By Chad Wingert
SEBEWAING — With every football season that passes, off-season scouting done by people around the nation becomes more and more popular. High school athletes are being contacted by colleges at a young age and it isn’t too often that a talented athlete goes unnoticed.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that Unionville-Sebewaing’s Brendan Ballard is already receiving national attention from scout.com, one of the biggest names in the game when it comes to college football recruiting.
Allen Trieu, National Recruiting Analyst for Scout.com, recently wrote a story on the Patriot lineman who will be a junior this upcoming season, saying that Ballard “may be giving college coaches a reason to find their way to the school.”
Ballard is a three-sport athlete at USA, playing basketball, baseball and football, and just last week his successful sophomore campaign with the Patriots baseball team came to an end. However, Ballard says his focus lies on the gridiron.
“Football is where I feel I can make my biggest impact,” Ballard said. “I feel that with my size, if I work hard, anything and everything is possiblle.”
The 6’6, 300 pound Ballard says that he has already drawn attention from Northwood University, Wayne State University and Concordia University. But just recently, Ballard has become aware of a much bigger school that has him on their radar.
“The University of Michigan is aware of me and they made it clear that they’d like to see me at their camp this summer. So hopefully I can turn a few heads while I’m there,” Ballard said. “It’s all kind of hectic, playing summer baseball and summer basketball. Trying to fit in football camps is not easy, but it’s necessary for these schools to see you. They want to see what kind of player you are.”
Even though Ballard’s focus is with football, he says he will continue to play three sports throughout his high school career.
“I don’t want to regret not participating in all high school athletics later in life,” Ballard said. “I like playing all three sports.”
Many college athletes have come out of USA High School in a handful of different sports. However, someone who has just finished their sophomore year of high school and is getting this type of attention is rare for any school in the Thumb area.
“It feels good to know that people do notice you, even coming from such a small area,” Ballard said. “This is all new to me. It’s kind of weird, but really, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Last year Ballard started on both the offensive and defensive lines for USA while earning First Team All-Conference honors in the Greater Thumb West.
Chad Wingert is the Sports Editor for the Advertiser and can be reached at [email protected]
By Chad Wingert