Notre Dame is in a heated recruiting battle for offensive tackle Sam Young and they hope to sign him in their 2006 recruiting class. Like Young, offensive tackle Josh Oglesby might be one of the top recruits overall recruits in the nation in the 2007 class.
"This year Josh was our top lineman, and he made all-conference, all-area, and all-state," Saint Francis head coach Doug Sarver said of Oglesby. "We used him to run behind about 80 percent of the time. We'd flip him from side to side. Teams started chopping him and cutting him a lot at the legs in order to deal with him. So we put him at tight end a lot so he'd be out of the tackle-to-tackle box where they'd be able to do those types of things.
"He's a second-year starter at tackle for us. He played left tackle this year and right tackle as a sophomore year. Last year we had a much better team and we played in the state championship game. He played along side another Division I kid who is at Arkansas now, Jose Valdez.
"The smaller high school kids are hard for someone his size to control, and in our situation they just go after his feet. Sometimes teams wouldn't even line someone up on him and he'd have to go get linebackers. He was very good at doing that. They basically ran away from him. I have film where kids just get out of his way. Otherwise they'd just dive at his feet. If he gets locked up on a guy the game's over. The kid is going to be on his back and Josh will be going up field after the next guy. I counted one game where he had 17 knockdowns or pancakes."
You can't teach size or athletic ability, and Oglesby has the physical tools to be great. One aspect that is difficult to teach a young offensive lineman is to stay with his block and to complete a play.
"He realizes and plays through the whistle," coach Sarver said of his standout lineman. "We'll see many times in film where he comes with the running back 30 or 40 yards downfield. He may not be blocking somebody because there isn't anyone to block, but he's still going. He just doesn't sit back and watch the running back finish the run, a lot of times he's down there with him. That's the impressive thing about him. He understands that he needs to play until the whistle and we continue to pound that into his head.
"I want him to play all the time. He's aggressive all the time, but he can take that aggressiveness to another level. You'll see that when he gets mad when someone comes at his feet."
Offensive lineman often go unnoticed, so it is hard for them to be rated as a top 10 prospect nationally regardless of position, but Oglesby will certainly be considered when the rankings come out for the 2007 recruiting class.
"He has unlimited potential, which is probably why he has nine full scholarship offers," coach Sarver said of Oglesby. "Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Tennessee, Iowa, Michigan State and Louisville have already offered.
"He's a left tackle at the next level probably. He could be a left or right tackle, but most are projecting him at left tackle. He slimmed down some. He was about 320 pounds when we got him this summer, and he's about 301 pounds right now. A lot of coaches that come through say he looks like he's 270-280 pounds, but when we put him on the scale he's 301 pounds."
"About six inches thick everyday," Sarver said of the mail that arrives daily for Oglesby. "When I say that I'm going to get my mail, I really mean that I'm going to get Josh's.
"He's a great kid. Any teacher or administrator would tell you he's a great kid. When recruiters come in our dean of students tells them ‘If this kid doesn't play another down of football in his life, he'll be a very successful person.'"
The scholarship offers will continue to roll in as the days slip by, but Oglesby is taking a proactive approach to the process.
"Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Michigan camps, he's indicated that those are the camps he'd like to go back to, depending on how things progress with his recruiting," Sarver said. "He's not in any hurry. He understands that at each one of those camps that he learns something. That motivates him to go back, because he's eager to learn. Those camps helped him with the little technique things in the short amount of time he was there, he was able to pick things up."
"Last year Josh went to camps for them to find out about him," Sarver said. "This summer it would be for him to go to the camps to find out about them."
Oglesby has already been to Notre Dame several times, and he is going to a priority for the Irish staff.
"They are going to recruit him very intensely," coach Sarver said of Notre Dame's interest level in Oglesby. "I think he is very, very high on their list and they are going to be a player in the recruiting process. I know that he and coach Weis have talked often.
"I know he's the No.1 guy for Ohio State and Michigan as well. They've all been through here in the last week or so -- along with Wisconsin. He's been going to the Wisconsin camp since he was in seventh grade so he has a lot of ties up there. He has friends at Wisconsin.
"I think his family is doing the right thing. They are going to take their time. They are going to educate themselves and learn all the institutions that they're interested in and that interested in them. Take the official visits and make an informed decision down the road.
Olgesby's reported g.p.a. is 2.7