Unfortunately, there is not much room for the player who emerges in his senior season as a competent , bright, and focused player to arouse the interest of college scouts. Names begin to appear in college recruiting war rooms as early as a player's sophomore year in high school. Some sophomores are put on the watch list and scrutinized looking for a productive junior season. Some high school coaches at larger schools are so "senior" conscience that a player may not get his shot until his senior season.
I have chosen 5 players who I believe are undervalued. Do I believe they can start and play D1 football their freshmen years? I am not saying that. The argument against me is simple. My colleagues would say if these players are that good, they would already have made commitments and been on the "hot" list. But I think these players are undervalued because some of them proved themselves in their senior year. Are they worth a chance? I think so.
Jon Wandling - Evansville Memorial
6-3 170 lbs - Wide Receiver
Wadling played in a second state finals game and had an excellent year receiving his senior year. He set a record for the most receptions in a year for his school hauling 81 passes for 1,321 yards. He caught 13 passes for touchdowns in 2009. In his junior year he caught 54 passes for 864 yards. He was versatile enough that on end-arounds and reverses, he rushed for 230 yards. He has legitimate 4.7 40 speed but truly excels in going and getting the ball.
Players from the southern part of the state do not get the exposure they deserve. Wadling is an excellent receiver and could be the sleeper for a team that wants a player who can run and go catch the ball.
Adam Shaffer - Carmel
6-4 185lbs - Quarterback
How do you follow an Indiana Mr. Football on a team that has made it a common occurrence to be in the state final game? You can ask Adam Shafer the 2009 quarterback for the Carmel Greyhounds. He has lived that scenario in 2009. Caught in the picture I painted about starting seniors, Shaffer put together an outstanding year. He threw for 1,780 yards and rushed for 601 yards and was the catalyst for another trip to the 5A state finals.
Shaffer definitely qualifies as an undervalued player. He was selected as an All-State player by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. But it needs to be noted he has the size, the smarts and the ability to make someone a fine quarterback. He has the big game experience of the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference.
Brandon Grubbe - Lowell
6-1 195lbs - Running Back
An honest to goodness workhorse back that every coach wants on his team. Once again Grubbe is a product of an area that doesn't get a lot of statewide recognition and press. Grubbe is recorded as running the ball over 1,000 carries in his career. He rushed for a total of 5,923 yards in his stellar career. He scored 80 touchdowns and defines better than anyone Lowell's style of football.
In talking with people who have watched him play (State finalist in 2009) he is the kind of player who makes players around him better. While Grubbe played for Lowell, his team went 39-4, won 3 regionals, 2 semi-states, and of course 2 appearances in the 4A state finals.
Brian East - Carmel
6-3 195lbs - Outside Linebacker
If you watched the state finals in 2009, you would have to believe that Brian East had been cloned because he seemed like he was everywhere on the field. All year the strength of Carmel's football team was the defense and East was the potent player every week on the defense. He has good size and above average speed. East wound up with 11 sacks for 2009 and led Carmel in tackle points.
East may well be the most undervalued player not committed in the class of 2010. Scout rumors had him as a lock at Michigan State. He is definitely D1 material and has the speed to play at that level. Over the next few weeks there could be some movement toward East.
Landon Feichter - Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger
5-11 174 - Wide Receiver/Safety
It's not like some big schools haven't kept in contact with Landon Feichter, they have. He was offered by Illinois State. If any coach would have seen the Lowell semi-state football game they would have seen Feichter at his finest. Making circus catches and breaking up passes and basically doing what he has been doing for the last 2 seasons. He hardly comes off the field and is an athlete who makes things happen.
As a receiver this season he caught 30 passes for 604 yards, he returned kickoffs for an average of 29 yards per return, his punt return average was 17 yards per return. He logged 83 tackles, 3 interceptions, and he garnered Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger's Most Valuable Player award.
These 5 players will play college football somewhere and whoever lands them will have found a pretty solid player who no doubt will help their team at some point. Undervalued doesn't mean "no talent," it means some team's loss is another team's gain.