Archive for August, 2011
I wonder if Connor Moore brings syrup to his games. If he doesn’t, then I’m going to have to recommend that he does. Moore is doing nothing but serving up pancakes from his offensive tackle spot and sticking to defenders like the good stuff from Aunt Jemima. Once this relentless beast sets his sights on you, pack your things because you’re moving. It’s hilarious to watch Moore turn defensive tackles into defensive backs when they find themselves deep in the secondary at the end of the play. Moore is not massive in size like a lot of tackles today but what he may lack in girth, he more than makes up for in quickness, determination and pure 100% desire. Only the whistle can save the man in front of him. It’s a joy to watch this kind of tenacity on the football field. You can expect a host of scouts to be on this prospect’s trail come the end of the 2011 season. Check out Connor Moore’s highlight video at Gridironstuds.com, click here.
We all know that running backs can be a dime a dozen. However, some are just special. Citrus Hill’s Davien Payne falls into the “special” class. A lovely combo of speed, strength and power gives Davien the ability to cause pain for the opposing team’s defense. He can run through you, around you or by you and do it with confidence. Citrus Hill has been putting together some nice college prospects over the last couple of years and this seems to be another. Payne is an early commit to Colorado and would be a welcomed addition to a Colorado program looking to return to their glory years. When last that happened, the Buffs were a team known for having good tailbacks. Payne could lead the charge into a new era. Check out Davien Payne’s highlight video at Gridironstuds.com.
How can I reach the endzone? Let me count the ways. Daniel Braverman can dial up a touchdown from anywhere on the football field as you can plainly see in his highlight video. He can return a kickoff, catch a short pass and house it. He can also catch a long one or run back a punt. He can also come out of the backfield or take a handoff from the tailback position. Bottom line is, whenever the ball is in his hands, something electric is going to happen. Braverman amassed over 1,000 yards of total offense in 2010 playing for the University School Suns. He was a key factor in an offense that was record breaking in many ways. A year ago this time, Braverman took the opening kickoff of the 2010 season for the Suns and housed it. Tonight, he takes the field again looking to start the 2011 season off with a bang. Get a load of his entertainment when you watch his 2010 highlight video, click here now.
You ask any of the top college football programs in the country about recruiting and they will tell you in a heartbeat that they would much rather deal with the high school coach or the parents of a prospect than the street agent, 7-on-7 coach or the “uncle” who really isn’t the uncle.
There was a time when a college football coach looking to recruit a prospect would call or visit the high school coach for information on the recruit. More and more these days, the first call to get info is going to a 3rd party who may not always have the best intentions. Third party operations have been existence for quite some time. When I was coming up there was the magazine called Super Preps that would rank recruits. There was also Parade Magazine, Blue Chips, etc. Those publications would provide pertinent information on recruits and tell you where they were located. However, the college coach looking to recruit the player still needed to call the high school coach to recruit the kid. Nowadays, your “street agent” will work it where they are the only contact if you want to get to the kid and some of them will bill you like a law firm. It’s a money making venture for the 3rd party and the player is sold off to the highest bidder. This is not a good look for college football recruiting.
I have spoken to colleges who will flat out avoid a certain area of the country because of the proliferation of street agents in that area. Some have taken a stand against those types but how long can they last doing that?
The major reason that street agents have multiplied like locust is because high school football coaches have not grown with the recruiting game. Many high school coaches simply feel like helping their athlete with recruiting is not their responsibility. They are under the false impression that if the kid is good they will be found or that there are so many companies out there willing to take the responsibility of recruiting over that I don’t have to get involved. This is where the mistake is made.
As the high school coach, you are the mentor for the player. You are the example. For a lot of the athletes you represent the only constant male figure in their lives. When you turn a blind eye or give less than your best effort to help them achieve their dreams you open the door for disaster. It is, for lack of a better term, a modern day “pimp and hoe” situation. If you aren’t telling your daughter how pretty she is, how valuable she is, how much she is worth then you run the risk of some unsavory character taking over when he’s willing to tell her those things.
High school coaches ignoring the recruiting game run the risk of losing their players to the street agents and third parties that call the shots for your athlete that is playing for you. Why? Because that street agent is doing YOUR JOB. Yes, recruiting is your job. It’s more now than just waiting for the school to call you and then talking to them. High school coaches have to be proactive. Reach out to the colleges. Use quality third parties to achieve this when necessary. Gather, maintain and manage the information on who is recruiting your athletes. Make it your job. If you are too busy, assign the job to a coach or staff helper. Whatever you do, don’t just ignore it.
Failing to assist your athlete with recruiting screams loudly “I don’t really care about you”. What is a teenager other than a bundle of dreams. If they want to play college football, you should do everything in your power to try and make that happen. If they can run your 110’s, push your sled, hit in your Oklahoma drill, get up for your 5:30 AM practices so that you can shine on Friday Night then you better be willing to go the extra mile to secure them an education. Ignore this information and open the door for the street agent to make all of the decisions regarding that athlete. That can range from staying out of practice, missing a workout to no longer attending your school.
“Chad I think you should play cornerback.” Those words from a childhood friend of mine in 1986 brought fire to my belly. “Man I’m a running back,” I fired back. I was going to be the next Eric Dickerson. I had my neck roll, my upright running style and if they wouldn’t have given me a headache, I would have worn the Rec Specs goggles too.
I couldn’t really name any cornerbacks back them. I knew Leroy Irvin because he played for my favorite team, the Los Angeles Rams. Of course everyone knew Lester Hayes because he was one part good, one part half crazy. Other than that, there was no one inspiring me to stand real close to the sidelines and chase a receiver around the field for an entire game. Runningbacks got the ball, were able to make sweet moves and they scored touchdowns. They get their face on TV. Cornerbacks, in 1986, weren’t doing that.
1986 turned to 1987 and I was now 15 years old. I was not the biggest guy on the football field but I could run with almost anyone. Eric Dickerson was 6’3″ 220 lbs. and it wasn’t looking like I was going to get there. Plus running backs would get hit quite a bit. I didn’t want to play corner but what about wide receiver? That was the thought process until I watched this guy wearing #2 for the Florida St. Seminoles. This guy was playing corner but was not playing it like everyone else. I watched him swoop up on Andre Rison of the Michigan St. Spartans, jump up over him, catch the ball, pop up and point to the sidelines telling Rison to get off the field. I also watched him intercept Brett Favre from Southern Mississippi and high step like Walter Payton. Only thing was, Walter Payton never high stepped this long. Who was this dude?
The Bobby Bowden show would come on locally in the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale area in the 80’s and every week, Bobby was talking about this daggum Deion Sanders. Every week he would do something spectacular. He would run back a punt with pizazz. Chase down a speedy back with confidence. Make a ridiculous interception or just put a top ranked receiver on the back of a milk carton. Hey, maybe playing cornerback isn’t that bad I began to think.
By 1988, I became married to the idea of playing cornerback. Besides, most coaches that saw me thought that I would be good at it. By now, I had made my way out to California to finish my high school years. I did bring that Florida / Prime Time swag with me and while I was still playing running back, I was also playing corner too. Running back was fun but I wanted to be Prime Time. So out came the head band around the neck. I couldn’t high step because it was a penalty but I would sneak one in every now and then. In a game against our cross town rivals, I broke into the open field on a kickoff return and raised the ball up over my head for the last 35 yards on my way to the end zone. It took every ounce of will power not to high step. One of the assistant coaches met me on my way back to the sidelines. “Don’t you ever hold the ball up over your head like that again,” he screamed while circulating through different shades of red. Being so full of Prime Time confidence, my only thought was “he said the word ‘again” so he knows I’m going to be scoring a lot”. It was the Prime Time talking. From that point on every time I scored, I touched the ball down in the back of the end zone just to give me some unique style like Neon Deon.
I took my act to college when I signed with Long Beach St. I arrived on campus ready to play a bunch as a freshman because that’s what Deion did. It made me work hard, play hard and guess what? I was playing a bunch as a freshman and started a number of games. By my second year, Long Beach St. was not big enough for the star I thought I was. So I wanted to transfer. I wanted to be on T.V., like Prime. I wanted to be seen. So what did I do? I called Florida St. University and told them I wanted to transfer. I sent my highlight tape and everything. I informed Hall of Famer Willie Brown who was the head coach at the time and after trying to talk me out of it, he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him Florida St. The next day at practice, Brown ordered up seven consecutive go routes by wide receivers against me. They caught the first one and the whole team starting doing the Tomahawk chop mocking me. The next six passes were all incomplete and one was picked off. I proved my point and I was thrilled.
As fate would have it, I ended up going to the University of Miami when Long Beach St. dropped football and even though I was playing for Prime Time’s arch nemesis, I was thrilled to be a Cane. That still did not stop me from playing with Prime’s pizazz and working hard to reach his level. I had the opportunity to watch him practice on our University of Miami practice field when the 49ers were preparing for their Super Bowl vs. the San Diego Chargers in 1995. I was stunned by his work ethic. Nobody worked harder than Jerry Rice but the second hardest working guy I saw on that practice field was none other than Prime Time. I thought it was all about his 4.21 forty but that day I learned that “success is not an accident” and “talent has it’s limits, work ethic will make you the best.”
All along the way, wanting to be like prime time made me work hard on my skills at the cornerback position. I can imagine that this is the case for 1,000’s of youngsters that have come behind this legendary figure in the game. It’s only fitting that he be inducted into the Hall of Fame today as a first balloter. He truly changed the game and continues to have an impact even after he has retired.
No free releases! Get a jam on him! Those are some of the things you may hear a defensive back coach instructing a player to do at the high school and college level. Devian Shelton listens. The moment the vid starts running, you know this is true. Trouble awaits you when you try to get to the other side of the line of scrimmage on this fast rising prospect. Shelton provides what I call “busted lip coverage” on wide receivers looking to get pretty on the defense. Pass catchers, better bring your makeup bag because Shelton’s looking to bruise you. His aggressive nature jumps out at you and puts him position to make plays all over the field. The big schools out West (USC, UCLA, Oregon) are starting to take notice and Shelton’s interest could move nationwide. It’s another Inglewood High School product. Put a stamp on it. Click here to view Devian Shelton’s Highlight Video.
Hallandale High School completed one of the biggest year by year turnarounds in 2010 going from 0-10 to the playoffs. Head coach Dameon Jones took home coach of the year honors and the Chargers are back to being relevant in Broward County football. One of the reasons, the Chargers were able to make that rise was talent like Dwight Davis. The reigning 400 meter champion for his class in the State of Florida gave folks just a taste in 2010 of what will come this season. Exceptional hands and athleticism makes this prospect a threat to destroy you if you aren’t paying attention. Watch him go to work in this highlight video on team after team by running crisp routes, make great catches and doing what good wide receivers should do. Click here to view Dwight Davis’ highlight video.
A pocket of power. Matthew Breida, Nature Coast Tech High School in Brooksville, Florida can hurt you on both sides of the ball. Lights out speed with a 4.31 clocking in the 40 makes him one big caution sign when he steps on the field. His running style at the running back position conjures up visions of Frank Gore in his high school days. It’s a whole lot of now you see him, now you don’t when he’s running the rock. He will embarrass a defender or two. On defense, Breida mans the cornerback position like a champion. He keeps the ball away from receivers like a Capitol Hill security guard keeps intruders out of Congress. An exciting player to watch. You will enjoy this one. Click here to view Matthew Breida’s highlight video.
If there’s a hell on Earth then you are in it when you have to spend a Friday night blocking this freak of nature. Get your popcorn ready because Chauntez Jackson’s highlight video will feature the Inglewood H.S. (California) prospect pushing over bulky offensive linemen like empty garbage cans, running by defensive backs like they are statues and covering pass catchers like he’s a mongoose. To say that Jackson is versatile would be a face slapping understatement. He’s a nightmare and looks to be the second coming of Jevon Kearse. The sky is the limit for this prospect who hails from a high school that cranks out prospects like McDonalds cranks out french fries. Click here to view Chauntez Jackson’s highlight video.