High school football players and their coaches will do whatever it takes to get their highlights in front of college coaches from publishing compilations on Hudl to cold-mailing them around the country.
But for not-particularly-high-profile prospects on middle of the pack teams, getting those highlights in front of college scouts can prove to be a herculean task — especially when those scouts are constantly inundated with a flood of tape featuring big hits, touchdowns and pancake blocks.
Tran said the idea came to him while he and a few classmates were watching other football highlight videos. But as a backup linebacker whose prime responsibilities were on kick coverage and returns, finding enough plays to compile a full video “wasn’t as easy as people think,” Tran said.
“I spent a lot more time working on it than it looks,” he said. “Roughly an hour, I’d say. And actually, I made another video first, but I accidentally exited out of it before saving, so I had to do it again. So maybe two hours total.”
The Titans went 3-7 last season, which was a considerable improvement on their 0-10 2011 campaign, and whether on the field or — far more often — on the sideline, Tran did his part.
“Really, the plays in the video were the only ones that I was on the field for this season,” Tran said. “But overall, I had a lot of fun.”
After playing freshman football at the Sterling school, Tran elected not to go out for the JV team because, he said, “I was kind of scared of the JV coach.” A torn ACL kept him away from the game his junior season, but Tran decided to rejoin the Titans for his senior campaign.
“Rich is a real good kid,” Dominion Coach Karl Buckwalter said. “He didn’t get much time but is always positive.”
Tran said he e-mailed the video to Denver Post columnist and ESPN’s “Around the Horn” regular Woody Paige as well as ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” show. As of Tuesday, he was still waiting to hear back. He also looked up contact info for the University of Alabama’s athletic director in the hopes that it might somehow end up on Nick Saban’s computer screen. Yes, that’s the same coach who just offered an eighth grader a scholarship.
If that fails, Tran’s fallback plan is to attend Christopher Newport or VCU — he’s waiting to hear back from both — where he hopes to trade in the bench press to study sports marketing.
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