This morning, I received some bad news that Columbia High School running back, Brandon Coleman, tore his ACL last Friday and will miss the remainder of the season. Actually he was making a cut and the knee just gave out.
Talked with both his mother and father this morning. They were reaching out to me for advice. Tried my best to give them some of my thoughts. Of course, advice is easy to give, because it “ain’t” me.
You have put up some amazing numbers this fall. Really believe that you were starting to “get it,” and understand what it takes to play at the D1 level. Now the focus is on September of next year. Not the spring, not the football camps, and not the pre-season. September full go – the most important goal.
Doctors . Find the best surgeon that you can find and that your insurance can handle. Being near Cleveland, check out the Cleveland Clinic. When I was a head football coach, I would check with individual college football programs to get some insight on who the best sports doctors were. Actuall an OSU back specialist checked out one of my players. Probably easier to go through the head football coach.
Be sure the specialist is a sports person. No disrespect, but you are a football player, and sports are huge for you. Good sports’ doctors understand the seriousness of injuries and the importance of getting the athlete back to action, as soon as possible.
HUDL video. Five games is enough to get a good evaluation of your junior year. A plus is that those 5 games were against some top competition. Need to take time with the highlights’ video. Good plays. 25-30 at the maximum. Show the burst. Show breaking tackles.
Be honest. Keep in touch with schools who have been recruiting you, especially the ones showing you some “love.” Be very honest with them. How it happened. Who is doing the surgery. What the timeline is. Over the next 6 months keep the coaches updated. Not necessarily every week, but periodically give them a report.
One of the college coaches I talked with said that they were recruiting an RB in Georgia who suffered a knee injury. All of the reports were good and things looked good. At the last minute the coaching staff found out the head coach was lying to them. The recruit’s injury was much more serious than they were lead to believe. The college coaches dropped the recruit right now.
How silly is that? Did that head coach in Georgia think that they would give him a scholarship with out checking with the college’s own medical staff. Almost as silly is when high school coaches and parents lie about height/weight. Do people that a college is going to award a scholarship without ever seeing a recruit?
Anyway, parents and high school coaches need to be honest from day 0ne.
Stay home. Really no need to make unofficial visits to some college games the rest of this season. Remaining in touch with the college coaches is good, but the “uncomfortableness” of getting around after knee surgery could be painful. Not saying not to go to a college game, but college coaches understand. Remember – next September.
Rehab. Once you are cleared to begin rehab – find the best rehab services out there. Rehab is huge. Getting the knee back in action is important. But do not try to be “all bad,” and overdue it. Remember September. During rehab, do get into the “woe is me” mood. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Injuries happen. Stay positive.
Library. Don’t forget about your academics. Study. Keep the strong GPA. Prep for the ACT test. Use this time to build up the GPA. Make the library part of the whole rehab deal. Don’t let your knee injury be an excuse for slacking in your studies. Find some cute young lady to help you.
College summer camps. As you begin the college summer camp tour next June, do not extend yourself the whole 3-4 hours of a camp. By that, I mean do not do every drill and every one on one for the whole camp.
Do a workout to show college coaches where you are in rehabbing. Next spring have your head coach get an idea of just what college coaches will want you to do at camp. Get an idea of the specific drills that they would like to put you through. You may only work out for 45 minutes. Do enough to let college coaches get an idea. Remember – September
As I always say, I am not promoting Ohio Sate football, but their “one day” camps are important, because Coach Meyer opens the gate to many college coaches from across the Midwest. For Brandon, this will be exposure to many coaches.
Do not do the whole camp, regardless how well you feel, or how good the knee feels. Remember – September. Do not risk a setback, by over working or getting too competitive in a summer football camp.
Speaking of camps. Stay away from ANY non college football camp. No combines, no camps, no Best of the Midwest. No NIKE crap. Not sounding like recruiting analyst, Mark Porter, but anything before September is a big time risk and of no benefit to you.
No self pity. Finally, please do not feel sorry for yourself. At 69 years old, I have been really lucky health wise. My late wife, not so much. She very seldom let the “C” get her down. Brandon, get “back up on the horse.” Your biggest challenge is ahead. Columbia HS has not cancelled the season, be your teammates biggest supporter.
How often have you heard McCallister say – ” Control what you can control. Control how hard you work. Control how much discomfort you can take. Control how much “self-pity,” you feel.
See you in September. jmc