Lance Ball "opened a lot of doors" with his tremendous performance at the PSU Nike Camp. Not only did Lance turn in a legitimate 4.4 time in the forty, but he had the fastest shuttle time in the camp with a 3.9 clocking. There had been a myth that Lance Ball was a power runner who was "a step slow". That myth was shattered last weekend and now the phone at the coaches office at Teaneck High School is suddenly ringing off the hook. Early interest in Lance came from Michigan, Michigan State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Penn State and Maryland. The only offer, however, was from Vanderbilt. Now it appears that Michigan State will shortly offer and a number of other schools will probably quickly follow suit.
But three schools might have a head start. The schools who were recruiting Lance the hardest were Rutgers, Michigan State and Maryland and Lance notes that Rutgers "is definitely on my list". He sees the Knights as "a program on the rise."
In terms of making his choice Lance noted that his team mate Tambi Hali was distracted by the pressure of recruiting and Lance may make his decision as early as the end of the summer. He'll be looking for a "good school environment", coaches he feels comfortable with and a "school with good academics."
Lance may end up being the steal of the year in New Jersey. One of the things that coaches look for is kids who are late developers. Lance Ball shaved a tenth of a second off his forty time just since last season. At 5-91/2 Lance is still growing and as Lance noted, "my brother is six feet tall and he didn't really start growing till his junior year." Add to that soft hands coming out of the backfield coupled with a runner's instincts, proven ability as a power runner and you have the recipe for a great find at the running back spot.
Still there's more. Lance has another great attribute that coaches like. He is a worker. When Big Dog brings his tape online later this spring you'll see a physique that came from a lot of hard work in the weight room.
Just like with Mike Meggett, Lance was a pleasure to talk to. He is a well mannered, well spoken young man who, before the summer is over, might become one of the hottest commodities in the state of New Jersey.
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net