Professional Football/HS football

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Question
I am a junior in high school. I currently attend a small charter school that can provide only flag football. I have played that for two years, and I don't expect it to have any impact on any sport organizations I may join after high school. I am considering attending a public school next year, which has full contact football, and am hoping that I might make the team. How will playing a year of high school ball affect my chances of playing in college? Currently I would like to play at a Division III school or a school belonging to another small league.

Answer
Ken,
I am not an expert on this subject.  However, I am an adult who has coached youth baseball for many years.  I can give you some tips that will improve your prospects if playing full contact tackle football is your goal.
First thing is that you should sit down and quietly make a list of what your goals are and what you hope to achieve.  If it is to play football, have fun, be a part of a team, date cheerleaders, or get a good seat for the game that is perfectly fine.  If your goal is to get a scholarship, then my advice would be different than if your goal is to have a great social experience.
You said you may go to a public school in order to play tackle football.  That concerns me as you don’t want to toss away a high school diploma from a respected school in favor of a year of football at a school where its academic reputation may not help you in your personal endeavors. I should also advise you that I have lived in Baltimore all of my life.  The way high school is perceived in Baltimore is very different from Arizona.  Most aspiring families do not send their children to public schools in Baltimore city if they can afford a private school education. You will find this is the case throughout the old, industrial cities on the east coast.  As you leave the cities for the suburbs, a private school education is not considered to be as much a key to success.  I wanted to let you know what my perspective is based upon.
The path that I would suggest you to follow is simple.  I would take time to contact the athletic departments of all of the colleges that you are applying for.  Division III is far more realistic than Division I since unless you run a sub 4.0 in the 40, are 6’6” tall and can bench-press 400 lbs.  Start a dialogue with each of the schools you are considering.  Tell them what qualifications you offer the team as a “walk-on” and ask what they would suggest for you to improve your chances of making the team. If you get an encouraging response, give them a call and see if you can stop by to get some information on their athletic program.  Once again, if they are accommodating then use this to help you make a decision.
Once again, I will defer to my knowledge of Baltimore’s area Division III Schools.  Baltimore is one of the few NFL cities that do not have a local Division 1 college that excels in football.  (The University of Maryland is much closer to Washington D.C. than Baltimore is).  I am a Navy fan but no one expects them to compete in a major bowl game.  We have plenty of schools who will take a walk-on.  They are all excellent academic schools and football players are not going to get drafted by the NFL, so being a good student is critical to this option.  Once again. Baltimore colleges are skewed to lacrosse as their #1 sport.  Johns Hopkins is an exceptional school whose academics dwarf the athletic focus.  However, their lacrosse players are sought wherever the sport is played.  
I hope this gives you some direction on your football career.  One of the areas you are going to need help with is the nomenclature of the game.  The great news is you probably play “Madden” which has taught an entire generation of millennials the details of the game.  (Baseball would love to have this type of exposure since the game bores the pants off of today’s youth).
Speaking of baseball, the Orioles are getting ready to play game #2 of the ALDS so I must run.  Please feel free to write back if you have any questions.
Best wishes on your football career!  

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Jim Considine

Expertise

The subject of my expertise pertains to "American Football", as opposed to "Futball" or the game we refer to in the USA as soccer. --------------------------------------------------------- I can answer statistical questions about professional football. I am especially strong on the subject of the Baltimore Colts from 1947 through 1983, Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens. My services are best used when an older, obscure question is posed. The newer NFL records are easily accessible through www.NFL.com I do not appraise memorabilia. I am not an expert on Canadian Football, though I will take a shot at any questions you might pose. I have a good understanding and recall of the folklore about Baltimore football. Some of this information may be subjective in nature. I will give the best answer possible if this is the case.

Experience

I was an NFL Statistician with the Washington Redskins. I grew up during the days of the Baltimore Colts in the 1960's. (Please refer to the movie "Diner" for more information about the Baltimore Colts fans)

Organizations
Washington Redskins Statistician, 2005-2010 Baltimore Ravens, 1996-2003

Publications
The records were used by author Jon Morgan in his book, "Glory For Sale". The records have been part of the Baltimore Ravens Media Guides since their inaugural season in 1996. I was interviewed for the cover story of The Press Box, a local, monthly sports tabloid newspaper. http://www.pressboxonline.com/story.cfm?id=5594

Education/Credentials
I researched and was able to piece together the statistical history of the AAFC Baltimore Colts 1947-49, and the 1950 NFL Colts. This information was used by The Baltimore Ravens for their 1996 Media Guide. The records were entitled "Baltimore Football Records". It was considered "unofficial" since the AAFC league records were not incorporated with the NFL records when the leagues merged. The reason that this information was created was due to the fact that the NFL had prohibited the 1996 Baltimore Ravens from bringing the records, colors, and team name from the Cleveland Browns. The Baltimore football records were presented in order to create a frame of reference. The Ravens have kept these records since 1996, adding and amending as the Ravens football team challenge these records.

Awards and Honors
I was awarded two game balls from the Ravens and was recognized for my work as the top game day employee.

Past/Present Clients
Baltimore Ravens, Wise Guides, Washington Redskins

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