Posts Tagged ‘track and football connection’

Another former high school thrower making waves in SEC football

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

I grew up on the track…the movements are fairly similar in football and the discus.”  These are words Zach Clayton told to Aaron Burns of The Auburn Villager.   Clayton, an Auburn defensive lineman, has really come on this year after battling injuries most of last season.  Clayton’s high school background in high school throwing is well documented.  He is Alabama’s high school state record holder in the discus with a throw of 202’08 and was state champion in the shot put. 

Clayton continued to throw at Auburn and qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2009.  Clearly he found a balance between the two sports and according to him the two sports compliment each other.  Clayton ranks third on the team with seven TFLs and has four quaterback pressures.  Fellow defensive lineman, Nick Fairley, receives most of the attention but Clayton is one of many outstanding collegiate linemen with successful high school throwing on their athletic resume.

Multi-sport backgrounds and the 2010 NFL Draft

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Posted by Mark Branstad

FTA has completed a breakdown of each NFL draft pick and their high school athletic background.  After totaling the number of draftees with multi-sport high school backgrounds the results are amazingly consistent with the data we’ve been collecting since 2002.  Regardless of the sports specialization craze that has swept through our high schools in the past decade  it doesn’t appear to have caught on with NFL prospects. 

Here’s a pretty cool article about defensive lineman and NFL draft pick, Sean Lissemore, of William & Mary.  Sort of brings this multi-sport thing into perspective. 

To the good stuff

Track and field appeared to be the most popular “second” sport with nearly 60% of all players (255 total) having participated in high school.  Approximately 50% participated in high school basketball and nearly one in four participated in both basketball, track and field and of course football. 

The track and field events most popular with NFL draftees, probably not surprising, was the 100 meters, 4×100 relay, long  jump and the shot put. 

The average Rivals star rating for the first round (32 players) was approximately 3.5 stars.  That average fell to approximately 3.0 stars for the first 100 draft picks and was 2.7 star average for the entire draft, 255 players.  This is not an indictment on Rivals rankings but rather look at the average as dictated by the draft.

Just the numbers

First Round (32 players)

* 19 participated in high school track and field

* 30 participated in at least one high school sport other than football

Top 100 draft picks

* 61 participated in high school track and field

* 88 participated in at least one high school sport other than football

Rounds 1-7 (255 players)

* 152 participated in high school track and field

* 219 participated in at least one high school sport other than football

FTA’ s NFL Draft spreadsheet:

It is a little too much trouble to plug that up here but if you’d like a copy of FTA’s breakdown of each draft pick’s high school background, including specific high school track and field performance data…email me at:

[email protected]

I’d be glad to send, free of course.

Plenty of collegiate football players crossing over to indoor track

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Posted by Mark Branstad

The Division 1 football season has barely ended and indoor track has started to heat up.  There are several high profile players participating in indoor track this season.  Perhaps the most surprising results so far are performances made by North Carolina linebacker, Zach Brown, ran a 6.73 / 60 meters…amazing considering he weighs a reported 230 pounds!  Michigan quarterback, Denard Robinson, also opened some eyes with 6.81 / 60 meters a few weeks ago. 

Here are some more early season indoor results: 

60 Meters – Collegiate Indoor 2010
Time Player School   Conference Meet
6.69 Harry Adams (WR) Auburn SEC Clemson Games
6.69 Marquise Goodwin (WR) Texas Big 12  Arkansas v. Texas
6.72 Zach Brown (LB) North Carolina ACC UNC Open
6.77 Lindsey Lamar (RB) South Florida Big East Akron Quad
6.78 Travis Benjamin (WR) Miami-FL ACC Penn State National
6.80 Allante Battle (WR) Arizona State Pac-10 Mountain T’s Open 
6.81 Tyron Carrier (WR) Houston Conf-USA Cherry Silver Invite
6.81 Denard Robinson (QB) Michigan Big Ten Michigan v Ohio State
6.83 Lamar Miller (RB) Miami-FL ACC Penn State National
6.84 Isaiah Sweeney (WR) Houston Conf-USA Leonard Hilton Memorial
6.84 DeMarcus VanDyke (DB) Miami-FL ACC Penn State National
6.93 Hunter Furr (RB) North Carolina ACC UNC Open
6.94 James Jackson (WR) Ohio State Big Ten Penn State National
6.97 Da’Rel Scott (RB) Maryland ACC Wesley A. Brown Invite
7.05 Terry Carter (DB) Louisiana Tech WAC Razorback Invite
7.10 Troy Woolfork (DB) Michigan Big Ten Simmons-Harvey Invite
7.15 Avis Commack (WR) Florida State ACC Rod McCrary Memorial
60 Meter Hurdles – Collegiate Indoor 2010
Time Player School   Conference Meet
8.70 Je’Ron Stokes (WR) Michigan Big Ten  
7.86 Spencer Adams (DB) Clemson ACC  
8.15 Avis Commack (WR) Florida State ACC Rod McCrary Memorial
200 Meters – Collegiate Indoor 2010
Time Player School   Conference Meet
21.99 Kyle Jefferson (WR) Wisconsin Big Ten Wisconsin Elite Meet
21.74 Tyron Carrier (WR) Houston Conf-USA  
21.32 Isaiah Sweeney (WR) Houston Conf-USA  
23.05 Troy Woolfolk (DB) Michigan  Big Ten Simmons-Harvey Invite
22.17 Terry Carter (DB) Louisiana Tech WAC Razorback Invite
Field Events – Collegiate Indoor 2010
Long Jump 
25’07.50 Marquise Goodwin (WR) Texas Big 12 Texas A&M v Texas
High Jump 
6’11.75 Frankie Hammond (WR) Florida SEC Texas A&M Challenge
Triple Jump 
51’05 David Wilson (RB) Virginia Tech ACC Hokie Invite
Shot Put 
54’05.25 Marcus Cannon (OL) Texas Christian MWC Texas A&M Challenge
54’03 Casey Dehn (OL) Wisconsin Big Ten Wisconsin Elite Meet
53’11 Ben Bartholomew (TE) Tennessee SEC Hokie Invite
48’09 Micanor Regis (DT) Miami-FL ACC  

Dennis Dodd on the track and football connection

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Posted by Mark Branstad – Football Talent Advisors

About three years ago I commented on an article written by Dennis Dodd of  I remember vaguely the article had something to do with Jamal Charles running track at UT and Dennis feeling the need to slam track a bit and he generally failed to understand why a RUNNING back would want to run collegiate track. Anyway here’s the article link.  

Well I posted a comment on the article (keep in mind this was early in my research and FTA did not exist yet) basically telling Dennis there’s some real statistical evidence that suggests pure track athleticism does transfer to football performance and track participation isn’t really a distraction to football players and teams.  I went on to say that I had a lot of information on the subject and quite a bit of track data etc…   

Dennis shot back that track was boring and basically said I was a boring loser for wasting his time.  Actually here’s the direct quote, Dodd responded to my posted comment as follows:

“Boring Is As Boring Does:

For God’s sake, noooooo! Keep it to yourself”.

Remember that Dennis?  Perhaps track is boring to most football enthusiasts but the track data doesn’t lie. 

Fast forward – May of 2008 and lo and behold I find not one but two articles written by Dennis about track and field’s apparent connection to college football?!  Now I don’t know if Dennis was forced from higher-ups to write these but what a turn of events!  I admit these articles are from last year and I just stumbled on them recently…but he must have lost a bet or something.  In the past he clearly disliked track.  I’m not going to call Dennis hypocritical but this was sort of vindicating for me.    

I respect Dennis, he’s been around for quite a while writing about college football.  Despite the fact he’s pissed off a ton of people particularly those that played in high school and college band, he’s alright in my book.  By the way…Dennis, I took your snub and started this whole FTA thing.  Thanks for the motivation.  When’s the next track / football article on CBSSports?

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)