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GridironStuds.com Top 5 NFL QBs in 2015

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

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

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

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

1. Aaron Rodgers

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

2. Tom Brady

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

3. Russell Wilson

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

4. Joe Flacco

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

5. Peyton Manning

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

Other Notable Near Misses


Ben Roethlisberger

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

Drew Brees

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

Andrew Luck

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


4 Big Things I Learned on My SEC Tour

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

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

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

1.  Winning In College Football is About Money

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

2. Indoor Practice Facility is A Must

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


3. Florida is the Arms Dealer of the South

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

4. Construction is the Function

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

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


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


HS Football Players Better Get Their Hudl Highlights on YouTube

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


About the Author

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


College Football Hit With A Rash of QB Transfers

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

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

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

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

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

List of QB Transfers in FBS this Off Season

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

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

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


BIO

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



College Football Recruiting “Package Deal” Defined

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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By 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


Recruiting Services Making a Mint Off of Parents That Want to Be Lied To

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Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

I started off my coaching career in the youth leagues.  Coaching the young group is fun.  You have a chance to paint a blank canvas.  You have a chance to make a positive impact early on in a child’s life and assist the parents in laying the ground work for a solid human being.  However,  anyone who has coached youth football knows that one of the drawbacks is dealing with unrealistic parents.

The story doesn’t change when you get to high school and when it comes to the college football recruiting game.  Just as a large portion of the parents on the youth football team feel that their son is the star running back,  many parents involved in their son’s high school football career feel that junior is a Division I football player.  Many parents have this feeling with little to no information as to how college football recruiting works and what colleges are actually looking for.  All they know is they love their kid and as such, their kid should be considered the best.  Unfortunately,  they think the best only means becoming a Division I football player who plays on national TV every week.  Or check that, is on a team that plays on national TV every week.

Who is capitalizing the most off of this train of thought?  Recruiting services.  Now, don’t get me wrong,  some recruiting services,  like GridironStuds.com (shameless plug!) are in it for the right reasons and will handle a prospect with the proper care.  Several others have honed in on the fact that there are a lot of parents out there with an unrealistic view of their child and will pay a lot of money to make that view a reality.

So how does this happen? Joe Dad, for example, feels that Joseph Jr. is a Division I prospect.  However,  Joseph Jr. may display measurables and a skill level that is more suited for Division IAA, Division II or even Division III.  This does not mean that Joseph Jr. is not a good football player,  it simply means that Joseph Jr. is going to get a better opportunity to display his talent at a Division IAA-III school.  However,  saying my son plays football at Wisconsin-Whitewater does not have quite the ring that saying he plays for the Badgers of Wisconsin does when hanging around the cubicle at work.  With this being the case,  Joe Dad will open his wallet to ABC Recruiting Service to make his dream of Joseph Jr. being a Wisconsin Badger a reality.  ABC recruiting service approached you at one of those camps you went to that advertised that they were going to send all of your son’s information to college coaches.  All 400 kids’ information was going to go to Urban Meyer.  Yep even little Tommy who tripped and fell four times will doing carioca. ABC Recruiting Service is all too eager to tell Joe Dad what he wants to hear,  take his money and never approach a Division I school about Joseph Jr.

Here’s what really happens.  Joe Dad will eagerly pay the fee.  In his mind,  Joseph Jr. is the next Rose Bowl MVP and ABC Recruiting Service agrees.  Since ABC recruiting service agrees, I am going to pay them the $1,000 or $2,000.  Basically,  Joe Dad is paying to be lied to.  What’s worse is,  Joe Dad paying that large sum makes it easier for him to pay for additional services from ABC Recruiting because he has already invested so much to make it happen.  This makes it easier for ABC to convince Joe Dad that this additional service is needed.

In the process,  Joe Dad is approached by a reputable recruiting service like GridironStuds.com (shameless plug #2) who’s aim is to extend Joseph Jr.’s playing career as well as give him the best opportunity to actually “play” college football but Joe Dad doesn’t want to hear it.  First of all,  Joseph Jr. is a future Wisconsin Badger so I don’t want to hear anything about Division II or III and Joe Dad has invested too much with ABC to start all over with a reputable company.  So,  Joseph Jr. is not going to get that Wisconsin offer.  ABC Recruiting Service is not known for attracting Division I type players so they don’t communicate with Division I schools and have very little means of helping Joseph Jr. get a FBS scholarship even if he was a FBS caliber player.

The Division I or bust mentality ends like this every recruiting cycle.  By January of February of Joseph Jr.’s senior year,  the gig is up.  Signing day is one or two weeks away and the only interest Joseph Jr. has received was from,  well….  Wisconsin Whitewater,  which Joe and Joseph Jr. ignored.  14 days away from the National Signing Day Ceremony and Joseph Jr. does not have a pot to piss in nor a PVC pipe to pour it out in.  Thousands of dollars spent and you got nothing.  The next thing you hear is “recruiting services are such a rip-off”.

Despite that thought,  there’s one more desperate move Joe Dad’s going to make……

“Hello is this GridironStuds? Hey I wanted to talk to you about getting Joey a preferred walk on at Notre Dame.”


Are you a youth or high school football player or the parent of a youth or high school football player? Contact me now for an evaluation of your talent and skill level.  Plus get tips on how to improve your play, strengthen your skills and give yourself the best opportunity to play college football. I will tell you what you NEED to hear.  Email me now: cwilson@gridironstuds.com.

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



3 Things High School Football Players Are Doing that Will Get Them Kicked Out of College

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

Every February,  there is the joy and jubilation that comes on National Signing Day.  All of the pictures taken,  the smiles on the faces of the parents and family symbolizes dreams being met.  What many fail to realize is that a lot of the smiles turn into frowns and disappointment as a growing number of athletes are being sent back home or end up transferring from the school they originally signed with.

Some of the circumstances when it comes to transferring are out of the student athletes control but many of them are.  Here are three really big things that some high school football players do that get them sent back home from college.

 (1) TAKING THEIR EDUCATION FOR GRANTED

Many high school seniors experience that thing known as senioritis.  Wikipedia describes it as the following:

mainly used in the United States and Canada to describe the decreased motivation toward studies displayed by students who are nearing the end of their high school, college, and graduate school careers.

Some are able to turn their academic light back on when they arrive at college but some others are not.  For some,  high school was one big bout of senioritis.  Academic probation and stress is what plagues these athletes at the next level.  Your lack of will to study and learn WILL catch up to you at some point.  If it didn’t catch you in high school,  it will catch you in college when you are ineligible causing you to miss valuable practice and game time.  In college, your back up will often times be as talented or even more talented than you physically.  Go ahead and let him steal some snaps from you if you want to.  You will have some nice helmet less action shots of yourself on the sidelines. Let me see your right click on those.  If you happen to skirt by college without a dedication to your studies,  it’ll catchup with you when you don’t make it to the league or when you do make it to the league and someone smarter than you stiffs you for all of your cash.  Get on academic probation enough in college and your team now has a legitimate reason to release you from your scholarship and to quote the great Jimmy Johnson “they’ll get someone that looks just like you.”

(2) HAVING STICKY FINGERS

In a football locker room,  almost anything is forgivable but being a thief is on the short list of things that are not.  If you have a passion for taking things that don’t belong to you,  your days as a college football player are numbered.  Aside from the unlimited amount of fists you are going to have coming at you,  the plots made against you by your teammates to have you removed will be things Hollywood would die for.  Stealing is a crime against your family and if your family can’t trust you,  they have to get rid of you.  The heat you will feel as a result of your five fingered ways will be so hot,  you will likely volunteer to leave.  Soon you’ll be back home in your teen bedroom that you will likely share with someone else.  The hardest part is that if you are known as a thief,  another school is not going to sign you.  Nothing will break up team chemistry faster than you passion for that felony.  If you’re into theft,  I suggest you find a way out before you land on campus.

(3) SMOKING THAT KUSH

For those who don’t know what Kush is,  it’s your latest slang for marijuana.  The drug has taken on more nicknames over the years than anyone can count.  Countless number of athletes enter their college careers already fully go on an addiction to this plant.  Forget about your political feelings about the drug.  Carrying it and using it is currently a crime and against any school’s policy.  In high school, you had very few consequences for using marijuana.  There were no random drug tests and all you had to do was keep your use away from your often distracted parents and you were good.  Because of these lack of consequences,  you went full go on this habit and now you are addicted.  You don’t think you are but you are. When you are taking out of this world measures to circumvent and beat the random drug tests in college as opposed to just stopping,  guess what,  you’re addicted. Getting caught with marijuana in your system can and will lead to your removal from the school and the university. When that is at stake and you still must engage in the practice, guess what, you’re addicted.  Marijuana has been known to sap your motivation.  It can change the order of your priorities.  Why risk it?  Get your third strike for smoking and you’re back home in that teenage bedroom.  You’ll have all the time in the World to test out all of the theories on the effects of the drug on your ability to secure a bright future.  Good look with your life goals after that.

So there you have it.  Three things you may want to make a point of avoiding NOT in college but right now while you are in high school.  Habits formed are hard to break. Don’t start because it may be too hard to stop.  If you have started,  make every effort now to change the behavior before you get to college or you may see your dreams go right down the drain.

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


Four Star 2017 Recruit Marco Wilson Makes Ridiculous Acrobatic One Hand Catch

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

One hand catches have become all the craze since Odell Beckham’s famous Sunday night mid-air snatch during the 2014 season.  Across America,  pros and amateurs alike have attempted to put their own spin on Beckham’s amazing feat, many to no avail.

Enter Marco Wilson.  The sophomore defensive back at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Florida pulled of a one hand catch that has caught on both nationally and internationally.  Friday afternoon,  Wilson was out with a couple of his teammates on the field and launched into a backflip while simultaneously snatching a football thrown by a classmate out of midair.  His video was placed on GridironStuds.com and seen by the site’s visitors.

By the time Wilson woke up on Friday morning,  his video had gone viral and was plastered across the front pages of ESPN.com, World Star Hip Hop and Bleacher Report.  Since it hit the air waves,  Wilson’s feat has been featured on CBS Evening News and KTLA out in Los Angeles with contact being made by NFL Network, CNN and a host of other media outlets.  Several international Twitter accounts have also posted the video to be seen by their audiences.

The high schooler is no stranger to acrobatics.  He has been performing a number of front flips, back flips and other athletic stunts since his early elementary years.  A fan of parkour,  Wilson even has a video on YouTube displaying an array of parkour moves throughout his local town Miramar, Florida.  You can see that video by clicking here.

Wilson is also a standout defensive back for the defending 5A state champs at American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida.  He is rated 4 stars by recruiting outlets like Rivals.com, 247sports, Scout and ESPN.  He already holds offers from 12 division I schools.  His brother, Quincy Wilson, is a sophomore cornerback for the Florida Gators.

Marco Wilson’s Amazing Acrobatic One Hand Catch on GridironStuds.com

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