Monday, May 11, 2009

Today's recruiters hunting down giants

Every now and then, I run across a player like Stephen McCain.

McCain plays offensive guard at Greensboro’s Dudley High, and when you ask Dudley coach Steve Davis about him, he says quickly, “He is a great high school player, probably the best offensive lineman I’ve ever coached.”

So why isn’t McCain on our list of the state’s top 25 college prospects?

Put simply, he’s not tall enough. Davis said McCain is “about 6-foot-1,” and added, “Those college recruiters come in and tell me they can’t even take tape back to their head coaches on a kid if he’s not at least 6-3 or 6-4.”

For McCain, it’s even tougher than that, because although he’s understandably 6-1 in his coach’s eyes, at a recent Shrine Bowl Combine, he was measured at 5-11. And these days, the BCS schools only want their O-lines populated by giants.

So it doesn’t matter that at that same combine, the 297-pound McCain bench-pressed 185 pounds 27 times, the best mark of the day for O-linemen. He’s too short.

Smaller schools, though, like what they’ve seen in McCain. Furman and Navy, in particular, are interested.

“He just has great technique,” Davis said. “If I had two more like him, we would be almost unstoppable. And he has great grades.”

He’s just missing that one not-so-little thing…

--Stan Olson


Anonymous said...

You can't teach height.

Anonymous said...

Very unfortunate big programs give this kid the cold shoulder because of his height. I'm sorry you have to see the world isn't fair so early on. I hope you make some noise at Furman or Navy and maybe sprout a couple more inches. Best o' Luck.

Anonymous said...

I guess the concepts of leverage and center of gravity have missed the "oh so smart" big college coaches' list of topics to learn. And they wonder why they can't run the ball as well as they did back when what you did on the field was the only measuring tape needed. I just hope this kid gets to play against the coaches who've passed him over and he throws a pancake party on them.