The Mark Dantonio football camp was another chance for him to showcase a few of his athletes. Bearcat Insider took the opportunity to talk to this ex-NFL athlete.
When Trotwood Madison arrives at a combine or camp, people can't help but notice the many excellent athletes. This year is certainly no exception as Coach Douglas explained. "Right now we have six kids that already have Division I offers, but we believe by the end of the year there will be about twelve."
One of those twelve athletes is C. J. Peake, who holds an offer from the University of Cincinnati. Maurice was asked to comment on Peake. "He's a very big, athletic kid. He's 6 feet 2 and a quarter inches, about 215 (pounds) and ran a 4.47 and a 4.49 at Ohio State last week. He has great ball skills. He has really good hands and a tremendous desire to be a good football player."
Peake is the only one of Trotwood's players that holds an offer from Cincinnati, but according to Coach Douglas, the Bearcats are apparently also considering offering scholarships to Carson Byrd, a 6' 2" 240 pound defensive end/outside linebacker; Marcus English, a 6' 2" 185 pound cornerback/safety; and Mike Page, a 6' 5" 290 pound offensive lineman.
Cincinnati is a newcomer to the BCS family when it joined the Big East Conference last year. Coach Douglass was asked to assess the pluses of a recruit attending Cincinnati. "I'd say the fact that they have a newer coaching staff with this being their third year, and they're about at that turning point. The upgrades are about finished on this campus, and Coach Dantonio and his staff don't have a problem playing a younger guy. You don't want to play too many young guys, but players want to know they'll have a chance to go out and compete for playing time." So how important is it for recruits to get the opportunity to play early? "My guys are always looking at the depth chart at their position, but it's tough when you're not there for spring ball and want to compete for playing time as a freshman. It‘s tough for any freshman to adapt that quickly."
Other than the guys in Columbus, Cincinnati is now the only school in Ohio that can offer a high school player the chance to play in a BCS conference. Maurice was asked if it's realistic for Cincinnati to think it will eventually beat the Buckeyes for a recruit. "I think that day is on its way. I think Ohio State is going to have to do a much better job of securing the guys they want. Cincinnati got Freddie Lenix now due to a grade situation, but I think they can compete on a much higher recruiting level now than in the past. With them finishing the facilities, Coach Dantonio will be able to finish the deal on most kids now."
Coach Douglas feels attending camps like Cincinnati's is crucial for any athlete with aspirations of playing at the next level. "I think it's vitally important for every kid regardless of what level of exposure he's gotten. They need to get out to as many camps as they can because it's -Seldom seen; seldom heard. If they don't know about you than how can they recruit you? I think the high school coaches need to do a better job of taking kids out and getting highlight tapes to coaches. Some kids can't play at Ohio State, but every kid ought to be able to play somewhere."
Maurice Douglas has played in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears so he knows what it takes to get to the highest level. He was asked if he sees those needed qualities in any of his ex-players. "Coach Freeman and I were on the board on Friday writing all the kids we've had. We've had 56 kids in school over the last five years that we been at Trotwood Madison. Some of the ones people were afraid of early have blossomed now. I believe Greg Moore, who plays right here, could be a first day NFL guy. If he decides to do the little things and plays through all the nicks and bruises, he could hear his name on the first day. Tyjuan Jones is another one of our guys. If he does what needs to be done in the classroom, he could also hear his name called."
Bearcat Insider appreciates Maurice Douglas taking the time to speak with us.