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Plus: Football Recruiting Tips & Tricks
There are not many changes in the MHN Class of 2013 End-of-Season Top 25 Nebraska High School Football Prospects rankings from the Early-Season version. In fact, Millard South ATH Bennie Olson (5-9, 175) represents the only new entry into the Top 25.
Breaking into the Top 25 at the No.21 spot, Olson is one to watch! Possessing good speed (4.53), quickness and plenty of football savvy, Olson had a stellar year on both sides of the ball for Coach Any Means’ Patriots. The senior’s efforts figured large in helping Millard South post a 9-3 season record finishing just short of making it all the way to the Class A state title game when they lost 35-38 in the semifinals to eventual champions Millard North.
Lincoln Southwest’s Josh Banderas remains MHN’s No.1 prospect, but the Rivals 4 Star Nebraska commit barely holds off his teammate Christian Lacouture from claiming the top spot. Lacouture, an outstanding 6-7, 270 lbs. DE prospect, has been courted heavily by numerous big-time schools like Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Michigan to name but a few. Last winter Lacouture gave an early commit to the Huskers and this past summer the big College Station, Texas native moved to Lincoln to play his final high school season for Lincoln Southwest. However, between then and earlier this month—something changed. Lacouture reneged on his commitment to NU and he is now giving his pledge to attend LSU.
MHN No. 1 Spot is a Close Call
In my opinion, there is little—if anything at all—separating Banderas and Lacouture from being considered the No. 1 Nebraska high school football prospect in the class of 2013. Of course Rivals currently gives Banderas a 4 star rating and a 5.8 score vs. Lacouture’s 3 Star 5.7. It remains to be seen which one of them will claim the No. 1 ranking in the MHN Final Class of 2013 Top 25 rankings that will be released a short time after the February 6, 2013 NCAA Football National Letter of Intent Signing Day.
Division 1 Offers Still Stuck at All-time Lows
Compared to the loftier numbers of D-1 football offers garnered during the early and middle part of the last decade, Division 1 football offers to Nebraska high school football prospects remain mired at their historic lows. Currently, there are five Nebraska prospects know to have at least on Division 1A offer (maybe six if you count former Lincoln North Star prospect Michael Minter Jr.). And there are six other prospects that have reported at least one D-1A offers (see table below).
On the bright side of things , at least the current number of the Nebraska class of 2013 football prospect holding D-1A offers are already more than the final number of—only four D-1A offers—obtained by the previous class of 2012. The trend of these low numbers of D-1A prospects is truly disturbing especially when you take into account the number of successful walk-ons at Nebraska over the past several years.
“There is more D-1A football talent in the state of Nebraska than those annual numbers of D-1A offers reflect!” However, because of the success of the Nebraska walk-on program—Nebraska kids are nothing more than an afterthought when it comes to most D-1A college recruiters.
So as long as the current crop of NU coaches continues to dole out no more than one or two offers per year to Nebraska high school prospects while they aggressively recruit the majority of the state’s top prospects to walk-on, you can expect to see the numbers of D-1A offers to Nebraska kids remain at the current level.
The current state of affairs is good for Husker football but bad for Nebraska high school football players seeking D-1A offers.
|Class of 2013 Nebraska High School Prospects Holding D-1 Offers|
|Josh Banderas, LB, 6-2, 220, Lincoln Southest||Tyler Wrice, ATH, 5-9, 175, Papillion-La Vista|
|Christian Lacouture, 6-5, 270, Lincoln Southwest||Jake Schlager, DB, 6-1, 190, McCook|
|Nathan Bazata, OG/DL, 6-3, 245, Howells||Colin Mertlik, ATH, 6-2, 200, Blair|
|Casey Sayles, TE, 6-4, 260, Omaha North||Luke Worden, DB/RB, 5-9, 180, Scottsbluff|
|Nick Deluca, LB, 6-2, 220, Millard North||Vinny Ross, OL, 6-5, 265, Perkins County|
Football Recruiting Tips & Tricks
Only a little more than ten weeks remain before the class of 2013 football recruiting cycle concludes with the NCAA Football National Letter of Intent Signing Day on February 6, 2013. If you are a class of 2013 prospect and you are sitting there at home without an offer, or you’re a prospect that already holds an offer but is looking for a better one—it’s time to get proactive.
- First things first: make sure you know your NCAA Football Recruiting Calendar dates, regulations and meanings of the terms “contact period,”quiet period,” and “dead period.” Click this link for an easy to follow guide on the NCAA Football Recruitng Calendar and regulations
Be aggressive but not overly so if you are being recruited and you are on the bubble (high on college recruiting boards but still no offer):
- Keep in contact with your recruiters: make phone calls, send emails or text messages to your recruiter(s) and be sure to express—confidence—in your ability to be the right fit for their program—sell yourself!
- Take your visits—especially the unofficial ones. When you are on the bubble the best thing you can do is to be on campus as much as possible. Many prospects blow off unofficial visits and miss out on valuable opportunities to bond with the program thus making it harder for the coaching staff not to give you that last minute offer.
Just remember that on your visits the coaches and your potential teammates will be observing every move you make—from the way you walk, talk, and interact with the coaches and the players—to determine if you are the right fit. So act accordingly and be confident and be on your best behavior at all times.
- Speaking of good behavior—clean up your Facebook Page! Because if you are cursing like a mad sailor on your Facebook Page and/or posting and saying a bunch of dumb things It becomes a reflection on you and your character. College coaches will look at your Facebook Page. So be smart about what you post on it.
- Make sure to send coaches your senior year highlights and top game film(s). 90% of the decision on whether or not to give you a shot will be based on the college coaching staff’s evaluation of your film. The other 10% will be based on you as a person and the overall gut feeling that the staff will have in regards to your ability to mature into an effective college football player within their system.
To those that don’t have any offers: Get a good highlight video out there! Through my five years of experience of making highlight videos and promoting high school athletes from all across the USA at HitHighlights.com, I have witnessed firsthand the power of a good highlight video and getting it out there to be seen. The situation becomes even more critical when dealing with athletes that have no offers at all or who are on the bubble.
There have been numerous occasions throughout the past five year where one of my clients first received attention simply because of their highlight video and then later received an offer from a D-1A, D1AA or D-II program.
My ardent advice is to become good at selling yourself, because a lot of your competition will be good at it. You.can start that process off by having a good highlight video made and getting it out there to be seen.
That’s why MHN continues to offer any Nebraska or Midlands athlete with a highlight video posted on You Tube the ability to send us your link and we’ll post your video on our highlight video page. We may even make it a Feature Video or do an article about you as a result of your quality play. Maximizing your exposure on all fronts is key to getting noticed.
Good look the rest of the way to the Class of 2013.
OWH 2012 Nebraska High School Football Leaders, October 26