’16 WR Isaiah Collins Plays Big for Flanagan

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

Before the 2014 season,  Flanagan high school was a relative virgin as it pertained to Florida high school football playoffs.  Only once in the school’s history had it made it into the playoffs (2013) and getting to the state semifinals was stuff that other teams did.  In this season,  one of those other teams became Flanagan.

One of the catalysts for this odyssey into new territory was a high powered offense led by senior quarterback Ryan Stanley.  Stanley racked up record passing yards to a bevy of talented receivers.  One of Stanley’s important targets during the Falcon’s major run in the post season was junior wide receiver Isaiah Collins.  Collins came up big in the 3rd round of the playoffs hauling in a pair of touchdown passes of 49 and 32 yards.  On display was Collins’ cat quickness and ability to find the soft areas of the defense.  To the naked eye route running seems to be something that anyone can do.  However,  those in the know realize that there’s an art to deciphering the workings of a defense designed to stop the offense from having success.  Collins has mastered that art and can find the loophole in any coverage and attack it.

Collins’ has been playing football since he could stand on his own two feet.  Tutored in the game since day one by his uncle,  former University of Miami quarterback Ryan Collins,  the junior wideout has little trouble figuring out the plans of the defense and applying his athletic skill to debunk them.  Collins’ was solid all season long but really saved his best work when it was needed most and that was during Flangan’s playoff run.  As teams became more determined to put the clamps on senior wide receivers Emonee Spence and Robert Foy,  Collins stepped up and pulled more than his own weight.  Ryan Collins is the offensive coordinator for the Falcons and has carefully crafted an offensive attack that shreds the weakness of opposing defenses.  His nephew quickly became a serious problem for teams trying to apply coverage to him after the fact.  Long schooled on the intricacies of effective route running,  Collins has mastered those tools not only through tutelage from his uncle and prolonged film study but through intensive off-season training.  Collins spent a significant part of his off-season working with former University of Miami wide receiver and now coach Kevin Beard.  The off-season work plus the seasoning by the Flanagan coaching staff,  has made Collins a player to watch as the Falcons attempt to defend their district title in 2015.

Standing at 5’7″,  Collins is not the athlete that would catch your eye in the pre-event stretches at an off-season camp but once the action starts,  you can’t help but notice all the important things like releases vs. press at the line of scrimmage,  use of deception in route running and catching the ball away from the body.  Collins is as adept at those factors that are important to a receiver as anyone in his 2016 class.  When the moments get big for Flanagan,   Collins seems to get bigger.

Watch Isaiah Collins Junior Season Highlight Video



Kam Chancellor Seals Seahawks Win with 90 Yard INT Return

They say defense wins championships and even though we are in the “offensive era” the Seattle Seahawks will have none of it.

Having already left his mark on the game with hard hits and insane leaps over the line in field goal block attempts,  Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor decided his team need more.  Late in the 3rd, Chancellor slammed the door on the Carolina Panthers 2014 season with a 90 yard INT return of a Cam Newton for a TD.   Game, set, match.

Watch Chancellor’s 90 yard INT return on Vine (or at least part of it)

Marshawn Lynch Beast Modes it Versus Carolina

It’s playoff time in Seattle and that can only mean one thing….. beast mode!

In the third quarter Russell Wilson hands off to Marshawn Lynch and the veteraimagen running back for the Seahawks shows you one if the reasons why we love him do much.

Check out out this Vine of yet another impressive Marshawn Lynch run….. Thanks for Asking!

Marshawn Lynch Tough Run vs Panthers



So You Want to Be An Underdog? Why Athletes Who Seem to Have it All Just Want to Give it All Away

Belief in Your Ability and Success Comes First

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

Have you ever seen the four touchdown underdog storm into a game vs. a bigger and better opponent and take the game over?  Have you seen them shock the favorite early on and jump out to an incredible lead?  If you have been watching sports for any amount of time,  you have certainly witnessed this situation.  If you’ve seen it happen then you have undoubtedly witnessed what I am about to unfold next.

The majority of the situations I just described end in this fashion:  Underdog comes out fired up and gets the early lead.  Some hold it or increase it into the the mid to late stages of the game and at some point it happens.  The underdog starts thinking about their history.  We aren’t winners they start saying to themselves.  We aren’t supposed to be in this position.  There’s no way we can beat this team and enjoy this success.  Right about that time,  the favorite starts making their move.  The momentum starts to swing,  the underdog begins to fulfill the self doubt despite all of the success they have been having and they get overcome with the adversity.  Game, set, match.  The underdog did not believe in their future as a winner,  they did not feel comfortable being in their position on top despite all of their success and so they fell into their familiar role as the loser.

Have you ever wondered why talented athletes from a clouded circumstance make unbelievably bad choices and derail their futures despite all that they have at stake?  The answer may lie in the study of the failed underdog losing a big lead to the favorite.  The same factors at work on the underdog team with the big lead are the same factors at work on the talented athlete from the inner city who seemingly has it all.  Both of the subjects don’t believe in their future success despite the richness of their current circumstance.  I mean really,  how do you lose a 28 point lead in the second half?  I’ll tell you how.  Every year that favorite beats you and does so soundly.  Many times in the past you have played teams like this and have been run off the field of play.  Once before you even had a lead and gave it away to this team or a team like it.  Every year we have a losing record,  just like we have this year.  Those factors plague the mind of the underdog and do so with more intensity as their lead grows.  Why does this happen?  The bigger the lead,  the more you have to lose.  The more you have to lose,  the more you think about how you have lost in the past.  This type of psychological Russian roulette is played at warp speed and gets you to the chamber with the bullet in it with the quickness.  You come from losing,  you are not supposed to be successful and so you drop the pass, fumble the ball, miss the tackle and fulfill the prophesy.  It didn’t matter that you were successful at all of these tasks for the last two or three quarters.

How do you go breaking into cars one week before leaving to play college football? Or how is it that you commit any assortment of felonies or code of conduct infractions when it is widely known that you have the talent to become a professional athlete or at the very least obtain a college scholarship at no cost?  I’ll tell you how.  Most everyone in your neighborhood is experiencing some type of obvious failure.  You witnessed this failure on daily basis.  You may have a large portion of your family members that have fumbled the ball in life.  Those that you keep company with have slipped off of the road of life more than a few times.  Some of the folks in your day to day life have even had success sitting right in their hands and now they are spending their days sitting on the crate in front of Circle K food store trying to tell people about it.  Losing is all around you.  It seems to be what happens to people who come from where you come from.  In your mind,  everyone in your neighborhood, in your circle, wears the same jersey that you do.  You are all on the same team and your team just doesn’t win the big game.

I have observed this phenomenon over and over during my 42 years on Earth.  It saddens me every time.  However,  the underdog doesn’t always lose.  Sometimes,  the underdog gets that lead, keeps that lead and wins the game. Sometimes that inner city athlete goes to college,  makes it through,  earns his degree or  goes pro and never has to pose for the judicial photoshoot.   In both cases,  there is one overriding factor always and that is belief.  A true belief in your future success,  in your ability to win,  in your right to achieve will beat down the seeds of doubt when they try to sprout a gigantic shade tree.   This is true for every team that pulls an Appalachain St. over Michigan type upset and in every athlete from an impoverished background that acquires the American dream.

You want athletes to succeed,  get them to believe in their future.  Do not assume that because they are highly touted that they are immune to the underdog mentality.  In fact,  assume quite the opposite. A kid with much to lose is often the one that is most fragile.  Dig deep into any upset and you’ll find that someone got that team to believe.  It could have been one player on the team, an inspirational speaker, the head coach,  a psycho strength coach in tight polyester pants screaming the word believe in their ears with each rep a player took in the weight room that week. You read the biography of any athlete that overcame their circumstance and there was always someone that encouraged them and believed in them.   It might be a grandma, an uncle, a coach or believe it or not their parents.  How about that?

You want the best for your athletes,  first believe in them.  Second,  get them to believe in themselves.  The history of their team is that of being in the losing locker room.  Show them and make them believe that there’s a place in the winner’s circle for them too.  Developing their physical prowess is nice and necessary but ignore the power of belief and you will be forced to recognize the ramifications of the lack of it.

’17 Prospect Wesley Butler Serving Up Mayhem Out West

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

Go West young man they say.  There’s gold out there. Well I don’t know about gold but 2017 Wesley Butler has certainly found a home at Mater Dei high school after moving from South Florida this past summer.

After spending his time learning the ropes in front of talented athletes at the former Florida 3A State Champs University School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,  Butler took his lessons and applied them judiciously in 2014.  Butler plays that new hybrid position that many defenses crave.  It’s that outside linebacker spot where a guy can either put his hand on the ground and rush the passer like a mad man or stand up and make the offense guess what he’s going to do.  Clay Matthews was the poster boy for the position before moving inside this season. Florida Gators’ Dante Fowler is another strong model for that hybrid linebacker spot.  Butler is the young high school version of this key defensive position.  You will see him come off the edge and enter the backfield like an uninvited house guest.  There are clips of him doing Terry Tate office linebacker type stuff as he takes quarterbacks and running backs to the turf with violence.  Butler has a nice blend of size and speed typically found in Florida bred athletes.  His development at Mater Dei has been exponential and should lead to high dividends for the Monarchs.  Quarterback high school could be getting rather defensive in the near future.

Mater Dei is a perennial power in Southern California prep football and it’s because they get players like Butler to perform at a high level.  One look at Butler’s film and you can see that he is playing to the max.  Offenses have to account for him but even when they do,  the results are the same as Butler puts a kink in the play design and turns 1st and 10 into a future punting situation.  The sophomore defender is certainly going to be one to keep an eye on for the next two seasons as Mater Dei battles with the likes of Serra, John Bosco, Corona Centennial and the other heavyweights in California’s Pac-5 division.  As the high tempo Southern California gridiron action is taking place in 2015,  this Butler will be dressed and ready to serve.

Watch Wesley Butler Sophomore Year Highlights – Click Here


2016 Dual Threat QB Eric Walker is A Baller

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

There was a time when everyone was looking for the 6’5″ QB who could stand tall in the pocket,  see everything and rifle the football to his playmakers.  In this new era,  teams have learned that if the QB can see everything then everyone can see him.  A stationary target in the pocket may not be what the doctor ordered anymore so the proliferation of highly athletic QBs is in full effect.  Quarterbacks that can escape the pocket and keep a play alive or gut the defense for big yards is what is in demand.  2016 Miami Monsignor Pace High School quarterback is just what the doctor ordered.

Walker is reminiscent of Russell Wilson when you watch him on film.  He’s not a scrambler by trade but has the ability to pull the ball down and hurt the defense.  His initial instincts are to look down field for the open receiver and even move around behind the line of scrimmage to wait for someone to break open.  However,  when the situation seems bleak,  Walker is a great athlete that can not only go get a first down but beat the defense for a long touchdown.  With the recent success of Wilson and other mobile quarterbacks,  colleges have been seeking the services of dual threat quarterbacks not only for run based spread offenses but for both balanced and pass heavy offenses.  When all else fails,  quarterbacks like Walker provide that added dimension that drives defenses crazy.

You will observe Walker on film using his quickness to avoid the rush and buy time for the big play down field.  It’s an absolute killer for defenses that must cover for extended periods of time when Walker is at the controls.  Equally as dangerous are the zone read plays that Walker runs to perfection.  He’s a good learner, who has been well coached to come skinny off of the read when he pulls the football.  He gets North / South through the defense in a hurry and sets up the downfield blocks quite well to crank out big gains.  Walker is certainly one to keep your eye on in this next recruiting cycle as a dual threat quarterback who is also athletic enough to play any skill position on the field.  No doubt,  Walker is a baller.

View Eric Walker’s Junior Year Highlight Video – Click Here



’15 WR Robert “Bam” Foy Has A Name That Sticks

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

If you grew up in my neighborhood,  every kid had a nickname.  Some matched while a  hell of a lot of them didn’t.  There was the 200 lb. thirteen year old that everyone called “slim” and the two time left back 5th grader who was referred to as “brain”.  2015 Flanagan HS, Florida WR Robert Foy is all about action when he takes to the field for the Falcons so when you hear his nickname “Bam” you can see that 2+2  = 4.

I do not know the origin of Foy’s nickname.  I would suspect that he earned it before his days on the gridiron but at this point in time in his football career it suits him.  Foy is a well put together 5’10” 190 lb. prospect.  Watching him run around on the field,  you are going to quickly think “Steve Smith” after the Baltimore Ravens leading pass catcher.  Whether Foy is running a precision route to spin a defensive back around or he is navigating his way into traffic to make a tough catch for his team to extend a drive, Bam is a word that may come to mind.  If you are a lover of the craft,  you will find enjoyment in watching Foy catch the ball with his hands away from his body.  It’s a trait that is foreign to many high school level receivers but one that seems to be an after-thought for this senior prospect.  Foy’s low center of gravity gets him in and out of his cuts with extreme quickness.  He is equally deadly inside as a slot receiver as he is on the outside vs. top cover corners.  His strength shows up on film releasing off of the line of scrimmage but even more so blocking downfield for ball carriers.  You’ll run back several clips displaying Foy manhandling defenders until they are firmly planted to the turf.

Wide receivers mostly come equipped with the term “diva” but not this guy.  Foy is a football player who’s physical nature and ability to get the job done led to him filling in at both tight end and defensive end when the Falcons were hit with injuries.  Perhaps filling in was not the correct term.  Foy caught touchdown passes from the tight end position and racked up some sacks when called upon to play defensive end.  There’s a strong chance he outplayed the person who was originally in those positions.  Coming into his senior year,  Foy did not have much fanfare.  As is often the case,  some high school prospects are late bloomers.  Foy did not really grow into the physical specimen that he is now until this most recent off season.  Colleges are starting to take notice but recruiting is tough for seniors when it gets to December.  There’s little doubt however,  that the school that eventually ends up landing this solid prospect will continue to learn the true meaning of the word “Bam”.

Click Here To View Robert Foy’s Senior Year Highlights

’17 RB Chance Bell Can Make a Fool Out of You

cb1By Chad Wilson – Editor – Gridiron Studs Blog

Twitter: @GridironStuds

Say the name Chance Bell.  It has a ring to it doesn’t it?  That sounds like the kind of football name that you would remember and one so perfect for a running back.  However,  there’s more to the prospect than the name alone. If you’ve had a chance encounter with Bell on the football field,  your ankles are likely still mad at you for it.  Bell is a cut master and we are not talking on two turntables.

Bell was a sophomore sensation for The Burroughs High School Indians in Burbank, California.  Moving from Las Vegas to Burbank,  Bell led Burroughs in rushing with 1,150 yards on just 15o carries (7.5 average).  In so doing,  Bell became the first sophomore in the school’s history to rush for 1,o00 yards. The sophomore prospect will dazzle you with vision, footwork and change of direction.  He flashes the elements that really excite college football coaches.  Bell will remind you of a young Edgerrin James who could slice an opposing defense like a butcher cuts meat.   For defenders it has to seem as though Bell has eyes on the side of his head as he makes moves on defenders that would appear to be outside of his peripheral vision.

Bell’s production will only increase as he adds size, strength and speed to his frame.  I can see him becoming a nightmare and three straight 1,000 yard season would appear to be a formality barring injury.  Watching Bell,  you realize instantly that he has likely been carrying the football for as long as he can remember.  Natural runners like Bell are what record breaking running backs are made of. I do not know the rushing records at Burroughs high school but I am fairly certain Bell will own them by the time he walks across the stage to grab his diploma.

Running back like Chance Bell is a problem for defenders in the open field as he does a solid job of setting up blocks and defenders for his myriad of jukes, fakes and escapes. Burroughs has not been a perennial power in Southern California but I suspect that their respect level will go up with Bell in the backfield toting the mail.  He is definitely one to watch out for in coming seasons as a top prospect in a hot bed of college football talent like Southern Cal.  Opposing teams and their defenders will spend the next two seasons trying to avoid wearing a dunce cap on Bell’s future highlight reels.

Check out Chance Bell’s Sophomore Highlight Video



’15 RB Prospect Daniel Ramos III Will Take You Where You Want to Go

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

Football is a physical game.  How many times have you heard that?  Even with all of the new rules that have been implemented in recent history,  football,  at it’s core, is a test of manhood and power.  Physical is the word that comes to mind when you pop in the tape of Timberview HS, Texas’ Daniel Ramos III.

I love to see power in the game of football and most coaches do too.  So if you’re a coach or a fan of power,  Ramos’ highlight video will bring you much pleasure.  His quick steps will remind you of Darren Sproles but he is bringing more punch to the defense.  If you want a more accurate comparison you would have to look to former Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner.  Ramos will flash some subtle moves to avoid the big hit from a defender when necessary but when there’s no way out,  he’s going to punish the defender that made the poor choice of trying to tackle him.  You will classify many of his runs as nifty while others will be described as violent.  Ramos also possesses one of the more ruthless stiff arms that I have ever witnessed at the high school level.  Clip after clip will show him doling out the punishment and gobbling up yards like Pac-Man after he has eaten a power pellet.

Lovers of the running game will take a quick liking to Ramos’ style as it suits many different situations.  He can break out on an opponent and turn a game around and he can also close out a game with multiple carries to run out the clock.  Ramos’ strength is also on display on film as well.  Numerous clips will show him dragging would be carriers who think holding onto cloth will be a solution.  It’s a bus ride for some defenders and Ramos is the driver.  Ramos is the kind of running back that makes defensive coordinators say “we have to rally to the ball men”.  Tackling the 2015 prospect is not a job for one man,  maybe not even two.  College coaches should see a prospect in Ramos that can fill many different roles in an offense and give their team an edge.  Ramos led Timberview in rushing this year with 1,054 yards, 14 TDs and a 7 yards per carry average.  If production is what you want,  Ramos can take you there.

Check Out Daniel Ramos III’s Senior Year Highlight Video

Rio Rancho’s Easton Bruere Trying to Pass His Way Into Recruiting Consciousness


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

What if I told you I had a high school quarterback that has thrown for over 8,000 yard in his high school career?  What if I told you he has thrown for 90 TDs since he first got under center?  What if I told you he has thrown for 31 TDs with 0 INTs in this his senior season?  What if I told you he threw for over 3,000 yards as a sophomore?  Finally, what if I told you he was the all time leader passer for the state in which he resides?  You would likely say,  he must have a ton of offers, how many does he have?  I would reply, he has none.  You would say, “oh he must be one of these 5’8″ guys playing in some small classification in his state full of church schools.”  I would reply with no, he’s 6’3″ 215 lbs and plays for the #1 team in the largest classification of his state.

Welcome to the life of Easton Bruere and welcome to the life of college football recruiting,  the inexact science.  Sometimes the formula for becoming a recruitable prospect is more complicated than the numbers needed to get a mortgage modification from a big institution lender.  It seems Bruere’s biggest crime may be that he plays football in the state of New Mexico, not known for being a recruiting hot bed in the landscape.  Bruere’s accomplishments have gone largely overlooked in the recruiting community.  His height, frame and will to succeed should not however.  Bruere has led his Rio Rancho high school team to an 8-0 record thus far on the season and all but one opponent have failed to come within three TDs of beating the Rams.  Opponents have found it next to impossible to stop Bruere and the Rams’ offense from strolling up and down the field on Friday Nights.  They are averaging 47 points per game and have scored 40 plus in seven of their eight contests.  Most anywhere else in the country,  such results would garner this QB some major college attention.  This has not been the case for Bruere who reports some interest from FBS and FCS schools.

The major problem for Bruere seems to be location as not many budgets are going to support trips to New Mexico where the thought is that there are only going to be a handful of prospects.  This prevents prospects from getting a full look from top college football programs.  History has shown,  however,  that programs willing to turn over every rock to find talent usually find themselves raising up a big trophy at the end of their seasons.  With Bruere assaulting the New Mexico record books with each passing game,  hopefully more and more colleges get to kicking over rocks in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.  They may just find a rattle snake named Easton Bruere ready to be a major asset to their program.


Check Out Easton Bruere’s Mid-Season Highlight Vid on Hudl – Click Here



Real Time Web Analytics