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blog entries about high school football

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


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

Say the name Chance Bell.  It has a ring to it doesn’t it?  That sounds like the kind of football name that you would remember and one so perfect for a running back.  However,  there’s more to the prospect than the name alone. If you’ve had a chance encounter with Bell on the football field,  your ankles are likely still mad at you for it.  Bell is a cut master and we are not talking on two turntables.

Bell was a sophomore sensation for The Burroughs High School Indians in Burbank, California.  Moving from Las Vegas to Burbank,  Bell led Burroughs in rushing with 1,150 yards on just 15o carries (7.5 average).  In so doing,  Bell became the first sophomore in the school’s history to rush for 1,o00 yards. The sophomore prospect will dazzle you with vision, footwork and change of direction.  He flashes the elements that really excite college football coaches.  Bell will remind you of a young Edgerrin James who could slice an opposing defense like a butcher cuts meat.   For defenders it has to seem as though Bell has eyes on the side of his head as he makes moves on defenders that would appear to be outside of his peripheral vision.

Bell’s production will only increase as he adds size, strength and speed to his frame.  I can see him becoming a nightmare and three straight 1,000 yard season would appear to be a formality barring injury.  Watching Bell,  you realize instantly that he has likely been carrying the football for as long as he can remember.  Natural runners like Bell are what record breaking running backs are made of. I do not know the rushing records at Burroughs high school but I am fairly certain Bell will own them by the time he walks across the stage to grab his diploma.

Running back like Chance Bell is a problem for defenders in the open field as he does a solid job of setting up blocks and defenders for his myriad of jukes, fakes and escapes. Burroughs has not been a perennial power in Southern California but I suspect that their respect level will go up with Bell in the backfield toting the mail.  He is definitely one to watch out for in coming seasons as a top prospect in a hot bed of college football talent like Southern Cal.  Opposing teams and their defenders will spend the next two seasons trying to avoid wearing a dunce cap on Bell’s future highlight reels.

Check out Chance Bell’s Sophomore Highlight Video

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


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 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, 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, 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

Top 4 Ways to Get Recruited by College Football Coaches


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

If you are a high school football player chances are you want to continue playing football at the college football level. In the college football recruiting game there are some things that are consistent and the following four things are just that. Here are the top 4 Ways to Get Recruited by College Coaches.


It’s no secret, height wins in the recruiting game. 6’2″ cornerbacks are getting offers like they are going out of style. If you are 6’6″ playing defensive end and or tight end, college coaches have their eyes are on you. There’s noting like a 6’7″ left tackle and everyone is looking for a 6’4″ quarterback. So you are asking, why is he telling me this? I have no control over my height. While height is largely genetic, there is evidence to support the notion that sleep and rest could contribute to an increase in your height. If you’re young, get your rest. It could really pay off!


Speed kills. You’ve heard it before. Some of the greatest players to play this game had the crucial element of speed. Whether it’s the running back that can turn a simple handoff into a 75 yard run or a wide receiver that can catch a 5 yard slant and go the distance, speed is very attractive to the college football coach. Join the track team or do some speed specific training. Athlete’s Acceleration can help. They have outstanding, simple methods for speed development. Click here to visit them. College coaches always want to know how fast you are.


You can’t judge a book by it’s cover… Don’t tell that to college football coaches out on the recruiting trail. Undoubtedly a well developed frame with ripped muscles and lean mass will always garner attention. Of course you will have to be able to play the game with a reasonable amount of efficiency but we are already assuming you are a good player. A good player that looks like he has been in the weight room will more often get looks before a great player that looks like he has never touched a weight. Learn to love the weight room.


In life you can always get ahead by knowing what you are good at but also equally important, by knowing what you are not so good at. Either improve on those weaknesses or stick to what you are good at. Often times it is difficult to determine this yourself. Many struggle with this task. However, some of the best will seek the opinion of others. At GridironStuds, we offer a great service that has helped 100’s of student athletes called a FULL EVALUATION. We know what colleges look at and can tell you what they are seeing in you. It’s an awesome tool that every college prospect should use and it’s affordable. Email me if you are interested in this important service –

In my six years in the recruiting business, I have observed these FOUR factors consistently leading to an athlete being recruited more than the average. .

Good luck and as always, if any of you need help with recruiting feel free to reach out and touch me using any of the contact info below. We offer a couple of services that can definitely aid you in getting recruited by college football programs.


Chad Wilson is a recruiting expert and owner of 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:

5 Things You Need to Do This Offseason To Get Recruited


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

The offseason is where champions are built. You’ve heard that before but the offseason is also where a lot of recruiting work is done. If you are looking to get more attention in the recruiting game, here are 5 things you can do this offseason to improve your chances of getting recruited by college football programs.

1) HIT THE WEIGHT ROOM: One of the #1 things college recruiters are going to do this offseason is try to get out and see prospects in person. The obvious reason for this is that they want to see how the prospects move around. Another big reason is to verify the “size” of the recruit. Verifying the height and the build of the recruit is a big deal in college football recruiting. You have no control over height but you do have control over how you look. Developing and maintaining a lean body gives you the look of a future college football player. Having a college coach come to see you and you look like you’ve never touched a weight will lead to them questioning your dedication to the sport. Hit the weight room.

2) GET TRAINING: Developing skill and knowledge about your craft is how people succeed in life. This also applies to football. Across the country, the people you are competing with for scholarships are out getting the training they need to excel at their position. If you are not doing the same then you fall behind the competition. A quarterback should be getting in work with a QB trainer. There are many of them out there. Do your research and find a quality one. The same goes for all of the other positions. Your work with a trainer on your craft will show up in camps and during the season. People will notice.

3) SPEED, SPEED, SPEED: Everything in society is moving faster and nowhere is that more apparent on the football field. A slow athlete just does not get recruited, period. If you are not on the track team then you BETTER being doing something this offseason about improving your speed. If your team is not doing speed workouts then I highly suggest you address this issue on your own. One of the best products I have seen for athlete speed development comes from Athletes Acceleration. It really attacks the core principles of speed development in a simple way. I highly recommend. Visit them by clicking here.

4) ATTEND CAMPS: Some debate the merits of 3rd party camps like Rivals, Under Armour, NUC, FBU, etc. I do not. If you are going to these camps expecting recruiters to pour into your inbox then you are going to them for the wrong reason. Attend these camps for one major reason and that is competition. It is important for you to get out and find your competition. It is important for you to know where you stack up against those who are competing for the scholarships you want. The best way to do that is to attend these events. How do you stack up against the 4 and 5 stars? What do you need to work on? You get answers to those questions at these events. Use them for your advancement.

Need recruiting help and advice? Contact me via email:

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


By: Chad Wilson –
Editor 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:

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.

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.

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

’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

2016 Dual Threat QB Eric Walker is A Baller


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

There was a time when everyone was looking for the 6’5″ QB who could stand tall in the pocket,  see everything and rifle the football to his playmakers.  In this new era,  teams have learned that if the QB can see everything then everyone can see him.  A stationary target in the pocket may not be what the doctor ordered anymore so the proliferation of highly athletic QBs is in full effect.  Quarterbacks that can escape the pocket and keep a play alive or gut the defense for big yards is what is in demand.  2016 Miami Monsignor Pace High School quarterback is just what the doctor ordered.

Walker is reminiscent of Russell Wilson when you watch him on film.  He’s not a scrambler by trade but has the ability to pull the ball down and hurt the defense.  His initial instincts are to look down field for the open receiver and even move around behind the line of scrimmage to wait for someone to break open.  However,  when the situation seems bleak,  Walker is a great athlete that can not only go get a first down but beat the defense for a long touchdown.  With the recent success of Wilson and other mobile quarterbacks,  colleges have been seeking the services of dual threat quarterbacks not only for run based spread offenses but for both balanced and pass heavy offenses.  When all else fails,  quarterbacks like Walker provide that added dimension that drives defenses crazy.

You will observe Walker on film using his quickness to avoid the rush and buy time for the big play down field.  It’s an absolute killer for defenses that must cover for extended periods of time when Walker is at the controls.  Equally as dangerous are the zone read plays that Walker runs to perfection.  He’s a good learner, who has been well coached to come skinny off of the read when he pulls the football.  He gets North / South through the defense in a hurry and sets up the downfield blocks quite well to crank out big gains.  Walker is certainly one to keep your eye on in this next recruiting cycle as a dual threat quarterback who is also athletic enough to play any skill position on the field.  No doubt,  Walker is a baller.

View Eric Walker’s Junior Year Highlight Video – Click Here

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