Spencer Gulmire/Justin Carden

Discussion in 'High School Football' started by Hersh, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Hersh

    Hersh Newbie

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    Has anyone mentioned Spencer Gulmire of Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, TN? Several D-1 players have come from there and the school is perenially in the hunt for state titles in 5-A, the biggest classification in the state. The new head coach is black, from an all black powerhouse, Austin-East, albeit in a smaller (3-A) classification. Gulmire is white and is the best back around the East Tennessee area, with the possible exception of Justin Carden of Anderson County. Carden is 2nd in the state in rushing yards. He's also big, fast and white. It's just so unfortunate that neither of these fine players will be given a fair shot. Lately, the black coach at Oak Ridge has been praising another back, who is black, and was quoted as saying regarding the black back "show me a more dangerous kid with the ball in his hand." It was laying down the gauntlet, I believe. But Gulmire, fortunately, is still starting and thus still producing incredible numbers, lack last year in running for over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns.
     
  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the board, Hersh. Keep us updated on Gulmire and Carden if you can.

    There was a similar situation in Tennessee last year. The Tennessean newspaper actually ran a story about how not one of four star senior white running backs in Tennessee was offered a scholarship by a I-A program. Unfortunately the link to the article is no longer good but I found it reprinted on another site:

    Saturday, 01/29/05

    Top colleges not rushing to sign these backs

    By JEFF LOCKRIDGE
    Staff Writer

    When players like Roger Herndon, Jake Nunley, Bobby Martin and Chris Wooden are on a football field, everyone knows who is taking the handoff.

    And still defenses fail to bring them down.

    The Midstate's four leading senior rushers have a lot in common, including the fact each churned out more than 1,700 yards in his final prep season.

    They also share in another stat: 0. That's the number of Division I-A football scholarship offers each has received.

    ''You put up the numbers but you don't really get the interest some people think you would,'' said Herndon, Greenbrier's Class 3A Mr. Football Back who ran for a mind-boggling 4,400 yards and 60 touchdowns from 2003-04.

    ''Numbers don't seem to mean a lot to the colleges.''

    Does race? All four of the backs are white.

    ''You just don't see many of them across the nation playing (Division I-A) running back,'' said Coffee County Coach Bill Price, who coached Nunley during back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons for the Raiders.

    ''You would have to be exceptional, and once you get there you would have to prove you can play. Jake does not have blinding speed, but he has good speed. And he's white. You just don't see many white running backs. I can't name one in the SEC.

    ''Speed is what they want and if you have that, they're going to come after you. Everybody is after the blue-chip player and they've forgotten about the hard-nosed kid who busts his butt every day. There's a lot of misses out there because these coaches and recruiters can't go in and look at a player's heart.''

    Those gaudy stats still mean a lot to players, parents and high school coaches. But for whatever reason, they doesn't always translate to what recruiters seek in a running back prospect.

    ''They're looking for a cookie cutter,'' said Fairview Coach Mark Matykiewicz, who coached Martin during his 1,871-yard senior campaign. ''They're looking for a certain height, weight and speed.

    ''Two years ago we had a guy named Aaron Cothran, and I remember asking (former Fairview) Coach Tom Rewis, 'Who's after him?' And he would say, 'Nobody.' And I would be scratching my head.

    ''It's the same thing with Bobby. You could put him on the line and he would be successful, just because he's a great football player. It's different from when I played. If you had a good junior year and a great senior year, you would get noticed.''

    Wooden had the requisite stellar final two seasons, with excellent speed and strength to boot. He showed the complete package during Donelson Christian Academy's runs to the Class A state championship game the last two years.

    Unfortunately, that may not have been the best time or place to show colleges what he could do. Knee surgery following his junior season prevented the 5-foot-11, 210-pound prospect from participating in summer camps.

    ''That's probably one of the negative things about the injury,'' Wooden said. ''Between my sophomore and junior years I went to a lot of camps. This past summer I was invited to all the camps, but I wasn't able to go and perform. I went to the Nike Camp in Ohio, but I couldn't participate in the drills. I really feel that might have affected the recruiting process.''

    Wooden rushed for 6,100 yards in four years as a starter for DCA and won a state title. Those are numbers he will cherish, even if Division I-A schools don't.

    ''I'm very proud of the teams I've been able to play with the last four years, and I feel like coming off the injury I can still perform at a high level. I would like to go somewhere that I'm wanted. That's why I've ruled out walking on anywhere.''

    Walking on is exactly what Herndon plans to do if he can land an academic scholarship to Vanderbilt, where he attended two camps last summer. Commodores coaches visited the 6-foot, 195-pound back at his home this week.

    But even then, Herndon is probably eyeing a transition to the defensive secondary.

    ''I wasn't the fastest,'' Herndon said. ''I run a 4.5 or 4.6 in the 40 (dash), and I guess that doesn't seem to draw as much interest. So even though you rush for 2,000 yards, if you don't run a 4.4, colleges don't seem to care.

    ''They look for size, and if you do have size they want to see how much weight they can put on you when you get there. I understand and it's not a big deal. I guess it's a little frustrating to have to go for academic reasons, but it really doesn't bother me.

    ''The (high school) accomplishments are something you'll keep with you the rest of your life.''

    Fittingly, all four backs appear as though they will play college football. Wooden has garnered strong interest from Lambuth and Sewanee. Nunley is considering Carson-Newman, UT-Martin, UT-Chattanooga and Samford. Martin is looking at a scholarship to Rhodes if he can raise his ACT score by one point.

    When it comes to this group, there are plenty of rushing stats still to be tallied."


    http://valleyscoreboard.com/iboard/index.php?act=Print&clien t=printer&f=61&t=2140
     
  3. Hersh

    Hersh Newbie

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    I tried to look at that article yesterday but couldn't. Thanks for posting it. I'll keep you advised about Gulmire and Carden, but my hopes are diminished reading that article. I have a keen interest in this subject. My son is a freshman running back. He's big (175lbs.) and fast (4.7) for a freshman, and he should get bigger and faster. I think he's got some potential, but it makes me sick to think he won't get a fair shake.....
     

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