4 Star 2017 Cornerback Marco Wilson Commits to Florida on GridironStuds Show

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

In a much anticipated decision,  4-star cornerback Marco Wilson from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida committed to the Florida Gators on his father’s radio show (Gridiron Studs Show) on Monday.

Wilson’s final five schools were Georgia, Miami, Ohio St., USC and Florida.  Wilson is currently in the top rankings at all the major recruiting companies despite missing his entire junior season recovering from a torn ACL.  Wilson’s brother Quincy Wilson is currently a starting cornerback for the Gators having signed with Florida out of high school in 2014.

“I would like thank everyone who has helped me through this process because you know it isn’t easy but I think the best choice for me will be to commit to the University of Florida,”  Wilson said amongst cheers in the background.

“I just love everything about their recruiting staff and I know the DB coach will really take care of me when I get there.  He has a great history with the guys he has dealt with,”  said Wilson when asked about his choice.

In an example of how recruiting is ever changing,  Wilson announced his Top 5 less than two weeks before the announcement using the new GridironStuds App.  He used the app to keep fans informed on his commitment plans leading up to the date and then made the announcement on Monday on the GridironStuds Show.  The GridironStuds App was launched in February and since then,  it has been used by over 900 prospects to create a profile and update fans on their recruiting process. Fans, prospects and college coaches interested in downloading the App can do so by clicking here or simply search “Gridiron Studs” in the App Store.

Wilson’s commitment is the 13th thus far for the Florida Gators from the 2017 class and has moved them into the Top 20 on all the major recruiting services.

You can listen to Marco Wilson’s announcement on The GridironStuds Show – Click Here

Subscribe to the GridironStuds Show Podcast on iTunes – Click Here

Football’s First Female Official Prepares for Second Season in NFL

It is a testament to Sarah Thomas’ mettle that she didn’t dwell upon the pressures of her position as the first full-time game official in the NFL, at least until her first season on the job came to an end. People who were expecting Thomas’ presence to drastically affect the NFL spread were probably disappointed by the uneventful nature of her first season.

It was after the season ended that Thomas began to ponder on what her achievements have meant for the game. Thomas admitted that, while she didn’t feel the pressure during the actual season, upon reflecting on the season as a whole, she had to admit there was indeed some pressure to contend against.

None the less, even considering her place as the first women in the game in such a capacity, Thomas believes that her first year was very smooth. In fact, as her second year as a side judge approaches, Thomas appreciates the fact that there was very little fanfare about the fact that she is the only woman on the field.

Dean Blandino, Vice President of officiating, thinks that Thomas handled the whole situation with grace and poise. As a first year official and a woman, Thomas had a lot of challenges to contend with on her plate. That she had such a good season is commendable.

Thomas had the privilege of signaling the touchdown when Pittsburgh’s LeVeon Bell scored on a wildcat run as time expired, bringing his team victory at the end of Week 5 last season.

While seemingly initially stopped, Bell pushed forward, getting the ball across the goal line, and the replay review justified Thomas’ call. There is no telling the ruckus that would have been raised if the first female official in the NFL had blown such a call.

In this case, though, no one really took notice of her presence. And that is what Thomas wants. Officials want to go unseen, and they are at their best when they go unnoticed, achieving their objectives under the radar.

Thomas received a vote of confidence from the NFL commissioner during the first NFL Women’s Summit in San Francisco, Roger Goodell appreciating Thomas for her fantastic job.

The mother of three has spent a number of years working inside the NFL system. Along with officiating for Conference USA since 2007, Thomas has also worked at various training camps and exhibition games.

She spent some time in the NFL’s Officiating Development Program before she was hired full-time last year.

Sarah Thomas didn’t set out to make waves and change perceptions as the first female official on the field in the NFL. None the less, she is encouraged by the support she has received from women’s groups.

She also finds questions from other women looking to emulate her career choice endearing. Thomas has also repeatedly expressed her appreciation for all the support and respect the National Football League has shown her, giving her the room to explore her potential.

Blandino doesn’t think that Thomas will be the last of her kind and has admitted that there are many more women progressing through the NFL’s officiating development program.

He thinks the fans should expect to see more women peppering the game in the near future. He also thinks that the direction the NFL is taking is very positive and should be supported by the football fandom.

Major College Football Teams with the Easiest Schedules for 2016

This week, I rank the Power Five schools having the easiest rosters in major college football. To clarify, no team has an easy schedule irrespective of the conference it plays in and college football predictions indicate that challenges can arise even when playing against the “weakest” teams. Some diverse factors played a significant role in the conclusions I made, such as the 2015 records of the playing teams, the nonconference schedules, and the venues of the upcoming games. For teams playing division-based conferences, they must face all the teams within their respective divisions. The challenges come up with the teams they will have to play against from the other side, the strength of opponents at their home stadium, and the frequency of playing against them.

With all the above factors taken into consideration in the preparation of this list, five teams from the Power Five emerged with the least difficult schedules.

5. Florida
A number of tough games are lined up for the Gators this season, but one of their major threats will be playing Florida State on the road in the concluding week. They also play Georgia in Jacksonville and LSU in Gainesville, with the Gator’s visit to Knoxville an important head-to-head for the SEC East. The nonconference slate is the main factor that lists the Gators here, including their games against South Carolina, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. They will have a home advantage with their remaining games against Presbyterian, North Texas, and UMass. Last season, Florida’s opponents had a combined winning percentage of 46.9 percent, with only five of them bowling.

4. Minnesota
It is very difficult for a Big Ten East team to appear in this list compared to a Big Ten West team because only some teams in the West have to contend with beating Michigan, Michigan State, or Ohio State. The Gophers automatically landed here due to such factors. With the Big Ten conference having nine games this season, the ratio of home and road games for the West is four to five respectively, which will haunt Minnesota. However, they appear in this list because they dodge all the powerful teams from the East to play Rutgers, Maryland, and Penn State. In the nonconference, Minnesota plays against Indiana State, Colorado State, and Oregon State, all at home. The Beavers, Colorado State, and the Sycamores had a 2-10, 7-6, and 5-6 in last season. The team holds a higher position here because they play against Penn State, Wisconsin, and Nebraska on the road.

3. Baylor
In a twist of fate, the nonconference schedule for Baylor in 2016 looks so weak, and this comes as a surprise. The opening game will be against last season’s 4-7 Northwestern State team, followed by a 2-10 SMU, and finally a road trip game against a 5-7 Rice. Surviving this gauntlet will lead them straight to conference play. The advantage that Baylor has is that the team plays at home against TCU, but on the road against Oklahoma State. Furthermore, the Bears stay at No. 3 because of the stretch of games they will have to play in mid-season. In three weeks, they will visit Texas, return home to play TCU, and finally play Oklahoma on the road.

2. Clemson
Surprisingly, Clemson stands out as one of the favorites to find their way to the College Football Playoff, and they have Deshaun Watson as the favorite to clinch the Heisman Trophy. In the season’s first Saturday, the Tigers face Auburn on the road in their nonconference schedule, with the rest including Troy and last season’s 3-9 South Carolina. Furthermore, the Tigers had the entire offseason to get ready for their toughest games against Auburn, Florida State, and Louisville. Generally, Clemson the Tigers only have five opponents that reached the bowl game last season.

1. Boston College
If you are a fan of Boston College, you must be upset because I placed your favorite team as the one with the easiest schedules next season. For the unmoved and happy fans, you should acknowledge that your last season’s 3-9 team was not up to standard last season, having an average of 17.2 points per game. Therefore, the easy schedule gives the Eagles an opportunity to rejuvenate themselves, as they have UConn, Buffalo, Wagner, and UMass (combined to go 14-23) in the nonconference. However, they must show their toughness against teams in the Conference play, including Florida State on the road. The Eagle’s five-game road schedule includes NC State, Wake Forest, UMass, and Virginia Tech, UMass’ obvious wins.

Congratulations to Boston College for having a fairly easy schedule this season!

2016’s Most Unenviable College Football Schedules

To make accurate college football predictions, experts understand the importance of familiarizing oneself with those factors that ensure success on the field, this not only including players that exceed expectations but a whole lot of luck when it comes to scheduling.

The right schedule can make all the difference in the world, one that is not merely favorable but which provides enough of a challenge for selection committees and pollsters to take a team seriously.

Many a team has been felled by schedules that put them into too many rough spots, allowing them to take too many beatings to compete favorably over the next several months.

Of all the teams playing this season, the following schools have the most difficult schedules to contend with:

1). Auburn
The Tigers have not fared well under Gus Malzahn, not only losing to Florida State (12-2) during the BCS Championship final in Gus’ first year but following this performance up with a 7-6 mark last year and an 8-5 season in the year before that.

Gus’ precarious situation is only made worse by the four straight games the Tigers have to contend with shortly after their bout with Clemson at the start of this season. With teams like LSU and Texas A&M awaiting Auburn in consecutive weeks, the deck has never been stacked higher against Malzahn’s side, not when they are expected to beat four teams that finished the previous season ranked.

2). BYU
While BYU might enjoy all the benefits of being an independent program, the fact that they have to craft a schedule capable of impressing the committee puts them in a slightly difficult situation.

If the cougars go 12-0 this time round BYU might not have a conference to win this season, though the committee will have a hard time keeping them out of the playoff. With 10 games to be played against schools that previously went to the bowl, the Cougars’ season will kick off with a bout against UCLA, Arizona and West Virginia, hitting the road shortly after to play Michigan state.

Along with games against Mississippi state and Cincinnati, the Cougars will have to walk quite the tightrope to the finish line this season.

3). Alabama
Even among the difficult schedules everybody in the SEC West faces, Alabama’s position is especially difficult this season. To successfully defend their title, the Crimson Tide will have to stand against USC (whose non-conference schedule is less difficult than most).

This isn’t even taking into account the SEC portion of the season which will see the Tide play the likes of Tennessee and Arkansas on the road, many of these games played within the span of a few weeks.

4). USC
While the Trojans can relax in the middle of their season, playing against teams like Arizona State and Colorado, they will have to grind their teeth against one hell of a finish, beginning November with a game against Oregon before turning their attention to the Ducks, Washington, and UCLA, all this before facing Notre Dame after the conference.

With two difficult stretches bookending their schedule, USC is in a very unenviable situation.

5). Wisconsin
Opening the season with a game against LSU, this before contending with a stretch of six insane games that will open conference play this year against Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern, gone are the days when Wisconsin had the easiest and most enviable schedule around.

Even the likes of Purdue and Minnesota waiting for the Badgers at the finish line, Wisconsin’s path to victory is still quite cloudy, the team likely to be too battered to deliver the wins that games against teams like Illinois would normally guarantee.

Over 800 Athletes Have Downloaded GridironStuds App Since Launch

Things have moved at a brisk pace for GridironStuds since the launch of the GridironStuds Recruiting App on February 10th of this year.  Since it’s release, some 800 high school football players from across the country have downloaded and created profiles using the app which is available on the iOS platform for iPhones.

Despite the large number of downloads,  GridironStuds CEO Chad Wilson knows there is a ways to go. “The plan is to get this app into the hands of every high school football player in the country. When you think of it like that, 800 is a small number.  However, we are greatly encouraged by the early participation,” Wilson said. To aid in the efforts to market the app,  GridironStuds has launched a business crowd funding campaign on popular site IndieGoGo.com.

“Our focus is on creating an android version of the app, adding several of the great features we have come up with and marketing the app to not only players but fans and coaches.  With that in mind, we launched the campaign on IndieGoGo seeking support from the public to help us help student athletes,” said Wilson.

GridironStuds has set a goal of $50,000 for their campaign and are offering some great perks.  While donors can do so at any level from $1 on up,  Wilson is offering membership perks starting at $100 and has a great perk for large donors and businesses.  “It’s something I would do for my business.  I don’t want to go into detail, I would rather interested individuals visit the IndieGoGo campaign for the details on the perks.  I trust the public will get behind what we are trying to do here. It’s awesome!’ Wilson said enthusiastically.

You can visit the GridironStuds App IndieGoGo campaign and make contributions by visiting here GRIDIRONSTUDS INDIEGOGO CROWD FUNDING CAMPAIGN– You do not need to be a member to make a contribution,  anyone can support it.

GridironStuds to Launch Crowd Funding Campaign for GridironStuds App

Miramar, FL – May 20, 2016GridironStuds.com, a diviision of CEW Communications announced Friday that they will be launching a crowd funding campaign on Monday May 23, 2016 through well respected business funding site IndieGoGo.com. IndieGoGo was founded in 2008 and through their online community has raised over $900 million dollars in funds for start-up businesses worldwide.

GridironStuds is attempting to raise $50,000 to assist in programming, marketing and hiring of personnel to push the GridironStuds App into the college football recruiting market. The company plans on rolling out a number of exciting features in the app in the coming months. They are also plannning on launching an android version of the app prior to close of 2016. “We are excited about joining IndieGoGo to launch this crowd funding campaign. They are recognized as one of the leaders in the business of crowd funding and have great tools for both the funders and fundees,” CEW Communications CEO Chad Wilson said. “This is a great way for any parent of an athlete, fan of college football and corporation interested in reaching this demographic to help us develop this wonderful app for young student athletes,” Wilson added.

Close to 800 high school football players from across the country have downloaded the GridironStuds App since it’s launch in February. The company’s goal is to have over 2,500 prospects on the app by the close of the 4th quarter of 2016. GridironStuds will be offering several perks to supporters of their crowd funding campaign which will involve memberships and access to fan features of the GridironStuds App. They are also offering business sponsorship perks to corporations aiding them in their IndieGoGo campaign.

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For more information, contact CEW Communications CEO Chad Wilson at (954) 243-4051 or email Mr. Wilson at cwilson@gridironstuds.com.

GridironStuds.con is a college football recruiting website designed to assist high school football players in obtaining scholarships, college football programs in finding prospects and college football fans in getting up to the minute information on the recruiting progress of the prospects their favorite schools are recruiting.

Why You Won’t Get That College Football Scholarship

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

I see it every year and have been seeing it for about a decade now.  College football has become big business and it has only been superseded by the big business of a college education.  Now the mad rush is on to acquire college educations and obtain them at the deepest discount possible.

Our American culture has set things up to where we believe that the only path to success in life is through the securing of a college degree.  This ingraining of thought has led to the booming business of college tuition.  As the message of college degree = success has been downloaded to our psyche, the value of the diploma has risen immensely.  We all know what happens when something rises in value in our present culture.  When value rises the cost of said item is sure to sky rocket.  Welcome to the business of a college education.  Colleges you have never heard of will look you dead in the face and tell you that tuition costs $50,000 annually.  They won’t blink when they tell you that either.

Our desire for a college education has been a big windfall for both the college institutions and our government as we have rush to Uncle Sam to obtain low rate student loans.  The perils of the student loan are now being realized by millions of Americans and so they are seeking better options.  What are those better options?  Those better options reside in athletic scholarships.  Why go into $250k of debt to start out our adult lives when we can just grab one of these athletic scholarships that we think are for free.

You Didn’t Sign A Letter of Intent on National Signing Day. What Do You Do Now?

Many have deemed that academic scholarships are just too darn hard to get and too stressful to keep.  Athletic scholarships are where it’s at and there’s a growing segment that think “how hard could it be?”   Those attitudes seem to be present most in the sport of football.  Perhaps it’s because football is the most popular or because football hands out the most full ride and partial ride scholarships in college athletics.  Whatever the case may be,  I have encountered a growing phenomenon where young “athletes” and their parents think they can just go through the motions, do the minimum and the full ride college tuition scholarships are going to appear under their pillow like that tooth fairy money.

I have watched lesser athletically talented youngsters shy away from the hard work and the steps that their more athletically gifted counterparts take part in all the while expecting the same results.  You know who I am talking about.  I am talking about the above average 3.5 GPA student who is just good enough to secure a starting spot on a team not overrun with depth and thinks that because he’s a starter, the scholarship is sure to follow.  You even have some who are career backups who believe that because they attended all the team workouts and did the running in the summer,  a college owes them “one of those scholarships”.  It is here where I could post any funny “What the hell are you thinking” meme and it would be appropriate.

Lost or perhaps ignored by these athletes and their parents is all the “extra” work that has been put in by the athletes who  have made their pursuit of a college football scholarship and professional football career their lives.  The ‘fall in the lappers” as I will call them, ignore the track practices,  workouts with the trainers, the extra conditioning, 7-on-7 practices, attending of football camps, additional weightlifting, film watching, missed vacations, etc. that makes up the lives of the dedicated young athlete.  The “fall in the lappers” think that their trips to Vermont, the coast of France, weekend in Sanibel, etc. where they relax and have a great time are setting them on the course to play college football amongst 100 men who have ate, slept and dreamed college football since they were sagging in pair of Huggies diapers.

100’s of High School Football Players Have Downloaded this Very Important App

This mindset continues to baffle me.  I don’t see high school students being particularly outraged when their 3.5 GPA and 990 SAT score does not gain them an acceptance letter from Dartmouth.  However,  I am seeing youngsters of that same ilk burn with anger when their 5’8″ 165 lb. 4.71 stats don’t yield multiple offers from college football programs.  If you don’t fit the profile,  you don’t fit the profile.  What should have been done is one of two things.  Option A,  realize the physical limitations that you possess,  focus more on upping your academic profile and use football as a strong point on your resume when trying to pursue an academic scholarship.  Option B, realize your athletic limitations and despite them being a reality,  bust your ass to overcome them.  This would include outworking all of your teammates in your quest for athletic greatness.  You know what that would involve?  You guessed it right,  this big thing called sacrifice.  Stay after practice, lift extra weights, use athletic trainers if you can, attend camps, eat right, study the game, etc.  Basically,  do all of the things that the guys who are earning the scholarships are doing and then some.

Some people get lucky in life.  Sometimes things just happen for people even though they really didn’t work hard to get them.  There are times when a guy buys that one scratch off and hits the big time.  Those times are few and very far in between.  If that’s the route you want to take,  no problem but how dare you get angry when that scratch off says “sorry you are not a winner”.

’17 LB Dante Harris Is A Hunter

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Ask any hardcore football fan and they’ll tell you they love linebacker play.  In recent years,  the game of football has finessed itself into a padded version of flag football where-by quarterbacks and wide receivers rule the day.  However,  there are still some out there that can appreciate the physicality of the game and what it represents in the grand scheme of things.

Toughness is a word Parkview Baptist HS, Louisiana linebacker Dante Harris wears like a backpack as he patrols the field every Friday night.  Unafraid to mix it up, Harris has GPS on all ball carries on the field and will arrive at their location with some intentions.  Harris is not your drag down, spin around tackler.  When he comes, he’s bringing entire Schutt pack with him and that’s helmet along with shoulder pads.  There are many frames on Harris’ film displaying him hugging QBs, RBs and WRs as he buries them into the unforgiving gridiron sod.  Harris has a knack for diagnosing the play,  defeating blocks and achieving his goal which is intimately introducing himself to offensive personnel seeking unauthorized passage across the line of scrimmage.

At 6’1″ 22o lbs.  Harris has “that look”.  That look is the eye ball test for Division I football.  His game seems quite suited for an inside LB spot as his comfort zone seems to be in-between the tackles where men are at work.  However,  when Harris has to stray outside of the box to get a loose footed offender,  he seems to be game for the chase and gets his man.  With a player of this quality working the middle of Parkview Baptists’ defense this upcoming season,  they seem to be in good hands.

Harris was found on the GridironStuds App available for Apple iPhone.  Are you a high school football player.  Are you looking for a scholarship?  Are you a top ranked player?  Either way,  using the GridironStuds App is for you.  Connect with coaches and build a fan base with this great app.  Click here to download.

Watch Dante Harris’ Highlight Film – Click Here

’17 OL Mambuca Has A Big Body and A Brain to Match

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

You’ve heard all of the stereotypes on football players.  Get a guy in a big body and the automatic thinking is that all that time getting big left him little time to be smart.  It takes a small mind to think that way but let’s be honest,  there have been some who have made that type of thinking worthwhile.  That’s not the case with this up and coming prospect out of Gulf Coast HS in Naples, FL.

When Gulf Coast lines up to play football this season,  they will have a mountain of a man on their offensive line by the name of Michael Mambuca.  What they will also have is someone who could also be the school’s valedictorian.  Mambuca’s GPA reads like the 40 time of a speedy wide out.  At 4.54,  Mambuca’s GPA will earn him a ton of honors once he crosses the stage to collect his diploma a year from now.  However,  the honors he is after at the moment are on the gridiron.  Proving that he knows how to manage his time,  Mambuca has found a way to crush the books and his opponents on the field on Friday Nights.  One look at his highlight video and you will see that being in front of him under the lights is not a good place to be.

Being intelligent has it’s stereotypes too, especially in high school.  Being smart = not very tough.  Once again,  Mambuca defeats that stereo-type like he defeats 5 and 7 techniques on Friday Nights.  His highlight video shows him burying his foes and blocking all the way to the whistle (sometimes beyond).  Mambuca has that little taste of nasty that every effective lineman needs.  He’s a Division I caliber prospect who has recently started garnering that type of attention.  Columbia and Brown out of the IVY League are the first to jump on this multi-talented prospect with a host of others looking to follow suit.

Mambuca is one of many prospects who have downloaded and made a profile on the GridironStuds App.  If you are a high school football player that’s a college football prospect or looking to become one,  download the GridironStuds App today and start build a relationship with college football coaches and fans.

Check out Michael Mambuca’s Hudl highlight video – click here

Olympic Height’s 2018 QB Petillo Returns Memories of Jake Plummer

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Often times in the wonderful world of recruiting,  the emphasis is on comparing a current player to one who had success in the past.  Many times,  those comparisons can be forced as “analysts”, reporters and bloggers feel it is absolutely necessary to engage in this practice to validate a recruit’s existence.  However,  coaches can be found doing this as well.  A successful player can become an instrument of security as the blanket is to Lionus on the famed cartoon Peanuts.

There is little strain in the comparison I am going to make here in my opinion with 2018 QB Anthony Petillo.  Having played again Jake Plummer in college and watch him go on to have a successful career in the NFL,  Plummer instantly came to mind as I watched Petillo’s highlight video on the GridironStuds App.  Petillo is a highly ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2018 but one of the first things that will jump off the screen at you on his tape is his athleticism.  Petillo does quite well for himself running Olympic Height’s zone read offense.  Quite often you will see him pull the ball out of the half back’s belly and twist his way through the defense for sizable gains.  What you will also like,  if you are recruiting Petillo is that Olympic Heights also goes under center and he is very effective on bootlegs.  Whether he keeps the ball on the rollout or buys enough time to get a man open,  Petillo does well to achieve the objective for Olympic Heights.  If you saw Plummer play then there’s no way you don’t see the comparison to Petillo,  especially on the rollouts.

Zone reads and bootlegs are not all there is to Petillo’s game.  The 6’3″ sophomore can also stand tall in the pocket and drop the ball in on a WR who has found himself in a window of opportunity vs. the defense.  He displays the ability to change the type of throw needed to match the situation.  Petillo can put the ball on a lime or put some air under it to lay into the hands of a WR.  He also shows the ability to avoid a rush,  stay behind the line of scrimmage and find open targets down field.  Petillo is currently ranked as a pro-style passer but could easily rank as a dual threat as well.

Jake Plummer started off his NFL career on a Arizona Cardinals franchise that is not what it is today so the beginning was rough.  However,  Plummer’s years in Denver allowed him to display his full potential.  As a Bronco,  Plummer went 39-15 as a starter and tossed 61 TDs.  Plummer led Denver to the playoffs in 3 of his 4 seasons with the team.  Anthony Petillo,  early in his career,  is showing that same type of potential.  As a rising junior he has plenty of time to work on his game and reach the heights that Plummer did.

Are you a high school football player?  Have you downloaded the GridironStuds App yet?  Do it now and start build a relationship with college coaches and fans.  It’s the best high school football / college football recruiting app out there.  Click here to download.