The 2008-2009 state champion Ben Davis Giants and runner-up Warren Central Warriors are synonymous with great winning football traditions.
Former Franklin Central track coach, and now researcher, Mark Branstad, has spent quite a bit of time looking at the football and track connection, and the boys' Indiana State track finals just continue to make the connection that successful track athletes are highly sought after as football recruits. Barnstad's premise is that track preparation and competition hones skills that are extremely desirable on the gridiron. He proves it by looking at players who successfully move into D1 programs and make it to the NFL. In the scope of their athleticism, one sport other than football is dominate in their success, track!
Here is the class of 2009-2011 Scout.com players in Indiana who placed at the state track meet:
It is not secret that Center Grove, the reigning state champion in football is on this list. The head football coach is also the head track coach. Eric Moore has made this statement time and time again, "In Indiana track is spring football practice." Luke Swift placed 8th in the 110 hurdles and 5th in the 300m hurdles. Swift will be attending Miami of Ohio on a football scholarship in the fall. Tanner Riley, another football standout for Center Grove, placed 10th in the pole vault, and he will attend Indiana State on a football scholarship.
Columbus East boasts one of the most sought after football players in 2009. Duwyce Wilson claims a state championship in the long jump. Wilson will be playing football at Indiana University. Columbus East's 4 by 100 relay team also featuring Wilson and placed 6th.
Ben Davis (the state track champion) boasts Jordan Stepp, who placed 4th in the discus. Jordan will be anchoring the defense at the University of Cincinnati. While we are in the field events, Kris Harley, just a sophomore (2011) at Warren Central, placed 3rd in the shot put. Harley has a bright future as a defensive lineman as well. Bryce Kiser placed 17th in the shot put and this adds to his resume for his opportunities from Pioneer high school.
Speed and explosion are qualities not dismissed as unessential and Ft. Wayne Harding's Roderick Smith did not disappoint his track coach this year. Smith, in many eyes, is the number 1 running back prospect in the state of Indiana. With teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa and Tennessee clamoring for his services, his 4 by 100 team placed 2nd in the state as he ran the 2nd leg of the relay. Eric Robinson may be the heir apparent speedster in the track football connection. Robinson was the fastest player at the Scout Cincinnati Combine. He placed 10th in the 100m dash and his 4 by 100 team placed 4th. Robinson is just a sophomore (2011), but as his confidence and ability grows, so will his football stature. Right now, he has the one thing every football scout wants in a player - speed.
These young men are just the football players who are in the scout database. There are a number of players who are underclassmen who excel in both football and track in Indiana. There will be a connection made as Indiana Varsity Scout looks far and wide to promote the best high school football players in Indiana. We help you make the connection. Get ready for a great 2009 season.