I was excited and blessed to get the opportunity to go to the Opening Regionals at the Star in Frisco, TX. on Sunday, March 5th. I wondered what and who I would see, and also what do these athletes from the Centex, Houston, and Dallas have that we don’t for their athletes to be getting all of these premium Division One offers and our kids getting the majority of DII or NAIA looks. What I saw was obvious; we are behind in a multitude of areas and those areas need to be addressed in order for the 806 to get noticed, much less compete with these superior athletes, resources and camps the elite areas have to offer. Here is a list of things I noticed at the Opening.
#1 THE ATHLETE POOL IN THE METROPLEX AND 713 ARE DI READY..PERIOD!
I remember walking up to an Offensive lineman Sunday and asking him, “How old are you”? He said, “Seventeen Sir”. I asked him that because he looked like 25-year old man out there on the field! The receivers and cornerbacks were 6′ 3″ and weighed 190 lbs, and still were running 4.4 40-yard dashes. The linemen were huge! Quarterbacks were as big as the tailbacks as well. I used to get mad at coaches overlooking our kids, but now that I see the kids they are choosing, and the talent pool out in those urban cities, it is very hard for the 806 to get chosen over those athletes for big time scholarships. An 806 coach inboxed me and said, “You finally took the wool off of your eyes ha?” Yes coach, I have.
#2 THE RESOURCES IN THE CITY ARE VASTLY GREATER THAN OURS, AND THAT’S A PROBLEM.
When I interviewed Sacshe’s 2018 Wide Receiver Drue Jackson, he told me that as a Freshman and Sophomore he attended camps every other weekend! In Dallas and Houston..San Antonio too, there are specialty camps that work on your feet, work on your pivots and cuts, or just lineman and strength camps going on all the time! Most athletes in Lubbock have no choices for camp at any time unless they want to go to the Graham Harrell passing camp in the Summer. My point is this; those kids are playing all sports in schools, but also still going to those camps and training sessions all year. There is a saying that comes to mind; You have to pay the cost to be the boss. That is true if you’re an 806 athlete that wants to get on these kids level in competition and in offers and exposure. These camps down here aren’t going to do anything for you in the long run up there. You all have to invest in your child and get to the hotbed of athletes in the Metro or the Centex to see if your kids is on their level, or if you will have to look at DII or Juco for your kids.
#3 IT NEEDS TO START EARLY IF YOU WANT TO BE ELITE. GOING TO DI TRAINING AINT GONNA MAKE YOU DI.
A parent asked me what camp should their kid go to. I told them they need to get outta here, ASAP! Parents, if you feel your kid is a top-notch athlete, send them to the Dallas and Houston camps, preferably with some other DI kids so they can see just how good they are, or how much work they need to do to get on their level. Why are no specialty camps coming to the 806? DI training is great, but taking on DI competition at elite camps is a way better investment. You have to start early! Being a freshman and getting out there to those events with those DI players will be great for your child to see what it takes to get where they are and the exposure they get. Being great in Lubbock is not that great at all, in all honesty, if you want to be mentioned amongst the greats in the state and the nation.
#4 THE MEDIA HAS TO TAKE EVENTS LIKE THE OPENING SERIOUS FOR THESE 806 PLAYERS.
I went and paid my own way to see this huge event. Lonestar Varsity went too. But, what about KCBD, KLBK, FOX34 OR KMAC? These parents put sooooo much stock in these media outlets as the “source” for great coverage, but we had six players at the biggest Regional invite camp in Texas and only two media outlets showed up? Amarillo didn’t even send anyone to cover Kaleb King or Brandon Steward either! But, you look on the sideline and there was Bleacher Report, Nike, 247 Sports, Scouts, Rivals, Fox, Sportsday HS and a plethora of other outlets that came. There should’ve been more of a presence at this event! How come everybody in the nation took it serious but our media? RIDICULOUS!
#5 THERE ARE NO DAYS OFF WHEN YOU ARE GOING UP AGAINST THE NATION IN OFFERS.
Parents, athletes..listen.. There are no days off when you are already up against it because we are from the 806 and the other players are on every media outlet known to man getting more looks themselves than most of our entire teams do! Take my coverage of the opening for example, it’s getting fewer hits than a game video I shared that is three days old! Sacrifices have to be made to be great. You have to get out of your comfort zone! I love you guys, and I just want to start telling the truth.. We have some work to do!! It can be done, but we are wayyyyyy behind and need to start closing the gap..