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Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Brunswick trying to expose local talent

By Robb Hemmelgarn
When Scott Brunswick was a highly-recruited wide receiver at St. Henry nearly 20 years ago, all the suitors had to woo the recruiters were video tapes or if they happened to catch a game in person.
As has nearly everything else in the world of high school sports, much has evolved in the recruiting process over the past decade plus, and now Brunswick finds himself on a different part of the recruiting spectrum.
In late April he, along with the assistance of Roland Moeller, co-facilitated a high school football combine for players needing an avenue to display their talents to those at the next level.
"We ran a similar combine in 2004 and decided to try it again this year, and the response was overwhelming," explained Brunswick, who played football and graduated from the University of Toledo. "These days, colleges are so particular when it comes to recruiting and unfortunately they have absolutely no way to see every player out there. I feel that now, more than ever, coaches feel they must go that extra mile to help a player out and we provide them with an excellent opportunity."
In late April, at the Breakaway Rec Plex in Celina, more than 60 high school boys - from Liberty-Benton to Dayton and dozens of schools in between - converged for a Sunday afternoon of education, drills, and assessments in hopes of evaluating their stock to proceed to the next level of the sport.
"We began the day with a motivational speech from former Ohio State defensive lineman Joel Penton," said Brunswick. "He addressed having passion in life and for everything that you do. It was a very good way to kick off the events, and it really set the tone for an exciting day."
Once the festivities began, the participants were broke down by positions, where they met with local current college and former college players to work on such things as the 40-yard dash, shuttle drill, 3-cone drill, vertical leap, broad jump, and 10-yard start. Height, weight, arm span, and flexibility are also recorded.
"We had so many volunteers help out and that really made everything go very smooth. Without everyone's assistance, this definitely would not have been as successful as it was," said Brunswick. "Several college players from St. Henry and Coldwater donated their time and gave outstanding insight to the kids involved on what to expect if they are fortunate enough to play in college."
At the conclusion of the day, each participant was presented with a 14-page booklet, which included information such as various techniques and exercises to help with flexibility and agility, as well as different requirements from all divisions of the NCAA.
Brunswick then evaluates everyone's test results and contacts them personally to discuss the options they have available. He then forwards the test results to numerous college coaches and scouts from a large list of contacts he has developed through years of personal experience.
"For the cost, ($85.00 per participant), it is really an outstanding program for players who may otherwise fall through the cracks. They get everything the program has to offer, plus the chance of earning a college scholarship or assistance," commented Brunswick.
Plans for the future include running the program each spring, while exposing more kids from an even wider range of schools to scouts and recruiters.
"Like I said, coaches are so busy and this allows us to help them get their kids exposure. Our goal is to help every kid who wants to play college football to fulfill a dream. Some have better odds than others do obviously, and if we feel a certain player still has things to work on, we will educate them on what they need to do," said Brunswick. "For the others, though who stand out, we strive to make sure colleges know they are out there and maybe give someone a great opportunity that otherwise may not have presented itself."
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