The NCAA is taking a long hard look at the high school combine system of evaluating prospects for college. The problem that they are running into is big sponsors such as Nike getting involved in the combines. For instance, they come in to a place like Ohio State and all the kids collect on their campus, which is in effect an unofficial visit for that school. They are watching that kind of thing very closely and it could jeopardize it for everybody. "I fear that this maybe the last year for high school combines for us," said Ballard High School head Mark Catlett, who honcho's the Louisville combine.
This would be a damaging blow to Kentucky High School football. This system allows the youngster to show their wares first hand in front of the scrutinizing eye of college coaches. It's also been another avenue to create more football interest in the state and keep football in the forefront. This writer was in attendance at the first combine held in the state, which was held in Hazard, Kentucky in 1998. There were three combines the first year and since has been as many as six around the state.
On May 8 the Greater Louisville Football Coaches Association Combine was held at old Louisville Fairgrounds Stadium. Logistically, it was much different than in past years when the event was held at a Louisville high school site, mostly at Ballard.
The fairground site provided several conveniences not enjoyed before, in terms of space and footing on the artificial turf. For instance, it is much harder to conduct an accurate Pro-Shuttle run on a slick gym floor.
This year's Louisville combine attracted around 200 kids from 25 high schools.
The combine picked up a new sponsor and organizer in Metro Fitness Gym. They also enlisted the assistance of Louisville Fire arena league team. The team's president is Bill Glaser, the long-time UK football assistant. He is still the dean of SEC coaches with the longest running tenures of 19 years at UK.
Glaser's brother Mike Glaser, head football coach of St. X had some things to say about the commitment to West Virginia of his star running back Victor Anderson. "That is not a firm commitment, I don't think. He will be looking everywhere. He went to their camp last year and they were the first to offer and pressured him, so he felt a sense of obligation to them. He went up there last year and had a good camp." Glaser said that Kentucky and Louisville is in the mix and everybody that's seen him on tape likes him. The coach strongly expressed Anderson's desire to be a tailback, so that's big. Glaser said he could be a great college defensive back if necessary.
This was a lean year at the Louisville combine, however Louisville Central has a couple of prospects and another that bears watching throughout his senior season. They were rb/db prospects Terrance Herriford and Tim Huguley. They both ran well in the forty but Herriford posted a sub 4.4 amongst his three runs.
St. X lineman John Clark put on a show on the bench putting up a legitimate 30 reps. This rivaled the performance by Myron Pryor three years ago, who also logged 30 reps. Using the formula to calculate that into a one rep max-out, it equates to 395-pounds. The difference is, according to Mike Glaser, he is not the football player that Pryor is. Glaser said he sorely lacks in agility.
As usual, Louisville Trinity was a no-show as well as the combine held the next day at Lexington Catholic, Bryan Station and Tates Creek were no-shows…
All fingers and toes crossed, we do not want to lose the combines.
DEMAREE: Combines threatened
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