5 Things An Outside Linebacker Needs to Show On FILM to Get Recruited

Your highlight film is your resume.  Your job is to get a scholarship.  Your resume is what gets your hired.  So don’t take that highlight video for granted.  If you play outside linebacker and want to have a chance at continuing to do so at the college level,  there are some things you are going to need to have on your resume.

We are going to go on the assumption that you have the height and athleticism requirements to play college football.  Sometimes telling people that ruffles their feathers.  It gets put into better perspective when we draw an academic example.  No one is yelling at Harvard and Yale when they don’t accept you for having an 800 SAT score.  Likewise,  there are some physical requirements that an athlete needs to meet to be considered for a football scholarship.  That,  my friends,  is what we call the facts of life.  Perhaps you lack those things and it bothers you.  Trust me,  I totally understand.  I am not saying that your goal is impossible but I am telling you that it will be very difficult.  The only way that you will have a chance is to have and present these five things on your recruiting highlight video.

(1) Tackling

This is a no brainer.  Linebackers tackle.  In fact,  linebackers are the best tacklers on the football team.  Defensive linemen are often entangled with offensive linemen and defensive back’s primary job is to cover.  A linebacker’s job is to tackle.  If you can’t do that,  then you aren’t a linebacker.  Nice form tackles,  aggressive tackles with technique are the beef in your taco when it comes to a highlight video.  Get those solid tackles on film early and often.  Football is an aggressive game and as such,  it grabs the attention of college coaches and evaluators.  I’d avoid the drag down,  had to spin him around tackles on film unless you did something highly athletic before you got there. Weak tackles from a linebacker do little to convince a college coach that you are his guy.

(2) Ability to Blitz

Blitzing is a big part of playing linebacker in many schemes.  Often times,  outside linebackers are the ones bringing the heat off of the edge.  Having the ability to show good timing along with an ability to get through gaps is a great thing.  If you play linebacker then you also know that most blitzes don’t result in you getting to the quarterback or ball carrier untouched.  Despite that,  the job still has to get done.  Show on film that you know how to blitz,  defeat a blocker and still accomplish the goal.  Truth be told,  anyone can go in and blow up a play when no one blocks them.  The superior linebackers know how to either avoid or run through a block to make the big play for the defense.

(3) Ability to Cover

Football is a passing game now.  Offenses are sending out four and five receivers into patterns regularly.  It’s nice for a coach to not have to sub guys out because they are a liability in the pass game.  If you have coverage ability and you should,  get that on film within the first 10 plays.  If you can lock down a tight end,  running back or slot receiver,  your value goes up sharply in the eyes of college football scout.

(4) Hustle

When you are playing outside linebacker,  you will definitely have times when the play is run away from you.  Nothing is worse than a guy who shuts it down when the play is not coming his way.  Few things are more exciting than watching a guy hunt down a ball carrier from the other side of the field.  Even if you are not blessed with tremendous speed,  you can appear to be fast just by keeping your foot on the gas at all times.  Many guys slow down on the football field when the action isn’t coming their way.  If you hustle to the ball always,  you will look fast on film zooming past all of the slackers.  If you inspire the rest of your team to hustle then you can be on a great defense that attracts a lot of college scouts.

(5) Take on Blocks

If you play defense then you know that taking on blocks is a big part of your job description.  Getting off of blocks is a highly valuable skill.  Being an un-blockable defender is the stuff that legends are made of.  If you possess this skill,  you most certainly want to display it.  There’s no scheme played on defense that allows a defender to run free every time.  However,  if you are good at beating blocks then the offense has to use two guys to do the job.  Every defensive coach wants a unit full of guys that require a double team.  You don’t have to be the president of the math club to know that this won’t work for the offense.  Show your ability to beat blocks so you instantly become a prize for a college football coach prowling for recruits.

So there you have it.  If you possess all of those skills then congratulations.  However,  don’t be an idiot.  Everyone one of those skills better be on display in the first 10 plays on your highlight video.  Don’t make the coach wait to see all of the tools in your toolbox because he may not stick around to find them.  If you are missing one or more of those skills then you had better get busy on acquiring those skills.  This goes for you athletically gifted studs too.  At some point,  just being big, tall and fast is not going to be enough.  Be a skillful player and show it on film.

Video of the Day: ’22 QB Nathan Kornely is Full Service

Running GridironStuds.com and the GridironStuds app I get the chance to see 1,000’s of videos annually.  Some highlight videos are good but most are shall we say “not up to snuff”.  As such,  I tend to get excited when I see one done the right way and that would accurately describe the highlight video for ’22 quarterback Nathan Kornely.

Kornely is a rising junior out of Villa Park HS in Anaheim, California.  Primarily a JV quarterback in 2019,  Kornely will be making the big step up into the varsity starter role in 2020 for the Spartans with the hopes of returning them to their winning ways.  2019 saw them produce a rare losing season at 4-6.  Kornely I think is just the man for the job.  His highlight video hits you in the face right away with his array of talents.  Within the first two minutes you will see him hit the deep ball,  make a touch throw,  scramble for a first down,  roll out and hit a target on the sidelines and fit the ball into a tight pack of defenders to his wide receiver.   This is how highlight videos for quarterbacks should be made.  IN a day in age where quarterbacks are being asked to do so much,  Kornely’s abilities should delight you.

What you also like to see is his poise as he definitely looks like he is in control when he’s at the controls.  Whether it is spotting the blitz,  avoiding the rush or executing a play action fake,  Kornely gives you the look of polish that only a well manicured brass door knob can appreciate.  It only stands to reason that his efforts and skills will continue to grow as he grows physically and gains more experience.  Villa Park is a proud program and they should be elated that their most important position is in the hands of a highly capable signal caller.  Villa Park is not amongst the most popular programs in the Southern California area but they are no slouch.  If Kornely comes up big this season,  as I expect he will,  then look out for loads of D1 attention.  Your favorite school may be on the radar.

To check out Nathan Kornely’s profile and highlight video,  download the GridironStuds App (available for iPhone and android) Click here  or visit his profile on the GridironStuds.com website.  Click here.

What Position Should I Play? Let Your Skill Set Decide

I’m often asked two questions by young athletes leaving junior high to enter into high school football.  Is my height and weight enough to play a certain position or what position should I play.

I understand the angst that may overcome youngsters at this age as they want to make the proper moves to secure their future in the sport. Pick the wrong position and you may not be good at it or worse,  you won’t get looked at by college scouts.  Please see the sarcasm in the last part of that last sentence.  Once in my youth football coaching days,  I made the mistake of asking the entire team “who wants to play running back?”  Nearly 30 of the 63 players that were a part of the team at that time stood up including four of my five eventual offensive lineman.  In your youth years there is a little less self awareness.  You can be blinded and controlled by selfish desires that can circumvent your actual path to success.  I myself swore I was a running back forever back in my youth football days.  While I played running back in high school,  by the time I reached my senior season,  I had come to the reality that defensive back would take me where I wanted to go.

Let’s not wait till the 12th grade to make these important decisions.  For many of you that may read this article,  you won’t have total control over where you play in high school.  Often times,  where you line up is determined by the team needs.  However,  before that,  your coach will look at one very important thing before determining where you can help the team and that is your skill set.  Just like the 7′ footer is put at center in basketball,   your athletic skill set will and should play a large part in where you line up in high school.

Before your height and weight,  your athleticism should determine your position.  If you have  a strong arm and can read a defense,  then quarterback is probably the position for you.  If you are speedy and athletic then wide receiver or defensive back  If you don’t move as fast but have size and strength you’re probably looking at the offensive line.  Have an aggressive mindset and you’re a little crazy,  welcome to linebacker.  Don’t get me wrong,  your size is part of the decision making process but not as much in high school.  Understand that you are still growing in high school and what you bring to the table athletically is what will make up the big part of the decision.

What to do about the part where your size doesn’t fit the position you are playing?  I have often found that that guys who feel they were playing out of position size-wise in high school were also not athletically fit for the position they thought they should be playing.  For instance,  the 6’0″ defensive end that thinks he should be playing linebacker because of his height most of the times is not athletic enough to hack it at linebacker.   In the game of football,  not being athletic enough is a bigger crime than not being tall enough.

Certainly there are times when you are truly playing out of position because either your team has an overwhelming need at a certain position and you’re the only one that can fill it or they have tremendous depth at a position you should be playing.  Other times,  your school’s scheme does not lend itself to you making a proper impact at a position you would be suitable for in college.  What to do in those situations will be the topic of my article next week.   For now,  in determining where you want to hang your hat in terms of a position in high school football,   let your skills make the decision for you.

The Best Advice You Ever Got on Recruiting Came When it Was Over

Thousands of Americans are kicking themselves in the rear end for not investing in Tesla’s stock last year when it was hovering around $250 per share.  Now that it is testing the $2,000 per share mark,  people are wondering how much money they missed out on.  As they punch the calculator,  the tears flow.  Guess who else is suffering from this syndrome?  Many former high school football players who are sitting at home wondering why it never happened for them.

Like the many of Americans who were hearing all the great things about Tesla and it’s innovative CEO Elon Musk but chose to ignore it,  thousands of freshman, sophomores and junior high school football players are walking past all the keys to success in recruiting.  I’ve written a ton of articles and posted many videos on my YouTube channel trying to educated prospects on the recruiting game.  I do so knowing full well that the ones who really need this information the most won’t be the ones who take it in.  It’s ok,  I know that if this information falls into the hands of just one prospect who uses it and changes the course of their life then I have done good.  However,  why does it have to be that way?

The most successful adults typically are the ones who had an eye for the future as youngsters.  It doesn’t mean that they had the best grades or were the best athletes.  However,  they did have some kind of rich thoughts about what tomorrow would bring and how they could possibly be successful.  Every week,  high school football players go to meetings and practice in preparation for the opponent that they will face on Friday night.  In the process,  film gets studied,  play scripts are made,  plans are formed and strategy is constructed.  Imagine if you didn’t do any of that and just played the game on Friday.  How much success do you think you would have?  Sadly,  when you ignore the advice you are getting and have access to on a regular basis,  you are basically like a team who doesn’t practice all week before a game.

I am always amazed at how more willing to listen a high school player is when they reach their senior year.  Typically it’s when things aren’t going right and the offers aren’t piling up.  Unfortunately,  it’s usually too late then.  Many opportunities have come and gone at that point.  If you do get a chance,  it will be down a path that you most likely won’t want to travel like prep school or JUCO.  Some guys will even be amazingly open to listening when the senior year has ended and the signing day has passed.  This is like looking at the game plan and watching film of the opponent you just played on the Saturday morning after the game.

One of the things I love the most about football is the many life lessons it teaches.  As it relates to this,  take this big one.  If you fail to prepare than prepare to fail.  You watch film of your opponent right?  You make a game plan right?  You practice right?  Do me a favor and do the same thing with your college football recruiting.  Listen to the advice of those who have been there and are sharing it with you.  Take the 10 minutes to read an article or watch a video.  Sure when you are young you think everything will just magically go your way.  Resist that type of juvenile thinking and prepare for the future you want.  If you see yourself dressed up in a college football team’s jersey at some point in the future then you owe it to yourself to learn all that you can about how to make that happen.

For the investors that missed out on Tesla,  there will be another blockbuster stock that will come along that makes people rich.  You only get one time to go through high school and get recruited.  Take the lessons and advice you are getting seriously.  Your future depends on it.

You Have One Job in College Football Recruiting, Get Exposure

Have you ever seen a guy that looks the part and have a ton of offers?  Have you ever seen a guy who is the part with an offer sheet that’s as blank as a mind of a man in a coma?  Ever wonder what the difference is?

If all things are equal it just boils down to this one word called exposure.  Running the GridironStuds.com website and the GridironStuds app,  I am looking prospects all day long.  Over the years I have certainly coached many and seen a ton in person.  As such,  I have seen flat out ball players who have the required dimensions tucked away like an alligator in the bush.  Upon investigation  I have often determined the major problem to be lack of exposure.  For some,  the problem is simply living in the wrong area,  in the wrong state or going to the wrong school.  For others it’s just a lack of due diligence in getting their name out there so that the proper people can see them.

There was a time when what you did on Friday night was enough but those days are long gone.  The only guys that get to rely entirely on their Friday night exploits are the guys who are built like the Hulk and move like Flash.  Even still,  those guys have to make it out to events and promote themselves to be ranked amongst the best in their class.  Once recruiting websites started becoming a thing and camps became a staple,  it was time to start doing a little bit more to earn yourself a scholarship offer.

Of course,  I am writing this article during a pandemic so I am urging you as of right now to operate with extreme caution as it pertains to exposure camps and events.  However,  I know this article has a good chance of standing the test of time which means people will be reading it when things return to normal (whatever that ends up being).  If and when they do,  you have to consider going to camps,  joining 7on7 teams and going to events.  As you continue to improve and up your game,  it is important that you show the powers that be your work.  I recommend select local camps that have a proven track record of being run efficiently.  Always consider the person or group of people who are putting on the camp or event.  Do your research.  Once you have used those local events to hone your competitive skills,  decide on national camps if you have been fortunate enough to be invited.  Camps like Rivals and The Opening are the grand daddies.  If invited to those,  it’s a no brainer.  Other camps,  for which there are many,  do your due diligence.  Ask around,  research them and get as much information as possible before you spend your hard earned money.

Joining a 7on7 team if you are a skilled position player is a good idea if you are not involved in other sports in the offseason.  While I recommend that football players play other sports to improve their athleticism,  I realize that some guys are just football nuts.  For those guys that are skilled position players,  try your hand at a 7on7 team.  Once again,  do your research.  While a 7on7 team improves your competitive spirit,  hones your skills and puts you around recruiting media,  joining a poorly run one can have some adverse consequences.  Rely on your intuition about the people in charge of it and don’t ignore your common sense when evaluating the coaches and managers of the team.

By far,  the most fruitful camps are the ones put on by the colleges.  Those camps allow you to perform in front of the actual people who can offer you a scholarship.  During the offseason,  do a hard evaluation on your skill level.  Match that skill level up with the camps you attend.  If you chose five camps,  pick three that you have a fairly good chance of receiving an offer from and pick two schools that are in the dream category.  You want to secure those scholarship offers first.  Then you can devote some of your time and energy to trying to impress a school a tad bit beyond your reach by rising to the occasion during drills.

Finally,  what if you can’t go to camps, events or join 7on7s which is the case for the majority of people right now.  We live in the digital era.  Make full use of the tools that you are growing up with.  Social media is not just for funny videos with filters and accepting outlandish challenges that could put your health at risk.  The same way you are looking for clout with likes and follows is the same way you should be seeking the positive attention from college football coaches.  Post videos of you working out in the weight room,  running on the track or doing field drills.  Set up an account on the GridironStuds App which is used by quite a few coaches and 100’s of fans around the country.  Imagine going viral for doing football stuff?  That could certainly get you that key word “exposure” I’ve been talking about.  Don’t ignore the power of fans in this process.  Often times they find and get on a prospect before coaches do.  Show something great on film and they can go to bat for you by passing it around.  Eventually it lands in the right hands.

Coaches are making use of alternative means now for evaluating players like never before.  Start practicing on gaining exposure for your football and academic feats using your social media platforms.  Examine all ways available to you to be seen because the greatest player is not great in the college football recruiting world if no one has seen him.

 

Player of the Day: Ty Myles 2021 DB – Pierce County HS, GA

Under the radar is what he is.  That’s what comes to mind when you take a look at 2021 DB Ty Myles from Pierce County HS.  If you just take a look at the video without knowing his offer sheet or where he is committed to,  you’ll say to yourself that he’s likely ranked in the Top 100 at his position in the country and a fairly highly ranked player in the state of Georgia.  Neither is true.

From the first play on his highlight video,  Myles shows you his worth.  First as a special teams contributor in the return game as he possesses the speed and vision to take a kickoff return back 99 yards.  Then,  like many defensive backs that are deemed to be elite in the college football recruiting world,  Myles plays on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver.  At that position he shows athleticism,  solid ball skills and playmaking ability.  What you also see is his ability to do something with the football once it is in his hands.  Myles looks a whole lot on film like the #1 ranked cornerback in the 2021 class Tony Grimes.

When it comes to playing defense,  I will dare say that Myles looks even more solid than Grimes.  Myles has solid technique in both press and man.  He also displays his ball tracking skills as a defender and is more than willing to come up and make tackles.  You can see Myles taking on running backs at the point of attack,  sniffing out screen plays and reverses.  What it shows you is that he has a football IQ on top of it all.  Despite all of this,  Myles has not been flooded with offers (currently has 4) and on July 8th he committed to Northern Illinois,  the biggest of those offers to date.  Should a 2020 season happen in the high school ranks in the state of Georgia,  there’s a strong chance that Myles will see the likes of several Power 5 schools kicking the tires on this polished two way player.

Check out Ty Myles’ profile on the GridironStuds app or click here to go to his profile.

High school football players,  download the GridironStuds app and build a profile today.  Give your recruiting a boost by putting yourself in front of college football coaches and fans from across the country.  If exposure is what you need,  we go it.  Over 5,000 prospects use the GridironStuds college football recruiting app.  Click here to download.