Archive for August, 2009

John Capel another “track guy” that didn’t make it in the NFL

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

Interesting interview piece here with John Capel, former Florida Gator receiver and 2003 World Champion 200 meter sprinter.  Capel talks openly about how tough it was/is to play big time collegiate football and be an elite track sprinter.  He also talks about the tough decisions ahead for current Florida Gator Jeff Demps. 

What I found most fascinating was Capel’s opinion that Florida’s players today are stronger, bigger, AND faster than when he was there.  He was also talking about today’s high school players too.  That is scary! 

Speaking of professional track and football – there’s been so much talk about Usain Bolt and the NFL I guess it’d be fun to really research this topic.  My next blog I’ll take a close look at this. 

My opinion right now, which isn’t worth much, is Bolt would have little incentive to give the NFL a try.  He’d be jeopardizing millions of dollars and risking injury threatening his future track career.  I believe he’d struggle like other professional track athletes that have tried to crossover with zero football background.  People often point to Justin Gatlin and how he failed to get signed after multiple tryouts with NFL teams.  We should keep in mind that Gatlin at least played football in high school and supposedly flirted around with joining the football team while at the University of Tennessee.  That’s the real key right there; Bolt has NO football background.  I’m sure Bolt could be coached as a decoy and fly pattern receiver but he’d likely never be a complete player. 

Before I end this it should be noted that John Capel’s personal problems (mentioned in the article interview) likely had as much to do with his failure to play in the NFL as his football performance or skill.  I don’t personally believe in the “track guy” label.  Being a good track athlete or sprinter in no way indicates or is linked to poor football performance or skill.  Many football commentators and gurus use the “track guy” label to conveniently write-off players with elite track backgrounds, even when the athlete in question has an extensive football resume.  Clearly the label is cliche and fairly baseless.  Again I’ll dive head first into this topic soon…

Bolt running the 40…

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I just watched in amazement as Usain Bolt ran 9.58 (wind-legal) 100 meter dash breaking his own world record.  Just amazing!  Now I don’t believe Bolt ever played football, and no I don’t mean soccer.  But there’s all this internet chatter about what Bolt might or might not be able to do if he played wide receiver etc.  He’s doing quite well as a professional sprinter so let us all forget about the football crossover.  

Oh yeah…my friend Heisman Pundit had a bit on his site recently about 40 times, it briefly dives into what Olympic sprinters might be able to run in the 40.  It also took aim at the ridiculous notion that T. Pryor of Ohio State ran 4.33 recently (apparently the fastest on the team) beating the times run by teammates Brandon Saine and Lamaar Thomas.   Okay maybe Saine and Thomas had a bad day or maybe my grandmother was working the stop watch but this is ridiculous.  T. Pryor DID NOT and WOULD NOT run an electronic 4.33, end of story.  When Pat White runs 4.55 electronically at the NFL Combine, no way Pryor does a 4.33.  T. Pryor is a great athlete, great basketball player, had a very good freshman football season but come on.     

Anyway I’m way off topic!  Got a little fired up.  But I’d have to say after today’s performance Usain Bolt could probably run a legit 4.0 40 yard dash with some work.  How could anyone bet against him?  I mean who would have thought a few years ago 9.58 / 100 meters was humanly possible?  Not me!

Quarterbacks for 2009 skilled in more than reading defenses

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

I just received my weekly copy of the Sporting News and the cover reads “Year of the QB”.  The corresponding article claims 2009 is going to be an extraordinary year for quarterbacks…the basic sentiment out there is this year has an unusually large number of great college quarterbacks due to a number of factors.  Whether or not this is true depends on one’s perspective but the article makes clear there are a lot of good college QBs out there. 

Like always I took a closer look at where these players came from and what their athletic backgrounds were, and not surprising all 13 QBs spotlighted in the SN article played more than just football in high school.  Basketball, track / field and baseball were the most popular amongst these players.  

Clearly playing quarterback at an elite level requires the most specialized skills in football (sorry kickers).  Having said that, being a pure athlete is not considered an essential characteristic necessary for playing quarterback at an elite level. 

But looking at the athletic backgrounds of the quarterbacks listed below leads me to an intriguing, admittedly unoriginal, idea…perhaps collegiate quarterbacks ARE becoming more athletic or maybe they always have been and not many people noticed.  Maybe being competitive year round in high school, being a multi-sport athlete, is an important ingredient to becoming a successful quarterback?         

Here are the 13 QBs:

Tim Tebow- (Florida) Nease HS, FL. – played baseball and basketball in  high school

Sam Bradford – (Oklahoma) Putnam City North HS, OK. – played baseball and golf in high school

Colt McCoy – (Texas) Jim Ned HS, TX. – lettered 3 yrs. in  track, ran 110 – 300 hurdles and 4×400 relay, basketball high school player

Terrelle Pryor – (Ohio State) Jeannette HS, PA. – ran 22.98 / 200 as freshman in high school, four year basketball player…he can run but I doubt the 4.33 / 40 I’ve been hearing about!

Robert Griffin – (Baylor) Copperas Cove HS, TX. – I think everyone knows about his track background but 13.55 / 110 hurdles and 35.33 / 300 hurdles both high school state records in TEXAS! 

Zac Robinson – (Oklahoma State) Chatfield HS, CO. – 11.23 / 100 & 23.33 / 200 high school state meet qualifier in 2005, shows that mobility on the field. 

Juice Williams – (Illinois) Chicago Vocational HS, IL. – ran on 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay in high school

Case Keenum – (Houston) Wylie HS, TX. – 43’00 triple jumper and ran 300 hurdles in high school and lettered in basketball.

Jeremiah Masoli – (Oregon) Serra HS, CA & St. Louis HS, HI. – ran 100, 200 and threw shot put as a sophomore at Serra HS. 

Russell Wilson – (N.C. State) Collegiate HS, VA. – played baseball in high school and currently plays at N.C. State

Todd Reesing – (Kansas) Lake Travis HS, TX. – played baseball in high school

Jevan Snead – (Mississippi) Stephenville HS, TX. – played basketball and baseball as a freshman, then specialized on football

Dan LeFevour – (Central Michigan) Benet Academy HS, IL. – played basketball in high school

I’m going to add a few names to this list: (based on physical attributes, not necessarily production yet) 

Aaron Corp – (Southern California) Orange Lutheran HS, CA. – ran 4×400 relay and 400 meter dash in high school, he’s athletic enough to give USC another dimension at quarterback that they haven’t had. 

Franshaw “Boo” Jackson – (Ohio University) Lompoc HS, CA. – 45’00 triple jumper and 21’11 long jumper in high school, he’s relatively unknown but could have a big season in the MAC this year. 

Here’s a look into the future of athletic quarterbacks: (these guys are athletic enough to make the switch to other positions)

Denard Robinson – (Michigan) Deerfield Beach HS, FL. – ran 10.44 / 100 at the Broward County Athletic Association Championships this year.  Throw in a 21.89 / 200 at the 4A Region 3 Meet and you’ve got a very fast football player. 

Russell Shepard – (LSU) Cypress Ridge HS, TX. – ran as fast as 11.1 (FAT) and 4×100 (42.53), 4×200 (1:29.02), 21’11 long jump.  He’s a player that may make an early impact at multiple positions for LSU. 

Kevin Newsome – (Penn State) Churchland HS, VA. – arguably the MOST athletic incoming freshman quarterback, I know tough call but listen…14.15 /110 hurdle high school state champion, 4×100 (41.91) state champion runner and 7.35 / 55 indoor hurdle champion.  That last stat is flying!  He even threw some shot put during the indoor 2008 season.

Shavodrick Beaver – (Tulsa) Wichita Falls Rider HS, TX. – ran some 200 and 4×400 in high school, decommitted from Michigan and signed with Tulsa could be a big hit.  He’s not nearly as fast as the guys above but he can play. 

Tyrik Rollison – (Auburn) Sulphur Springs HS, TX. – triple jumped over 39’00, long jumped over 19’00 and ran 100 plus 4×100 in high school.  He seems to be in the athletic realm of current Auburn QB Kodi Burns

Jordan Luallen – (Georgia Tech) Center Grove HS, IN. – high school state meet qualifier 4×100 (43.24) and 4×400 (3:21.51) as a junior, ran 110 hurdles (14.93) / 300 hurdles (39.43) qualified for state in 2007, most impressive ran 55 indoor hurdles (7.87) as 6’03 185-190 pound sophomore.  He might not be as fast as Michigan recruit Robinson or Penn State recruit Newsome but he’s athletic enough to make an impact at GT.’s 2010 Top Rated Football Recruit

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

According to Jackson Jeffcoat is currently the top ranked college football recruit for 2010.  Now I don’t place much stock in national recruiting and ranking lists but I believe ESPN has certainly picked a tremendous athlete in Jeffcoat.  ESPN’s JC Shurburtt has highlighted Jeffcoat’s athletic abilites…however Shurburtt forgot to mention his outstanding ability to throw the shot put and discus. 

Jeffcoat threw the shot put 55’10 and discus 165’10 as a sophomore.  By the way he’s listed at 6’05.  Wow…

District 9-5A Meet Results (2008)

DISCUS – 1. Jackson Jeffcoat, Plano West, 165-10; 2. Andrew Garrido, Plano West, 151-8½; 3. Tony Mendoza, Rich. Berkner, 150-10.

SHOT PUT – 1. Jackson Jeffcoat, Plano West, 55-10¾; 2. Travis Malone, Plano East, 52-1¾; 3. Jared Monk, Wylien 51-8½.