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
-TOP 15 CLASS OF 2010 MEETING DIVISION 1A STRENGTH AND SIZE AVERAGES
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
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