The 5 Star Handicap – Why Being Highly Rated Can Be A Curse

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

There’s the saying that you don’t know what you don’t know.  Nowhere is that more true than for the high school teenager.  Across the country and the globe, parents are going about the difficult task of trying to tell their teens what lies ahead of them in the real life descending upon them.  On the high school football gridiron,  football coaches are doing the same and for their top players,  the words of wisdom can fall on the deafest of ears.

Being a college football recruit can be a great experience.  Human beings always thirst for acceptance whether we want to admit it or not.  What says acceptance more than newspaper articles, magazine write ups, radio interviews and television appearances.  Such is the life of a top recruit in the 21st Century.  The more publicity,  the further out of touch with reality the recruit becomes.  Some recruits have a solid support system that can do a “decent” job of keeping the teen grounded but many other recruits do not.

High school football features athletes at various stages of physical and mental development.  Often times, there are players who have achieved the physical development a lot sooner than those that are around them.  In the game of football, that gives that individual a tremendous advantage.  For some top recruits it’s easy to go out and play when you are physically better than your opposition in 90 if not 100% of your games.  The games become easy,  the practices become boring and the bad habits settle in.  It becomes difficult to listen to those telling the recruit to work hard, keep grinding, challenge yourself when what the recruit is doing is leading to dominant performances week in and week out.  No matter how much or how hard you try to tell them that it won’t be this way in college,  they just can’t picture themselves not dominating at the next level.

The situation I described is a set up for failure for a lot of some of the top recruits in the country.  A small portion do continue to get by because they are just that much of a physical force.  All top recruits think they are that type of physical force.  Reality awaits them.  Other recruits are pushed through at their colleges because those programs are hell bent on making that 5 star recruit a success.  Reality awaits this player at some point.  Along the way,  the top recruit is not picking up the tools that equal long, consistent and steady success in the game of football.   When they land on campus that freshman season,  they are pounded in the face with reality.  Their lack of a work ethic,  intolerance for film study and distaste for conditioning makes them a 3rd team participant.  This leads to anger, despair and talk of wanting to transfer. Eventually it could lead to giving up on football altogether. The tough news is that your 1 star work ethic is not welcomed at any campus.  It may be tolerated elsewhere like a lower profile school but it will have it’s consequences.

As the media spotlight on high school football players continues to grow like wildfire,  the epidemic I have described in this article continues to spread like the plague.  We are reaching the point now where by the time they have reached their senior year,  these athletes have been getting some 7-8 years of media attention for their play on the gridiron.  The job of keeping a young athlete humble and hard working is getting tougher and tougher these days.

#1 Priority For Your Youth Football Player is Have Fun

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

Youth football is all the craze down here in the state of Florida.  Parks across the state on a Saturday morning in the Fall  are packed with onlookers filled with hope, pride and emotion.  Somewhere in those oversized pads and helmets is the next Aaron Rogers, Adrian Peterson or Richard Sherman.  Ask any or all of the parents in attendance and they’ll tell you that their kid will be the next NFL superstar.

As a father of two that have gone through the youth football ranks,  I am blessed to have the wisdom to reach back to the parents that are now embarking on the youth football journey.  I know my message will fall on many a deaf ear and blind eye because emotion fuels the heart when it comes to children.  However,  if I can reach the mind of a few,  I can help some kids have a chance to succeed in this sport but more importantly have a healthy relationship with their parents.

As a coach of youth football for seven years,  I would like to say I’ve seen it all but that’s not true,  the stories are still coming.  However,  I have seen plenty a parent ruin a kid’s love for the game with undue pressure to perform at unrealistic levels.  I was once told by an assistant coach who’s son was on the team that his son was “The Michael Jordan of the football team.”  Well what do you say to that?  The truth of the matter is that at ages 6-13,  the game will rarely ever be as important as it is to the parent.  Ages 6-18 are the fun years.  Those are the years where there are no bills, office politics, relationship drama, etc.  The last thing a kid needs is to endure hair losing pressure from a parent that’s keeping stats and charting performances of a player that is still waiting for his two front teeth to drop in.

I always told overzealous parents that wanted to predict their child’s assured trip to Canton this line “We don’t know anything until your child goes through two things,  puberty and girls”.  Those two elements have destroyed more certain athletic careers than any injury you can name.  So until they encounter those enormous hurdles,  let them enjoy the ride.

How do we allow the youngster to enjoy his time on the youth football field?

(1)  Support his game day performance good or bad especially if you never make it to practice.  The worst is the dad who I never saw all week going off on his kid on game day.  You have no clue how that performance on Saturday matched up with what was done Monday through Friday.  That 10 yard run that you thought should have been a 60 yard touchdown might be the first time he ever got out of the backfield with a ball in his hand.

(2)  Don’t coach his technique or scheme if you aren’t on the coaching staff.  The best way to screw junior up is by having him do things your way when that’s not the coach’s way.  You won’t believe the incredible techniques I have seen dropped on my coaching staff on a Monday night practice. Now the coaches have to spend the next three days getting the young man back on to the same page.  Needless to say he won’t be ready mentally for Saturday and guess what Pops,  you’ll be going off on him again around 3 PM Saturday afternoon.

(3)  Advise and I mean advise not punish him for the life skill things you see him doing or not doing.  Put away your whistle mom and dad.  The only coaching you should engage in should be on your son’s punctuality, effort, leadership and camaraderie.  These are the life building skills that will be the most important part of your child’s youth football experience.  Advise him on those things.  If you see him finish first in the pre-practice lap or not finish last if that’s where he normally finishes then please acknowledge that!  Tell him how that will make him better.  If you see him encouraging a teammate that just screwed up on game day, tell him how that will make him a dependable adult.  Your acknowledgement encourages this behavior in the future.  It also helps you when you “calmly” approach him about punching a player after the whistle, sitting on the end of the bench by himself or disrespecting a coach.  He will listen if he knows you will also recognize his good.

(4) Sometimes all you need to say when the game or practice is over is “good game” or “great practice”.  That one phrase on you way to a trip to McDonalds could be the Vince Lombardi of motivational speeches.  Now he can’t wait for tomorrow’s practice or next week’s game.  He wants to try and make mom and dad proud again.

As I reflect back on my time as a youth coach and parent,  I realize that the best games the kids played were the “throw up tackle” or “kill the man with the football” games after the real game was over.  I often saw kids that were not very good in practice or games turn into Michael Jordan in the post game “throw up tackle” contest.  One day,  I did have to ask why this was the case and here was the answer:

“because there were no coaches and parents there yelling at me.  I was just having fun”

With that,  the young man said a mouthful,  now will you listen?

Three Game Highlight Video Is Gold for Seniors

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

It’s your senior season and you have not received much recruiting attention.  The reasons for this could be multiple.  First,  you may not have played much so far in your high school career.  Perhaps you did play but you did not show much up to this point.  Another reason could be that you are interesting to colleges but they just want to see more.  Whatever the reason may be,  waiting until the end of your senior year to update or correct this perception of you with recruiters is risky business.  You can jump start your senior year recruiting by putting together a 3 game highlight video.

By now you have played three games in your senior season.  Hopefully you have been active enough to display your talent on film.  Don’t wait until your senior year is complete to put together a highlight video.  Doing so could mean that you are well into December or possibly even January.  Waiting until then to display your work is a recipe for disaster.  It is difficult to get recruited in those months if you are a senior.  It’s not impossible but it is indeed,  very difficult.  You can get yourself on the recruiting board at some schools by releasing a three game highlight video.

The rules on the 3 game highlight video are the same.  Try not to pack the highlight video with the mundane, routine plays that any ole Tom, Dick and Harry can make.  After all,  this is an attempt to show a college that you are better than the rest and worthy of playing at the next level.  A four yard run that did not involve any feat of athleticism or strength does little to make your case and may lead a recruiter to believe that this is the best you can do.  So if that’s all that you have through three games then you may want to forgo the three game highlight and realize that you need to step up your play.

If you have a good 10-12 plays that show you are something special,  go ahead and put one together.  Start with the best play first and go backwards from there.  Your 3 game highlight video is not a feature film with a plot and a build up to a climax.  You have to get to the point so if you ran back a punt for 77 yards,  that’s play #1 and not play number 19.  You have to slap that recruiter in the face right now with your abilities.  Keep the film short.  College football teams are in season and the coaching staffs do not have a great deal of time to watch recruiting film when their next conference opponent needs their attention.  A 1:30 long film is just fine so long as it shows off the best of you.  If you have been ballin through these first three games,  don’t waste any time,  make the video and get it out to colleges today.

If you are in need of recruiting help,  again my message is get it now,  do not wait for December and January.  If you aren’t trying to be the last one in line for the new Jordan’s then use the same mentality when it comes to recruiting.  Early bird gets the worm. provides recruiting help for high school football players from coast to coast.  Contact me today and let us put together a strategy for you.  Email for info.

Why Recruiting Service Can’t Be ALL Free

By: Chad Wilson
Twitter: @GridironStuds

Perhaps I’ll stir up some nests with this article but my real hope is that it appeals to the common sense of most, the good sense of others and the reality for those that are left (fat chance on that one Chad!).  I have heard the word from some who think it’s ok to demonize those who charge “kids” for recruiting help.  Those that charge and do a good job are not the enemy my friend and I’ll explain to you why.

There are several options when it comes to recruiting help.  Let me lay them out to you.  First you can get recruiting help for free.  Nothing really wrong with that unless you expect that help to be of strong quality.  Let’s take a look at this.  If the help is of strong quality then it will at some point be in high demand. If it’s in high demand then it seems many will be using it.  If many are using it then how much help can it be?  Those offering free help are usually doing so with great intentions.  However,  free recruiting help being used by the masses often means sending out a link to your highlight tape along with basic information on you typically through social media.  That’s harmless.  However,  it has limited effectiveness when hundreds are being helped this way.  Hopefully a school will notice your link, click on it and watch you.  Simple math and probability says the more that use it, the less of a chance that is.  A service like this is good but goes best when accompanied by additional help.  For free services to get more in-depth,  it would need the help of additional people and additional people need to be paid and where’s that money going to come from?  This is simple economics at work,  supply, demand and compensation.

Second,  there are services that don’t charge the “kid” but charge the colleges.  On the surface this sounds great.  The recruit doesn’t have to pay for anything,  the recruiting service gets funds to operate and everything seems like Heaven.  Here’s the other shoe that’s about to drop.  A service paid by the schools only, will never have every school as a customer.  In fact,  they will only have a handful of schools as a customer.  So,  guess who that recruiting service is going to send your information to. Guess where that recruiting service needs to steer you to in order to keep that college as a customer.  This is common sense.  So for example,  the best place for you, the recruit, to go to is Utah but they are not a customer of  this recruiting service so Utah won’t get your information.  Instead,  your information will be sent to Syracuse.  Perhaps Syracuse is not a fit for you but they are paying that recruiting service $5,000 per year so guess where you are going.  Services like this, while they may help, don’t have you as their priority.  It’s a tale of common sense.

Finally,  there are the services that charge the recruit for help.  Those are the ones that people with an agenda like to make the enemy.  You hear things like “oh how could you charge the kids?”, “Unbelievable that you would take money from a kid to help them!” and an assortment of other things.  Cast a deaf ear to that noise.  Recruiting services are entitled to charge a “kid” the same way that a trainer is entitled to charge a “kid”.  Both services are in the business of helping the individual that stands to gain the most and that’s ……  you got it, “the kid”.  As with the first two examples,  there are business in this category that don’t do a good job.  It is in your best interest for you to do your research to determine who provides quality work and who does not.  This is like anything else you pursue in life.  You, the recruit, try to find out who’s a good coach, what’s a good school, who makes great shoes, games, etc.  Same applies here.  However,  a service that charges “the kid” now works for the kid.  If they are to stay in business,  they must serve the interest of the kid.  They are not limited in the schools they can approach and since money means limited customers,  it means you don’t get lost in the shuffle of 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of customers.  This is not rocket science,  I promise. provides free services for potential college football recruits.  It’s free to create a profile on our site and add your highlight video.  With college coaches visiting the site,  you do have the chance for a coach to see your information.  On top of that,  we also offer “premium” services.  You know what premium means.  This means you need to pay and it also means you get more in-depth help with your recruiting situation.  That means we are going to put in some extra work to get you seen by colleges.  It also means we are going to do it right.  So the morale of the story is,  there’s nothing wrong with free as the headline may have suggested just taper your expectations when you go this route.  You may get help from a service that charges the schools and not you but you will severely narrow the choices and finally,  a service that charges recruits is not the devil,  it’s actually the one by circumstance that has the biggest burden of helping the intended subject and that is “the kid”! Top 5 NFL QBs in 2015

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

I recently tweeted my Top 5 Quarterbacks in the NFL and as with any ranking of anything, especially in the World of sports,  controversy ensues.  The biggest bone that people chose to pick with me was concerning the fact that Andrew Luck failed to make my top 5.  With all of the discussion that has arisen around this list,  I thought it best to write an article with my explanation of my Top 5 and also added a couple of notes on some of the guys that did not make it.

Before I lay out the list,  I must tell you that I consider decision making to be the biggest factor in being a quarterback in the NFL and thus,  that weighed the most in my rankings. A quarterback is a leader of a team and as with any leader,  the success of the group relies on the decisions that are made by it’s leader.  The President is judged by his decisions, the CEO is judged by his decisions and a father is judged by the decisions he makes.  Many fans, especially in this day and age,  want to equate stats and passing ability as the number one factor and for some,  it’s the only factor.  We live in this Fantasy Football era but fantasy stats don’t bring championships.

Now that you know this,  let me lay out the list

1. Aaron Rodgers

Why is Rodgers #1 because my eyes tell me so.  The easy thing for a fan to see when evaluating Rodgers are the gaudy passing numbers.  He has been at or near the top in QB rating over the last half decade or so.  Rodgers is perhaps the most physically gifted signal caller in the league.  He is probably the best pure passer in the league right now and also possesses an underrated amount of athleticism.  Rodgers uses this athleticism to buy time in the pocket but also to sneak across the line of scrimmage at times and make the defense pay for running man coverages with one or more safeties high.  However,  Rodgers’ greatest gift is decision making.  He just does not turn the ball over and put the defense in a bind. In three of the last four seasons,  Rodgers has boasted a TD / INT ratio of greater than (+30).  No other QB on this list can make such a claim.  It’s amazing that Rodgers only holds one Super Bowl ring but that’s the only knock one can really make on this lights out signal caller.

2. Tom Brady

It would be hard to keep the man with the most Super Bowl rings of any active QB off this list and there’s no reason to.  The reigning Super Bowl champion QB may have sagged some balls but he has proven his worth in this league time and again.  With 4 Super Bowl rings in his jewelry box,  it’s obvious that Brady can make the right moves on the field.  Last season, Brady was asked to hand the ball off more in an era in which balls have been filling the air and Brady complied.  The result was a return to the top of the mountain after a 9 year drought.  Brady has also made an even more important decision at several times during his career and that is to take less at the negotiation table because he knows football is the ultimate team game.  This is something that leaders do.  Not only is Brady an effective passer but he has earned the respect of his teammates to the level where they can all give their most because they know it will pay off.

3. Russell Wilson

This is one of the picks that caught quite a deal of heat.  I guess all these fans work for the Seattle Seahawks front office.  Nevertheless,  playing QB is not all about throwing the football.  Again,  its about making decisions.  Outside of Aaron Rodgers,  Wilson is perhaps the best decision maker in the league right now.  While fans want to be impressed by the throws made by some of the other names that didn’t make this list,  I continue to be impressed by the throws Russell Wilson doesn’t make.  If you don’t believe that QB decisions aren’t the biggest factor in team success, watch the last play of our last Super Bowl. The one time that Wilson makes a bad decision in a key time,  the Seahawks go down. So talk to me about how great their defense is and how great their running back is.  Russell Wilson holds this team in his hands. Not only does he make A1 passing decisions,  he’s as good as they come when it comes to deciding when to pull the ball out on the zone reads.  Quite simply,  Russell Wilson does not put his team in position to lose.  It’s also not like he has a world class receiving corps to throw to.  Some of that defensive success that the Seahawks are experiencing has to do with them facing less plays overall and less plays in their red zone than most other teams.  Credit,  Wilson’s ability to protect the ball and make quality decisions with the football.  This ability to make wise decisions has put the Seahawks in the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons with only one dumb play call and bad decision keeping them from being the first back to back Super Bowl winners in a decade.

4. Joe Flacco

This pick drew the most venom.  I guess it’s easy to attack Joe Flacco if you are Joe fan.  He’s not as sexy as Rogers or Brady or Manning or Brees or Luck when it comes to putting up numbers.  Cut Brady out of that group and Flacco holds as many rings as those other guys.  Since he became the starter for the Ravens,  they have been in the post season all but one year.  During those playoff runs,  Flacco and the Ravens have bounced the evil empire (New England Patriots) twice out of the post season and both times came in Foxboro.  You don’t achieve this feat without a QB that can make wise decisions with the football.  Flacco has shown up in the post season and that’s when you need your QB to be at his best.  The murderous route the Ravens had to take to get to their Championship in 2012 is something to behold.  Baltimore was a wildcard that beat the Colts then went to Denver and New England and out dueled two titans in the QB game to face a San Francisco team that everyone pretty much thought was going to take the trophy.  This doesn’t happen without some good decisions being made at QB.  Not to mention that Flacco has to deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals every year to get into the post season. Here’s a stat many fans don’t know about Joe Flacco.  In post season play,  Flacco has thrown 25 TDs and only 10 INTs.  His +15 spread in that department is better than Manning, better than Roethlisberger, better than Luck’s and better than Wilson’s.  Only Brady, Rogers and Brees rank better than him in that department. Wake up to Joe Flacco folks.

5. Peyton Manning

I guess most would say Manning should be number three on this list.  I am not impressed by gaudy regular season numbers.  They only serve to set fans up for disappointment. Peyton Manning has been entertaining in a video game type of way.  Two seasons ago,  he threw for a ridiculous 55 TDs but when it came nut cutting time,  Manning and the Broncos couldn’t bust a grape.  It has been a familiar scene throughout his career. Manning has a career that mirrors Dan Marino’s.  Impressive ability to throw the football and put up numbers but championships, eh that’s for other people who have QBs that are willing to have running games that lead to solid and timely defense.  Manning’s need to put up the video game numbers have kept him from the multiple rings.  He can look no further than to John Elway for guidance on this.  Elway was a ball throwing exhibitionist in the early part of his career. He was forced to learn that passing is pretty but the inability to have a balanced offense leads to ugly results in the big dance. Manning has not learned this lesson.  He has been at it longer than anyone else on this list and holds no more rings than any of them.  There’s a penalty for that.  Do it when it counts.  However, no one has done it better than Manning in the regular season and for that,  you must acknowledge him on a list such as this.  Besides,  has won a Super Bowl in his lengthy career.

Other Notable Near Misses

Ben Roethlisberger

A strong case could be made for Big Ben who holds multiple rings and had a monster stat year last year.  However,  I can’t put him ahead of Manning for obvious reasons and I put Flacco on over him because Ben makes those questionable decisions in the crunch that hurt.  In his post season career,  he has thrown 19 INTs against 21 TDs.  If you’ve watched him play you have marveled at his pocket wizardry but there have also been many times when you have had to scratch your head on some of his decisions. He was mighty close though.

Drew Brees

He was another one with an impressive resume that one could say deserved Top 5 recognition.  Brees and Sean Payton have presided over a gimmicky offensive attack by NFL standards that has dazzled folks in the regular season but has disappointed in the post season.  With the magical numbers Brees has put up over his career,  one would expect more post season success but that has not been the case.  Brees and the boys have only made the playoffs in 5 of the 9 years since he arrived in the Big Easy and are 6-4 in post season play.  Match that up against the Ravens being the playoffs in 7 of Flacco’s 8 years and owning a 10-5 post season record over that time.

Andrew Luck

This was the name most expected and wanted on the list. Pump your brakes.  For starters, you stat whores love Luck because he wins you Fantasy games on Sundays.  Luck has thrown the ball over 600 times in each of his three seasons in the league.  Of course he’s going to put up some stats doing that.  What Luck does not have that every other person mentioned in this entire article does have is a Super Bowl ring.  Luck certainly has the looks of a franchise QB and someone who’s going to have some great success in this league but he’s not yet a Top 5er.  For one,  he plays in a cuddly soft division.  Who wouldn’t put up numbers in a division that also has foot rests like Houston, Tennessee and Jacksonville?  Indy went 6-0 vs. those stone cold cupcakes in 2014 and managed a mere 5-5 vs. everyone else.  To drive home that point,  Indy was clobbered by post season foes Dallas (42-7), New England (42-20) and Pittsburgh (51-34) in the regular season.  What other guy on this list has that happening to him?  Not to mention that in the last two seasons,  Luck and the Colts have been embarrassed in their final game of the season.  A QB should be measured by his team’s success otherwise, guys like Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler start finding their way onto lists like this. Perhaps Luck will be a top 5 guy one day but not on my list, not today.

4 Big Things I Learned on My SEC Tour

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

The SEC is the talk of college football,  let’s be honest about that.  Either you are talking about how they are the best conference in college football or you are complaining about how the media has a SEC bias.  One way or another,  if you are talking college football,  you are talking about the SEC at some point in your conversation. A recent trip through some SEC schools shed some light on why that might be the case.

I recently took a whirlwind tour through six SEC schools (LSU, BAMA, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida) in seven days and learned some important things about football in the SEC as a result.  I will share those things with you in the article below.

1.  Winning In College Football is About Money

The biggest thing that stood out to me during the exhaustive tour through the SEC schools was that if takes a lot of money to be at the top of college football. When you tour the facilities, listen to the presentations and take note of all of the services being offered to the athletes,  you realize that you aren’t going to get it done on the college gridiron on a short budget.  One of the major reasons why the SEC is talked about is that they care a lot about their football and in return it brings in a lot of cash.  From underwater treadmills to round the clock dining,  college football athletes are “pampered” for lack of a better word.  They want for nothing in this conference which makes those who blow the opportunity even more mind boggling.  I will spare you the “in my day” speech from a 43 year old but will say,  things have changed mightily in college football through the years.

2. Indoor Practice Facility is A Must

Ask any meteorologist and they will tell you that weather is not an easy thing to predict.  It’s even more difficult to work around as mother nature does not have a suggestion box.  With this being the case,  if you want to get the most out of your allotted time with your football team per NCAA rules,  it is in your best interest to have an indoor practice facility.  Not having an indoor facility is like having a Maserati and no garage to put it in.  It’s hot in the South (yeah no $#@% Chad) and not only does an indoor practice facility protect you from the rain but it gives you a great option to escape the heat at times and get a little bit more work done in the shade than the next school who may not have one.  It’s also a great place to house a couple hundred campers and their parents for part of a camp. Five of the six schools visited had indoor facilities completed and the other (Florida) will have one completed in a month’s time.

3. Florida is the Arms Dealer of the South

One thing was present at each of the schools visited;  there was a Floridian on site.  In the SEC,  you either have a coach from Florida, players from Florida on the roster, hosting players from Florida or all of the above.  If you are in the SEC and you are not heavily invested in the Sunshine State then you are trying to become a millionaire by investing in CD’s while everyone else is in stocks and real estate.  Check your top teams in the SEC.  Many, if not all, have a dynamic player or players from the state of Florida.  It would explain why every staff has someone who is an excellent recruiter with ties to Florida and why each of these SEC schools will do all that it can to get Florida athletes on their campuses during the crucial summer months. Now the Florida angle should come as a shock to no one in the Florida area or the South for that matter but a trip to these schools sure drove that point home.

4. Construction is the Function

I’ve been visiting SEC schools for the last three years now and I can’t recall ever stepping foot on the campus of any of the schools without there being some type of construction going on involving the football program.  If they aren’t building new dorms for the players, they are building a new weight room or a new locker room or as in Florida’s case an indoor practice facility.  One thing you can count on every summer at a SEC school and that’s a hard hat and fluorescent vest being present around the football facility.  Every year there’s something new like Apple Inc.  You better have something new going up every year or in blueprint to show recruits or you run the risk of looking like your program is dying.  Build or fold.

There are a host of other things that you learn when you tour college football programs like I recently did but I would have to say that the 3 factors I outlined really stood out to me.  Perhaps,  in time,  I will share with my readers some other things I learned on this trip as it is always enlightening no matter how many times you take the trip.
About the Author

Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email:

HS Football Players Better Get Their Hudl Highlights on YouTube

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

The title of this blog entry is a little intimidating. Start telling someone they better do something and their antennas go up.  Well I had to get your attention somehow,  this is important.

Hudl has revolutionized the highlight video industry for high school football players.  Prior to their existence,  high school football players needed to obtain the dvd copies of their games, seek out a local film editor, negotiate a price for development and wait several days or weeks for their highlights to be made and distributed to YouTube.  Hudl eliminated all of those steps by allowing the players to login online and view their game film under their team account.  From their team account,  players could tag their highlights and create their own library of their best plays to then distribute as a highlight video.  Genius indeed and ultra efficient.

However,  all is not well.  Your Hudl highlight video is not REALLY yours until you make it that.  At first,  the highlight video belongs to Hudl and your high school football team.  This means that while it’s on Hudl,  you are at the mercy of Hudl and the high school.  Why does that matter?  I have been hit recently with a rash of stories about players who transferred schools or experienced a coaching change and can no longer view or have access to their highlight video.  What’s that mean?  That means good luck getting recruited if college coaches can not see what you can do on the playing field.

Some bitter high school football coaches have held a player’s highlight video hostage in retaliation for the move by the player.  This is a sad practice indeed but it’s life.  Not everyone is going to behave in a manner that is appropriate.  Other potential recruits have had their highlight videos disappear when their school has experienced a coaching change.

In life,  things happen,  this is the major force behind the billion dollar industry known as insurance.  For the high school football player,  your insurance in terms of your highlight video is getting it from Hudl, owning it and also getting it onto YouTube.  Hudl allows you to order your highlight video using a credit or debit card.  You can either choose the option to download the highlight video to your computer or have a DVD of your highlight video shipped to you via mail.  Either way,  it is in your best interest to have that highlight video in your possession one way or another.  It is also a very good idea to have your highlight video on YouTube,  a service that is frequented by a billion people per day.  That’s right a billion people.  Somewhere in there are many of the people you would like to have see your highlight video like college coaches, fans and media personnel.

If you do not own a YouTube account and would like to have your highlight video placed on YouTube, can provide that service for you.  If you do not own the highlight video,  we can download it for you and put it up on our YouTube channel that has over 600 subscribers and has had over 2 million views in it’s history.  We can also get a copy of the highlight video to you so that you can own it.  I don’t care how long you play the game of football,  at some point,  you will want to view your high school football exploits on video.  Own your highlight video.

If you would like to retrieve your highlight video from Hudl and put it up on our YouTube account,  send email to  There is a cost for this service but owning your highlight video and / or being able to see it whenever you want to now or at some point in the future is priceless.

About the Author

Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way.  Email:

Canes and Gator Fans Duke It Out on Instagram over ’16 WR Sam Bruce

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

Recruiting is fun isn’t it?  Fans get highly emotional about it and some swear it off but all of them will tell you that they love it.  Social Media has only heighten the awareness, stakes and the field of play.

On the GridironStuds Instagram account,  a battle of likes is currently in play as Miami Hurricane fans are going head to head with Florida Gator fans for the attention of 2016 WR Sam Bruce from St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

GridironStuds posted what is known as a “FanCheck” in which they post a picture of a college football prospect and ask rival schools fan base to like the pic if they want the recruit to play for their school.

On June 18th GridironStuds posted a picture of Bruce on their Instagram account asking Miami Hurricanes fans to like the picture if they wanted Bruce to be a Miami Hurricanes.  One week later,  they posted a second picture of Bruce asking Florida Gator fans to like the picture if they wanted Bruce to be a Florida Gator,  another school rumored to be in the running for Bruce’s services in 2016.

As of press time,  the Gators held a slight lead in the tug of war with 118 likes on the Sam Bruce Florida Gators pic to 114 likes on the Sam Bruce Miami Hurricanes pic.  Interesting. Everyone knows that fan support is an important factor in the minds of college football recruits.  It will be interesting to see how this one ends up.  If you are a Hurricanes or Gators fan and you are reading this,  click on the appropriate link for your team and get your likes in.

Check out GridironStuds Instagram account for future FanChecks and great high school football / college football content.  GridironStuds Instagram Account.

College Football Hit With A Rash of QB Transfers

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

It’s transfer season.  With the passing of each year,  folks in the world of college football this offseason have had the opportunity to use the word “transfer” with increasing regularity. Once a thing that was rare,  college football transfers are happening as frequently as a blown bulb on a Baylor Bears scoreboard. Most interesting during this offseason are the number of quarterback transfers that are occurring.  We seem to be at the point now where we are getting at least one per week.

Today alone, we were treated to the announcement of two.  Florida Atlantic’s Greg Hankerson, once a starter for the Owls, announced that he will be leaving the program in search of greener pastures. At the same time, one of UCLA’s quarterbacks, Asiantii Woulard, who was competing for the open spot with Brett Hundley’s departure, formerly stepped out of the race by announcing he would be transferring.

It seems more than anyone else,  quarterbacks are willing to do what they need to do to get their opportunity.  Nowadays, losing the QB battle in the Spring, almost certainly means someone’s going to transfer.  Former Oklahoma St. QB Dax Garman packed the moving fan for the 2nd time in his career this offseason when he announced he would be leaving the Cowboys to go to Maryland.  Garman began his career at Arizona before moving to Stillwater and then Maryland.

The biggest QB move this offseason was Notre Dame’s Everett Golson who just about upset the Florida St. Seminoles in 2014. Golson announced he would be joining the Garnett and Gold in 2015.  Of course,  all eyes are still on Columbus, Ohio as fans await to see if and who will be departing from the three headed race taking place for the starting QB job for the defending national champs.  The odds on favorite is Braxton Miller who will be a senior in 2015 and has graduated.  Just last week,  Urban Meyer announced that Miller would not be transferring nor changing positions for the Buckeyes.  That still doesn’t stop the public at large from engaging in the Braxton Miller watch.

List of QB Transfers in FBS this Off Season

QuarterbackOld SchoolNew School
Everett GolsonNotre DameFlorida St.
Jake RuddockIowaMichigan
Jeff DriskellFloridaLouisiana Tech
Mike WhiteSouth FloridaWestern Kentucky
Grayson LambertVirginiaGeorgia
Dax GarmanOklahoma St.Maryland
John O'KornHoustonMichigan
Vincent TestaverdeTexas TechMiami
Luke Del RioOregon St.Florida
Skyler MornhinwegFloridaColumbia
John FranklinFlorida St.undetermined
Greg HankersonFlorida Atlanticundetermined
Asiantii WoulardUCLAundetermined
Andrew FordVirginia Techundetermined

Interestingly,  the Michigan Wolverines end up with a pair of transfers this offseason with both being from the same high school.  Both Jake Ruddock and John O’Korn were state championship quarterbacks for St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

I am certain that this list does not show all of the QB transfers from FBS schools and I am also sure that we have not seen the end of it.  A trend is starting here and it’s one for us to follow closely.  Of note,  high school football quarterbacks,  you better start paying attention to what is going on.  Your signing day choice is not one to be taken lightly.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email:

College Football Recruiting “Package Deal” Defined

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

If you’ve paid attention to college football recruiting you’ve likely heard the term “package deal”.  Perhaps you’ve heard it but don’t really know what it is.  Well allow me to explain to you in this brief article exactly what a package deal is in the world of college football recruiting.

Package deal consists usually of two parties (but can include more).  The parties are two prospects.  One is the prospect that the school really wants.  We’ll call that prospect Romeo because the school is in love with the guy.  The other prospect is the guy a school is being forced to take so that they can have a chance to get Romeo.  We’ll call this prospect Ogre because to the school,  this guy is ugly.

Let’s take a dip back to high school before we delve into the inner workings of the “package deal”.  Remember in high school when you really wanted to talk to the pretty girl in school but were a little too shy to approach her?  You did know her friend who was a little less attractive.  You had no problems talking to her because there was no pressure.  Well, you talked to the less attractive friend to get closer to the pretty girl you really wanted to talk to.  Don’t act like you haven’t seen this you self righteous, sanctimonious, halo wearing…..  I digress.

Well that high school example has strong similarities to our recruiting situation.  Typically, the package deal is placed upon the college by the high school coach but more often by the handler or the term I cringe at the most these days “mentor”.  Usually,  the mentor / handler has promised the lesser prospect he would get him a big time offer and will fulfill that promise by holding a highly recruited prospect hostage.

This hostage situation is accomplished by telling the college you can have Romeo but only if you offer and sign Ogre.  Now Ogre thinks this is an awesome situation.  He thinks he’s going to go to a top notched BCS school,  climb his way up the depth chart and eventually be on TV playing for one of the top schools in the country.  Not so fast Ogre. Typically, the college program and the coaches resent being put in that situation to get Romeo.  Ogre really isn’t “their guy”.  Not only that, Ogre is counting against their scholarship numbers. Ogre is going to get treated like a walk-on who’s on scholarship.  Ogre’s opportunities to play will be severely limited and they WILL recruit over Ogre’s head.  This means, next year, they are recruiting a guy or guys at your position that they will readily put ahead of you on day one.

On top of that some schools may really need Ogre’s scholarship.  They are just hoping that you miss class, get in a fight, smoke weed, get caught cheating or do anything against the code of conduct clause in your scholarship so that they can release you like hot pot handle. In the interim,  many Ogres start to hate football, become discouraged and even depressed.  All the while,  Romeo is thriving.  He’s on the field playing, getting accolades and being discussed as a potential first rounder.  This further adds to your angst as you stand on the sidelines smelling Irish Spring fresh week after week.

The moral of the story is go where you are wanted.  Pride wants to keep you away from the lower level FBS school.  Pride is telling you no way I am going to a FCS school or Division II school.  Tell pride to shut up because pride has a quiet voice when depression starts yelling.

Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of a website devoted to promoting the talents of youth and high school football players. Wilson is a former college football player for the University of Miami (92-94) and Long Beach St. (’90-’91) and played briefly for the Seattle Seahawks (’95). He is also a high school football coach and father of three kids, two of which are college student athletes and another well on his way. Email: