Want to Play DI Football? College Football Coach Says Play Other Sports, Too

football tackle

cropped-LOGO.pngLuke Fickell, College Football Coach, defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes chuckled when someone asked him if a high school lacrosse star could catch a football. He answered that the lacrosse star was accustomed to catching and shooting a small rubber ball traveling 70 miles an hour. I think he has the hand-eye coordination to catch a football.

Hubbard, a redshirt sophomore, spent time at linebacker and tight end before being shaped into a defensive lineman. With 41 tackles, he has gamely filled the gap created by the departure of Joey Bosa, one of 12 starters from last season’s Ohio State team selected in this year’s N.F.L. draft. The Buckeyes’ ability this season to reload rather than rebuild owes much to head college football coach Urban Meyer’s philosophy to recruit natural athletes who like to play football and not just gridiron specialists.

Urban Meyer, who played college football and minor league baseball, sees the value of multisport participation. So does Clemson’s head football coach Dabo Swinney. “I want the multisport guy,” said Swinney, a three-sport athlete at Alabama’s Pelham High. “I just love that.”

Swinney contends there is much to be gained by playing multiple sports. “I just think that the cross-training, the different types of coaching, the different types of locker rooms, the different environments that you practice in, the different challenges — I think it develops a much more competitive, well-rounded type person.

Parents who steer their children into specialization to give them a head start on acquiring the skill mastery needed to earn a college scholarship or a pro contract, or both, may actually be subverting those goals. 90 percent of the players selected in the first round of the NFL draft had been multisport athletes in high school. “Parents should get out of the way and let the kids be kids,” Swinney said. “I think it’ll all work itself out. There’s enough pressure. If you’re good enough, you’re going to be good enough.”


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Edited /Republished from Karen Crouse https://www.nytimes.com

April 26, 2017