Today Solon offensive lineman Austin Stock continues to take us
on his recruiting ride. With the school year ending, Stock officially becomes a senior and will celebrate by going camping. Stops on the agenda? Ohio State, Boston College, Penn State, Michigan State, Pitt, OU,
Bowling Green and…
Since my last blog there has been a lot that has happened in my recruiting process. First of all I received my first offer from The United States Air Force Academy. What an honor and a great call that Saturday night with my friends. I am very excited to get my first offer and hopefully many more; but, I won’t just hope, I am working very hard for more than that and will show other universities and colleges what kind of player I can be for their football teams.
To start that process I went to my first one-on-one session with LeCharles Bentley, who owns and runs an O-line Academy (http://o-lineacademy.com) and works with mostly offensive linemen. It was not only a great experience to work with LeCharles, knowing his experience he brings from being an All-American at The Ohio State University, as well as playing in the NFL as an All Pro O-linemen for the New Orleans Saints, but working with Montrae Holland, was also very valuable and educational. LeCharles was showing me new techniques that will get me to come off the ball faster as well as give me more of a “pop” when I explode out of my defensive stance. He works really hard on the mental aspect too because offensive linemen need to not only be the meanest guys on the field, but also the smartest. I will continue to attend my 1 on 1s with LeCharles before I go to my college football camps in June and continue after the camps in July before Solon starts its two-a-days in August.
This past weekend I was invited to the 2011 Nike/ESPN camp at OSU in Columbus. I thought it was a great camp with great coaches and other great players. We started off doing Nike Sparq combine drills, position specific drills and a competition phase for offensive vs. defensive linemen. The drills were great! The coaches, including Pete Brock, former center for my dad’s favorite team the New England Patriots, taught me a lot about pulling and pass blocking. He gave me some great drills to bring back with me.
My favorite part of this camp was the competitions!! There were over 50 linemen (D & O) at the camp. There was a sandpit bear crawl race, tug-of-war, and 1 on 1’s. The bear crawl was fun. The tug of war was won mostly on the O-line side; however, there were a few wins on the defensive side. As for the 1 on 1’s both defense and offense did well. I went about 5 times out of the 20.
During the last blog and this blog, I’ve received so many camp invites, along with more e-mails and even several phone calls from head coaches and the recruiting coaches. It’s very exciting, however, after the past several months there is a reality check on what’s real and what’s not. Coaches in each college division are looking for good grades, height, weight, speed, and aggressiveness in players. Having good grades is a must, but to assure you have a high probability and getting that visibility the height, weight, speed and aggressiveness are key, especially for the bigger D-I schools to take notice. I am specifically referring to linemen.
Being 6-3 and 270 pounds is a good size in hundreds of college football teams, but having all the components and at the top of your game all the time is essential and a requirement. I know I’ve learned that although I’ve had a successful couple years on the Solon varsity football team, like my peers around the country who have earned scholarships at the same size, I will have to make my mark to assure I get noticed!
To help with getting a level set on where I am with college interest and what I need to work on this summer, my parents and I met with my head coach James McQuaide and he has explained to me the steps that need to be done for me to receive more offers and to get more interest from more schools. I will be doing what he has told me and know my senior year will be the best year for me and the worst year for the guys that have to go against me. Coach McQuaide told it like it is. I’m on the radar of many big universities and colleges and many other D-I, D-IAA, Ivy, and D-II schools are extremely interested. But the next few months, which will include summer camps and the first 3-5 games of my senior season, will move me up the list or down.
This is the reality all my high school peers around Ohio and the country must realize. Regardless of what they may be told or hear, work hard every day and work as though you are going for the job of a lifetime. Your school work, exercise regiment, and how you play on the field on Friday Nights is extremely important for your future if you want to play at the next level.
As for other high school student athletes in the recruiting process, keep e-mailing coaches, send them films that showcase your best plays and just get in touch with them. If they give you their number, use it. If they don’t, find their number online and call them. Keep showing your interest. And if you can’t tell whether or not a college is being honest to you about their interest, ask your head coach. They will tell you the truth and you need to hear it.
As for what I am doing now, I am working out everyday (lifting three days a week, speed and agility four days a week) preparing for the college football camps that I will attend in June and July.
At this point I am planning on attending the following camps: Ohio State, Boston College, Penn State, Michigan State, Pitt, OU, Bowling Green and possibly one or two more.
With all the fliers, like mentioned earlier, it’s hard to figure out which camps to attend based on your realistic opportunities. Although I might not make it on the OSU team, I certainly know 30-40 other college coaches will be in attendance and you can get your visibility at that camp. The same goes with BC and Penn State. I’d love to attend more camps, however I do have a full time job at the Solon Recreation Center as a counselor and I also want to be 100-percent rested between football camps to give 150-percent when I train and compete!
My next blog will sometime soon after July 4th after I attend all my camps. Can’t wait for next season, but can’t let the summer blow by.
Happy holidays, and hope to come back on my next blog with more offers.