OhioPrepScene.com was the first to tell you about a special group of young men who played for Dover High School. Last Wednesday was a great day for these great players and their families. OhioPrepScene also enjoyed seeing three players rise from the unknown just a year ago, to DI-football players.
Shawn Donaldson, David Filippi and Chauncey Incarnato will be three names the school and area won't forget soon. All three worked hard and allowed myself the chance to get to know each of them during the past year. I wanted to take this chance to write about each and let people know about each of them one more time before they head off to college.
THE DONALDSON FAMILY: Shawn Donaldson - Kent State University
This family worked as a team in helping Shawn reach his goal. I have become very good friends with Greg, Linda and Shawn over the past year. When I first heard about Shawn, it was from Larry Incarnato who told me Dover had some more kids that he felt were DI recruits. I then had the chance to meet the Donaldson family and work with them during the recruiting process. If Greg had questions he would call and discuss the issues at hand. During these conversations we became very good friends and share a lot of the same interest about High School sports. Watching Shawn's highlight tape turned my head. I found a multi-talented offensive linemen who could play all the positions on the line. While I projected him as a center, I can't wait too see what Kent State does with him. Shawn had several schools calling him during the process, he learned not to get too excited about these calls and stayed loyal with the coaches at Kent State when others were trying to see if he would change his mind. Shawn is the most underrated offensive line prospect I saw this year. He very well could have been going to bigger program than Kent State, but with the MAC on the rise he will help them compete against the likes of Miami of Ohio and Bowling Green. Greg and Linda, I know both of you are proud of Shawn. He's a great young man and knows what's important in life. Its been my pleasure getting to know your family and helping in any way possible.
NOTE TO PLAYER
Shawn, all I can say is keep the work ethic you have now and you will see great returns on your time spent. I wish you the best at Kent State and can't wait till you take the field.
THE FILIPPI FAMILY: David Filippi - Kent State University
The Filippi family was the last of the three to talk with me. After talking with the Donaldson's, they told me about David. We had a fun time getting tape on David. The first tape didn't work well and we needed a second one sent for me to view. But once we got that tape I could see David was a talent waiting to be found. I don't think David ever saw an object that he didn't think he could tackle. I know this much, when you were tackled by David Filippi, you knew what a big time hit was. I have never seen a tape with so many Big Time hits on it. Watching these hits made me think of the old-school linebackers from the 60's and 70's. David just may bring the tradition of Kent State producing top linebackers back out of the shadows. While I didn't get a chance to talk much with David's mother, I had several chances to speak with his father. David's dad was always keeping me updated on his recruiting status. The good, the bad and the ugly. I think for awhile David's dad may have felt a scholarship may never come from a DI school, I just keep telling him what I felt from the tapes and seeing David perform and in the end, David found his school. One thing I know is this. The Donaldson's and Filippi's will be keeping with tradition when their boy's head off to college. David and Shawn have played football together since Pee-Wee. How many players can say they have had a teammate for life? Not many that I ever hear about. David Sr., you and your wife must be proud. Your son just finished a journey that many said would never happen. I know you had your doubts, but you stayed the course and never lost faith in what I told you. Thanks for giving me the chance to help you and David in the recruiting process.
NOTE TO PLAYER
David, keep the faith in your talent. You know you belong with the big boy's and have earned your place with them. Work hard and put the effort into college football that you put into your high school playing days. And I can't wait to see you and Shawn help Kent State compete in the MAC.
THE INCARNATO FAMILY: Notre Dame University
When I first started the site, one of the first players we saw was Chauncey Incarnato. Chauncey opened eye's when coaches looked at him. Keep this in mind when people talk about Recruiting Guru's. Chauncey wasn't even ranked by anyone other than OPS until late spring of 2003. We had him first, and the rest is history. Chauncey has a big fan in his father. Larry you and your wife have raised a very nice man, and I know your both proud of him. It's been a pleasure getting to know your family and helping the kids from Dover reach a new level. You helped your son very much during the recruiting process and it paid off. I can't wait until the next one comes from the Incarnato family in a few years.
NOTE TO PLAYER
Chauncey, you have a tough road to hoe at Notre Dame. Prepare yourself in mind and spirt as you get ready for your time at ND. I will look forward to when you play your first game, and see how you have progressed in that time.
OPS FINAL NOTES
These young men finished a journey that started when they entered the 9th grade. They all saw up's and down's during their four years of high school and are sure to see more during college and life. These young men earned college scholarships from Kent State and Notre Dame. Its a huge honor for Dover High School to have 3 football players go to DI programs. It also sounds like Dover will be having a few more in the next few years as well.
I want to thank each family for allowing me the chance to be a small part of their children's recruiting process. I wish all of you the best, and I will soon get up to Dover for the dinner we all have spoke about.
THE DOVER TRIO SIGN THEIR NLI ON WEDNESDAY 2/4/04
I want to thank Jim Cummings for the use of the photo.