Jack O'Dell has been known for quite a while around the Dayton area as an athlete who can seemingly do everything. Listing the things he does not do well might be easier than listing the things he can do well. The sport of football may be the area where he can do the most as last year, for the Division III Bellbrook Golden Eagles, Jack was an All-Ohio performer as he passed for 1,300 yards and 12 TDs, carried the ball 162 times for 1,225 yards and 13 TDs, was 45-51 on extra point attempts, kicked three field goals including a school-record 45-yarder, carried the punting duties, returned kicks, and picked off three passes including one that was returned for a touchdown. Not surprisingly, he has become known to folks in his area as one of the best there is.
"(Jack is) probably the best athlete in his class in the Miami Valley," said a local talent scout. "He has the best football speed on the field I've seen around here since (Troy High School standout) Ryan Brewer."
Jack has been thrilling Bellbrook fans for three years now as he was able to step in right away as a freshman and contribute.
"As a freshman," said his head coach Kevin Basinger, "he started as a corner and played in all 12 games. He made it clear early that he'd play right away."
Despite all this, fans of recruiting may not have heard of Jack O'Dell. It has been said that his frame (Jack is 6 feet, 172 pounds) might not be big enough to play on the next level. However, Jack's coach says that he is very tough, and the local talent scout we talked to said that Jack could be something special if he added size.
"If (Jack) can bulk up without losing his speed," the scout said, "he could be a Tim Dwight-type of player."
Jack is on his way to bulking up as he can currently bench 250, squat 415 and deadlift 510, and the speed is certainly there to become that Tim Dwight-type of player (or an Eric Crouch-type, who Jack compares himself to) as he runs a 4.45 in the 40. Both Jack and his coach mentioned passing from the pocket as something he needs to work on, but his rushing has more than compensated as Coach Basinger said Jack is an excellent runner who is explosive and elusive. Coach Basinger said that several of the plays that Jack ran on last year looked like running plays, but they were actually passing plays that Jack had made into excellent plays with his ability to run the ball.
Recruiting-wise, Jack is being recruited as a QB/Athlete and is hearing from all the MAC schools as well as Northwestern, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Navy, and Illinois. This summer, Jack plans were to camp at Miami, Ball State, and Northwestern, and right now, he lists Northwestern as his leader, saying that they run the same type of offense as his high school team, and he also likes Chicago.
"They'd be a good fit," Jack said.
Jack has no scholarship offers yet, but if the right college offered, he said he'd take it. If not, he wants to take his official visits and make a decision afterwards.
When it comes to being a Jack-of-all-trades, Jack goes beyond the football field. He's an excellent baseball and basketball player, and he also ran track last year and clocked in with a 11.1 100m and a 21.04 in the long jump. Jack also excels in the classroom too; he has a 3.45 GPA and scored a 30 on the ACT and said he'd like to major in civil engineering in college.
Bellbrook has found success in the past few years as football has become more and more popular in the town (Jack says almost everyone in the town goes to the games and Coach Basinger says there has not been one game over the past few years where they've been able to hold everyone in the home stands), and Jack has helped keep it going as the Golden Eagles were one of the Dayton area's top teams as they went 10-3 last year with two playoff victories. Jack says that the Golden Eagles should be even better this year, so you should hear a lot more about him if you follow high school football.
Hopefully you will hear a lot more about him on the next level as well. He's not ranked too high by recruiting experts, but that does not mean he will not rise to the occasion. "He raises his level of play no matter who he's playing," Coach Basinger said.
Here's guessing that Jack will bring all of his trades to a Division I-A school next year, and that school is going to be quite happy about it.