College football recruiters know potential when they see it, and it’s been on full display this year in the film room at Antioch High School.
Bears coach Mike Woodward flicks on the tape, and images of Mike McAdoo fill the screen. It doesn’t take long for recruiters to take notice, as a 6-foot-6 defensive end chases down opposing running backs from behind.
Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson and Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer are among those to have stopped by at Antioch this year. Each time, the reaction is the same.
“They watch the tape, and see him run down running backs, and they say, ‘That’s it, he’s got a scholarship offer,’” Woodward said. “There aren’t many guys who are 6-6 who can run like he does and has the agility that he has.”
McAdoo’s skills have helped him developed into one of the nation’s top defensive-end prospects and perhaps the most sought prep player in Middle Tennessee.
Vanderbilt is his current front-runner, while Tennessee, Ole Miss, North Carolina and South Carolina remain in the hunt.
McAdoo, who will be a senior in the 2007 season, will visit each school this fall in hopes of announcing his decision midway through the season.
“I know he does like Vanderbilt and talks to them a lot,” Woodward said. “It’s easy access, so he can go to the campus whenever he wants to. He’ll choose the place he feels the most comfortable at, but it would take a lot for someone else to overtake Vandy.”
McAdoo considers himself a serious student and hopes to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. In 2001, McAdoo’s family moved to Antioch from East Nashville, where he said his interest in criminal justice began.
“I’ve been around crime a lot,” McAdoo said. “I know what’s going on. I’ve seen a lot. I know how to try to stop it.”
Few high-school offenses have managed to stop McAdoo, who overwhelms opposing linemen with his size and quickness.
The college that signs McAdoo, who also stars on the Antioch basketball team, will quickly seek to bulk him up.
“I think he’s probably too good to redshirt, but if they choose to redshirt him, they’ve got three or four years to put meat on him,” Woodward said. “He’s got a lot of time to put weight on.
“He could easily carry 260 or 265 and still look skinny. It’s so hard to find a tall, long body who can run. If he gets to 260 or 265 pounds at defensive end, there’s no telling where he could go.”
Recruiters see the same potential and communicate relentlessly with McAdoo through telephone calls, text messages, e-mails and letters.
“It’s a little crazy,” he said. “At this time last year, I never knew I’d have so many schools coming at me the way they’re coming at me.”
It might be just the beginning.