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The Revolution of a Mind Change; Why A Coach Needs 5 Years to Coach to Success

Saban was almost fired in year 4 at Michigan St.

Chad Wilson – Editor Gridiron Studs Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

The hot seat, the hot seat, ohhh the hot seat. Before the season they want to tell you who’s on it. As the season starts they wait for the loss and here come the stories about must win situations and possible replacements.  The media riles up the fans and the fans incite the media.  It’s a formed alliance by the two parties acting against the program, team, coaches and ultimately the season.

We live in an impatient world.  Even microwaves are too slow these days.  It’s too much to read more than 140 characters which is less than a paragraph.  We want our food fast, our feedback on the double and our results overnight.  We are not interested in building anything because quite frankly, that takes too much time.  We celebrate coaches that win right away and curse their name when they bolt for the next job the moment they reach that success.

Brady Hoke, Will Muschamp and Al Golden were part of several coaches entering into the 2014 season on the preverbal “hot seat”.  All have provided media members with delight by losing games as 99% of coaches will do during the season.  Fans of these schools have taken to social media to express their disgust, disappointment and displeasure.  They do it proudly feeling they are fulfilling their duties as a die hard fan.  In actuality, they are contributing to the demise of a season and in some cases, a program.

For any coach to reach the level of head coach, they have to maintain a certain amount of confidence and arrogance. You don’t enjoy success and rise through the ranks by not holding true to some principles and philosophy.  A coach quick to change his mind is one that fails to establish himself.  So when a successful coach has been granted the ultimate honor of being named head coach, it only makes sense that he sticks to what got him there.  What got him there were his philosophies, perseverance and confidence.  The layman (aka the fan / media) will see it as stubbornness.

History has shown us that a coach needs five years to build a program.  Why is that you ask?  Well, upon taking a job,  most successful coaches construct a plan much like an army general will do when heading into battle.  Also like an army general,  a coach can expect some difficult times which are dealt with using all the skills you obtained to get the job in the first place.  Most plans are constructed for a 5 year time frame.  Coincidentally,  most contracts are given for 5 years to start.  Five years allows a coach to take his first recruiting class from signing day to graduation.  A new coach is dealing with players recruited by the previous coach.  He’s dealing with individuals with a different mind set that must be changed.  In most cases,  he’s changing an offensive or defensive system or both.  He’s also working through assistants that are new to his way of doing things.  Maturing all these elements into the final product take time and unfortunately for the impatient masses that’s longer than two or three years.  Typically after four years,  a coach takes a hardcore assessment of everything they are doing and decide what part of the plan they need to stick with and what part they need to abandon.

Brady Hoke,  Al Golden and Will Muschamp did not forget how to coach when they landed at their current destination.  All three are in their fourth year with their programs and all three are facing calls from their fans to be relieved of their duties.  They are not the first to experience such unfortunate circumstances.  The mighty Nick Saban was a struggling coach in his fourth season at Michigan St.  and fifth overall as a college football head coach.  After three seasons of complete mediocrity,  (6-5, 6-6 and 7-5) Saban was sitting at 3-4 in 1998 after a loss to Minnesota.  He had open the season 0-2 with one of the losses being to Colorado St.  The Michigan St. fans wanted that “bum” Saban out of there. They were disgusted that the athletic director thought a man who had been a head coach for all of one season at Toledo was the one to replace the beloved George Perles.  Saban would go on to save his job by defeating then #1 ranked Ohio St. only to give back that good will with a loss to Purdue the following week.  When he ended the season with an embarrassing 51-28 loss to Penn St. and no bowl appearance,  Spartan fans demanded his removal.  Somehow,  some way Saban kept his job and that off season he had the 4th year assessment where he remained solid on some things and changed his mind on a few others.  Year five at Michigan St. saw Saban go 9-2 and set up a Citrus Bowl appearance for the Spartans.  However, by then, the damage had been done and Saban excepted an offer to coach LSU.  For his time at Michigan St.,  Saban worked his plan, stayed steadfast through the dark times and built a program.  He didn’t quickly change his mind in year three or four when things were going swell.  He stuck to his guns and made sure that before he made any changes,  he was sure what he was doing wasn’t working.

At LSU, Saban again began building a program.  After showing steady improvement the first two seasons (8-4 and 10-3), LSU took a significant step back in year three.  Not only did Saban’s LSU Tigers go 8-5 but they suffered God awful losses to rivals Alabama (31-7) and Auburn (31-0).  Questions began to be asked about this Nick Saban that struggled at Michigan St.  Yes, that Nick Saban that we recognize as the God of college football in 2014.  If Nick Saban’s 2003 season at LSU would have occurred in 2014,  we would have never have known his greatness.  Fans would have successfully campaigned through social media and allied with the media to have Saban run out of town.  Saban persevered and in year four,  the Louisiana State Tigers were crowned college football champions after going 13-1 and defeating Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.  How about that?

The University of Miami faithful have made calls for the return of Butch Davis to take over a Miami program that has been glued to disappointment for the better part of a decade.  Fans sure do have a short memory.  Butch Davis was almost run out of town by Hurricanes fans.  After going 8-3 and 9-4 in his first two seasons,  Davis captained an astonishing 5-6 season for the Hurricanes in year 3.  Yes,  Miami was feeling the pains of NCAA sanctions but no one expected a sub .500 season or a 47-0 loss to rival Florida St.  Davis would battle back to a winning season in year four but when the Canes were destroyed 66-13 by Syracuse,  Miami fans had enough.  They were calling for the return of Jimmy Johnson who was teasing Hurricanes fans by coaching down the street for the Miami Dolphins.  Somehow, Davis survived and went 20-5 over the next two seasons thus setting up what would be widely regarded as the best college football team in history in 2001.  Had that 66-13 loss for Davis and the Hurricanes occurred in 2014,  more than likely that great 2001 team may never have happened.  Why? Because in 2014 we love to fire coaches.

The history of college football is littered with examples in which coaches had a bad couple of seasons right before launching a program into greatness.  Things worth having take time achieving.  Along the way there is darkness and it usually comes before the brightest light.  Coaches and athletic directors that understand that usually reap the benefits.  There isn’t always steady progress in terms of wins and losses.  The path will at times be uneven and ragged but when you hire a coach you have to believe in why he is there in the first place.  Sure sometimes you make a bad hire but you don’t know what you have until five years have been completed.

Larry Coker replaced Butch Davis at Miami in 2001 and no man in college football history could have had a better start.  The Canes won the title in 2001 in grand fashion.  In 2002, they were once again undefeated before losing a heartbreaker in the Fiesta Bowl to Ohio St.  After just two seasons coaching at the University of Miami,  Larry Coker was 24-1.  This new era of fan would have issued a Coker a lifetime contract or at least a 1o year deal.  Fans nowadays think two years is enough to put a label on a guy.  Coker would go 11-2 in year three but the decline of performance would ensue over the next three seasons.  Eventually, Coker would be let go after his sixth season in which Miami went a disappointing 7-6.

Fans will want to point out examples like Jim Tressel and Pete Carroll as guys that came in and won right away and kept on winning.  I say to those people, do a little research.  Jim Tressel coached at Youngstown St. before Ohio St. and it wasn’t always pretty.  Tressel’s first year was 2-9  at Youngstown St. and after going 8-4 in his second year, Tressel fell back to 4-8 in year three.  How would have stuck up fans at some of these programs have dealt with that one?  Tressel would eventually get it together and go 11-1 in year 5 before winning the first of four titles in year six.   For those old enough to remember,  Pete Carroll was widely consider to be a joke after failed head coaching stints in the NFL for the New England Patriots and New York Jets.  Carroll had learned his lessons as Tressel did and was a well constructed coaching mind by the time he landed on USC’s campus.

For those that will mention Urban Meyer, I will say this.  Meyer has an amazing skill known as picking the great job.  He is the Leonardo DiCaprio of college football,  he knows what role is best for him. You also won’t see Meyer in any one place for long.  He will come in use the resources,  coach hard and hit the road.  He is one of a kind and not someone for a program to point to like every coach will achieve this.  For those who wish they had Saban,  remember Saban was a bum in Michigan St. and someone LSU fans had questions about early on in his tenure.  As long as the players are still playing hard for the coach, you should be supporting the head man. Perhaps your Nick Saban is coaching your program right now going through the same tough time Saban was going through in year four at Michigan St.  Maybe if you shut your mouth and supported your team, your coach can become the next Nick Saban while he’s still at your program.

 


Calvary’s Tristan Peyton Is Not on The Radar but He Should Be

If you’ve coached young linebackers then you know how hard it is to get them to read their keys, fill the hole and hustle to the football.  Some never get it, some pick it up quick and some just seem born to do it.  The last category describes 2015 LB Tristan Peyton out of Calvary Christian High School in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

I found myself clapping like the Eddie Murphy character yelling Hercules in the movie  The Nutty Professor as I watched Peyton’s film.  It’s a text book highlight reel of how to play inside linebacker. Peyton reads keys like it’s Shakespeare, scrapes down the line with precision and hustles on every play like the ball carrier is giving out free Beats by Dre.  The little intricacies of playing the linebacker position bleed out of every clip on his highlight film.  Proper pad level, positioning and tackling form are on full display.  It’s a film you would use to demonstrate to another young up and comer on how the position is played.  Watch Peyton make plays up the middle,  out on the perimeter and in pass coverage.  There’s just one thing you can say and that is text book.

Amazingly, the 2015 linebacker is awaiting his first offer.  He compares quite favorably to 2015 LB prospect Riley Nicholson out of Osceola HS who is currently committed to NC State.

While Peyton may not have the ideal height at 6’1″,  his 215 lb. frame can certainly be added onto.  However,  his most impressive numbers come at the beginning of the film where he displays a 4.22 GPA and 2110 SAT score.  Peyton displays the epitome to dedication to endeavor.  He is an excellent student in the classroom and of the game.  This is certainly a film you will enjoy watching.

Watch Tristan Peyton’s 2015 Mid Season HighlightVid
on Hudl – Click Here

 

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

gbs102712fWhat 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

 

 


2015 Maryland DB Prospect Antoine Means Looking for Action

1702858_0ee4e8eaf04f4d28b99d6f843555b9efFootball is the ultimate team game as we all know.  This means that for most positions on the field,  your success can be totally dependent on others.  Two positions where that is the case are wide receiver and defensive back.  In the high school football game, being an intimidating cornerback can result in a lot of lonely nights on the edge of the defense waiting for crumbs.

Such is the case for New Town High School, MD cornerback Antoine Means.  Means stands 6’3″ and is an imposing figure out on the island.  So imposing that looks,  let alone action his way are a rare sight on Friday Nights.  With that being the case,  Means has not had many real opportunities to have highlight moments.  Less action is the mark of good cornerback but bad news for a high school prospect looking to catch the eye of college football programs.  Means’ situation is what under the radar prospects are made of.  Due to circumstances,  some high school prospects slip through the cracks and become a gem for some school that “lucks up” and gets them.

Means has the frame that NFL prospects are made of.  With the league opting for taller, longer players on the edge to defend the bigger receivers,  Means would be the new prototype.  Some college program will do their due diligence and nab a future All Conference player who may one day be staring on Sundays.  This blog entry would serve as that notice to all programs to take an interest in Antoine Means 2015 CB from New Town HS, Maryland.  Click on the link below for his Hudl Highlights

2015 CB/DB Antoine Means HighlightVid on Hudl Click here

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Power Up Your Running Game with the Short Back I Formation

It’s football season again. Many youth football programs are in full swing, high schools have already started district play and college football’s quest for the playoffs is off and running. For all of you youth and high school football coaches that are trying to establish a run game and it’s just not happening or to you coaches that have established a run game but would like to see a little more umph, I have just the thing for you.

The short back offensive package can power up your run game and help you punch the defense in the mouth. It’s a great short yardage & goal line weapon. It can also be used at the end of the game when you have a lead and want to run the clock out. It’s also good coming out of deep in your own territory or as your primary offense if you don’t have the necessary amount of skill players to spread the field and get big plays. I have detailed a few key plays below and have the entire series of plays from this offense available in a playbook that you can order right now.

Here’s what the short back formation looks like:

I short right formation

I short right formation

The short back is depicted as the ‘4’ back in the illustration above.  He’s also know as ‘Z’ when he’s involved in pass plays.  This is basically the Power I formation but we are taking the offset back and moving him up right behind the line of scrimmage.  The advantage that gives the offense is allowing the back to reach the point of attack sooner and head off penetration by blitzing linebackers.  It also hides the back which gives him advantages on certain blocks, runs and pass routes.  There is a World of things you can do out of this formation even with as basic as it may look.

Below,  I will show you a couple of basic plays you can run to start yourself off in this offensive package.

I short right 22 dive

I short right 22 dive

Most defenses will see this double tight, three back formation and will play you with a 5-3 look to start.  If you get a 50 front with tackles playing head up on your tackles then the dive play to the fullback can be a killer.  If the other team’s middle linebacker is not a head banger then get your P.A.T. team ready.  The reach block by the playside tackle is crucial to keep the running lane open.  The center and playside guard,  at the very least need to stall the noseguard.  If they can get movement on him,  all the better.  Your short back comes through hole and tries to ruin the MLB’s life.  The short back must be a powerful player who likes to block.  Playside tightend must work hard inside to try to reach the strong side linebacker (SAM).  If the Sam consistently runs away from him and can make the play then we have a remedy for that.

I short right 36 lead

I short right 36 lead

Once you have begun assaulting the middle of your opponent’s defense, their adjustment may be to either (a) slant their tackles into the gap you keep hitting them in or align their tackles in a ‘3’ technique which basically means in the B gaps. Your best play to counter this is the 36 lead.  Now, your short back, who is in great position in his alignment, can slide down the line and kick out the playside end.  He acts as a pulling guard on a ‘G’ block.  Remember that SAM backer that keeps chasing down inside?  Now we take him where he wants to go with a down block by the tight end.  The fullback goes through the six hole and cleans up the garbage or goes and finds the cornerback.  He should win this blocking mismatch.  The tailback takes an open step,  then lead step to the six hole and should hit it hard.  Once he passes the first line of defense,  he should be gone or getting a massive chunk of yards. If not,  make him aware of the start date of the next track and field season.

ishortright36leadpass

I short right 36 lead pass

Now that you have them off balance  the next step for the defense is to either blitz or line up in some type of 6 man or goal line front. Whether it’s a goal line / 6-2 front of they are blitzing,  it’s all the same.  They are committing 8 men to the line of scrimmage to stop you from pounding them into a flat steak.  Now that they are leaning forward,  we have to make them fall flat on their face.  That’s where the 36 lead pass comes in.  Everything looks like the 36 lead.  However,  now the TE on the playside is releasing on a 10 yard corner route,  passing all of those defenders with their eyes in the backfield screaming forward to stop the run play.  The short back is now coming down the line and instead of kicking out the END,  turns up through hole and releases into the flat.  Your fullback makes a hard charge at the line of scrimmage and picks up the end while the tailback picks up any rusher who may appear outside of the DEFENSIVE END.    Your quarterback must carry out a solid fake,  set up behind the tailback, set his feet and read the corner route back down to the flat route.  It is important that your backside TE handle the defensive end from the QB’s blind side.  If you are a high school coach with an experienced line,  you can consider releasing the backside TE on a crossing route and slide your protection to the left.  On the goal line,  inside the 5 yard line,  this play is going to be open more than 90% of the time.

That is just a handful of many plays that you can use in this offensive package.  I a nice playbook of 13 quality plays you can use out of this formation that will drive the defense into the ground and send them home with a loss. If you are interested dominating the opposition with a powerful run game you can order my Short Back Offense  now only $10.  Hit the button below.  Playbook delivered to you via email in PDF format within 24 hours.

 

Get the Entire I Short Back Playbook Now Only $10 – Click Here

 Trouble ordering?  Send email to: cwilson@gridironstuds.com

Some Thoughts on I Short Playbook

” My name is Jeff  Vonglis and I coach the jr pee wee Happy Valley Warriors here in East Tennesse. Last Sat. night we used your Short I formation for the first time. We had great success with it! I have ran the power I before, but moving the 4 back up really made the difference, especially with this team. If you have any more plays, i would really like to see them if at all possible.
Thank you for the posting of the plays.  A true fan of power football”
 
J. Vonglis
—————
 
“I came across your blog almost by chance but now seems like fate.  I’d be very much interested in acquiring A Short Back Playbook. I have a smaller, tough quick player that I think would love that position (as opposed to WB). I’m a first time Youth Coach struggling to find an offense suited to my team. I think this one might be it. Much thanks in advance for your gracious sharing”
 
L. Cirillo
——————-
 
I run a standard I Formation offense and often times go Power I with the Z lining up next to the fullback (Rip or Liz). I’m very interested in receiving your short back offense playbook.Many thanks,
Jared


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.

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The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

 

What Research Found Out On This Very Important Topic
By: Chad Wilson   @Gridironstuds

Please follow me on Twitter @Gridironstuds

Football fans across America continue to obsess over the most simple drill in the game of football. Is there anything more discussed than the 40 yard dash? Every Spring, this drill takes center stage and undoubtedly the question is asked 1,o00’s of times. What’s the fastest 40 yard dash?

Just as sure as you get the question asked 1,000 times, you will get dozens of ridiculous answers. For starters, let’s find out why the 40 yard dash? When and why did 40 yards become so significant? It started in the 1960’s with the NFL team that had the most developed and comprehensive scouting department and that was the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to this time period, NFL coaches chose the 50 yard dash as the mark of measure to determine a player speed worthiness. In 1960, Gil Brandt, the director scouting for the Cowboys along with his department came up with the 40/20/10 measurement. The 40 was used for all players. The 20 yard split time of the 40 was of great significance for linemen since the thought was that they rarely run 40 yards in a game. The 10 yard split was important for wide receivers as a measure of their burst off of the line of scrimmage. With this, a drill was born and almost 50 years later, it has become the center piece of info on a prospective high school, college or professional football player.

So who had the fastest 40 yard dash ever? Research confirmed what I already knew and that there is no way to really tell. Here are some important things to know about the 40 yard dash:

Run your fastest 40 ever. Click on the pic.

– A hand time (use of a stop watch) will usually be faster than an electronic time

– There are two types of electronic times:

1. When a watch is started by a coach and an electronic beam records the time when it picks up the player crossing the end point

2. When an electronic beam picks up the movement of a player from the start and starts the clock. An electronic beam also detects the player at the end point and stops the clock. This time will be slower than version #1 and even slower than a hand time in which a coach starts his stop watch when he sees the player begin the run and then stops the watch when he sees the player cross the finish line.

– An accurtrack time will be the slowest of all. Accutrack is what is used at track meets. The clock in accu-track timing starts when the starter’s pistol is shot. The runner’s time for the event is recorded digitally when the technology detects the player crossing the finish line.

Studies have shown that that average reaction time by a human to a starter’s pistol is .25 seconds. For this reason, anyone who compares a 40 yard split time in a 100 meter event and compares it to reported hand timed 40 yard dash marks is making a big mistake. If you want compare the 40 yard split of a runner in a 100 meter event, subtract .25 seconds from the recorded time. So, Olympic runner Justin Gatlin’s 4.42 forty yard dash split recorded during his Gold Medal winning 9.85 100 meter run, would convert to a 4.17 forty yard dash by football standards.

After much research a few things have come up over and over and over. These things plus my own two eyes would lead me to believe that Darrell Green, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were the fastest football players to ever play the game.

It has been said consistently that Darrell Green recorded a time of 4.09 at the Washington Redskins’ training camp in 1986. That’s a hard time to swallow but Green’s obvious speed has been put on display many times while he was in the NFL. Green ran down from significant distances two of the fastest running backs to play in the NFL (Tony Dorsett and Eric Dickerson). Green has said in interviews that the fastest time he has ever been aware of running is 4.15. To his credit, Green does have a verifiable and official time of 10.08 in the 100 meters while he was a college student at Texas A&I University. If anyone could run a sub 4.1 forty, it was Darrell Green.

Many sources report a 4.12 forty yard dash time for Bo Jackson and if you watched him turn the corner and run down the sidelines in 1987 versus the Seattle Seahawks, you would not doubt any time reported by this freak of nature. Repetition does not make it a fact but if enough sources have reported this time to make me believe it. Jackson has an official 10.39 time in the 100 meter dash in college.

Deion Sanders has the closest thing of the three as a verifiable 40 yard dash time. Sanders ran a 4.21 forty yard dash at the 1989 NFL combine and kept right on going through the finish line into the first round of that year’s NFL draft. Like Green and Jackson, anyone who watched Sanders play would have little trouble believing that Sanders pulled off this feat. Sanders recorded a 10.21 100 meter mark while at Florida St.

Of course there are scores of reported 40 yard dash times that have made the rounds on the Internet. Some are ridiculous like the 3.9’s attached to a couple of players and some 4 flats that were attached to some others.

Here are some of the problems with reported 40 yard dash times from team workouts. Some times you can’t be sure that the distance run was indeed 40 yards. There’s always the chance that the distance was not properly marked. When teams do individual private workouts for teams, often times the scout has not brought the necessary tool to mark off the distance. There’s also the chance that player’s will cheat the distance. I have first hand knowledge of a player starting in front of the starting point to run a forty, fully taking advantage of the fact that there was only one scout on hand and that he could not tell if the player was indeed starting at the correct mark. Another problem is the angle of the surface. There are plenty of practice fields across the country that have a slope. Coaches see great value in having their players run on a slight decline to record eye popping times. Savvy scouts will insist that players run up one way and then down the other. An average of the two times is taken to get the most accurate time. One other problem is that some players run the 40 yard dash with cleats on grass while other places have their players run on a synthetic track with spikes on. Guess who would record the fastest time.

In my personal experiences, I have seen some sub 4.3 forty yard dashes in my time. Kevin Williams of the University of Miami (1989-92) ran a 4.28 forty yard dash before my own eyes. Former Hurricanes Tremain Mack (4.25) and Al Shipman (4.27) ran sub 4.3 forties before my own eyes. Track star Henry Neal recorded a 4.20 forty yard dash before my own eyes in a workout for the Miami Dolphins in 1996. The Dolphins did not sign Neal since his football background was quite limited. I never watched him run an actual 40 yard dash but after having to cover him in training camp, I am inclined to believe every second of Joey Galloway’s reported 4.18 forty yard dash.

One player that is not on the list is Bob Hayes of the Dallas Cowboys. No doubt, Hayes was one of the fastest men, if not

Bullet Bob Hayes

Bullet Bob Hayes

the fastest man to put on an NFL uniform. However, as it relates to the 40 yard dash, I could find no time recorded for this Olympic Gold medalist. Hayes has the fastest 100 meter time for an NFL player at 10.05. Should current Florida Gator Jeffery Demps make it to the NFL for any significant amount of time, he will own the fastest time at 10.01. Demps ran this as a high schooler and owns the national prep record for the event.

The fastest recorded 40 yard split on record belongs to Olympian Maurice Greene. During his World Record 60 meter run of 6.33, a mark that still exists, Green crossed the 40 yard mark at 4.18. Remembering that .25 seconds must be subtracted from that time due to Accu-track timing and you come up with a 40 yard dash time of 3.93 seconds. What’s the problem with that time? It was run on an indoor track with spikes on giving the runner an advantage over the football players who have run on grass with cleats.

In an effort to centralize all the reported 40 yard dash times. I will start what we call the SUB 4.3 Club. I will attempt to keep a running record of the sub 4.3 forty yard dashes and their owners in this list. I will refrain from adding times of the ridiculous and will do some research on all times that qualify. I will say one thing, can you web surfers stop reporting that Deion Sanders ran a 4.57 forty yard dash backwards. That’s just flat out ridiculous.

Enjoy the following list of reported (and somewhat believable) 40 yard dashes run under 4.3 seconds. We will continue to add on to this list over time. Did I miss someone? Comment on this article and make your case. Please do not quote high school forty yard dash times. Nothing against them, let’s just stick to college and pro football right now.

Listings in bold are new ones added since last update.

The Official Unofficial Sub 4.3 Forty Yard Dash List at Gridironstuds.com
1 Bo Jackson Auburn Tigers 4.12
2 Michael Bennett Minnesota Vikings 4.13
3 Alexander Wright Dallas Cowboys 4.14
4 Darrell Green Washington Redskins 4.15
5 Ahman Green Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.17
6 Joey Galloway Ohio St. Buckeyes 4.18
7 Terrell Sinkfield Northern Iowa 4.19
8 Henry Neal Blinn JC 4.2
9 Onterio McCalebb Auburn Tigers 4.21
10 Deion Sanders Florida St. Seminoles 4.21
11 Kevin Curtis Utah St. Aggies 4.21
12 Don Beebe Buffalo Bills 4.21
13 Donte Stallworth Tennessee Volunteers 4.22
14 Willie Parker North Carolina Tar Heels 4.23
15 Clayton Holmes Dallas Cowboys 4.23
16 Rondel Melendez Eastern Kentucky (1999) 4.24
17 Chris Johnson East Carolina Pirates 4.24
18 Taylor Mays USC 4.24
19 Marquis Goodwin Texas Longhorns 4.25
20 Tavon Austin West Virginia 4.25
21 Steve Williams California 4.25
22 Ike Taylor Pittsburgh Steelers 4.25
23 Randy Moss Marshall University 4.25
24 Michael Vick Virginia Tech Hokies 4.25
25 Jerome Mathis Hampton 4.25
26 Sam Shields University of Miami (Packers) 4.25
27 Dri Archer Kent St. 4.26    added  2/26/14
28 Devin Hester University of Miami 4.27
29 Darren McFadden Arkansas Razorbacks 4.27
30 James Jett West Virginia 4.27
31 Jacoby Ford Clemson Tigers 4.27
32 Trindon Holliday LSU 4.27
33 DeMarcus Van Dyke University of Miami 4.28
34 Kevin Williams University of Miami 4.28
35 Champ Bailey Georgia Bulldogs 4.28
36 CJ Spiller Clemson Tigers 4.28
37 Raghib Ismail Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4.28
38 Walter Sutton SW Minnesota St. 4.28
39 Rod Woodson Purdue Boilermakers 4.28
40 Standord Routt University of Houston (2005) 4.29
41 Fabian Washington Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.29
42 Laveranues Coles Florida St. Seminoles 4.29
43 James Williams Fresno St. 4.29
44 Gaston Green UCLA 4.29
45 Johnny Knox Abiliene Christian (Chi. Bears) 4.29


Note Updated 1/11/12:
Three new additions to the list.  Clayton Holmes as prompted by a visitor named Kane who reminded me about the speedster front the Cowboys.  After some research I was satisfied that he did indeed run a 4.23 forty yard dash during him time with the Cowboys.  The other two additions came from an interview I happened to view from Tom Shaw who has trained some of the fastest men that have ever played and continue to play in the NFL.  Ike Taylor of the Steelers who Shaw says ran a 4.25 coming into the NFL.  Shaw also said Taylor once ran a 4.18 but I will stick with the 4.25 run before pro scouts.   Shaw also mentioned how Rod Woodson ran a 4.28 at the NFL combine.  I don’t know how that fact escaped me but it has escaped me no longer.  So three new additions.

Note Updated 2/26/14:  While the 2013 combine added four new members to our list, 2014 was not as generous. Kent St.’s Dri Archer was the only member of this year’s combine to go sub 4.3 and thus get added to the list.  Archer listed at 5’7 3/4″ completed his dash in 18 steps which equals 6’5″ Calvin Johnson’s mark for the fewest amount of steps for the 40 yard dash at the combine.  That is truly amazing power in his strides. With Archer, the list now grows to 45 in total.

Note Updated 2/25/13: 2013 Combine has done well to add to our growing list. First Tavon Austin blazed up the Indy track with an effort-less 4.25.  Then Texas WR Marquis Goodwin refused to be outdone and posted up his own 4.25.  Auburn’s Onterio McCalebb made them both sit down with his hand timed 4.21.  Only Goodwin remained under 4.3 when the official times released as he ended up with 4.27.  McCalebb and Austin both ended up with 4.34 official 40 times.  I do count hand times for this list so all three make it.

Note Updated 3/05/13: Added Steve Williams from California who ran an unofficial 4.25 at the combine. Also added former Northern Iowa WR Terrell Sinkfield who ran a 4.19 at Minnesota U’s Pro Day on 3/04/13.  Here’s an article discussing Sinkfield’s run.

Notes Updated 3/05/11: Two new additions to the list.  I added the 4.20 forty yard dash that I witnessed Henry Neal run at a Dolphin tryout in 1996.  I remember it well because I had to run my 40 after his.  My 4.44 clocking seemed pedestrian after Henry mowed the lawn for the scouts.  Neal was not a football player but a track star that was well put together.  He was 5’9″ 177  of all muscle.  Perhaps some Dolphin scout saw him on his travels and flew him in for the workout.

The other addition is Walter Sutton.  I was reminded of this by an ex-Miami teammate of mind named Kelvin Harris who resides from the Fort Myers area that Walter Sutton also came from.  Sutton was drafted in the 4th round in 1991 by the Atlanta Falcons.  Sutton unfortunately was not able to start his NFL career because he was prosecuted on a drug dealing charge.  Sutton attended SW Minnesota St. and the best way to get drafted that high out of a school that size is to have speed and Walter did clocking a 4.28 forty for the Falcons in a pre draft workout.

Notes Updated 3/02/11: DeMarcus Van Dyke is the latest addition to the list after clocking a 4.28 at the NFL combine.  That’s about as legit as it gets.  Van Dyke is the 4th Miami Hurricane to make the list.

Notes Updated 1/24/11: Foolish me for not updating this sooner with Sam Shield’s 40 time since I witnessed it myself on his pro timing day last spring.  While I still had my mouth open from his 11’3″ broad jump where he seemingly got stuck in the air,  I watch Shields go out and chew up the first 40 yards like a 6 year old chews up a pack of bubbilicious.  He then smoothly coasted through the 2nd twenty and had scouts huddling up like they were calling a play on 4th and 1.   There were times all over the place ranging from 4.30 to 4.22 but the one most heard was 4.25 so that’s what I went with.  Johnny Knox is also deserving to be on this list. Knox, from the Bears, ran a 4.34 at the combine when he was coming out but he also ran on his pro timing day and there are may reports that put his time in the 4.26-4.29 range.  4.29 is what I have heard the most,  so that is what I went with.

Notes Updated: 3/04/10: USC’s Taylor Mays has been added to the list with his unofficial 4.24 at the NFL Combine.  Eventhough his official time was a 4.43,  I must include Mays’ time since several of the times on the list are hand times just like his.  Pretty amazing given Mays size (6’3″, 230 lbs.).  I may say that’s outside of Bo Jackson’s time,  Mays’ may be the most impressive when you take in the size factor.  Trindon Holliday has also been added for his unofficial 4.27 run at the combine on 3/01/10.

Notes Updated 3/01/10: Clemson’s Jacoby Ford and CJ Spiller were added to the list today.  Ford’s time at the Indianapolis NFL combine was a 4.27 unofficially and 4.28 officially.  CJ Spiller’s unofficial time was also a 4.28 but his official time ended up being a 4.37.  I am taking the 4.28 because there are many times on this list that are unofficial hand times.  Any way you look at it,  CJ Spiller can fly.

Notes Updated 1/04/09: Who knew this article would become so popular.  This has ended up being one of the most popular sports articles on the Internet since I wrote.  Just goes to show how much of a hot topic 40 yard dash times are.  I have received so many comments and emails about 40 yard dash times.  Please understand this 40 yard dash list is an “official” list meaning the times on it can be verified.  I am sure there have been some sub 4.3’s run out there but they have been done in a way that can not be verified.  There are a 100 stories about some boy name “D-Rock” who ran a 4.17 with some high tops on at lunch time on the grass field.  I can’t put those times on there.  There are even times that may be closer to official that I won’t even include.  For instance,  anyone who has seen C.J. Spiller or Jacoby Ford from Clemson or Trindon Holliday from LSU run could guess that these guys probably run sub 4.3 forty’s.  I am sure they have probably run them for some coach or strength and conditioning guy.  In fact,  Ford is said to have run a 4.26 at Clemson.  Holliday’s high school coach claims he ran a 4.27 but I am suspicious of high school forty yard dash times.  I need to tell you that up front.  Spiller has an alleged low time of 4.28.  However,  he also has a high time of 4.47.  On situations like that,  I will just wait to see what they run at the combine or in their private NFL workouts.  Sometimes,  they don’t hit the times you expect them to hit.

NOTE: Some of the times listed above may have been run on a track with spikes on. In cases where I know that to be true, those players are excluded from this list. Football is not played on a synthetic rubber surface with track spikes on. DeAngelo Hall’s reported 4.15 on Virginia Tech’s indoor track when he was a junior in college would be an example of that.

Is there someone missing from the list? Comment on this article with name and the time. I will check it out and add it if research dictates that it should be there. Comment on this article.


GridironStuds Show College Football and NFL Picks Week 7 of 2014

By: Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds.com
Twitter: @GridironStuds

As we do every week, Emil Calomino and gave out our top picks to our listeners on the GridironStuds Show.  This week we gave out our selections on Thursday as Friday is a travel day for me. Off to Jacksonville to watch American Heritage HS, Plantation take on Jacksonville Bolles HS in a 5A vs 4A Florida high school battle.  Then Saturday I will be traveling to Gainesville, Florida to Watch the LSU Tigers take on the Florida Gators in a SEC clash.

In college football Emil Calomino, is currently 10-7-2 going into week 7 action.  Here is who he likes this week:

Baylor (-7.5) over TCU
Oregon (-1.5) over UCLA
Texas A& M (-2) over Mississippi

In college football I am currently 12-5-2 going into week 7 action.  Here’s who I like this week:

Auburn (-3) over Mississippi St.
USC (-2.5) over Arizona
Texas A&M (-2) over Mississippi

To hear both Emil and I’s reason for each one of these picks,  click on the following link to listen to Our Football Thursday Show

In the NFL Emil is 9-6 on the season through five weeks.  Here are his NFL picks for week six of the season

Houston (+3) over Indianapolis
Buffalo (+3) over New England
Dallas (+8.5) over Seattle

In  the NFL I am currently 6-9.  I am certainly looking to do better.  That’s for sure. Here are my NFL picks for week six of the season

Green Bay (-3) over Miami
Atlanta (-3) over Chicago
NY Giants (+3) over Philadelphia

To hear both Emil and I’s reasons for each one of these picks, click on the follow link to listen to our Football Thursday Show on BlogTalkRadio

The Lines We Use for the picks can be found at one of the top Online Casinos: Bovada Sportsbook and Casino


Class of 2016 Top College Football Prospects via RankByOffers.com

Here are The Top 10 2016 Recruits in the Country according to our friends at RankByOffers.com.  For the entire list, please visit their website by clicking here

RANK PLAYER NAME POSITION STATE SCHOOL FBS OFFERS TOP 25 OFFERS
1 Nate Craig WR FL Tampa Catholic 34 14
2 Parker Boudreaux OL FL Bishop Moore 37 2
3 Robert Washington RB NC Southlake Christian Academy 33 7
4 Deontay Anderson DB TX Manvel 29 16
5 Cedrick Wright ATH FL Gulliver Prep 29 12
6 Shane Simmons DE MD DeMatha 27 11
7 Brandon Jones DB TX Nacogdoches 26 14
8 Scott Bracey WR VA Benedictine School 28 9
9 Dionte Mullins WR FL Gulliver Prep 27 12
10 Isaac Nauta TE GA Buford 25 13

South Florida Out of State College Report

Here are some your former South Florida high school football players making plays and a name for themselves at out of state colleges from Week 2 of the college football season.

– Former North Broward Prep QB Brandon Doughty passed for 297 yards for Western Kentucky in a 42-35 loss to Illinois
– St. Thomas Aquinas alum QB Jake Ruddock engineered a 4th quarter comeback for Iowa over Ball St. and put up 322 yards passing in the process
– Former University School kicker Andrew DiRocco is the starting kicker for Tulane as a true freshman
– Former Cypress Bay Lightning RB Matt Dayes put up 186 total yards for NC State including 79 rushing, 32 receiving and 75 returning kicks.
– Killian Cougars alum D’Andre Mann was Kansas’ leading rusher this past weekend gaining 121 yards on 15 carries
– Amari Cooper had a big day for Alabama.  The former Northwestern HS Bull had 13 catches for 189 yards
– Former South Plantation Paladin Alex Collins was Arkansas’ leading rusher with 131 yards on 13 carries.

Who did I miss.  Let me know in the comments below

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