Urban Meyer: ‘Go make your high school coach so proud’

June 13, 2016 / CoachingFootball
Young football players can go to camps or use recruiting services to land a Division I scholarship, but Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer doesn’t believe that’s the best approach.

Photo courtesy of Ohio State University
Photo courtesy of Ohio State University

Speaking last weekend to a group of nearly 600 prep football campers, the three-time college football national champion told players about the importance of impressing their high school coaches. Meyer, like most coaches, counts on input from prep coaches to get insight on a player’s character and leadership abilities.

As Meyer said, it’s about more than what players can do on the field.

“Why don’t you bust your ass for your high school team? Why don’t you become captain?” Meyer said in a video recorded by Bucknuts 247. “I’m involved in all this recruiting. ‘Do I have to go to this camp?’ No. I’ve got a better idea. Go become your high school coach’s best player, so when our staff goes to the high school, guess what the high school coach tells us? The same thing I said (to the NFL) about Zeke Elliott, about Bosa, Eli Apple, Taylor Decker, Darron Lee, Vonn Bell, Mike Thomas, Braxton Miller: ‘Take them. They’re the real deal. They’re teachers’ players. You can count on them.’

“For some reason, this recruiting thing is blowing up. ‘I have to go to this 7-on-7, do this, do this.’ I’ve got a better idea. Go become a great high school football player on your team. When (we) walk in that high school, guess what that high school coach says? ‘Take him.’ You know what we do at Ohio State when he says that? We usually take him. I don’t care what you do at those other camps. I want to hear your high school coach say, ‘Take him.’ If I have relationship with that high school coach like I do with these NFL coaches, guess what happens? We take him.

“Don’t worry about (all the camps). That’s all fun stuff, that’s great. But that’s not why Ohio State recruits you. I can speak for the majority of my friends that coach football. That means nothing. What means something is the recommendation of the high school football coach. Go become a captain. If you’re a captain of your high school team and you’re talented enough, you’ve got a great chance of being here. If you’re very talented and you’re not a captain, I’m going to find out why, because something’s not right.”

Meyer also offered a message for parents.

“I have parents ask all the time, ‘Should I send him to that camp?’ Sure, if you have 80 bucks to blow, go ahead,” Meyer said. “Here’s where you start: Go make your high school coach so proud of you that he’s going to tell the college coach, ‘Take him.’ How cool is that? It’s real simple. Don’t complicate things.

“Our college players ask all the time, ‘I want to play in the NFL some day.’ Great. Become a great player. Become a selfless player. Incredible discipline doing stuff right all the time. And when it gets tough, you be the guy we can count on. See what happens then. Then we get to go to Chicago or New York, and in the first round, the New York Jets select Darron Lee, and you see the mom crying, and he goes up there with Roger Goodell as a first-round draft pick because he did what we asked him to do.”

This is exactly the kind of talk you want to hear from a big-time coach, and it’s a message that high school coaches have tried for years to hammer into young minds. With the constant obsession over exposure and statistics, sometimes it just helps to play hard and have a great attitude. When that happens, coaches will often go to bat for their players.

Click here to see video of Meyer’s talk.


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