Archive for category General

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
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 JJ Nelson UAB 4.28 added 2/24/15
41 Standord Routt University of Houston (2005) 4.29
42 Fabian Washington Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.29
43 Laveranues Coles Florida St. Seminoles 4.29
44 James Williams Fresno St. 4.29
45 Gaston Green UCLA 4.29
46 Johnny Knox Abiliene Christian (Chi. Bears) 4.29

Note Updated 2/24/15:  Similar to last year we have only one new entry from this year’s NFL draft.  After talk leading up to the combine of Miami’s Phillip Dorsett possibly breaking Chris Johnson’s record, only University of Birmingham Alabama’s JJ Nelson who was able to go under 4.3 seconds.  Nelson earned his way onto our esteemed sub 4.3 list with a mark of 4.28 unofficially (4.29 officially).  The next fastest mark at the 2015 combine came from Michigan St. cornerback Trae Waynes at 4.31.  Dorsett did put a blazing time at 4.33 but it is quite short of Chris Johnson’s standing combine official record mark of 4.24.  Stay tuned for some mutant clocking a ridiculous time at one of the upcoming Pro Days.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

442 Comments

Hungry South Florida Express Defenders Ready to Devour Unsuspecting Offenses

Devin Bush Jr. Holds 30 plus D1 Offers

Offense usually takes the stage during 7-on-7 games and tournaments as the rules are set up to highlight that part of the game of football.  However,  anyone who has coached 7-on-7 football knows that a strong defense will land you the trophy at any tournament.

This year’s version of the South Florida Express defense features a roster jam packed with very talented,  well coached prospects that are eager to make a name for themselves amongst the large group of high skilled defenders on the 7-on-7 circuit.  The physical gifts and football IQ will be on display by this version of South Florida Express stars as they are ready to dump ice water on the plans of overheated offenses.

2016 LB Devin Bush (Flanagan) is the #3 rated player at his position according to Rivals and is certainly a prospect that has earned it.  Programs like Florida St., Florida, Miami, Auburn and UCLA are hot after this agile defender and he’s ready to cause mayhem like he did during the regular season. Also joining Bush in the linebacking corps is talented and highly athletic Miami Central junior Wayne Steed.  Steed was a key member of a Central defense that led the way in their state title run.  Junior Christian Gomez (USF offer) also brings size and athleticism to the linebackers as does Miami Carol City 2017 prospect DeAndre Wilder.

The defensive backs will be spearheaded by highly sought after junior Cedric Wright (Miami commit) who is currently holding 15 major D1 offers with Alabama and Ohio St. amongst them. Booker T. Washington cornerback Dontye Carriere Williams showed his big play ability often during last year’s 7-on-7 season and he’s back again to make quarterbacks miserable. Williams has 17 Division I offers and is drawing even more interest from some of the top programs in the country. Sophomore cornerback Marco Wilson (American Heritage Plantation) is ready to become a household name and already holds four major division I offers with SEC power South Carolina being one of them.  Wilson’s big time athleticism and grit will aid the Express defense in drawing the line on offenses in every tournament.  Junior cornerback Deon Jackson’s length, speed and skill will be a problem for WRs looking to have their way.  Jackson is poised to capture the attention of college programs and media alike during this 7-on-7 season.  One of the more intriguing prospects this season will be 2017 safety Brian Edwards who has already secured offers from Miami, Clemson and Louisville. Edwards’ length will serve him well as will his ability to make plays deep down the field.

American high school defensive back Naytron Culpepper has been impressive in early practice sessions.  The 2017 prospect blends an athletic frame with great instincts to find himself around the football.  2016 junior defensive back Elijah Daniels holds multiple D1 offers as well as strong coverage skills to hold opposing WRs in check.  Hallandale junior safety Romelo Webster brings a high football IQ and great quickness to patrol the deep secondary and take away the ball from offenses all season long. 2017 University School cornerback Faion Hicks (FAU offer) is another prospect that turned heads during the season and has continued to do so early this offseason.  Look for Hicks to have a coming out party during the 2015 7-on-7 circuit.

Southridge defensive back Shawn Davis is a multi-talented prospect that can play any position in the secondary.  By the time the season is over,  media and colleges alike will know they need to take a trip down South to see this 2017 gem.  Sophomore safety Christopher Williams is another young defender that is hungry to show his worth as is American HS cornerback Joshua Dinson (2017) who holds offers from both Cincinnati and Kentucky.  2017 cornerback Donelle Thomas is another talented member of the American HS secondary that will make his presence felt in tournament play.  American Heritage Plantation freshman cornerback Pat Surtain Jr. has the size and athletic ability to give WRs fits and has already been offered by both Miami and Louisville.  Junior cornerback Isaiah Simpson (Cypress Bay) and 2018 prospect Michael Nesbitt (Stranahan) are poised to draw their rightful attention from interested onlookers while putting the clamps on the opposition.

South Florida Express has been a breeding ground for top defensive talent supplied to college football programs from coast to coast.  Look for this to continue with a talented group of defenders that are eager to grab their piece of the spotlight all season long.

, , , , ,

No Comments

Talented Weapons Fuel South Florida Express’ High Powered Offense

Tyler Huntley is poised to become the next in a long line of successful South Florida Express QBs.

The 7-on-7 season is here and the madness has begun as teams have held their highly publicized tryouts to gather their talent for the 2015 season.  The most recognized 7-on-7 team in the country, South Florida Express has geared up for the new season and will feature many highly talented athletes that have garnered the attention of college programs from across the country.

The 7-on-7 game is an offensive game by nature and South Florida Express will have no shortage of weapons on that side of the ball this season.  2016 Hallandale quarterback Tyler Huntley will lead the way for the Express as their primary signal caller.  Huntley currently holds eight division I offers including Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida.  Also calling signals for the Express this season will be 2017 Cardinal Gibbons QB Jake Allen (Rutgers offer) and new Booker T. Washington HS transfer Eric Walker.

Wide Receiver is where the action is on the field and the Express has their usual array of talent at that position.  University of Miami commit Dionte Mullins (Gulliver Prep HS) will certainly be one to watch while Hallandale junior wide out Joshua Hammonds (15 offers including LSU, MIA, ND, Ohio St.) takes a back seat to no one.  St. Thomas Aquinas junior Sam Bruce (Miami commit) is one of the most electrifying prospects in the country and will be a force for the Express throughout the season.  Sophomore WR Emmanuel Greene,  who recently transferred to IMG Academy,  racked up a ton of offers during this past season from the likes of Miami, Florida, Ohio St. and UCLA.  Greene will be a tough matchup for the opposition in every tournament.  Not to be out done will be 2016 American Heritage Plantation WR Dredrick Snelson who won the Rivals 5 star challenge in 2014.  The University of Miami commit brings his speed and big play ability to the field and will create problems for defenses.

The excitement doesn’t stop there.  Miami High WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young will be one of the most intriguing prospects participating in the 7-on-7 circuit in 2015.  Young’s flair for the dramatic and off the charts athleticism promised to turns heads and open mouths at tournaments.  Southridge HS junior Freddie Pinder is an imposing figure at WR and has garnered the attention from several high profile SEC programs along with prolific offenses like Clemson and West Virginia.  The University of Miami is hot on the trail of this 6’5″ athlete that will likely take many a defensive back up top in tournament play.

You would think that would be enough for just one team but like the infomercials say “but wait, that’s not all”.  Cardinal Gibbons 2017 ATH Daniel Wright is ready to break ankles this 7-on-7 season and continue to draw the attention of schools like Auburn, Clemson, Miami and Michigan St. who are some of the 8 schools who have already offered.  Hallandale High School junior Chris Cotto made a name for himself last 7-on-7 season and carried that into the regular season.  Cotto is not as highly publicized as others on the roster but will wreck a defense as good as anyone.  2016 WR Demari Simpkins is much out of the mold of Cotto as he will use his quickness and playmaking ability to aid South Florida Express to many victories this season.

While the big names are doing their thing, several up and comers are ready to burst on the scene as South Florida Express players are known to do every year.  Junior WR Andrew Parchment (Cypress Bay) brings the length, speed and catching ability that many teams covet.  Cardinal Gibbons 2017 WR Leroy Henley did damage during the 2014 season and will continue that during the 7-on-7 circuit.  Henley already holds offers from seven schools including home town school The University of Miami.  Sophomore Laress Nelson (American Heritage Plantation) and  freshman Shaun Shivers (Chaminade-Madonna) promise to slice defenses with their cat-like quickness while 2017 prospects Jordan Merrell (Dillard) and Jonathan Moore (University School) will dazzle on-lookers with their A grade route running and catching ability.  Junior WRs Neru N’Shaka (Hallandale) and Elisha Daniels (Cardinal Gibbons) are ready to give people their money’s worth and show people why many high profile division I schools have taken an interest.

Rounding out the solid group on offense and ready to have their coming out party are 2018 WR Xavier Williams (Chaminade), 2017 WR Lavarus Tigner (Stranahan) who holds a Miami offer , 2018 WR BJ Alexander (Flanagan), 2016 RB Greg McCrea (Hallandale) and 2017 WR Mike Harley Jr. (St. Thomas).

South Florida Express founder Brett Goetz believes this can be the most talented team as he has ever had in his eight years.  That’s quite a statement since South Florida Express can claim NFL players, Heisman Trophy candidates, Bilenitkoff winners, Elite 11 Champions and Under Armour All American MVPs as part of their alumni.  No other 7-on-7 team in the country can make such a claim.  This will certainly make for a very exciting 2015 7-on-7 season.

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Recruiting News: Week of February 8, 2015

February 13, 2015

USC has offered 2016 American Heritage Plantation TE Nick Eubanks
2.13.15 4:36 PM

2016 LB Emmett Rice from Norland HS, FL has been offered by Florida.
2.13.15 10:23 AM

Florida St. has offered Miami HS, FL 2016 WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young.
2.13.15 9:29 AM

Miami has offered 2016 Coconut Creek LB Alexy Jean-Baptiste.
2.13.15 8:45 AM

Miami has offered 2016 Pahokee HS, FL RB McArthur Burnett.
2.13.15 8:44 AM

University of Nebraska DB coach Charlie Warren will become the new WR coach for North Carolina.
2.13.15 8:43 AM

University of Georgia’s WR coach Tony Ball is making the move to be WR coach for LSU.
2.13.15 8:42 AM

February 12, 2015

2016 Miami Norland Emmett Rice (Florida St. commit) has been offered by Alabama
2.12.15 10:39 PM

University of Miami GA Kareem Brown will remain as a GA but will be given the added responsibility of coaching the outside LBs.  Hurlie Brown will coach the inside linebackers.
2.12.15 10:15 PM

Former Cal Safety Avery Sebastian has transferred to Notre Dame for his final season.
2.12.15 8:43 PM

Hallandale 2016 WR Joshua Hammond has been offered by Florida St.  His 2nd offer of the day.
2.12.15 8:37 PM

Chaminade-Madonna HS, Hollywood, FL head football coach position is currently open as Marcello Rodriguez has stepped aside. Three prominent Broward County private school programs currently are without head coaches (St. Thomas, University School and Chaminade).
2.12.15 12:19 PM

University of Florida adds Marquell Blackwell to their staff as Quality Control Specialist.
2.12.15 11:34 AM

2016 WR Joshua Hammond from Hallandale HS, FL has been offered by the Florida Gators
2.12.15 9:25 AM

From February 11, 2015

2016 WR Freddie Pinder from Southridge HS, FL has been offered by Illinois
2.11.15 11:13 PM

Macon County HS, GA LB Roquan Smith will make his college decision on Friday.
2.11.15 7:57 PM

2016 QB Kato Nelson from Flanagan HS, FL has been offered by Cincinnati
2.11.15 7:56 PM

2016 DB Dontye C. Williams from Booker T Washington HS, FL has been offered by Bowling Green
2.11.15 7:55 PM

Cardinal Gibbons 2016 DB Elijah Daniels has been offered by Bowling Green
2.11.15 1:20 PM

Boise St.’s Mike Sanford expected to become the next offensive coordinator for Notre Dame.
2.11.15 12:43 PM

The UCLA Bruins have fired OLB coach Mike Tuiasosopo.
2.11.15 11:25 AM

The New Orleans Saints have hired UL Lafayette defensive coordinator James Willis.
2.11.15 11:23 AM

2016 S/LB Clifford Chatman from McDonough HS, LA has committed to the LSU Tigers
2.11.15 10:17 AM

From February 10, 2015

Final Rank by Offers Numbers for Class of 2015. Click Here
2.10.15 3:14 PM

From Atlanta Journal-Constitution: More on Roquan Smith by-passing letter of intent signing.
2.10.15 1:44  PM

Former University of Florida RB coach Brian White has been hired by Boston College to coach WR
2.10.15 11:45 AM

FIU WR coach Kerry Dixon has been hired as new WR coach at the University of Florida.
2.10.15 10:30 AM

2016 4 Star RB Tre Turner Holy Cross HS, LA has been offered by Arizona
2.10.15 9:15 AM

2016 4 Star QB Dwayne Haskins Bullis School, MD has been offered by Michigan.
2.10.15 9:13 AM

According to College Football Talk, 2015 LB Roquan Smith, who committed to UCLA during signing day activities at his school will not sign a letter of intent for the school he eventually chooses.

2.10.15  9:07 AM

Booker T Washington HS, FL 2016 CB Dontye Carriere-Williams will be attending Vanderbilt Junior Day on March 21.
2.10.15 8:37 AM

From February 9, 2015

Monarch HS, FL  head coach Calvin Davis has stepped down. Davis coached top 2015 recruits Calvin Ridley (Alabama) and Shawn Burgess-Becker (Alabama).
2.9.15 11:33 PM

Former University of Miami LB coach Mike Barrow has accepted the same position as a member of the Seattle Seahawks coaching staff.
2.9.15  8:58 PM

Former University of Miami commit Terrell Chatman has announced that he will attend Arizona St.
2.9.15 2:24 PM

According to Tim Reynolds, Kevin Beard will be new WR coach for the University of Miami.
2.9.15 1:58 PM

Eastern Washington QB Vernon Adams is transferring to Oregon.
2.9.15 1:24 PM

According to CanesInsight.com’s Peter Ariz, Hurricanes WR coach Brennan Carroll may be taking a position with the Seattle Seahawks.
2.9.15 12:32 PM

Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt replaces Oliver Luck on the College Football Selection Committee.
2.9.15 11:41 AM

Per ESPN’s Derek Tyson, CeCe Jefferson’s letter of intent has been signed and faxed in to the University of Florida.
2.9.15 11:32 AM

The University of Florida has offered 2016 WR Binjimen Victor from Coconut Creek HS, FL.
2.9.15 9:06 AM

From February 8, 2015

The University of Florida has offered 2017 American Heritage Plantation, FL offensive lineman TJ Slaton.
2.8.15 7:25 PM

The University of Florida has offered 2017 American Heritage Plantation, FL running back Kyshaun Bryan.
2.8.15 7:25 PM

LSU wide receivers coach Adam Henry has taken a job with the San Francisco 49ers according to coachingsearch.com
2.8.15 6:09 PM

From February 7, 2015

CeCe Jefferson says his LOI will be turned in to Florida soon.  His father and Florida DC Coach Collins had a long talk today.
2.7.15 6:21 PM

HS coach of Ohio St. ’15 signee Mike Weber is not happy with Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.  Story Here
2.7.15 3:48 P.M.

Per coachingsearch.com USF RB coach Autry Denson is a candidate for RB coach vacancy at Notre Dame.
2.7.15 3:36 PM

USC Redshirt CB Devian Shelton is no longer on the team.  According to Scout.com
2.7.15 12:52 PM

Charlie Strong not pleased with Chris Rumph departure to Florida according to CollegeSpun.
2.7.15 11:42 AM

CBS Sports says at least two Texas Longhorns recruits are not happy about the departure of DL coach Chris Rumph to Florida.
2.7.15 11:41 AM

According FootballScoop.com.  Notre Dame’s Tony Alford to join Urban Meyer’s Ohio St. coaching staff as the running back coach
- 2.7.15 11.12 AM

No Comments

Dual Sport ’16 Athlete Justin Thomas Jr. Looking to Make a Hit

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

There was a time when a high school athlete was just that.  In the Fall he played football, in the Winter he played basketball, in the Spring he would run track and in the Summer he’d play baseball.  Those days are gone.  Now,  coaches want you in their sport year round and only the finest of athletes can convince a coach to play another sport and leave a coach’s eye sight for a couple of months.  Chaminade Madonna High School’s Justin Thomas Jr. is that guy.

Thomas is one of only a few kids in South Florida that excel in both football and baseball.  On the football field,  the 6’1″ 185 lb. specimen throws his weight around like a FedEx worker tosses packages into his truck.  Thomas is that new breed of defensive back that has imposing size and athleticism.  He makes good use of it tracking down ball carriers and ramming into them full speed.  He also uses his speed to go get ball carriers that break free and believe they will find the end zone.  Thomas shows no fear on the gridiron and was one of the top players for the Lions during their 2014 season.  He will most certainly be the anchor of the defense in 2015 as the coaching staff finds a variety of ways to use his athletic talents.

Thomas’ size makes him available to play in the box versus run heavy attacks and his instincts give him an edge when they drop him back to the hash or deep middle of the field.  When the situation calls for it,  Thomas can also line up in the slot and handle anything from a jittery WR to an athletic TE.  His skills make him a utility knife that can equalize the production of an offense’s best player.  His skill set will be part Kam Chancellor and part Aquib Talib.  He’s really what college programs are looking for these days.  In the football offseason,  Thomas takes his toughness to the baseball diamond where he excels at the sport.  His hand eye coordination, balance and quickness are all developed to the max on the diamond and pay off dividends for him when he returns to the gridiron.  Thomas is a throw back that has developed a wide range of skills by being a two sport athlete.  His attributes allow him to deliver the hard hits on the football field and the base hits on the diamond.  He’ll definitely be a recruiting hit for the college program that signs him in 2016.

Check out Justin Thomas Jr.’s
Junior Season Highlight Video – Click Here


No Comments

Kam Chancellor Seals Seahawks Win with 90 Yard INT Return

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

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

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

1 Comment

Marshawn Lynch Beast Modes it Versus Carolina

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

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

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

Marshawn Lynch Tough Run vs Panthers


No Comments

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

Belief in Your Ability and Success Comes First

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


No Comments

’17 Prospect Wesley Butler Serving Up Mayhem Out West

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

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

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

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

Watch Wesley Butler Sophomore Year Highlights – Click Here


No Comments

Have You Ever Seen a 6’6″ High School Football Player Without a College Scholarship Offer? Me Neither

How Height Rules the New Recruiting Landscape

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

What’s the most important factor in obtaining a college football scholarship?  Is it tremendous footwork?  Is it a high football IQ?  Is it outstanding hitting ability?  How about great speed?  All of those things are nice and most definitely a part of any great player’s resume but if you want to be sure to play college football the most important factor is,  be tall.  There’s just something about a coach having to look up to see a prospect that makes an offer fall right out of their mouth.

Go to any high school football practice for any school, anywhere.  Chances are if there is a 6’5″ participant,  he has a college scholarship offer.  This offseason,  as you make your way to all the camps and combines,  check the crowd of reporters.  You can be certain they will congregate around a plus six footer.  There’s just something about having to hold your tape recorder above your head that screams hot prospect.  I’m not just talking fantasy here,  there is evidence to support this.  I am also not saying that tall prospects aren’t good players but there’s no denying that when it comes to height and college football prospects,  the numbers are trending up.

Take a look at the Rivals Top 100.   Here are the heights of the last five #1 rated prospects in the country:

Height of Rivals #1 Prospect 2011-2015
2011 6’6″
2012 6’6″
2013 6’3″
2014 6’4″
2015 6’3″

Looking beyond just that top spot,  from 2011-2015 ranked recruiting classes by Rivals,  only six prospects listed under 6′ have ever found themselves in the top 10.  That’s six prospects out of 50 that have been listed under 6′ tall.  For your math nuts out there,  that’s a mere 12%.

You should also note,  since it began producing a Top 100 list in 2002,  Rivals.com has never had their #1 recruit in the country stand under six feet tall.  Bet you didn’t know that.

Well you say,  that’s probably because they’re always picking some quarterback or defensive end.  This is true,  the last three #1 players in the country have been defensive ends.  So let’s take a look at height as it relates to some individual positions.  First we will start with defensive ends.  If you’re standing at or under six feet,  playing defensive end is a tough way to go according to the recruiting numbers.

- Height of Top 10 Rivals WDE 2011-2015
- Height of #1 Player Height of Shortest Prospect
2011 6’5″ 6’2″
2012 6’4″ 6’3″
2013 6’2″ 6’2″
2014 6’4″ 6’3″
2015 6’5″ 6’2″

No surprises here.  Height is where it’s at.  When it comes to rushing the quarterbacks weak side,  college coaches believe a tall, long rangy player has all the advantages over someone who is not that.

How Tall is the Passing Game?

There are no surprises at the pro-style quarterback position either.  Absolutely zero sub six foot quarterbacks have been ranked in the top 10 over the last five years at Rivals.com.  The average height of the guys that have been ranked number one in this category is 6’4″.

Ok,  we get it,  you “need” a tall guy to see over the line (that is till you realize the centers and guards are also 6’4″ but I’ll drink my tea now).  Perhaps the shifty dual threat quarterbacks are given some leeway on height.  Fat chance!  Over the last five recruiting cycles,  the average height of the #1 ranked dual threat quarterback in the country at Rivals has been 6’1.5″ and only one prospect out of a possible 50 listed in the top 10 over that time period has been listed under six feet.  That prospect is none other than Booker T. Washington High School’s and current Florida Gators starting quarterback Treon Harris.  That should surprise you.

Receiver’s Being Stolen from the Basketball Court

Surely,  receivers are not so much a part of this scenario.  Yes,  we have noticed that they have been getting taller but not across the board, right?  Hit the buzzer,  wrong!  No receiver from 2011-2015 recruiting classes listed under six feet has found themselves as the #1 receiver in the country.  Of the 50 receivers listed in the Top 10 over that time span,  a mere nine have been under six feet.   That’s 18%.

What About the No Fly Zone?

I didn’t take a look at the entire No Fly Zone.  I took an interest in cornerbacks.  When I was growing up,  it was rare to see six foot plus guys playing the position.  The thought was that they did not have the agility to mirror a wide receiver going through his cavalcade of direction changes.  That thinking has seen it’s way out with rotary dialed phones, VCR’s and other beloved amenities of my youth.  Take a look at the recent trends:

Height of Top 10 Rivals Cornerbacks 2011-2015
- Height of #1 Prospect # out of Top 10 listed under 6′
2011 6’1″ 7 out of 10
2012 5’11” 6 out of 10
2013 511″ 6 out of 10
2014 6’1″ 5 out of 10
2015 6’1″ 4 out of 10

Noticing a trend here?  Each recruiting cycle,  the number of sub 6′ cornerbacks in the Top 10 is shrinking.  Only the University of Miami’s Tracy Howard (2012) and the University of Florida’s Vernon Hargreaves (2013) has managed to find themselves in the top spot standing under six feet.  I guess we can all thank the Seattle Seahawks for this trend as they’ve dominated the air waves in the NFL the past few seasons with power forwards playing cornerback.

What’s the Reason?

Well there are a few theories I have.  First,  the field of exercise science has exploded in recent years.  The ability to turn seemingly any individual into a competent athlete has increased.  This now applies to taller athletes who were once considered to be awkward.  Physical development and training is turning tall athletes into agile beings that can survive out in space and change direction.  There was a time that the thought was once you passed 6’5″ it was time for you to go stand in the paint on a basketball court.  Now exercise science has turned those guys into tight ends and even wide receivers.

College coaching staffs can add weight to a prospects frame when they get on campus.  They can also make them faster and improve their IQ.  However,  we have not reached the point where medical science can make an athlete taller.  With that in mind,  the thought of a coaching staff is I can’t teach height so acquiring a 6’5″ player that can do what a 6’2″ player can do gives me a tactical advantage.

College coaches are also involved in a profession that does not offer a ton of stability.  Jobs are given and taken with light speed now in college football.  More and more,  jobs are lost over lack of production in the area of recruiting.  This means,  coaches are less likely to take chances on the recruiting trail.  Bringing in a highly productive high school player who was not the ideal height and having him struggle on the college practice field makes for some uneasy moments in the meeting room.  Coaches now are much more resigned to taking a tall athlete that “looks the part” and having him fail than the alternative.

You may ask why should we care about the Top guys or the top 10 guys?  We are just looking to get a scholarship to any of the schools, not necessarily Alabama.  Here’s the rub.  College football is very much a copy cat game and that means in recruiting too.  All of the schools are looking to imitate what’s in the top 10.  It seems they will take a poor man’s version of the Top 10 prospects before going after a highly productive version that does not resemble top 10 characteristics.  I have division II schools telling me they are looking for 6 foot corners.  Really man?

Few programs are willing to be trend setters it seems as the herd mentality rules.  Playing it safe is the name of the game and the bottom will imitate what’s happening at the top as best they can.

What Should the Little Guys Do?

Have no fear.  It’s not time to start watching the horse races and conjuring up a career as a jockey.  In the long run,  football is a results oriented business that holds many rewards for those who can persevere.  What is football if not a test of will?  If you are not the required height,  it just means you are going to have to dig deep, work harder and grind more than the next man.  It’s what you should be doing anyway but even more now since your are looking up to your competition.  The lessons and character you build in this pursuit will only yield dividends in every aspect of your life.


No Comments

Real Time Web Analytics