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Inside Scoop: Neil Weiner - Hudl & Spring Ball

Neil Weiner, head coach at Zachary HS (LA - 5A), visited with us this morning. Topics include last night's Hudl Tour stop which Weiner hosted as well as a look ahead at how his staff is preparing for Spring Football which begins next week in Louisiana.

Of note, Weiner mentions that LHSAA officials recently stopped allowing Louisiana high schools from scrimmaging against other teams in the Spring...Weiner, and most coaches we know, sure would enjoy having that option again. 

Quick recap from the Hudl event last night...overall this was a well attended event (my estimation was about 100 coaches, probably 80 of them high school and the other 20 from local colleges).  Some of the coaches drove in from as far as four hours away. Seemed like overwhelmingly positive response from the coaches in attendance whose knowledge of Hudl seemed to range from Expert down to "I've never used it...but hear I need to learn."

Hudl staff spent an hour or maybe 90 minutes going over frequently asked questions, optimization techniques, new features, etc...and then everyone broke out into four groups to dig deeper into specific questions. After that, everyone came back together to hear about things from "Hudl Labs" i.e. things still in development that hopefully will come to fruition but for which Hudl hasn't yet released a timeline for. 

In short, I came away very impressed by how enamored the coaches in attendance were with Hudl. A couple of quotes we tweeted last night included:

A high school coach saying, "College coach calls me and asks for video of a kid, now with Hudl he's watching the video before we hand up."

A college coach said, "I've worked with five different editing systems over the years. Hudl is far and away the best I've ever used."

A high school coach said, "Our players picked this system up in minutes and now show us how to run reports. Our kids love Hudl."

If you have the opportunity to join one of the remaining Tour stops, it's a good investment of your time. Hudl isn't going to stop growing anytime soon. If you aren't already using them, you likely will be soon enough. 

Pic below is from last night's event at Zachary HS. 

Hudl




Video: Academic center at Ole Miss

The FedEx academic center at Ole Miss is impressive. 

As the most recent episode of "Rebel Life" shows us, tutors are available all morning and evening, and there's no shortage of computers and other resources at the players disposal.

In the clip below, Hugh Freeze explains the advantages of having a degree from Ole Miss and the plans that him and his staff have in place for their student athletes. A minute or so in you get a good inside look at the academic center. 




Tressel begins new gig

Although he's already been on the job for a few weeks, today marked the official start of Jim Tressel's new job as the Vice President for Strategic Engagement at Akron.

“My days of sitting in front of a football video machine and watching film, they disappeared a long time ago” Tressel told Fox 8 of Cleveland.

Tressel has long maintained that he wouldn't coach forever, and the change to an office with a window view hasn't been as crazy as he had originally thought.

“People used to always ask me when Joe Pa was going whether I was going to coach as long as Joe Pa? And my answer was always emphatically 'No'. And so yes it was a change. But I don’t think it was as dramatic as what I thought I was going to be.”

More from Tressel below.




Inside Scoop: Building a program from scratch (John Wristen)

Division II CSU Pueblo head coach John Wristen literally built his program from scratch. He was hired in the Summer of 2007 to create the football program at Pueblo and he hasn't looked back since. Last season, his team went undefeated in the regular season. 

In this episode of Inside Scoop, Coach Wristen tells us about how he went about finding his staffs and recruiting the right kind of players for his University. Wristen then tells us about how they handle spring and fall practices and work load. And finally, as we all have to do, Coach Wristen tells us about Fundraising for a new program.




The price for those new seats

LSU sent out an email to season ticket holders this morning with the opportunity of a lifetime, to secure a suite or club level tickets in the new addition to Tiger Stadium...but before you commit, you might want to ensure you have enough pocket change laying around for the required "annual donation".  In order to buy a ticket, you must first make the donation that goes to pay for the project (which is financed entirely with private money through the Tiger Athletic Foundation). 

On Friday the LSU Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to add 60 suites, 3,000 club level suites, and 1,500 general public seats to the South end of Tiger Stadium to be completed by 2014. 

As far as securing seating for the new area, a $1,000 application deposit is required to apply for the Stadium Club seats, along with an annual donation of $2,300. Those donations do not include the season ticket cost.

If you want to secure one of the 60 new suites, that's going to involve an "annual donation" of $69,000 (again not including the price of the tickets). 

In comparision, the premuim level seats after the renovation to The Big House cost ticket holders a donation ranging from $1,500 to $4,000 annually (not including the price of the tickets). The cost for a suite ran serious fans an annual donation of anywhere between $55,000 to $85,000 depending on the suite.




Mora compares the Rose Bowl to the Coliseum

Jim Mora was pretty excited after practice yesterday, looking forward to the weekends spring game and seeing guys he's watched develop all off-season get a chance to showcase their talents on the field.

Mora says the spring game will be a fun and interactive experience for the fans.

"It's just going to be a fun environment, I mean, how can you not love going to the Rose Bowl? It's one of the most iconic stadiums on the Earth! You know, I'd put it up there with the Coliseum in Rome."

Interesting choice of stadiums to compare against, the "Coliseum in Rome"...not to be confused with the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that the Trojans play in across town.




Dooley talks staff changes

Over the past few months Derek Dooley has had seven assistants on his staff leave for other opportunities, and has been able to turn around and fill those spots with some quality coaches. Dooley compared the off-season moves with starting a company.

"I kind of view it as sort of a correction. When you start a company, when you start anything, you always have that little initial correction to kind of fix all the things maybe you didn't get right in the beginning."

“I think some left because the fit wasn't right, I think some left because they maybe allowed the fear...the fear made the wolf a little bigger than it was. I think some left just because professionally they thought it would be a good growth situation." he explained.

The head coach added that the new staff has been able to transition seamlessly so far, and the players seem to be embracing the new energy.

“I don't want to compare the staffs; I think it's a little premature. This group's only been here a couple of months. What I can tell you is that I believe this group has a real good understanding of Tennessee, the SEC and what it takes to be successful in this league."




Memphis installing huge video board

Memphis just secured a $2.5 million dollar donation from FedEx for a 100 foot wide x 50 foot high video board that will replace their current JumboTron.

Along with the main video board, the donation will also cover the installation of a smaller video board on the north end. Athletic director R.C Johnson compared the size of the new board with the one at Mississippi State (pictured below). So it should be a monster.

"It's going to be somewhat comparable to the size of Mississippi State's. Right now it would be about the fifth-biggest in the country.'' 

The new video board should be up and running by the season opener.

MissStateVideoBoard