Talented LB Ready To Impress UM

This talented linebacker prospect impressed the University of Miami coaches this spring and he hopes to do it again at their summer camp next week. He hopes this time will result in a scholarship offer, which is very possible.

One of the top linebackers I saw at the NIKE Training Camp in Miami two months ago was Tampa Hillsborough standout Ronnie McCullough. At 6-feet and 208 pounds, McCullough said he felt he could have put on a better performance.

"It went OK," McCullough told me. "However, I think I could have done a lot better. It wasn't one of my better performances. It was the first time I had put on football cleats since November because I had sprained my ankle in the playoffs and was trying to rest up."

McCullough said he plans on making up for that performance with a strong showing at the University of Miami summer camp later this month.

"I'm going down to Miami's camp in a couple weeks," he said. "I'm working hard so I can perform well in front of the Miami coaches. But I'm not too concerned. I'll probably run a 4.7 and that's fine. Everyone gets all excited about guys who can a 4.3 or a 4.4 at these camps, but I'm a football player. I don't worry about how fast I run 40 yards on a track without pads on. I'm a football player and I want these coaches to know that. They'll see me this fall when it matters. If you put a 4.4 running back in front of me on the football field, I promise you I will run him down."

McCullough also plays for the baseball team at Hillsborough, as a first baseman. Inside the classroom, he is already fully qualified. In fact, he received a passing SAT score early in his 10th grade year.

McCullough has been attracting college coaches from all across the country recently.

"I got called by UCF, Florida, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State, lots of them," he said. "I've gotten several scholarship offers through the mail too. Purdue, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, UCF, USF, and FAU. Several other schools said they're waiting to see one more tape and they'll be sending one as well."

McCullough said he's not sure how close the Florida schools are.

"I would hope they're close," he said. "I really want to try to impress Miami's coaches at their camp. I think it'll help my chances of getting a scholarship from them. But it all boils down to what I do this fall. I want to have the type of season that proves to them that I can play for their schools."

McCullough is not yet listing any early favorites.

"I'm not real sure who my top choices would be," he said. "I have a lot of looking around to do. I want to do some research and check on some majors and which schools are strong in my career, which is physical therapy and sports medicine."

The biggest debate on McCullough might be on which side of the football he will play on in college.

"Miami likes me on both sides," he said. "I talked to their linebackers coach and he seemed interested. Florida State likes me on offense, and Florida likes me on defense. People have asked if I have a preference and I really don't. However, I want to check out the schemes and how they fit. I don't want to play running back in a wide open passing game, but I'd like to play it for a team that likes to pound it out. But like I said, it really doesn't matter to me – I just want to play football."

McCullough said he has two things on his mind for this season.

"The recruiting stuff will come, but the most important thing to me is helping my team win a state championship. We have a pretty good team and we're going to need to work really hard to accomplish that. And I also want to stay healthy all season because I felt really bad when I was unable to play in our final game last season. It really hurt having to watch from the sidelines."

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