Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 Blogs: Scouts turn out to watch Hillsdale's Veldheer

Scouts turn out to watch Hillsdale’s Veldheer

Jared Veldheer worked out for several NFL scouts at Hillsdale's pro day. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

Hillsdale’s pro day is not usually a hot spot for pro scouts, but this year is different. OT Jared Veldheer has emerged as a good prospect, and is generating plenty of interest.

He had outstanding workout numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine, finishing among the top offensive line performers in the 40-yard dash, the bench press, the vertical jump, the broad jump, the three-cone drill and the short shuttle.

He stood on those numbers at Hillsdale’s pro day, but did position drills. Offensive line coaches from Seattle and Baltimore were on hand to see him, and he has more workouts planned with the Chiefs, Rams, Eagles and Raiders. The pro day was held outdoors on grass in front of nine team representatives with great weather conditions (55 degrees, sunny, no wind).

How did such a physically impressive prospect end up at Hillsdale you ask?

Well, his brother played basketball at Hillsdale, and in February of his senior year in high school he accepted a football scholarship to join his brother.

While Veldheer was the headliner, there was another notable prospect at Hillsdale’s pro day. DL Drew Berube (6-4 1/2, 266) ran the 40-yard dash in 5.08 and 5.09 seconds, had a 27-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot, 8-inch broad jump, a 4.54-second short shuttle, a 6.96-second three-cone drill and did 17 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds. He has a visit scheduled with an undisclosed team.

Gil Brandt

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hillsdale College Football Youth Camp

Hillsdale College will once again host its annual youth football camp on Saturday April 17 at 1:00 PM.

Campers will learn from Charger players and coaches as Hillsdale uses the event to wrap up its annual spring practice sessions. The camp is followed by the annual final scrimmage.

The camp is open to players entering 1st through 6th grades in the fall.

Download a registration brochure from

The cost of the camp is $20.

Hillsdale College Spring Football Practice Schedule

Keith Otterbein and the Hillsdale College football staff has released its schedule of 2010 Spring Football practices and invites fans out to Muddy Waters Stadium. All sessions are open to the public.

Remaining dates:
Tuesday 3/23: 4:00 PM, limited practice
Thursday 3/25: 4:00 PM, full practice
Tuesday 4/6: 4:00 PM, full practice
Thursday 4/8: 4:00 PM, limited practice
Saturday 4/10: 10:00 PM, Scrimmage
Monday 4/12: 4:00 PM, full practice
Wednesday 4/14: 4:00 PM, full practice
Friday 4/16: 4:00 PM, limited practice
Saturday 4/17: 1:00 PM, Hillsdale Football Youth Camp
Sunday 4/18: 1:00 PM, final scrimmage

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hillsdale Pro Day Videos

Thanks to Jim Veldheer for posting a trio of videos on

Here is Mark Petro with a 55 yard field goal.

I am still waiting to gather numbers from today's performances and will post when they are available.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Every Player Every Play even in España

Mark Nicolet is lighting up the Spanish league of American Football for the L'Hospitalet (Barcelona) Pioners.

Looking at this picture, it's pretty obvious that he has taken his leadership and Hillsdale philosophy with him.

Photo from Flickr user Pioners 1988

Check out the Pioners' Fan Zone.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hillsdale WR AJ Kegg's GVSU Pro Day Results

AJ Kegg's GVSU pro day results:

40 yard dash: 4.51
Bench: 12 reps of 225
Vertical Jump: 34.5
Broad Jump: 10' 1"

Kegg will work out again at Michigan State's pro day tomorrow and Hillsdale's pro day on Thursday.
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The Charger Family Says Goodbye

Monday March 15 should have been the most exciting day of Drew Berube's life. He was on display in Grand Valley State's posh turf building, working out for NFL scouts in the first of a pair of pro days. Sadly, that day would be the day that Drew and the rest of the Charger family would say goodbye to his mother Deb after a long and valiant fight with cancer.

The Berube family learned this fall that Deb didn't have much time left, and thanks to some great friends and fellow Charger parents, Deb was able to experience Drew's senior season including the playoff victory in Mankato, MN.

Charger fans rallied around the family this Christmas, ensuring they had one to remember and proving once again that Hillsdale College football fans care as much about each other as they do football.

She will be remembered as one of the most dedicated and vibrant members of the parents booster group ever and will be deeply missed on Saturday afternoons. We know that Deb will be still be at Muddy Waters Stadium each week in spirit.

Visitation will be from 6-8pm on Thursday at Van Horn / Eagle Funeral home in Hillsdale.
Funeral Service is on Friday at 11am at St Anthony's Church also in Hillsdale.

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Hillsdale TE Kevin Hershock leads humanitarian effort

Check out what Hillsdale College TE Kevin Hershock is doing to fund programs for disadvantaged kids.

'Be a Number' T-shirts fuel humanitarian effort

Get yours at

Monday, March 15, 2010

Big time for Hillsdale College pro football prospects

Never before have NFL scouts given so much attention to players from Hillsdale College.

The big news of the pre-draft season has of course been OT Jared Veldheer's ascent up the board with mock draft after mock draft tabbing him as a 2nd to 3rd round choice. He was the buzz of Texas vs. The Nation and the

AJ Kegg (3) of Hillsdale has 1st pro day today

pinnacle of high profile events, the NFL Combine. According to his Draft Journal, the Rams, Chiefs, and Eagles all sent their offensive line coaches to Hillsdale last week for individual workouts.

Today, a couple of other NFL hopefuls get a chance to show their skills. WR AJ Kegg and DE Drew Berube will be on display at Grand Valley's pro day in Allendale, MI. The two will join other GLIAC hopefuls today and then again on Thursday when the attention turns back to Hillsdale where the Chargers will hold their first ever pro day. Both will work out again and Veldheer will do position drills for the league personnel assembled.

Next Monday, more scouting attention comes to Hillsdale for March 22nd's junior day. Reports out of The Dale have surfaced that WR Andre Holmes ran sub 4.4 in winter testing. A 40 like that in front of scouts could really crank his stock. QB Troy Weatherhead is another Charger listed by at least one draft news website as an NFL prospect.
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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Congratulations to Jason Stomps, Hillsdale's D2 indoor track national champ

He might not be a football player, but Hillsdale's Jason Stomps sure deserves some Charger blue recognition.

This weekend, Stomps became Hillsdale's first ever NCAA Division II national champion with a 70 foot 8 1/2 inch toss in Albuquerque at the final D2 indoor meet. Jim McHugh was the last individual Hillsdale winner in the mid 1990's when the Chargers still competed as an NAIA school.

That toss would have placed 9th two weeks ago at the United States Track and Field indoor championships held also in New Mexico.

The road hasn't been an easy one for Stomps and was recently featured in this article from the NCAA.

Congratulations Jason and good luck with the upcoming outdoor season.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Athletic building projects headed to Hillsdale

According to a Collegian report today, much anticipated athletic building projects appear to be taking shape. The plan will be conducted in three phases with an indoor track and tennis facility coming first, followed by renovations to Jesse Phillips Arena, and capped a few years off by an indoor turf building. The latter is the one probably of most interest to readers.
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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Ave Herald: Barry Fagan Building Program in Florida

Ave Herald, Ave Maria, Florida
AMU Football Coach: “We Can Win Right Away”

Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:43

Barry Fagan has spent most of his life well north of Florida, but he is getting to know the Sunshine State better than most natives. Within just a few weeks of being hired to start the Ave Maria University football program, Coach Fagan has been to Cocoa Beach, Cape Coral, Tampa, Lake Wales, West Palm Beach, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Coral Springs - attending recruiting fairs to find the nucleus of the school's first team.

fagan2a"Ave Maria hired me just before the recruiting fairs were starting, so I had no time to waste," he said. "I spoke to 300 coaches in three weeks."

With few Florida schools below Division One offering a football program, there are lots of young men who want to play football and stay hear their homes in Florida, he said.

But everyone isn't a fit for AMU, he added.

"I only am seeing kids with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and a minimum ACT score of 22," he said. "It's important when recruiting that it's a fit academically, socially, athletically and, here at Ave Maria, spiritually. You don't bring in players who can't handle the academics."

"The number -one priority is to earn a degree and represent the school in a first-class manner everywhere."

Coach Fagan came to Ave Maria from Hillsdale College in Michigan where, he said, it was "proven you don't have to compromise on intellect, character or spirituality" when building a football team. The team at Hillsdale, he added, has the highest level of academic achievement of all NCAA Division II teams.

Full Article

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Toledo Blade: Hillsdale coach draws vision from Dungy

Article published March 08, 2010
Toledo Blade, Dave Hackenberg

Keith Otterbein has been head football coach at Hillsdale (Mich.) College for eight seasons. And for just as long, his wife and three kids have climbed aboard the team bus and traveled to road games.

"I've wanted to take the dogs along too, but I had to draw the line somewhere," he said, laughing.

Otterbein has been drawing plenty of lines, serious ones, for some time. And a lot of his inspiration came from Tony Dungy, the former NFL head coach who will appear tomorrow at Central Catholic High School.

Otterbein believes that "life isn't a practice round; you get one chance to do it right."

So, once a rising young coach with the dreams of many coaches, Otterbein decided that quality of life was more important than a million-dollar paycheck. He decided that doing his job well under a tiny spotlight at Hillsdale - like last season's 10-3 record and Division II playoff berth - was just as important as doing it well under the giant arc lights at, say, LSU. He decided that being a man of faith was more worthwhile if worn on his sleeve to possibly affect others.

And if he ever wavered, Dungy was there to provide what Otterbein calls clarity.

The Hillsdale coach has the same access as the rest of us to Dungy's written words, first through Quiet Strength, which was written while Dungy led the Indianapolis Colts to their Super Bowl win in February, 2007. More recently, Dungy has authored Uncommon, which he'll discuss tomorrow at Central Catholic.

Otterbein, who plans to be there, has also enjoyed a pipeline to Dungy through Howard Mudd, a Hillsdale alumnus who served as offensive line coach with the Colts.

"I've watched the way coach Dungy has handled the ups and downs, being forced out in Tampa Bay, being the face of a tremendous organization in Indianapolis, how faith helped him deal with the death of his son," Otterbein said.

Full Column

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Patriots Daily: Q & A with Jared Veldheer

Q&A With Hillsdale OT Jared Veldheer

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

If it’s true that a small school player trying to reach the NFL has to make a big impression, Jared Veldheer’s off to a great start. The 6-foot-8, 312-pound tackle from Hillsdale College in Michigan stood out at the NFL combine, ranking in the top tier for offensive linemen in six events, including a 5.09-second 40-yard dash.

Veldheer took some time away from workouts and classes to talk with PD about his combine experience and future in the NFL.

Let’s start out with the question I’m sure you’re getting tired of: Why Hillsdale?

Well, I was getting recruited by some of the larger, Division I schools, where I went to some of their camps during the summer. You know, I came out of a Wing-T system in high school where I had no idea how to pass (protect), and, you know, the kick-slide was foreign. So I was just trying to rely on my basketball skills, and I fell down the teams’ radar from there. Come the winter, no one was really calling any more, and that’s when the D-II’s starting heating up. My brother graduated from Hillsdale College, played basketball here. And it’s a great school, great education, and great fit for me.

Full Interview

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Catch Jared Veldheer on Sports Radio this Week

Hillsdale's Jared Veldheer will talk about his combine experience and the continuing draft preparations this week.

Wed. Huge Show (various affiliates across Michigan) around 4:30 PM EST. Listen

Thur. Sean and Terp (96.1 West Michigan) 3:05 PM EST. Listen

You can listen live online from anywhere. Some time variance may occur due to show scheduling so get in early and be patient.
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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hillsdale grad shares Olympic experience with 5th graders

Team USA's Olympic bobsled 'push' coach visits Grand Rapids school

By Kym Reinstadler | The Grand Rapids Press

March 02, 2010, 7:32PM

jason ross.jpgU.S. Olympic bobsled team "push" coach and Dr. Jason Ross talks to students at Alexander Elementary School on Tuesday morning after returning from the Olympics in Vancouver.

GRAND RAPIDS -- Team USA's Olympic bobsled "push" coach and chiropractor, Dr. Jason Ross, was at Alexander Elementary School on Tuesday to talk to fifth-graders about career preparation, but he didn't take the Night Train to get there.

"It was an unbelievable experience being part of two Olympic medal winners," said Ross, who's opening a chiropractic office at 1217 N. Monroe in April. "Walking in with the team during opening ceremonies was something I'll never forget."

Ross coached the four-man team piloted by Greg Holcombe, which won gold, and the two-woman team piloted by Erin Pac, which won bronze.

Students of Edie Hoekstra quizzed Ross, a Jackson native, on several things: What does a push coach do? What does it take to become a chiropractor? Can he perform the "Holcy," the understated shuffle dance Holcombe catapulted to popularity during the Vancouver games, which ended Sunday?

Full Article

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