American running back heading to Guelph

What a January surprise! Guelph has announced the commitment of Ray Bahr of Evanston Township High School in Illinois.  ETHS is a huge school (enrolment 3,070) that competes at the 8A level and is a member of the Central Suburban League in Chicago’s suburbs.  ETHS has an on-campus stadium with turf field, 15 gymasia and 18 tennis courts.

Imagine how competitive it must be to make the Varsity roster at a school that size.  But Ray Bahr isn’t a marginal talent on that team or in that league.  He is a multi-year starter who plays offense, defense and special teams.  Bahr has been an All-Conference performer and a team MVP. Bahr plays tailback, fullback and outside linebacker.  Look for him to play offense at Guelph where he has the ability to play either tailback or H-back.

Ray Bahr # 32 seals off a defender to spring a teammate for a 65 yd TD

Watch his highlight videos and it’s very apparent that Bahr is fundamentally sound as a ball carrier, receiver, blocker and tackler.  I was particularly impressed with the way that he manhandles bigger players with his blocking.  After being the featured back on the ETHS Sophomore team (2009 video highlights), in 2010 he was called on to be a lead blocker for a senior back.  Watch the way he dominates a much bigger player at the 1:45 mark of his 2010 highlights.  The photo here is from that play.  Absolutely text book example of a RB coming out of the backfield to seal the OLB.  Don’t get me wrong Bahr scores plenty of rushing TDs and is a beautiful pass catcher out of the backfield.  He has a very well rounded game.

I have already read comments from others who have watched his highlights wondering why he isn’t a NCAA Div 1 recruit.  I imagine the issue is size.  He plays like a 200lber but isn’t nearly that big.  He is probably closer to 170lbs.  In my opinion he is well suited to the wide open spaces of a Canadian football field.  Looks to me like Guelph has a special player here.

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It is my understanding that Ray Bahr discovered Guelph rather than the other way around.  Bahr was researching academic opportunities in his preferred fields [Enviromental Science & Marine Biology] and discovered that Guelph had among the best programs in North America. As a dual citizen he could attend the Universtiy of Guelph far more economically than the top U.S. schools.

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