Tuesday, February 7, 2012
National Letter of Intent Signing Day: 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012, was National Letter of Intent Signing Day, the day when high school student-athletes across America sign on the dotted line to begin the next 4 years of their lives. Coach Ted Ginn, Sr. is well known for sending a large number of his Glenville Tarblooder football players to universities big and small every year. This year, 16 (15 of which are Ginn Academy students, and 1 who attends Glenville) received full scholarships that will soon take them to the following schools:
1. De'Van Bogard, The Ohio State University
2. V'Angelo Bentley, University of Illinois
3. Denzell Burton, Kent State University
4. DeAnthony Riggs, Ohio Dominican
5. Sean DeBose, Ohio Dominican
6. Davonte Congress, Findlay University
7. Xavier Dowdell, Lake Erie College
8. Aykee Henderson, Notre Dame College
9. Sean Draper, University of Iowa
10. Justin Hardee, University of Illinois
11. Albert Black, Mercyhurst College
12. Alex Pace, University of Cincinnati
13. Kevin Kinds, Hutchinson Community College, Kansas
14. Willie Henry, University of Michigan
15. Darnell DePriest, Marian University
16. Martell Prayear, Baldwin Wallace College
Recruiting season is in full swing in April and May and from August through January, with college coaches visiting The Ginn Academy regularly and also meeting with players' families at night at their homes. It's an overwhelming but very exciting process for all involved. Some players make multiple visits to the schools of interest to experience the campus environment firsthand. Some of the most sought-after players will begin getting offers well before their senior year and might have 10-15 to choose from by the time they're ready to commit. There are strict rules that must be followed which spell out the number of visits and phone calls the students may receive.
Coach Ginn and his staff work truly 'round the clock trying to get the boys placed in the programs that best fit them. College coaches like the Glenville players because they know that the coaching staff has spent many years grooming them to be not only excellent athletes, but truly fine people. There's a higher chance of success in the college environment when a kid has come up through Coach's program and that means fewer worries in general for those colleges.
As big as the program is now, Coach Ginn's office hasn't always been filled with recruiters from every part of the country. In 1999, with college opportunities few and far between, he loaded up his minivan with as many football players as he could fit, from Glenville and other area schools, and spent an entire month driving all day and night to let his boys show college coaches what they could do. They stopped at schools in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia, and West Virginia. Over the years, many young men throughout the state found their way into programs that they otherwise never would have connected with via Coach Ginn's college tours. Soon Glenville High School became well known in the football world, and here we are today with a record for the most players from one high school in the Big Ten, 36 players in the past 10 years, and another 16 players headed to many great schools.
Coach started going through paperwork with the boys and their families at 6:30 A.M. on Wednesday. However, the arduous process begins long before Signing Day and includes hundreds of phone calls to and from college coaches, keeping the kids on track, sleepless nights, and providing the proper protocol and understanding of recruiting.
One by one, Coach Ginn and three other Glenville coaches, Damion Creel, Matt Chinchar, and Tony Overton, explained the terms and requirements for the various conferences and schools. After a quick moment of recognition at the GA morning session, everyone headed to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's ceremony, which included presentations by CEO Eric Gordon, COO Patrick Zahn, and Commissioner of Athletics, Leonard Jackson.
The impact on the lives of these football players and their community is obviously enormous. As a witness of three Signing Days, I can honestly say that it's one of the happiest experiences that I've ever seen. The pride and hope and joy are truly a pleasure to behold.
Thank you for your support of and interest in The Ginn Academy. And the best of luck to the 16 young men and their families who worked so hard to get to February 1, 2012!
For those of you interested in some further information, this is a list of some of the schools that our student-athletes have committed to since 2005: Ball State University, University of Cincinnati, Bowling Green State University, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin, The Ohio State University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, Kent State University, University of Akron, Marshall University, Ohio Dominican University, Bluffton University, Marian University, Mercyhurst College, Ohio University, and the University of Toledo.