and weights. We usually hit the field at around 10 a,m. This is an invite only event and judging by the roster, their will be a ton of talent out there at USC.
Among the locals that have confirmed for the camp are Aaron Almond, Chase Price and Jacoby Carter of Diamond Ranch, Michael Ball of Rowland, Patrick Carroll, Ryan McAllenan and Travis Talianko of St. Francis, Chris Solomon of West Covina, Rio Ruiz of Bishop Amat, Demetrius Jackson of Baldwin Park, Chad Jefferies of Glendora, Aaron Cantu of Schurr, Dennis Rufus of Charter Oak.
But if you are looking for the one school that will have a strong representation at the camp (sorry bloggers, you are not going to like this)…that’s right, it will be South Hills High School. South Hills will have four players at the camp, more than any other school in the area. Those four are Sioasi Aiono, Peter Nonu, Jamel Hart and Randall Varela. And if you include offensive lineman Jeff Vargas and Jamie Canada that will be attending the Nike Stanford camp on May 15th, SIX South Hills players will have participated in an Nike Camp event.
One last note. And please don’t mean this to be in the wrong tone. But, we will be at the camp and our job is to evaluate as many players as we can. With more than 250 prospects, it’s tends to be a very busy day. So please, if you happen to see me working, please don’t pull me over and talk. Time is a precious commodity and we will be working from the first minute to the last. At another time that you see me, feel free to pull me over. However, this is the only day that requires my full attention.
ONE LAST NOTE
I had a great conversation with a colleague of mine who told me he couldn’t believe the tone of the conversation on this blog these days. He has asked me if it bothers me when talk about me the way that they do. I told him no. Then I gave him a passage from “The 360 Degree Leader” by John Maxwell. He loved it so much, he’s using it to give to his coaching staff this year. Here is it…
“For years one of my definitions of success has been this: HAVING THOSE CLOSEST TO ME LOVE AND RESPECT ME THE MOST. That is what is most important. I want the love and respect of my wife, my children and my grandfather before I want the respect of anyone I work with. Don’t get me wrong. I want the people who work with me to respect me too, but not at the expense of my family. If I blow managing myself at home, then the negative impact will spill over into every area of my life including work.
“If you want to lead up, you must always lead yourself first. If you can’t, you have no credibility. I’ve found the following to be true:
* If I can’t lead myself; other won’t follow me.
* If I can’t lead myself, others won’t respect me.
* If I can’t lead myself; others won’t partner with me.
“That applies whether the influence you desire to exert is on the people above you, beside you or below you. The better you are at making sure you’re doing what you should be doing, the better chance you have for making an impact on others.”
And the last time I checked, my family doesn’t blog on this site. Have a great weekend.