Archive for May, 2009

Indiana HS Track & Field Regionals

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Indiana high schools’ just finished up their track and field regional meets.  There were several high-profile college football prospects that participated in regional meets throughout the state.  I have compiled a sheet with many of the players including their track stats.  Indiana High School Track and Field Data (2009-2012)

A few prospects have qualified and will partcipate in next week’s state track and field meet.  Individual sectional and regional meet results can be found here

Some of the state meet qualifiers include:

Nick Turner – Southport / RB (Indiana football signee)

Jordan Stepp – Ben Davis / DT (Cincinnati football signee)

Joe Gilliam – Southport / LB ( 2010 prospect)

Rod Smith – Fort Wayne Harding / RB ( 2010 prospect)

Duywce Wilson – Columbus East / WR (Indiana football signee)

Luke Swift – Center Grove / WR (Miami of Ohio football signee)

FTA – Track & Football Connection on

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Tim Adams of recently wrote an article Recruiting is Big Business about college football recruiting in Indiana and how it has evolved.  FTA and a recent contributor to this blog site, Brian Spilbeler, were prominently mentioned. 

I do believe, with the prodding of Tim Adams, is beginning to use data and athletic metrics outside of the conventional realm of college recruting to rank and evaluate high school football talent.  This will open some eyes (recruiters) and perhaps set Scout apart from other popular recruiting sites.

Indiana High School Football Online Weight Room Competition

Monday, May 25th, 2009

Posted by Brian Spilbeler – Guest Contributor

It is by no mistake that James Hurst is listed as the #2 OT by Rivals and #3 OT by Scout.  He has had offers from all over the country and recently committed to North Carolina.  There have been plenty of other linemen from Indiana that were 6’5”, or weighed 288 pounds, or received all conference and all-county honors, but did not receive a D1 scholarship.  However, there have been no 6’5” 288 pound kids in recent years that can do what James can do in the weight room.  The average D1 OL from Indiana since 2003 tested at 550 total coefficient points in the weight room.  James comes in at 650 coefficient points.  Some kids are sending in film, getting rated by different groups, driving to combines, going to camps, etc. in order to get noticed by colleges.  All are valuable means of assessing talent, but level of competition differs in highlight tapes, websites use unknown criteria in their rankings, different combines use different tests, and camps can be expensive.   Yet, almost all football players in Indiana are benching, squatting, and cleaning in the off-season.  Perhaps it would be valuable to look closer at these weight numbers to help us predict, validate, and discover potential scholarship football players in our state.


The IOC Project

This past March, the Ironman Online Lift Contest compiled Body Weight, Bench Press, Back Squat, and Power Clean results on 2335 athletes from 57 different Indiana High School football teams. Now in its third year, the IOC database has accumulated weight room numbers from over 8,000 total high school football players.


There are a variety of different ways to interpret these weight numbers.  The two main schools of thought are; an athlete’s raw poundage output (adding up total lbs from the bench, squat, and clean), and his pound for pound output (multiplying the raw poundage by a NSCA coefficient value that is based on body weight).  In the IOC project, participating teams receive multiple different result sheets that rank these individual performances.  Here are a few examples:


                -TOP 100 TOTAL COEFFICIENT RANK

                -TOP 100 TOTAL POUNDAGE RANK



Class of 2010 Division 1 Prospects

Lately I have been focusing my attention specifically on division 1 football players from Indiana.  From 2006-2009, the IOC has obtained full weight room results each March on 2629 total “incoming senior” football players.  For example here are two athletes from the class of 2010 that tested in March of this year and have already committed to a division 1 school for the 2010-2011 college football season.


Class of 2010:  Raw Poundage

James Hurst (OL/North Carolina/6’5”/288lbs) - Bench: 340 – Squat: 510 – Clean: 285 – Total: 1135

Phillip Dudley (RB/Ball State/5’10”/173lbs) – Bench: 250 – Squat: 400 – Clean: 250 – Total: 900


Each athlete’s raw poundage numbers are impressive and verified by his strength or head coach.  However it is difficult to compare them because one is 6’5” / 288lbs. while the other is 5’10” / 173lbs.  This is where the coefficient comes in.  The following details each athlete’s coefficient numbers (rounded to the nearest whole number).


Class of 2010:  Coefficient Total

James Hurst (OL/North Carolina/6’5”/288lbs) - Bench: 195 – Squat: 292 – Clean: 163 – Total: 650

Phillip Dudley (RB/Ball State/5’10”/173lbs) – Bench: 168 – Squat: 270 – Clean: 168 – Total: 608


First of all both athletes are over 607 coefficient points.  This places each of them in the top 10% of all “incoming senior” football players in the IOC database.  Pound for pound, Hurst is stronger in bench, stronger in squat, but Dudley is stronger in clean.  Perhaps that is telling of which lifts are more important to each position.  While it is obvious that stronger kids tend to be better athletes, by gathering and interpreting actual data, one is able to make more detailed comparisons, develop thresholds, and set expectations of excellence.  There is a reason these kids were offered so early and it can be proved through data.


The D1 Difference

The all “incoming senior” football player coefficient average is 517 coefficient points (out of 2629 kids).  As of right now, I have collected complete weight numbers on 75 division 1 scholarship athletes from Indiana since 2003.  The D1 average is 590 coefficient points and actually 62 of 75 (82%) Division 1 athletes tested above the 517 total coefficient mark.  So 82% of the D1 kids are above average in pound for pound strength.  Even more interesting is that of the 13 that did not meet the average mark, 3 are QB’s, 2 are WR’s, and 7 are OL’s.  Typically, QB’s and WR’s are usually not as strong as kids at other positions.  Other factors such as speed, accuracy, intellect tend to be more important in recruiting.  This leaves us with 8 kids under the average, 7 of which are OL.  Not one of the 7 OL is less than 6’5” and the average body weight is 288lbs (James Hurst’s exact build).  Traditionally OL are recruited heavily based on their height and weight.  Many coaches will tell you that their most “skilled” and “strongest” offensive linemen are not always the ones that get D1 scholarships.  I can attest to this, as 3 of the 7 linemen I am referencing are kids I coached.  So that leaves us with only 1 D1 kid out of 75 that is below the average strength level of his fellow classmates.


Measuring weight room results is an accurate, fair, and valid means of assessing potential football recruits.


Here are several data compilations of interest from 2009 Indiana HS Online Competition:


Top 100 Total Poundage


Top 100 Total Coefficient


Top 15 Class of 2010



Disclaimer:  Football Talent Advisors posted this blog and subsequent information with permission from Brian Spilbeler.  FTA in no way substantiates or claims responsibility for the accuracy of any and all data, statements, views, and opinions expressed.  For further clarification of website policy please see our legal terms and conditions.   

Scouting Services sometimes miss best recruits?

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I just read an interesting article about football scouting services, granted it appeared back in February.  The article explained that the two biggest high school services Scout and Rivals are right about 60% of the time in choosing the top 10 high school players nationally and their success rate drops from there.

In fact, co-founder Bobby Burton stated in the article, “It’s not an exact science, period,” referring to picking and choosing the best recruits.  He also goes on to say ‘ the web site ( is getting better each year as it puts more resources into talent evaluation’.  Maybe he means the hiring of more analysts, more data analysis, more combines or all three?

I’d like to see them apply multi-sport participation and objective track data as metrics or variables in their ranking system(s).  But that’s probably a little too radical for most football recruiting purists.

More NFL Draft Breakdown

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I’m going to finish the breakdown of the NFL Draft with a few more number crunching statistics. 

Understand first in analyzing the last three drafts, 2007-2009, 763 players have been selected.  Of 763 players – approximately 420 participated in high school track and field or 55 percent.

Second, over the past three drafts high school multi-sport participation amongst draftees has been a healthy 80 plus percent.   Basketball and track & field are the most popular high school sport amongst NFL draftees. 

Third, and most interesting in my opinion, 241 of 763 draftees since 2007 have participated at their state track meet.  That is 31.5 percent, or nearly one-third of all draftees.  That’s putting the “track guy” label on an awful lot of football players. 

Here are the links to all the data including the names of all 241 state track meet participants and the complete breakdown of every player taken in the 2009 draft. 

2007 NFL Draft Breakdown

2008 NFL Draft Breakdown

2009 NFL Draft Breakdown

2009 NFL Draft Players Breakdown