By Brett Tieman
“(We are) very fortunate to have kids that football means a lot to them and they work very hard to get to a position to where they can get a scholarship.” – Head Coach Kelly Donohoe
The Blue Springs Football team has their sights set on a state title and believe this goal is all the more achievable thanks to a group of players that have the opportunity to play at the next level. With National Signing Day coming on February 7, these players have been working with coaches, recruiters and family to make sure they make the right decisions and have the right attitude.
“When these kids come to us and say ‘Hey coach I really want to be a college football player,’ we make sure that we have a really good line of communication with them and outline expectations of how to act, and what to be like,” Head Coach Kelly Donohoe said about making sure the players have the right mindset from the start.
Recruitment for most players begins early–maybe even at the sophomore level. Getting the word out about a specific player is the key, according to Donohoe
“(We get) such a barrage of college coaches coming through, I’ll say ‘Hey, I’ve got a kid who’ll be a junior next year, he’s a lineman and you’re really going to like him,’” Donohoe said.
With scout’s eyes now on these players, the coaches level of communication becomes focused on the players. To Donohoe, “the biggest part of what we do” involves making kids show the right character. He added on that this is true for all players and that “you can’t have a successful program and have kids not do things the right way.”
“[Scouts] will see the skillset on film but now they want to know is he a kid that’s gonna come into this university and represent himself the right way in the classroom and be a really good worker for them,” Donohoe said.
Recruitment for the team this year is very strong with Donohoe believing that the team will have “10 or 11 kids go on to play college football.”
Senior Daniel Parker, who recently announced his plans to attend the University of Missouri, is considered a four-star defensive end by Rivals.com.
Parker’s fellow linemen senior Khristian Boyd, a three-star tackle according to Rivals, has yet to make his decision. Boyd is holding offers from Arkansas State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Central Florida, and has drawn interest from the University of Iowa, Kentucky, and Iowa State as well as possibly following Parker to Columbia. Boyd said the conversations with college recruiters are frequent and varied.
“I interact with recruiters pretty often, and we mostly talk about school and academics. We also talk about how the game went that week,” Boyd said.
Though the decision rests with him alone, Boyd knows that the support he is receiving is paramount in making a sound decision.
“My family and coaches have been very supportive of me through the entire process,” Boyd said.
The team’s ability to field this many players that will advance to play at the next level shows why it is a highly regarded program. Donohoe attributes the success of these players to their talent and dedication.
“(We are) very fortunate to have kids that football means a lot to them and they work very hard to get to a position to where they can get a scholarship.”