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University of Miami QB Brad Kaaya High School Highlight Video

Chad Wilson – Editor in Chief GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @Gridironstuds

Before he won the starting quarterback job at the University of Miami,  Brad Kaaya was dropping touchdowns on overmatched defenses in Southern California.  As always in this day in age, there is video to prove it.  Kaaya’s video of his high school exploits is at the end of this article.

The 6’4″ Kayaa was not heavily recruited by modern day recruiting standards.  Rivals.com lists only six offers for Kaaya: USC, UCLA, San Diego St., Maryland, Boise St. and the University of Miami who he committed to in January of 2014.  Kaaya went 23-3 in his career at Chaminade High School in West Hills, California and rounded off his time at Chaminade with a state championship.  Kaaya was an All American his senior season and threw for 3,855 yards.

We can’t show you all of those 3,800 plus yards Kaaya threw for his senior year but our friends at UTRSportsMedia.com captured the best of Brad Kaaya’s on field exploits and put it in this great highlight video we have posted below:

Brad Kaaya High School Highlight Video – Click on Video Below

 


Recruiting School: Recruiting Camps, Should I Attend?

By: Chad Wilson – Editor in Chief Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @Gridironstuds
Email: cwilson@gridironstuds.com

One of the more common questions I get from parents and prospective college football recruits is should I go to a camps during the offseason.  There is no simple answer to that question.  The real answer is, that depends.  In this brief article below I give you the run down on recruiting camps.

Recruiting camps are the one’s put on by recruiting publications and websites.  So that would be Rivals Camp, Under Armour Camp, Nike Camps, NUC Camp,  FBU Camp.  Camps like that are the ones that fall into this category.  Your attendance at these camps has a lot to do with what you expect to get out of them and where you are in the recruiting process.  If you have passed the 10th grade and you have not secured an offer from a school then attending camps like NUC and FBU are not likely to yield you the results you are searching for.  After 10th grade, you are hunting for college offers. Both NUC and FBU are good for the younger crowd.  They can position you to get your name out there as a future prospect.  Attending these camps are best in the middle school years and in the case of NUC 9th and 10th grade.  No camp can really promise you that they can get you an offer so wipe that thought out of your head.  NUC and FBU are great for a young prospect to get the feel of what it is like to compete against other prospect, go through drills and do physical tests.  Those things can be stressful, so exposing a young player to this pressure early can pay off down the road.

The Rivals, Under Armour and Nike Camps have their place as well.  However,  if you are not a highly recruited athlete and don’t possess some unique physical characteristics (excessive height or speed) then your chances of being disappointed at one of these camps is high.  The name of the game at these camps is to try and find the Five Stars and that usually means athletes with standout physical traits.  Again that is height and speed.  What you will get out of it is competition against some of the elite athletes in your area or in the country.  Yes, you may do quite well against those 5 star type athletes and you may very well still go unnoticed.  What you can take from that is confidence that you can compete.  What you shouldn’t do is get frustrated because I have already told you what the name of the game is.  These camps are also very good at showing you where you may need to improve.  If you have excessive height and speed, by all means,  hit these camps and get your name out there.  Shoot for one of those prestigious events like The Opening, Rivals 5 Star Challenge, Under Armour All Star Game or Army All American Game.  If you don’t fall into that category,  still go and compete but don’t get all worked up if you name is not featured in a prominent article after the camp even though you tore it up.

For those that are not in the elite recruit status,  there are some better options for you in terms of camps as you reach nearer the end of your high school career.  I will discuss those options in a future article regarding camps.

For now,  if you need assistance with your college football recruiting or have a recruiting question,  feel free to email me at: cwilson@gridironstuds.com.  Also follow GridironStuds on Twitter: @Gridironstuds


Top 10 Teams in South Florida Week One 2014

The football season is young and there is much to debate when you have a list after one week of play.  However,  this is how I see the top 10 teams in South Florida after kickoff classic play. To hear my reasons why for these rankings,  listen to the rebroadcast of the Gridiron Studs Show on Blog Talk Radio from Tuesday 8/26/14 Click here.

Top 10 South Florida High School Football Teams

1. Booker T. Washington
2. Miramar
3. Miami Central
4. St. Thomas
5. American Heritage
6. Flanagan
7. Cypress Bay
8. Carol City
9. Miami Northwestern
10. Coral Gables

Listen to the Gridiron Studs Show M-F at 10 AM on Blog Talk Radio

 

 


GridironStuds.com Top 10 College Football Players in Florida

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

On Tuesday’s GridironStuds Show,  I gave out my list of the Top 10 College Football Players in the State of Florida.  What are your thoughts? What would be your top 10 list?  Who is your top college football player in Florida.  View my list below.  For explanations on the list,  listen to the rebroadcast of the 8/26/14 GridironStuds Show on BlogTalkRadio – Click here.

1. Jameis Winston – QB – Florida St.
2. Duke Johnson – RB -Miami
3. Vernon Hargreaves – Florida
4. Stacy Coley – WR – Miami
5. Rashard Green – WR – Florida St.
6. Denzel Perryman – LB – Miami
7. Dante Fowler – DE – Florida
8. Mario Edwards – DE – Florida St.
9. Karlos Williams – RB – Florida St.
10. Cameron Erving – OT – Florida St.

Listen to The Gridiron Studs Show M-F at 10 A.M. on Blog Talk Radio


Rumors and Wires: Week of August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Top 2015 WR Vann Jefferson has committed to Georgia. Bulldogs continue to pull down top recruits for the 2015 cycle

Highly recruited 2015 LB Tevon Coney Palm Beach Gardens HS, FL will take 3 official visits: Notre Dame, Florida and Ohio St.

Recent Ohio St. commit 2015 DB Carlton Davis says he will take official visits to Ohio St. and Florida.

Recruiting School: How to Make A Highlight Video When You Play Multiple Positions

peppersplitBy: Chad Wilson – Editor in Chief – GridironStuds Blog
Twiiter: @GridironStuds

If you play multiple positions on your high school football team it means a couple of things.  First you are a good football player and second you are valuable to your football team.  This also means that at the end of the year,  you are going to have your fair share of highlights to put on your highlight video.  With so many highlights, your video has to be good.  However,  there is a right way and a wrong way to make your highlight video when you are a multi-position player.

The standard way for most players to go about this is to put all of their plays from their primary position at the beginning of the video.  Then,  after about five minutes of that,  they will put their plays from their secondary position and other positions.  In the normal world of doing things,  that certainly makes sense.  In the world of making a highlight video that you want college coaches to watch,  that is the absolute wrong thing to do.

Remember that your highlight video is a demo of what you can do.  It’s your calling card.  Your highlight video has to invite and entice the college coach into seeking more information about you.  They do not have time to watch a nine minute highlight video.  At some point the plays from your primary position are going to be routine and the coach will more than likely move on to the next tape and never see what you can do at those other positions.  As I have said before,  most coaches will determine within the first 30-45 seconds of your highlight video if you have the ability to play for their program.  So why not make that 30-45 seconds the best of you.

So how do we give your multi-position highlight video that pow that makes them say wow.  It’s simple,  put your best plays first regardless of what position you made them from.  Furthermore, I would recommend the early part of your video show the best play from each position you played.  So for instance,  you play WR, DB and you return kicks.  Here’s what the first 6 plays of your video should look like:

Play #1:  50 yd TD reception
Play #2:  85 yard kick off return for TD
Play #3: 25 yard INT return for TD
Play #4:  40 yard slant pass caught where you broke a tackle and scored a TD
Play #5:  big hit on receiver that caught a ball across the middle
Play #6:  55 yard punt return for a TD

That’s a whole lot better than making that coach wait 6.5 minutes to see that 85 yard kick off return because that’s where you put all your special teams plays on your highlight video.  With the example above,  you have caught the attention of the wide receiver coach,  defensive back coach and the special teams coach for the program you are interested in playing for all in the first 30 seconds.  Now you have three times the chance of being recruited by that program as at least one of those coaches may see the value in you as a player.

If you have made a quality amount of plays at each position you can continue the pattern of one offensive play, one defensive play then one special teams play.  If the plays are routine,  first of they should not be on your highlight video but slide those routine plays further back in your video.  Put all the explosive, spectacular plays closer to the front.  You want to display what kind of athlete you are. Programs are in love with recruiting athletes these days.  They favor that over great high school players.  They are recruiting body types and playmakers.  Appeal to that with your highlight video.  They figure they can always mold you into what they want.

I would also recommend that you then go ahead and make a longer version of your highlight video where you put all of your plays in compartments or even use the Hudl program to make a special teams highlight reel, an offensive highlight reel and a defensive highlight reel.  However,  that SHOULD NOT take the place of your short highlight video ( 2 to 4 min.) that shows the best plays from each position mixed together.

Just some food for thought as you go about compiling those highlights for the great season you are about to have on the GRIDIRON.

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Recruiting, Like Beauty Contests, Has A Lot to Do With Looks

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

I hear it all the time in the recruiting game.  Coach I ran for 30 touchdown last year or my son dominated that #1 recruit at the camp how could he not have any offers?  He’s much better than that top recruit.  In the college football game,  even more than the NFL draft process,  the name of the game is projection and that has a lot to do with how you look.

College football coaches are faced with the task of trying to predict how an 18 year old will perform at the next level along with how much will he grow physically and mentally.  This is not an easy task.  Often times,  despite the results,  a college coach will make the determination that a prospect has maxed out his potential in high school and will not likely improve enough to see those same results at the college level.  If you are a high school coach, parent or player you may have witnessed that in the youth leagues.  There have been many youth league super stars that dominated because they grew faster than their counterparts.  As a result, they scored all the touchdowns, had all the sacks and made all the tackles on Saturday afternoons.  We have all witnessed some of those same Pop Warner superstars fall off tremendously in high school when they did not get much taller or bigger and could not dominate the high school kids who were not their equal.

For college coaches,  having a scenario play out like that for them could cost them their job.  Going out and pulling in the 5’7″ cornerback that had 10 interceptions his senior year represents an extreme risk for a college coach.  To get that player an offer from the head coach who did not see him in person would require that assistant coach to stand on the table and fight for him.  Once that coach has gone to bat for that recruit, he now owns him for the next four to five years.  If that 5’7″ defensive back can not cover the 5’11″ – 6’3″ wide receivers at the college level,  that assistant coach will be reminded of that on a daily basis by the rest of his coaching staff and the head coach.  It can also ruin his credibility out on the recruiting trail.  No coach wants to get his wings clipped as a recruiter.  By wings clipped,  I mean that coach having to call back to the office every time they want to offer a recruit or lose a very fertile recruiting area because the head coach wants a better evaluator of talent there.

So while you may be an outstanding talent who is making plays on the field in high school,  being under sized or not very fleet of foot makes things difficult for you in the recruiting game.  So what do you do?  Do you quit playing football?  That is certainly not the answer.  What you do have to be is realistic.  If you are putting up numbers and you have been to the college camps and they still are not calling your name,  adjust your focus to schools that are more likely to give you a chance.  This may mean that you thought you were a Division I football player but must now slide down to Division II, Division III or even NAIA schools.  It’s a harsh reality for some but it’s also called staying alive.  If your dream is to play NFL football,  your chances are increased by being on the field more than not being on the field.  That is just common sense.   Walking on at a school that has made it a mission to recruit 6 ft. corner backs or 4.4 wide receivers when you stand 5’7″ or run a 4.7 will only lead to immense frustration.  Choosing a school that is in the position of having to sign highly productive football players is much more to your advantage.  No,  you won’t be playing on ESPN or on ABC at 8 P.M. on Saturday Night but you will be playing.  You don’t know what the next level will bring you.  Getting a scholarship whether full or partial will open you up to a whole new world of opportunities. Some of those opportunities on the field and quite a few off the field.  Either way,  they are opportunities you are presented by getting into school and not by staying at home.

Do 6’3″ prospects and 4.3 athletes bust in college. Absolutely but it’s a much easier pill to swallow and a much smoother explanation for an assistant coach that is faced with the daily specter of job insecurity.  Coaches get fired as easy as the wind changes direction and fewer are willing to take risks that could short cut their career.  You have to have that understanding as you go through the recruiting process.  Take your shot at the highest level but also know when to make your retreat and secure your scholarship offer elsewhere.

Food for thought.  The trick in college football as it is for NFL players is to make a roster and keep playing.  Keep that in mind.


Rumors and Wires: Week of August 18, 2014

This page is updated daily with the latest college football recruiting rumors and news.  Continue to check back

August 22nd

4 Star Joshua McMillion has committed to Alabama.

RUMOR:  Despite reports to the contrary,  2014 DT Travonte Valentine has not yet been accepted into LSU

August 21st

Top rated DB Iman Marshall says he will take official visits to Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, LSU and it’s a toss up between Texas and Oklahoma for the final one.

University of Miami TE Coach Larry Scott told recruit Shavar Manuel he will “quit his job” if he does not land the recruit.  Link to the story: click here

August 20th

Trinity Christian, FL WR Christian Barr has committed to Utah

August 19th

The Miami Hurricanes have landed a commitment from 4 star safety Jaquan Johnson Killian HS, Miami, FL

2016 Coconut Creek defensive backs Trayvon Mullen and Maleek Young have both received offers from Virginia Tech

The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) has denied top rated WR Calvin Ridley’s appeal for hardship.  Ridley will not be eligible to play this season after the 3rd game.

August 18th

Top rated WR Tyron Johnson released his Top 10 schools.  Here they are: Texas A&M, Texas Tech, LSU, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Florida and Tennessee

 

Recruiting School: Grey Shirt, what’s that?

By: Chad Wilson – Editor in Chief – GridironStuds.com Blog
Follow on Twitter:   @Gridironstuds

We’ve all heard the term red shirt in the college football lingo.  It’s basically when a college program decides that a freshman will have little impact on the playing field or court in the upcoming season and would benefit from not using a year of live action eligibility.  The coach of the team decides to “red shirt” the individual thus giving them a year to grow, learn or even rehab an injury.  All individuals competing in interscholastic sports have five years to complete four years of live action.  So a redshirt is afforded to all parties competing.

A lesser known term out there is called a grey shirt.  This has come into play more often over the last half decade.  The practice has stemmed from another more common practice now of over signing by college programs.  The practice has also been more commonly used by college football programs.  Basically,  a team will sign more than their allotted amount for a giving signing period.  In an effort to avoid the penalties of doing so,  the team will defer the enrollment of one or more players in their February signing class till the Spring semester after the Fall semester the athlete would have normally entered in.

So, Joe Smith,  for example, signed a letter of intent in February 2014.  He would normally enter and enroll in school in August 2014.  However,  instead of enrolling in August,  he will now enroll in January of 2015.  That is what is known as a grey shirt.  What this allows the team to do is count the player against the following signing period.  Each Division I school is allowed to sign 25 players each signing period.  By using the grey shirt,  a school can sign 27,  for example and grey shirt two players and have them count towards the next recruiting cycle.

What does the grey shirt mean to the individual athlete?  Normally,  the school will direct the athlete to a junior college where they can take college courses under one important stipulation:  the athlete can not take 12 credits or more.  Taking 12 credits or more of college courses will essentially start that athlete’s “eligibility clock”.  This means that, although the player is not on campus, practicing or playing with the team,  their eligibility to play would have started and the Fall semester will count.

What the players will normally do is go to the junior college,  take less than 12 credits (for which they are responsible to pay for),  freeze their eligibility and then start their eligibility clock in the spring semester.  The advantage in doing this is giving the player an additional spring semester to use during their eligibility.  So, rather than entering school during the semester in which competition will begin,  you enter the school in a spring semester giving you more preparation time before your first semester of competitive play.  This is sorta of the opposite of early enrollment.

Who typically gets offered a grey shirt?  A grey shirt is typically offered to a player that coaches feel are not a strong candidate to contribute to the team right away.  This individual,  in the eyes of the coaching staff is more likely to redshirt in that Fall Semester than get actual meaningful snaps.  Rather than starting eligibility now,  the athlete can start in the spring and get more practice time under their belt.

Many athletes view the grey shirt as a negative because it’s a shot to their ego.  They feel it implies that the player is not good enough to compete right away and thus the school wants you to wait and come in later. It’s a quasi form of rejection.  However,  it should not necessarily be looked at that way.  First,  the school offered you a scholarship and accepted your letter of intent so they want you.  Second, they are being realistic iabout your immediate role on the team.  Perhaps they are really excited about your potential and are looking for the best way to maximize it.  Third, you would benefit from the extra semester of taking college courses and adapting to teaching the college way.  Finally, you also benefit from being able to practice in the spring,  learn the schemes and build your body up before actual competition takes place.  Of course,  explaining this to your boys and withstanding the jabs on social media may prove too tough for most adolescents to handle.  If you are strong minded enough and can see the plan for your future,  a grey shirt could work strongly in your favor.


Six College Cornerbacks You May Not Know but Need to in 2014

By: Chad Wilson – Editor Gridironstuds.com

College Football is a big game full of a lot of players.  Many of them are very good.  With the advent of the spread offense and wide open passing games,  college football secondaries have a spotlight on them.  Many players shined in 2014 and quite a few were underclassmen who will return in 2014.  You know the major names at the major programs like Ifo Ekpre-Olomu at Oregon, Vernon Hargreaves at Florida and Quandre Diggs from Texas but I have found six cornerbacks sliding under the radar that were major playmakers for their teams in 2013.

 

#6 Steven Nelson – Oregon St. – 5’10 192 lbs. – Senior

With all eyes on Oregon St. senior cornerback Rashaard Reynolds in 2013,  opposing teams thought it best to try the new name on the other side of the field.  It didn’t take long for them to find out that there were better strategies out there.  Not only did Nelson lock down opposing receivers with stingyness of a certified public accountant but he made plays that mattered too.  Nelson tied with Reynolds for the team lead in interceptions with six and ran one back for a touchdown.  In addition, he added 62 tackles and led the team in pass breakups with eight.  His highlight video is one to watch as you will be inspired by his high energy play. Teams may shy away from him in 2014 but when they forget,  something tells me Nelson will be eager to remind them why they didn’t throw there in the first place.

 

#5 Greg Henderson – Colorado – 5’11″ 185 lbs. – Senior 

After laying low for the first two years of his Buffalo career,  Henderson jumped to the forefront in 2013.  Playing for a Colorado team that didn’t do much winning or playing defense,  Henderson was a gem in the Colorado secondary.  His exclusion from the 2014 Jim Thorpe watch list can be classified as a snub directly related to Colorado’s present low stature in major college football. Henderson led the Buffs with four interceptions last season returning one of those picks for six.  He also added 58 tackles along with defending a team high 10 passes.  Henderson even addd a forced fumble making him one of the more productive defensive backs in hte entire Pac-12. The hopes is that Colorado will improve in 2014 but if Henderson can turn in a 2014 like 2013,  he will become an intruiging NFL prospect.

#4 Jordan Lucas – Penn St. 6’0″ 193 lbs. – Penn St. – Junior 

Penn St. is no longer the major player in the Big 10 like they used to be but it doesn’t mean they don’t still play good football.  Leading the charge on that on defense is cornerback Jordan Lucas.  The 2014 Jim Thorpe Watch List member snagged three interceptions in 2013 while providing tight coverage on the top wide receivers Penn St. faced.  On top of the interceptions, Lucas had 65 tackles and 10 PBUs.  He also added a pair of forced fumbles to help Penn St. stay above .500 in 2013.  He will be a much watched player in Happy Valley this season.

#3 Kendall Fuller – Virginia Tech – 5’11″ 193 – Sophomore

There are many who will line up to tell you just how hard the transition from high school to college football is but Kendall Fuller laughs at that suggestion.  This true freshman who played along side his newly NFL drafted brother at Virginia Tech in 2013, bursted on the scene in grand fashion.  Fuller was what many keen analysts thought he would be as a college football player only he did it sooner.  Making plays was Fuller’s forte as he hauled down six interceptions to lead the Hokies secondary.  He also lead the team in passes defended with 11 and was one of seven Hokies to force a fumble last season.  Fuller will be lurking around the Virginia Tech secondary in 2014 ready to add to this already impressive resume of big plays in his college football career.

#2 Lorenzo Doss – Tulane – 5’11″ 175 lbs. – Junior

The Tulane Green Waves secondary is one of the best kept secrets in college football.  The unit is made up of quartet of playmakes of which Doss is the biggest creator.  Doss was the man in 2013 for the Green Wave pulling in seven interceptions for 185 return yards and taking two back to the house.  Doss was added nine pass breakups which amazingly was third on the team.  Doss has 11 career INTs for Tulane and will no doubt add to that number this upcoming season.  Enjoy watching these highlights of the Tulane secondary includes Doss wearing #6

#1 Djoun Smith – Florida Atlantic – 5’11″ 175 – Senior

Florida Atlantic didn’t do a whole lot right in 2013 but Djoun Smith did.  The sophomore cornerback was a regular Johnny on the spot when it came to big plays and provided Owl fans with a quite a bit of excitement in an otherwise dull season.  Smith had a team high six interceptions which he returned for 112 yards.  Included in those six interceptions was one that he took back for a touchdown.  Smith was also the team leader,  by a wide margin, in pass breakups with 13 and added 34 tackles.  The junior cornerback also forced a fumble to help the Owls’ defense.  It will be interesting to see how much opposing team go after Smith after the kind of 2013 season he was able to put together.