This upcoming recruiting season, top colleges will be
making a familiar trek. They will
be beating a path to the Massey residence.
This will not be the first time they have called the family. First there was Jim Massey, who was a heralded recruit that
chose Ohio State and played offensive line for the Buckeyes.
Then there was Pat Massey, who chose Michigan and lines up on the
defensive line for the Wolverines. Now
there is Michael Massey, their "little" brother.
Michael, who stands 6'6" and weighs 225 lbs., projects
to play defense in college. A
three-sport athlete who ran the 100 and 400 for the St. Ignatius track team last
year, he also plays a little bit of hoops on their basketball squad.
According to Chuck Kyle (his football coach), "He is a
starting forward. Obviously he is
in there for rebounds and some of those points underneath – those put backs.
He is a very physical guy underneath and athletic enough to get into
position. A great rebounder."
Michael also has incredible quickness.
Although he currently runs a 4.7 time in the 40 yard dash, that is not
enough. He rather nonchalantly
states, "I want to cut down on my 40 and get stronger."
Imagine a defensive end who stands 6'6", weigh 250 lbs. and runs a
blazing 4.6 40.
Now you know why Michael is sure to get attention from
programs all over the country his senior season.
So what should recruitniks and St. Ignatius fans expect to see from Michael in his senior year? In a word – improvement. Not because he is a poor player right now, but rather because neither Michael nor coach Kyle are satisfied with his current abilities. Michael wants to work hard – in the classroom and on the field. In fact, the player whom he most seeks to emulate is his older brother Pat, but you might find the reason to be a bit surprising. Michael models himself after Pat not simply because they are related but because he admires how Pat plays.
"Pat is so tenacious," Michael said.
"He doesn't take any plays off.
He is so strong."
Coach Kyle in speaking of Michael's play and potential
remarks: "The speed, the quickness, and the athleticism is all there.
The technique is pretty good. He
made a lot of progress last year getting off blocks.
He is really a hard guy to block on a pass rush.
He is very good with his hands, his balance, his foot reaction. It makes him hard to block because he is so active."
Again though, he notes that Michael still has a lot of room
"Certainly he has to get to that next level of strength
in the weight room. He needs to get
stronger and fill out a little bit but to try and get the strength work done
while playing basketball is a little tough time-wise."
Though he played both ways last season, Michael's meal
ticket will probably be on defense at the college level.
His skills as a tight end were fairly nice with 26 receptions and 2
touchdowns, but he really has recruiters excited with his performance at
defensive end, which suits him just fine. In
fact, he actually prefers it. "When
you play offense you are running away from them (other players), but on defense
you get to hit people." Apparently
Michael did a lot of hitting last season considering the fact that he piled up 9
sacks, 81 tackles, and close to 20 quarterback hurries.
The latest Massey brother is a ticking time bomb that is difficult for
any offense to diffuse.
So what college will successfully woo Mr. Massey?
Will it be Ohio State, who landed Jim?
Will it be Michigan, who landed Pat?
Will it be neither one? At
this point, nobody is certain – not even Michael.
One thing he does know however is that it is not just about football.
"I am looking for a school where I can get a good
education," he said. "What my
brothers did will not affect my choice."
Nor is Michael looking for the easiest route to the playing
field like some prospects. Certainly
like all players – he likes to play, but he is not afraid of
competition. When asked about what
he was least looking forward to at college, he replied, "I don't know.
I was going to say competition, but competition is a good thing.
It makes you better."
I for one will be rooting for Michael.
He wants to improve his own game. He wants to improve his grades (currently a 2.4-2.5 with no
SAT/ACT score as of yet). He models
himself after an older brother who plays tenaciously (to use Michael's
words) and does not pull a Randy Moss in taking plays off.
He is focused on the performance of the team (as his only goal for his
senior season below indicates) and has been voted a captain for 2003.
When asked about his strengths, he did not quickly reel off some long
list of great attributes. Instead,
he stumbled for a moment and said he did not want to come off as arrogant.
Eventually he said that he had pretty good quickness (an understatement
according to his coach and his physical 40 time).
If Michael stays humble and works hard, expect Coach Kyle
to help mold him into one of the most recruited defensive players in the state
of Ohio and perhaps across the nation this coming season.
On his goals for next season:
"I have only one goal. I
want to win the state championship."
On Camps this summer: "I probably won't go to any camps this summer.
I might go to a single day camp, but I don't know.
Last year I went to the Ohio State camp."
On his greatest disappointment:
"Not winning state last year. We
lost in the first round to Warren Harding.
We had the ball on the 1 yard line and didn't score."
On his greatest accomplishment:
"Winning state my sophomore season and getting to play."
Coach Kyle on how Michael interacts with his teammates: "He was voted one of the captains, so that says a lot."
Coach Kyle on who Michael is hearing from:
"He is hearing from everybody so we will just see how it goes."
Michael on his early favorites (in no particular order):
"Ohio State, Michigan, Colorado, and Pitt"
What is most important to you in picking a college: "I want to go somewhere that I can get a good education."
His hobby: "I like to race sailboats."