When it comes to college football recruiting, people can talk until they are blue in the face about where a kid should go and one campus is better than the other. The best people to ask for advice, however, are…
When it comes to college football recruiting, people can talk until they are blue in the face about where a kid should go and one campus is better than the other.
The best people to ask for advice, however, are people you trust who have known you all their lives have actually gone through a similar situation. That is the fortunate situation in which St. Cloud Tech's James Kaczor found himself. With two older brothers who played college football to pave the way, the soon to be senior could shut out most of the so-called experts and keep it all in the family.
Kaczor's Tigers finished an undefeated regular season last fall.
“We had one of the most explosive offenses in the state and a stout defense behind it,” Kaczor said.
An undefeated regular season usually results in at least a couple of home playoff games – not in 2016 in Section 6AAAAA. The one seed was the eventual state champions from Elk River and the two seed – which Tech eventually lost to – St. Michael-Albertville was the state champion the year before.
“We didn't have many turnovers,” Kaczor said. “We had a no huddle offense, and we put up points quickly. We had a lot of seniors on the defensive side of the ball.”
Kaczor was the only Tigers' player to play both ways.
“On offense, I played a lot of slot back, and we ran a lot of quick hitting things to me,” Kaczor said. “We countered it with long balls to Brevyn Spann-Ford. I played some running back and had a couple of games with 100-yards rushing.”
Kaczor feels he is best after he has the ball.
“I am aggressive and physical. I am not going to juke many guys, but I think I can run people over.”
A safety on defense, Kaczor's strengths on that side of the ball mirror his offensive strengths.
“I can cover well but coming downhill and filling the alleys is a huge part of my game. I think I hit pretty hard – I think some other teams would say that too.”
A three-sport athlete, Kaczor was a pass first, defensive point guard on the 20-plus win basketball team and in the spring he went to the state track meet in an unusual combination of events – the triple jump and the shot put.
“I am a different kind of athlete,” Kaczor told northstarfootballnews.com. “My brother is the throwing coach at Tech, so we put a lot of work into that. Most of my family members – I come from a family with ten kids – are offensive linemen and bigger guys. I followed the family tradition (of throwing).”
This summer the 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back has been working on his man to man coverage skills. He works with his seven on seven teammates on Mondays, lifts weights on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Wednesday he plays basketball and Fridays he works with the football team on more team scheme work.
Kaczor – who has been recruited almost exclusively as a safety had offers from Brown, Columbia, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, St. Cloud State and Mankato State.
He was also talking with Montana State, Princeton, and Northern Iowa. NFN's 17th ranked Class of 2018 prospect recently committed to NDSU.
“I had two older brothers go to the Ivy League,” Kaczor said. “At the start of my recruiting process I thought that was the route I was going to take, but as more schools started to reach out to me, I realized I wanted to stay closer to home. I narrowed it to the Bison and the Jackrabbits.”
After he had visited both campuses, the decision became clear.
“I knew NDSU was home,” Kaczor said. “It felt like the right place to me. I went home and talked to my mom and my brothers, and we decided to commit the next day. One of my brothers told me ‘when you go to the school and you feel it out it will be eye opening for you.' It was for me at NDSU. I knew I wanted to go there and there was no point in waiting any longer.”
There was no point in part because he had the experience of his family behind him. He knew if it felt right not to waste any time and jump on the opportunity.