Tim Bless of Columbus North
How special a rivalry is it with Columbus East?
It is a VERY special rivalry; the city of Columbus enthusiastically embraces it. We're one of very few split corporations whose high schools don't compete in the same conference, so it's the only time our teams intersect. We have an intense battle, then each school goes there own way.
Having two brothers what kind of emotions do you have coaching against them?
Personally, I hate competing against my brothers and am happy when that week is over. But, ultimately it's about the kids in our programs, not about us.
What kind of special talent is Mitchell Burton?
Mitchell is a very unique talent! His combination of speed (track state finalist) and size (6'2) aren't common. Most impressive though are his toughness and work ethic. We expect him to have a HUGE senior year for us and become a star at the collegiate level!
A kid I was impressed with last year on tape was Coleman Tennyson. How is his recruiting going?
We love Coleman and what he brings to our defensive line. Hopefully as a senior, he can bring consistency of performance snap in and snap out to which he's capable. I feel he's under the radar in recruiting, hopefully a big senior year in the classroom and on the field, will change that.
When you first arrived at North it wasn't a major stop for recruiters. What have you done to change that?
We worked very hard initially to build the culture of our program. Our culture brought on the field success which gave us more attention from the next level. Additionally, due to how we run our program (fundamentals, strength and conditioning, expectations), our kids have had great success and sustainability at the next level. We produce a student-athlete who's very "college-ready." Thus, our kids receive a lot of attention from college recruiters.
Who is the most underrated college prospect on your team?
That's a tough question, but the first name that pops in my head is our senior quarterback Triston Perry.
Who is the one player who no one knows about yet, but will?
Another tough one! Again, the first name that pops us is junior CB/WR/PR J.D. Harris.
Biggest position battle as we end the summer and head to fall camp?
We graduated 2 of our 3 starting linebackers and have 4 guys competing hard for those two spots: Will Robbins, Andrew Chapman, Brigham Kleinhenz and Noah Earl.
Who is one guy on your team who might not be a high level recruit, but is a great football player?
You've described a lot of football players on our team. We might not have any "blue chip" prospects, but we do have a bunch of solid football players. Offensive lineman David Redding is a GREAT football player, student and young man. He has multiple mid major offers (committed to Western Michigan, a very fine program) but I think Power 5's are missing a great one here.
In what way has recruiting improved since you first started coaching?
Attention to detail from college recruiters. Granted as a 6A school, we're on the radar of most area schools. But, I'm surprised each recruiting cycle how many colleges (and new colleges each cycle) come onto our campus to learn our about our student-athletes.
What are the negatives about the current recruiting process?
I think the process of "offering" and "verbally committing" needs updating. This two-way street of colleges pulling "offers" and student-athletes "de-committing" enforces a lack of character - something the game of football is supposed to teach! I don't know that it's a perfect solution, but an earlier signing date would certainly help.