Cincinnati Enquirer

Coaches Trust scout McCallister

cinci-enquirerMSR OHIO NOTE: This story was originally published by the Cincinnati Enquirer in July of 2009 & is available on

John McCallister has been called the godfather of football scouting in Ohio.  The 60 year-old former high school coach is one of the most respected scouts in the state, according to several in-state college coaches.

McCallister, an Upper Sandusky resident, is director of the McCallister Scouting Report, a service that provides information to 60 college subscribers this summer.  He has been in the scouting profession since 1989 when he directed Ohio Prep Scouting Report, according to his Web site.

“He is not in the scouting business to make money,” University of Akron recruiting coordinator Reno Ferri said.  “John puts in a great deal of work simply to help give the student-athletes the exposure they deserve.”

McCallister doesn’t boast about being an expert – saying only that he’s been lucky to be correct on some player evaluations – but the information he provides in a spiral-bound
notebook and through video highlights has earned him trust from college programs, not to mention a solid paycheck.

“I’m 60 years old and it keeps me involved in kids,” McCallister said.  “It’s a way to stay young and help kids.  I enjoy it.”

McCallister selects the top 100 or 125 players for a specific class and adds selective game footage to an individual player’s highlight film.  McCallister sends the information to colleges in February for the upcoming class. director Mark Porter, who also provides information to college coaches through subscription services, said college trust McCallister’s evaluations.

“I always give John McCallister credit; he has been doing this the longest and does it the right way,”  Porter said.  “He is more than fair and well-respected.  He has a history of info in
his head that can’t be duplicated.”

This summer, McCallister has already started to college information from players in the 2011, ’12 and ’13 classes.  He plans to update his 2010 class information this month.

Last month, McCallister had 500 players listed in his 2011 report and 150 players in the ’12
report.  He tries to see most of the players through camps during the summer and games during the fall.

McCallister Scouting Report has been used by the likes of Cincinnati, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Louisville and several others, according to his Web site.

McCallister said he often will direct a college recruiter to a particular area of the state if they are making plans to be in Ohio.

“John runs a good service, “Ferri said.  “He is a reliable source of info and usually gets to see prospects before we do.  … He has seen a lot of prospects over the years and usually has a feel for where a prospect fits.”

Crisis averted

John McCallister, director of the McCallister Scouting Report, is used to advising coaches on recruiting.  But one day in April, he received a phone call from a rishing-senior player with an unusual question.

“Do you think with my first offer I should call colleges and threaten that I’m not going to go there?”  McCallister says the player asked.

McCallister wisely responded by telling the player: “Waid a minute – you know what will happen.  Coaches will talk to you and hang up the phone and start laughing like crazy.”

McCallister says the player got the ideal because that’s how someone told him the recruiting process worked.

“A lot of things go through kids’ minds,  “McCallister says.  “I don’t want to blame the Internet, but there is a lot of pressure on college coaches.  It’s just getting crazier.”

Comments are closed.