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Friday, July 9, 2010

National Combine Series - Aberdeen, NJ Regional - July 9, 2010

New Jersey Regional Event

Matawan High School - Aberdeen, NJ

July 9, 2010

Sunny / 85 Degrees / 5 mph Wind

Surface: Field Turf

It was picture perfect day for the National Combine Series New Jersey Regional Event as specialists from three states gathered at Matawan, NJ High School to compete. Special Teams Solutions, led by former Rutgers specialists Lee McDonald and Charlie Titus, ran the event.

Leading the way among College division 2011 kickers was Frank Freijomil of Delsea (NJ) High School who was a perfect 10 of 10 with a long of 52 yards from a 1” block! Freijomol also proved to be a triple threat by averaging 62 yards and 3.4 seconds of hang time per kickoff and 39.5 and 3.9 seconds hang per punt. “Frank has emerged as a legit combo prospect with plenty of upside,” says Lee McDonald, Director of STS. Aiden Little of Millbrook (NY) High School went a solid 7 of 10 with a long of 47 yards from a 2” block while averaging 59 yards and 3.3 seconds of hang time. “Aiden is new to kicking but his strong soccer leg and athleticism make for a bright future,” says McDonald. Joey Roth of Ridge (NJ) High School proved to be the best punter at the event after posting a 44 yard per punt average and 4.4 seconds of hang time average. “Joey works extremely hard at his craft and has become one of the best punting prospects in the northeast this year,” says STS Punting Coach Charlie Titus.

In the Varsity class of 2012 division, Nick LaPerche of Methacton (PA) High School went 9 of 10 with a long of 52 yards from a one inch block. “Nick has really come on strong this off season and is ready for a breakout junior year,” says McDonald. Ian Maltz of the Hun School (NJ) averaged 63 yards and 3.5 seconds of hang per kickoff. “Ian keeps making strides and is just scratching the surface,” says McDonald. In the Junior Varsity class of 2013 division, Jim Cooper of Mainland (NJ) High School went a perfect 10 of 10 on field goals, averaged 63 yards / 3.8 seconds per kickoff and 41 yards / 3.9 seconds per punt. “Jim is on the fast track to being a major college combo prospect,” says McDonald. Markus Colin of Allentown (NJ) High School went 9 of 10 with a long of 42 yards 58 yards and 3.4 seconds hang per kickoff. “Markus is starting to show he can compete with the big boys; look for much improvement down the road,” says McDonald.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

National Combine Series - Charlotte, NC Regional - June 26, 2010

The National Combine Series hosted a regional event in Charlotte on Saturday, June 26th. Typical June temperatures of about 96 degrees combined with humidity and the field turf pushed temperatures over 100 degrees for the 9am start. The Charlotte region continues to show a great pool of talent with athletes coming from NC, SC, NY, and the VA area. The event, held at the Charlotte Christian H.S stadium, was a large group of talented kickers and punters. Dan Orner Kicking and Punting, with the help of local college kickers Adam Yates (USC), Patrick Long (Harvard), and Drew Stewart (Marshall), ran the event.

The day was started off with perfect FG scores by 2013 kickers Wes Medeiros and Jefferson Lee, showing that they will make a push for the top kickers in the 2013 class. Robert Frame (2013) also posted a great FG score going 8 of 10.

The varsity division was loaded with talent, kickers Brandon Page (2011), Lassiter Tollison (2011), Patrick Rawlings (2012) , Lawson Furr (2011), Austin Holland (2011), Sam Sharpe (2011), Dirk Pieper (2011), Patrick Toole (2011), Bradley Pinion (2012), and Jake Smith (Syracuse Transfer) all going either 8 or 9 out of 10 on FGs. The biggest KOs of the day came from Bradley Pinion (2012), Jake Smith (Syracuse transfer), Lassiter Tollison (2011), and Lawson Furr (2011) each having multiple KO’s sail out of the back of the end zone.

Sam Sharpe (2011) showed the best command of the skill out of the punters turning over multiple punts of 45 yards with 4.5+ hang times. Punters Van Patterson (2011), Jake Smith (Syracuse Transfer), James Coleman (2012), Worth Gregory (2012), and Bradley Pinion (2012) each showed some towering 50 yd + punts. Micah Martin (2012), the only long snapper at the event, left kickers/punters in awe with very accurate field goal snaps in the .4’s and punt snaps in the .8’s showing he has the ability to be a college snapper in the next two years.

Thanks to all who participated and helped run the event

Thursday, June 17, 2010

National Combine Series - Jacksonville, FL Regional - June 17, 2010

Sunny – 94 Degrees – Wind 5-10 mph, Surface – Field Turf

Once again, the National Combine Series has attracted new athletes to the Jacksonville area. ProForm KickinAcademy coaches Mike Hollis (retired 9 year NFL All-Pro Kicker), Jim Gaetano, and ProForm student (pro prospect and former AFL kicker) Massimo Scaccia, conducted this event and were very pleased with the performance of the new and returning athletes. Most of the athletes who participated in this event were from the Jacksonville area and are currently kicking and/or punting for their high school. The remaining athletes traveled from other parts of Florida including Lakeland, Ft. Myers, Ocala, Lady Lake, and Chuluota.

The young athletes started the competition and set the bar pretty high for the older athletes. Daniel Krysalka from Ocala, FL. started off the combine by hitting 9 of 10 fgs, with his only miss coming from 38 yards! Then local Creekside High School sophomore Tommy Openshaw followed with 8 of 10 fgs! Daniel continued to kick-off and punt very well…averaging 59.50 yards on his kick-offs and 37.70 yards per punt! Tommy also had an outstanding performance on kick-offs averaging 57.50 yards with an average of 3.55 seconds hang time!

Local kickers Kurt Krier, Kyle Federico, and Chuluota, FL. native Lucas Wainman rounded out the Varsity class for this event. Topping out this class was Junior kicker/punter Kyle Federico who pounded 8 of 10 fgs, averaged 66 yards and 3.48 seconds hang time on his kick-offs, and hit an average of 39.10 yards per punt with an average hang time of 4.02 seconds. Kurt and Lucas both did very well on kick-offs averaging 60.00 and 59.33 yards per kick-off respectively.

Finishing out the remaining athletes were 5 kickers/punters and one snapper from the class of 2011. Just 3 locals, Banner Clark of Trinity Christian Academy, David Burdetsky also of Trinity Christian, and Luke Arnold of Mandarin High School; and Christopher Crowe from Lakeland, FL., RJ Peppers from Lady Lake, FL., and Zachary Douglas of Ft. Myers rounded out these remaining Seniors. Topping the list for these athletes on fgs was Zachary Douglas who went 8 of 10 including a successful 52 yarder! Zachary also was the leader in kick-off distance with an average of 65.67 yards per kick! Other standouts for kick-offs were Banner Clark (62.50 yards / 3.52 hang) and Luke Arnold (59.50 yards / 3.70 hang). RJ Peppers blasted an average of 43.90 yards per punt with an average of 4.06 seconds of hang time per punt! Banner Clark was close behind with 41.40 yards per punt with an average hang time of 4.21! David Burdetsky was very accurate and quick on both fg and punt snaps! He averaged 0.42 seconds per fg snap and 0.81 seconds per punt snap, all with very good accuracy and laces!

Great job to all participants of this June 2010 Jacksonville Regional National Combine Series Event! ProForm Kicking Academy will host another NCS event on July 15th in Jacksonville, with a 3-Day instructional camp to follow!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

National Combine Series - Dallas Regional - June 5, 2010

Dallas Regional - June 5, 2010
Parish Episcopal High School

Well as luck would have it we received our first heat wave of the summer during our Dallas 1 Regional. It was 99 degrees outside and about 110 on the field. Got to love Texas. Winds were about 10 mph out of the south and it was a nice cool breezy, ha ha.

Several returning kickers and punters to the Dallas regional showing how they have developed since last year. Brett Rattan in the JV group showed his accuracy and consistency going 9/10 in field goals while Cody Wicker of the JV group blasted his punts hitting 4 over 42 and 2 over 50.

Joseph Pickett who competed in the Varsity group even though only being a sophmore showed that he is one of the top kickers in the country at his age level going 8/10 at the varsity marks and dropping his 52 yarder which would have been good from 60, not to mention hitting a 3.9 72 yard kickoffs.

We had some newcomers at the Regional here in Dallas that could turn lots of heads in the College division this year. Fabian Soldevilla of Skyline High School in Dallas, showed that he was not to be taken likely, a small frame with a big kicking package hitting his KICKOFFS deep in the endzone, while Dylan Culp from Henderson HS showed serious D1 potential on his field goals.

A new addition to KICKNATION is SNAPNATION and Coach Aaron King who made a guest appreance getting to work with the NCS regional long snappers at this event. Coach King made a couple of adjustments on one snapper Flowers and he was snapping the ball straight at his target showing the coaches and players great potential for years to come.

All in all the Dallas Regional was a success and we look forward to seeing you at the next NCS event.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Social Networks and Potential Pitfalls for Recruits

Just about everybody is on one social network or another, if not all, these days. It is a great way to reconnect and/or stay connected with people. Facebook and My Space lead the charge with 150 million and 115 million users, respectively.

Being able to upload photos, videos, comments, etc. or being tagged in a video or photo is cool and fun. However, more and more colleges are using social networks, not only to communicate with prospects, but to do research and keep an eye on them as well.

The internet alone can be image damaging for athletes. Michael Phelps and Matt Leinert anyone?

However, when it comes to college recruiting and potentially $100,000 in scholarship money, student athletes need to very cautious about what is posted on their profiles.

I currently work with a college kicker who is graduating and hoping to get a shot at the pros. When I became his "friend" on facebook, I had the ability to look at his profile and all of his photos. I came across several where he had been tagged by others while attending a Halloween costume party. In several of the photos, he was holding a beer. He is over 21 and legal to drink alcohol, but I don't think that he would want NFL teams seeing photos of him partying...

Both NFL and Colleges want to recruit athletes with integrity, good character, etc. The internet in general, makes it easier for everyone to find and see people.

If you are actively using your social network profiles, exercise caution in what you post and be aware of what others may post about you. Ultimately, you shouldn't have to worry about if anything is posted or not about you if you are an upstanding citizen. However, high school athletes are still young and make mistakes from time to time. Believe or not, I made a couple in high school.

When those mistakes are made, just make sure that they don't find their way onto the internet...Here is a good article on this topic.

Be smart on the field, at school, at events and online.

Recruiting and Social Networks

The NCAA has been working hard to keep up with the advancement of technology as it relates to communication avenues and their bylaws.

For a few years, phone calls from coaches were not allowed during Non-Contact period. However, coaches could sent text messages. Those were before the unlimited texting plans came out. I heard stories of prospects' parents getting phone bills for hundreds of dollars...

More and more, college coaches are relying on social networks to do their homework on prospects as well as communicate. As we join more social networks with cool new applications for communicating, I suspect the NCAA will continue to make amendments to their bylaws to ensure that coaches are not finding "loop holes" to contact student-athletes.

With the meteoric rise of Facebook and others like MySpace, the ability to message people using their internal email platforms has become popular yet cumbersome at the same time. I find myself trying to remember if I sent a message through standard email or through one of the social network sites. Who is contacting me, where and how? It reminds me of the scene from the movie, He's Just Not That Into You, with Drew Barrymore when she mentions that she has to go around checking all of the different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies is exhausting.

Well, the NCAA has adapted accordingly. The NCAA Division I Bylaw, states that, "e-mail is not limited to a traditional e-mail service provided by an institution, Website or Internet service provider. Therefore, it is permissible for an athletics department staff member to send electronically transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete using a social networking Web site's (e.g., MySpace, Facebook) e-mail feature. All other electronically transmitted correspondence including, but not limited to, text messaging, Instant Messenger, chat rooms or message boards (e.g., a user's wall) within a social networking Web site or through other services or applications remain impermissible.

For example, a coaching staff member with a MySpace or Facebook account may send electronically

transmitted correspondence to a prospective student-athlete's MySpace or Facebook account using the e-mail inbox feature located on that user's profile page. However, a coaching staff member may not send electronic correspondence to a prospective student-athlete via the comments feature on MySpace or the wall-to-wall feature on Facebook."

It goes on further by adding that it is permissible for a prospective student-athlete's name and/or picture to appear on an athletics department staff member's profile page of a social networking Web site to identify the prospective student-athlete as a "friend" of the athletics department staff member. Institutions should note that the identification of the prospective student-athlete as a "friend" on an athletics staff members profile page confirms only the institution's potential recruitment of that individual. However, institutions are reminded they may not make any public comments about the prospective student-athlete's ability, the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution's team or the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete's signing with that institution.

The fact that colleges can contact you through social networks is good in that it provides another avenue for contacting prospects. However, it is a reminder to be careful about what you are posting to your social network profiles...College coaches are out there looking.

The Importance of Video in the Recruiting Process

In a recent survey, 100% of all college coaches responded that video is VERY import when evaluating talent. Especially when first assessing the athlete. Now check this out, in another recent poll only 2-3% of student-athletes have video readily accessible online for college coaches to view.

College coaches like to coach, but part of their job is to recruit and find athletes that fit their program. That involves looking at video, traveling, etc. The cost of traveling has affected every college program. The smaller programs don't have the budget to travel and visit all of their prospects. What do they do? They rely on video. What is fast becoming the best way to view video? Online.

Having video online is one of the most efficient means for coaches. DVDs and VHS tapes have been the norm for many years. However, the time it takes to open the package, then the case, insert it into the computer, wait for it to upload and then finally view ONE person can take up a lot of valuable time for coaches. Let alone that it clutters their office. They often trip over the stacks, get mad and throw them in the trash.

I am not saying that DVDs are not valuable. They are, but only if they are personally requested by a coach. There are two types of video from a coach's perspective:

  • Unsolicited videos (those that many athletes just send out to colleges with their "fingers crossed")

  • Solicited videos (those that a coach has specifically requested and are looking for it to come in the mail)

Why not make everyone's job easier and effective with an online video profile. Their are many great features that online video profiles can provide.

For athletes:

  • The ability to constantly update your video

  • Not having to produce additional DVDs and mail them out

  • Sending emails with links to your video profile

  • Tracking profile views by coaches

  • Affordability

For college coaches:

  • Easily managing player videos

  • Viewing video quickly of athletes

  • Creating watch lists of favorite athletes

  • Searching for athletes that meet their requirements

  • Receiving notifications when athletes sign up

How do you get video? There are many options to getting video.

  • Your coach (if they film your games/matches)

  • A parent (caution, the video can get shaky if they get excited while watching you perform)

  • A friend (buy him lunch for every match he films)

  • A professional videographer (you can split the cost with other teammates)

Video is critical to getting your "foot in the door." It is worth the time and effort to film your performance and post it to an online.

How are you going to do to separate yourself from the competition?