Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Edgy Tim O'Halloran writes...

...about high school sports for the Chicago Tribune. (I never miss his blog on football.)

Yesterday, Edgy Tim wrote about one of the area's top prospects. According to Mr. O'Halloran, "about 25 D-1 schools have either offered or will offer" this player. Wow! That's great. Here's an excerpt from the post (my emphasis):

It's hard to fathom in this age of non-stop recruiting coverage that any prospect with 13 offers could go under the radar. But that's the case with [High School] junior offensive tackle [Player's Name]. [Player] was just 185 pounds a year and a half ago, but he has hit a growth spurt. Add his work in the weight room and a strong nutrition plan, and the 6-6, 274-pound [Player] has transformed into a top-level recruit.

"A year and a half ago I was 185 pounds, and I was more like a stick figure," [Player] said. "It really started for me a few months ago with the recruiting interest. The coaches at my school started to talk to some of the colleges about how I added weight and strength and that I was a much different-looking player these days.

"I just really started to add weight and size once the season ended. I just started to really hit the weights hard, and I also got on a great nutrition program. The coaches said they felt I could play at the D-I level in college if I bought into the weights and getting bigger, and they were right. Once spring recruiting started the college coaches would come in and watch my workout, and all of a sudden more and more schools started to offer me a scholarship."

Wait a minute! Did I read that right? This kid gained almost ninety pounds in a year and a half? Granted, he's 6'6" and can carry that much weight on his frame, but isn't that a lot to gain in such a short period of time?

I was curious and asked my godson, who tried out for the Arizona Cardinals a couple of years ago as an offensive lineman. (He's huge.) His response:

"Zero percent chance that's not substance enhanced. I grew an inch and 45 pounds between my junior and senior year and that was extremely aggressive."

I asked him, "If a casual observer like me notices that, what about all the coaches, parents and scouts, etc. Are they just looking the other way? Am I naive?"

To which he responded, "Blissful ignorance on their part? Kind of shocking really."

Now, I'm not making any accusations. (I didn't include a link to the piece or the kid's name on purpose. I'll let you look it up.) This player is probably a nice kid. And I'm sure his parents and coaches have only the best intentions for him. But, still, am I the only reader who found this piece just a little ... troubling?

P. S. My godson also told me that he would never let his kids play football. He's that concerned about head trauma.

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