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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.



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

3 Great Ways to Handle Disappointment in Recruiting

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

You work hard at this thing called football. You go hard in practice, you put in work on your days off and you do everything that need to do but still the offers aren’t coming. That’s the story for many high school football players across the country. You are not alone.

What happens to many in this situation is that they give up. Some do it abruptly, others will slowly do so over time. Giving up is not the answer. For many the problems lies in their expectations and the perception of themselves.

I have already informed many of you of the guidelines many top schools have in terms of measurables for their prospects. When coaches set out on the recruiting trail they are sent out with requirements as to what a recruit needs to have in terms of height, weight and speed at a position. I can’t tell you how many times I have received calls from college coaches saying “coach I need a 6’4″ defensive end” or “coach I am looking for 6′ cornerbacks.” That typically means, the coordinator or the head coach has told the position coach, go out and find me a guy with those requirements?

The fact that coaches are looking at you and not offering you does not mean that you are not a good football player. Most of the time it just means that you don’t fit the requirements that they are looking for. The coach out on the recruiting trail can not be told to go find a 6’4″ defensive end and come back to the recruiting meeting with one that is 6’1″. It’s like a wife telling her husband to go to the store to buy eggs and he comes back with butter. You can bet that there will be a fight coming up.

So what you need to do as a recruit is realize that it’s not always about you. Many times it has to do with what that school and coach need right now. So what do you do about it?

1) Don’t give up on your Division I dreams. If you are convinced that you are a division I football player, continue working your tail off and improving day by day. As much as you can seek out competition against those with division I offers and attention you need to do so. This is a way to improve your skills and stay on point.

2) Start paying attention to Division I-AA and Division II schools. This may seem like the opposite of #1 but it’s not. You don’t have to give up on your Division I dreams to pay attention and do research on 1-AA and II programs. If you do not get the Division I offer you are looking for, it would have been in your best interest to have had communication with 1-AA and II schools so that they know you. Ignoring schools at this level because you are D1 or bust is not a good strategy. It’s similar to not going to class in college because you are convinced that you are going to the NFL. We all know that’s not a good strategy.

3) Realize that Division I schools are not the only place where the NFL finds it’s talent. Do the research, many high quality NFL players made a name for themselves at smaller schools before getting their NFL opportunity. Why can’t this be you? Joe Flacco played at Delaware, Tony Romo at Eastern Illinois, Ravens WR Steve Smith started his college career at a junior college and Super Bowl XLIX hero, defensive back Malcom Butler played at West Alabama. What matters most is your perseverance, focus and determination. If you really want to make it to the NFL you will make it from anywhere. Just keep working hard, studying the game and doing your class work. You will be the next great story that will inspire young players who were once in your shoes. Think of all the attention you will get when it is learned that an All Pro like yourself made it from a small school.

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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.


When It Comes to Money Mayweather, Respect it You Must

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Chad Wilson – Editor – GridironStuds Blog
Twitter: @GridironStuds

I spent a good part of my night last night arguing with Mayweather fans about why I can’t get excited about what he does but I have to admit this. You or I don’t have to like it but you have to respect it.

After taking in some of the comments made but more so after listening to him post fight and analyzing his comments I’ve come to a conclusion.

A young man from the ghetto who grew up in tough circumstances made a plan and has been executing it since he was a teenager. I am always in favor of a plan. I am always in favor of scheme, tactics and the use of one’s mind to win. This is exactly what Floyd does. While I would favor more physical domination in the sport of boxing, this is not my plan, it’s Floyd’s.

Floyd is a little man who found a brutal sport. He devised a plan to survive at his size in this viscous endeavor and rise to the top. His plan and his execution of it has earned him more money than anyone could imagine a person from his circumstance could make.

Further endearing to his achievement is that his plan extended beyond ring antics. Floyd knew a style like his alone would not garner worldwide attention. He knew enough to know his style in this brutal sport would not excite the masses. With that in mind, he created a persona.

This money hungry, flaunt my riches act performed by Mayweather has combined with his flawless record to make him the most talked about boxer of his time. It has also made him the richest. He has provided for his family and then some. What he has done is no different than anything done by the millionaires of the WWE or the actors on the Hollywood big screen.

A big part of Floyd’s plan and success is the undefeated record. As such, he did what he had to do to protect it. Carefully planning his opponents is unbecoming of the nature of the sport. However, it was the proper execution of his plan and he’s winning in a big way.

There’s much in Floyd’s personal life to make you want to discredit him. I will say this, many from his circumstances would have been buried by some of his mistakes. What kind of personal life did Mike Tyson have?

Floyd’s endearment to the young generation I can only hope is born out of the admiration of him overcoming the odds to live the American dream. I can hope it is not an infatuation with the antics. I now realize it’s an act executed with an end game in mind.

Historians won’t call Mayweather the best because of his style in the ring. He is not viscous like Tyson, not comical like Ali and not powerful like Roy. You know what? Floyd doesn’t care. He was in this for the money and he damned sure got it He will walk away in tact. Well played Floyd. Well played.


GridironStuds.com Top 5 Players in the 2015 NFL Draft

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By: Chad Wilson – Editor GridironStuds Blog

There have been mock drafts, draft shows, draft analysis, draft previews and draft insight.  Doesn’t matter where you go,  the NFL draft is in your face.  Well here’s one more draft article.  Over the years there have been a fair amount of draft busts and some superstars that have come out of the first round which will be spotlighted tonight.  This 2015 draft will once again produce busts and perhaps some guys that will end up in Canton.  In my opinion,  here are the Top 5 players in this year’s NFL draft.  I base the list on ability, production and risk.

1. Leonard Williams – DT – Southern California:  Defensive lineman have been all the craze in this pass happy era of the National Football League.  Williams is a physical freak that is one of the more chiseled 300 lb. athletes you will ever see.  He was a highly productive player at USC with 21 sacks and a ton more mayhem caused.  While most 300 lb. defensive lineman are lined up at tackle,  Williams’ athleticism allow him to play the defensive end spot where many project him to play in the NFL. Anyway you look at it,  Williams is tough matchup for any offensive lineman, a problem for all offensive coordinators and one of those can’t miss prospects that come around every now and then.  Williams a 4 star rated player by Rivals coming out of high school and was the 5th ranked strong side defensive end in his class.

2. Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama:  There are many that will say you can find a ton of wide receivers in the NFL draft.  There aren’t many like this guy.  Underrated coming out of high school,  Cooper’s athletic gifts combined with his work ethic struck fear in defensive backs across college football during his career with the Crimson Tide.  Jon Gruden says Cooper has “a large inventory of routes” and that would accurately describe his game.  Whether its the go route, comeback, dig or curl,  Cooper is running it with precision.  He can catch the ball and do something dangerous with it afterwards.  He’s a nightmare off of the line of scrimmage and goes hard all game long.  He is essentially Jerry Rice with 4.42 speed. Picture that.  Wide receivers have a high bust rate in the draft but Cooper’s determination will not allow that to happen.  Cooper was a 4 star prospect out of high school according to Rivals and was listed 45th in their Top 100 the year he graduated.

3. Dante Fowler – DE / OLB  – Florida:  Pass rushers have become key in the NFL game.  With rules making it tough on the secondary to stay in contact with wide receivers,  defensive ends and pass rushing outside linebackers have been given the task of disrupting the high octane passing games.  Moving the quarterback off of his spot is the name of the game and that is what has brought Dante Fowler his fame.  While Fowler did not rack up huge numbers in terms of sacks,  if you viewed any Florida games during his time there,  he contributed to an enormous amount of failed plays by opposing offenses.  The relentless edge rusher tallied 34 tackles for a loss in his career at Florida and has excited teams at the top of the draft with his physical abilities. Fowler’s 4.60 forty yard dash at 260 lbs. makes him a candidate to play either DE in a 4-3 scheme our OLB in one of the growing number of 3-4 schemes popping up in the league.  He was a consensus 5 star prospect coming out of high school in 2012 and was the 3rd rated weak side defensive end prospect.

4. Cameron Erving – OT – Florida St.:  While Iowa’s Brandon Scherff has been considered the top OT in this draft and is likely to be the first offensive lineman selected,  I am riding with Cameron Erving as the best OL in the pool.  Erving came to Florida St. as a defensive lineman where he played his freshman year and sophomore year.  He then moved to the other side of the ball to offensive tackle and became a dominant player.  His junior year,  Erving earned All ACC honors along with 2nd team All American.  He was a top candidate for the Outland Trophy entering this past season but made a switch to center when FSU starting center Austin Barron season ended with an injury.  It is rare that a 6’6″ tackle makes a seamless move to the center position.  Erving was a leader on the FSU front and that has to impress you.  Erving has played defensive tackle, offensive tackle and center.  The lessons learned from all of that will pay off huge at the next level.  On top of that Erving is 6’6″ with longer arms and range than Scherff and for my money,  he seems more of a sure thing.

5. Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin: The consensus is that Gurley will be the first taken but most analysts say Gordon not too far behind.  In my opinion,  he’s the guy I want if I am looking for a back in this draft. The knock on Gordon is inconsistent hands.  That’s nice but I need my running back carrying the rock not running routes.  I am sure Gordon can execute the screen play and the check down with no adventure.  If that’s all he does while tallying up 8 or 9 1,000 yard seasons for my franchise then I hit a home run. You can’t argue Gordon’s production for Wisconsin.  He put up 2,500 + yards this year after cranking out a 1,600 yard season in 2013.  There’s noting like being the hunted going into a season and performing above expectations.  I prefer Gordon over Gurley because Gordon can avoid contact,  while Gurley seems more apt to invite it.  This means Gordon is more likely to stay in the lineup and be on the field on Sundays.  Ultimately,  your first round pick needs to be on the field and not only was Gordon durable for Wisconsin,  his 4,915 yards and 7.8 yards per carry average makes him one of the most productive college football backs of all time.  Gordon was a 4-star rated back by Rivals coming out of high school in 2011 and was ranked the 24th RB overall in the country.  Tonight he will be one of the Top 32 men selected in the 2015 NFL draft.

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Three Things You Need to Do During Spring Practice To Be A Success

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By: Chad Wilson –
Editor GridironStuds.com Blog

For many, Spring football has already begun. It’s your chance to deliver on all of the promises you made at the conclusion of last year. If success is what you are after, here are three things you will need to do this Spring for it to be a success.

1) SET GOALS: Setting a goal helps you to focus. Focusing leads to high performance. Any successful person will tell you that they got there by setting a goal. Spring football will be no different. Set challenging but reasonable goals. IT is important that you write them down and post them somewhere where they can be seen. Seeing those goals on a daily basis resets your focus at times when it will wander and it will wander.

2) FOLLOW THROUGH: Many people set goals and think that’s it. You must check your progress as you continue along towards your goals. At some point you may need to make adjustments to what you are doing or even adjust the goals to suit the situation. Either way, following through and checking your progress is essential.

3) KEEP TRACK: Measure your progress. This actually means keeping stats. This may sound corny to you but sometimes success means being corny (actually more than sometimes). How many catches did you have today? How many times did you score? How many pancake blocks? How many tackles? How many INTs? Keeping track of your day to day productivity will not only keep you in competition with yourself but it will also give you something to look back on in the future to see how far you have come.

Do these three things this Spring season and you are almost guaranteed to come out a success. When college coaches arrive to watch practice, nothing should change because whether they are there or not, you should always be giving 100% when you step out on the Gridiron.

Good luck and as always, if any of you need help with recruiting feel free to reach out and touch me by sending an email to: cwilson@gridironstuds.com.


The Fastest 40 Yard Dash Ever

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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 Breshad Perriman Central Florida 4.22 added 4/3/15
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 Phillip Dorsett University of Miami 4.25 added 4/3/15
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
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 4/3/15: Pro timing days are still going but we do have two highly publicized entries onto the list. UCF’s Breshad Perriman cranked out a 4.22 forty at UCF’s pro timing day at 6’2″ and weighing 215 lbs.  Only Randy Moss is taller than Perriman on this list.  After running a 4.35 at the combine,  Miami’s Phillip Dorsett cranked out a 4.25 at the University of Miami’s pro timing day.  If you’ve had a chance to see video, it looked every bit of 4.2.  Dorsett becomes the 5th Miami Hurricane added to the list.

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 mine 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.


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