Archive for April, 2009

2009 NFL Draft Breakdown

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Now that the draft is all finished FTA has crunched some numbers from all this year’s draftees and this is what we’ve determined. 

2009 Draft total (7 Rounds) – 142 / 256 (55.4% participated in hs track & field) ~ 214 / 256 (83.6% hs multi-sport) ~ 74 / 256 (28.9% participated in hs state track meet)


2008 Draft total (7 Rounds) – 132 / 252 (52.3% track & field) ~ 211 / 252 (83.7% multi-sport) ~ 80 / 252 (31.7% participated in state track meet)


2007 Draft total (7 Rounds) – 146 / 255 (57.2% track & field) ~ 205 / 255 (80.3% multi-sport) ~ 84 / 255 (32.9% participated in state track meet)


* 2007 multi-sport recording was limited to only basketball, baseball, track, and wrestling


* All data, statistics, and compilations are based on verifiable information these statistics per category could obviously be higher 


Given those statistics clearly the best football players are participating in other sports in high school.  Specialization amongst the best football players is a myth.  Track and basketball had far and away the highest level of participation amongst NFL draftees. 


I like wrestling as a supplementary activity for football, especially for certain player positions. However I only found seven draftees with distinct high school wrestling backgrounds. 


(First Round, Center, Alex Mack – Fourth Round, Fullback, Tony Fiammetta; Linebacker, Gerald McRath; Defensive Tackle, Terrence Taylor – Fifth Round, Linebacker, Scott McKillop; Offensive Tackle, Xavier Fulton – Sixth Round, Defensive Tackle, Myron Pryor)


 We also know a lot about what First Round draft picks have done in terms of track and field participation since 1990.  The chart below shows, according to our research, that track partcipation in certain positions is quite high and if quarterbacks and kickers (only one) are removed from the table the percentage total is (57.7%) since 1990.   T&F – Represents high school track and field participation.


1990-2009 First Round Totals


T & F









































Lastly I want to congratulate a former track athlete…Donald Washington, cornerback, from Ohio State was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs.  Good luck with your new career in the NFL Donald.  All the best. 

Indiana High School Track and Football Connection (2002-2009)

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Here is a breakdown of D1 (FBS) and D1 (FCS) football signees attending high school in Indiana that also participated in high school track and field from 2002-2009.    

Notice the players that were signed by Division One BCS schools were primarily Tier 2 and Tier 3 track athletes.  Indicating that they are very high caliber athletes in a track statisical sense.  Also grabbing my attention is the number of players on the lists that were drafted by the NFL or project to be are almost all Tier 2 and Tier 3 athletes. 

The fastest football signee from Indiana (in terms of 100 meter dash / sprint time) ,since 2002, is Lavarus Williams of Ben Davis High School. Williams ran 10.63 FAT in the 100 meters as a senior.  Williams is followed closely by Dennis Mitchell of Warren Central, who ran 10.64 FAT in the 100 meters at the Indiana State Meet in 2002.  Mitchell played collegiately at Western Kentucky, at the time a D1-AA program, and briefly in the CFL professionally. 

Both of those guys clearly had excellent speed but no other signees come close in terms of 100 meter speed in the past eight years.  However states like Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, etc routinely produce many athletes with this type of verifiable speed each year that ultimately sign letters of intent to play college football.  Indiana appears to be missing something here…at least since 2002.

For fun here’s a list of NFL players (and a few CFL / Arena League guys) that went to high school in Indiana and participated in track and field.  Pretty solid list…I know the list states it was updated Jan. 4th 2004…well it should read 2009.  I’m not that far behind the times.

Pac-10 Conference Pass Rushers for 2009

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I recently wrote a post about college offensive and defensive tackles that figure to be big time this upcoming season and the common connection each had throwing the shot put and discus in high school.  After reviewing some conference statistics from the 2008 season I noticed the Pac-10 has quite a few pass rushers (leaders of the conference in sacks) that had success in high school throwing the shot put and discus. 

Here are several of the returning sack leaders from the Pac-10 Conference with last season’s sack total and their high school throwing bests. 

Dexter Davis 11.0 sacks (DE / Arizona State) – 172-10 discus, state champion in Arizona, 2005 

Daniel Te’o-Nesheim 8.0 sacks (DT / Washington) – 58-00 shot put, state champion, and 176-06, state runner-up in Hawaii, 2005

Korey Bosworth 7.5 sacks (DE / UCLA) – 59-02 shot put, district meet in Texas, 2005

Stephen Paea 5.0 sacks (DT / Oregon State) – 52-08 shot put, state runner-up and 147-10 discus state qualifier in Utah, 2006

Everson Griffen 4.5 sacks (DE / USC) – 58-00 shot put and 180-08 discus, third place state meet in Arizona, 2007

Cameron Jordan 4.0 sacks (DE / Cal) – 175-07 discus, state champion in Arizona, 2007

Brooks Reed 8.0 sacks (DE / Arizona) – Didn’t throw but ran track in high school, running 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 relay as a 6’03” 220lb. running back then converted to defensive end in high school.

Yesterday’s Big Time Throwers = Today’s Big Time Tackles

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I always find it interesting to examine which high school sports college football’s best talent participated, other than football.  Recently I looked at some of next season’s best collegiate tackles according to Mel Kiper.  Surely enough nine of the ten listed had high school backgrounds throwing the shot put and discus and most also played basketball.  Looking in even greater detail it was striking how successful many of these players were at the shot and discus in high school.

Historically between 40-45% of tackles drafted by the NFL participated in high school track and field.  However, this sample for next season appears to up the trend a bit.  

Defensive Tackles:

Geno Atkins  (Georgia) – 59’01” shot put finishing second in the state of Florida, and 158’07” in discus qualifying for the state meet in 2006

DeMarcus Granger  (Oklahoma) – 173’10” discus finishing second in the state of Texas in 2005, and 55’04” in the shot put

Ndamukong Suh  (Nebraska) – 61’04” shot put state champion in Oregon in 2005

Terrence “Mount” Cody  (Alabama) – 151’04” discus and 47’00” shot put at a district meet in Florida in 2006

Gerald McCoy  (Oklahoma) – 55’04” shot put finishing 2nd in the state of Oklahoma in 2006

Offensive Tackle:

Russell Okung  (Oklahoma State) – 155’09” discus at district meet in Texas in 2006

Ciron Black (Louisiana State) – 54’04” shot put at district meet in Texas in 2005

Trent Williams (Oklahoma) – 45’06” shot put at district meet in Texas in 2006

Sam Young (Notre Dame) – 59’01” shot put state champion in Florida and 164’04” in discus qualifying for state meet in 2006

Michigan Recruit Denard Robinson

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Denard Robinson, University of Michigan recruit, is bringing not only significant football skills to the UM football squad but also outstanding speed, as Bruce Feldman recently pointed out.  Robinson recently ran the second fastest 100 meters for a high schooler this spring.  The most intriguing part for Michigan fans is Robinson projects as a quarterback in Coach Rich Rodriguez’s offense.  Perhaps, along with Tate Forcier, Michigan’s quarterback problems will be solved.

Certainly Robinson will give the Big Ten another quarterback to worry about (Terrelle Pryor and Mike Kafka are others)–at least when he’s carrying the ball.  The Big Ten will need to keep up with the recruiting style that Rodriguez has brought to Michigan, which is to say he’s brought in lots of pure speed and track athleticism.  Big Ten watch out!