Hartline, Palmer Ready To Lead GlenOak

Canton GlenOak standouts Mike Hartline and Ryan Palmer will play Division I college football somewhere, but for now, recruiting is taking a back seat to season preparation. The two could be in line for big things to happen on the field this year.

The GlenOak Golden Eagles should be a fun team to watch in 2005. Following a successful 2004 campaign which saw the team reach the playoffs, head coach Jack Rose took some time to chat about his team. Rose, one of the state's top coaches, is quite excited about two of his players, Ryan Palmer and Mike Hartline. Both players are ranked among the top players in the state by Ohio High magazine.

"This year we're going to need more leadership out of those two," said Rose. "They both played well last year, but that team had great senior leadership. Now it's their time to step up and be leaders."

I've spent a lot of time around the GlenOak program the past few seasons and I've gotten to know Hartline and Palmer quite well. Watching them go through practice on Tuesday, it was clear they had gotten the message about leading their team.

"We're working hard and the team chemistry is good," said Palmer. "We have high expectations for this season and we have set our goals pretty high."

Palmer, who has scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Marshall, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Kentucky, is a player who has worked extremely hard in the weight room. He was told by college recruiters that he needed to get stronger and he appears to have taken that message to heart. From a physical standpoint, Ryan Palmer is a different player than he was as a junior. His frame is more defined and he has retained the quick feet that have attracted the scout's attention. Palmer, 67 7, 280 pounds, has scheduled an official visit to Kentucky in September.

Mike Hartline is another player who is dramatically different than last year, both physically and mentally. Physically, Mike has added weight and now is up to 190 pounds. From a mental standpoint, it's easy to see the added maturity. Mike is becoming the leader that coaches love to see in a quarterback. Hartline has scholarship offers from Kent State, Marshall, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan State. Hartline does not appear to be ready to make a college choice at this time.

"I had a talk with Ohio State's Jim Bollman a few days ago," said Hartline. "He basically told me I should forget about recruiting for now and to concentrate on having the best season I can possibly have. That's what I plan on doing. I haven't scheduled any visits and all I'm thinking about is our season."

Both of these players are great people as well as great football players. They both come from wonderful families and are very successful in the classroom. It's been a joy to watch them compete the past two seasons. I'll be looking forward to watching the Golden Eagles in 2005 to see if they can repeat last year's success. Mike Hartline and Ryan Palmer figure to play major roles for GlenOak this season.

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