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David Shaw believes Stanford just gained a huge recruiting advantage

During his nine years coaching in the NFL, Shaw was a part of three division winning teams that all had the same core element.

“They played great defense, they ran the crap out of the ball in between the tackles, and they made plays when we needed to in the passing game.”

“My background, playing for Denny Green and then Bill Walsh, a lot of people forget in the early 90’s when Denny Green started to turn around Stanford, we had the biggest offensive line in the nation.  We ran the ball in between the tackles and that’s how we started to win football games.  Bill’s ability to craft the running game was very underrated.  People forget first Super Bowl came on the legs of the running game.  Not only for yardage, but for the psyche of the team…it develops toughness.”

With Andrew Luck and a bevy of talented players returning this season, Stanford should compete for the PAC-12 title this season.

And the Cardinal are not going away, thanks in part to a recent and very important added recruiting tool…a nationwide television contract for PAC-12 football.

“It’s been the one thing that we have fought since we’ve been here, which is people that don’t have all the money and can’t travel across the country to see their young men play in Palo Alto.  Now, we can tell them, ‘When you can make it out here, great.  When you can’t, you will still be able to see every single game (on TV).’  That goes beyond words.  That’s why I am so grateful to Larry Scott (PAC-10 commissioner).”

Stanford opens against San Jose State, at Duke, at Arizona.  The season could hinge upon the final three games when Stanford hosts Oregon, Cal, and Notre Dame.




Kevin Wilson: You have to be a physical team to be a great team

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson believes there is a misperception that guys like Mike Leach and Joe Tiller didn’t have physical football teams.

Wilson, who isn’t afraid to throw it 50+ times, certainly wants to implement a level of physicality at Indiana that will give the Hoosiers a chance to compete for a championship.

The Hoosiers have to be well conditioned and play physical at the point of attack in order to win consistently.

During an interview this morning with Dan Dakich on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, Wilson explained, “One of my slogans with our team is ‘Nutrition & Attrition’ because if you’re not resting and eating well, you can’t condition well.  If you can’t condition well, you can’t practice well.  If can’t practice at a high level, you’re not going to win.  Conditioning is a big part.”

“You don’t want to lose the physicalness.  The game is still a combative physical game. You still have to be a physical team to be a great team.”

Indiana has not named a starting quarterback because Wilson is hoping one of the candidates will separate from the others this summer.  It’s important to Wilson that one quarterback “earns” the starting job.

Wilson’s first game as a head coach will be against Ball State in Lucas Oil Stadium (Indy).  The Hoosiers will return home the following week to host Virginia.




SEC West programs use different strategies for summer football camps

Coaches have different philosophies on summer camps.  Some staffs want to get as many students as possible on campus, while others want to focus on evaluating prospects and closing in on commitments. 

When it comes to summer camps, there are plenty of college assistants the dread the days.  As one coach told us, "If I could find the guy that started all these summer camps back in the day, it was probably Bear Bryant or someone, that guys would get at least some verbal abuse from me.  It would probably get physical, actually."

Today, we take a look at the different strategies from the SEC Western Division programs.  

Alabama will host two different 3-day camps for high school athletes (one in June, the other in July), a 3-day camp for ages 8-14, a 1-day high school OL / DL camp, and a 1-day high school kicking / snapping camp.

LSU will host two different 3-day camps for high school athletes (one in June, the other in July), a 3-day youth camp, two different 1-day kicking camps, and a 2-day 7 on 7 camp.

Auburn will host a 3-day camp for grades 4-12, two different 1-day camps for grades 9-12, a 2-day kicking camp, a 2-day team camp, and a 1-day special teams camp.

Arkansas will host a 3-day high school camp, a 3-day junior high camp, a 1-day youth camp, and 1-day junior/senior prospect camp.

Ole Miss willl host a 3-day camp for ages 4-8, a 3-day camp for 9-12 graders, a 2-day senior camp, a 1-day senior camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 camp.  Houston Nutt elects to host camps from June 4th – June 11th, but also second senior camp is on July 23rd.

Mississippi State will host a 2-day camp for ages 5-12, a 1-day 7 on 7 camp (4A-6A schools only), a 2-day quarterback camp, a 2-day skill position only camp, a 2-day OL / DL camp, a 2-day kicking / snapping camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 (1A-3A schools only).  Dan Mullen chooses to conduct all of his camps between June 2nd – June 10th.

Surprisingly, neither Alabama or Auburn will hold a 7 on 7 camp.  

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Tomorrow, we will look at the SEC Eastern Division schools.




Surprising comment: Okie State assistant describes most proud accomplishment

Joe DeForest is set to enter his eleventh season as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State.  He joined the staff under previous head coach Les Miles.  Currently, he serves as the special teams coordinator / safeties coach / associate head coach.

In this day, it’s rare to find assistant coaches in college football that remain with the same school for more than ten years.  In fact, only 56 current assistant coaches have worked for the same head coach for at least 10 years.

DeForest has worked for Les Miles and Mike Gundy during his tenure in Stillwater, a tenure that has included eight bowl games and 27 total wins from 2008-2010.

His most proud accomplishment in his coaching career, however, may surprise you.

He told VYPE Magazine in Houston, "This might come to a surprise to some, but it's the opportunity to have my daughter go her entire school career in the same place. In this profession, that is so tough to do, but I'm really proud of that. She entered the first-grade in Stillwater and will graduate high school here next year. That is better than any win or getting any big-time recruit."

As much as coaches move from job to job in the coaching profession, how many college assistant coaches can say that?

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USC launches SportsCenter-like commercial with Barkley

It’s that time of year again when college ticket managers are trying to create a sense of urgency to buy your season tickets.

We’ll probably see six articles this week from local beat writers about where ticket sales stand in comparison to last year at this same time.

USC has opted to attract the attention of the Trojan fans by way of a SportCenter-like promo commercial.  This video features USC athletic director Pat Haden and quarterback Matt Barkley at a copy machine inside Heritage Hall.

Barkley doesn’t give a Peyton Manning like performance, but we have to admit, he appears capable of securing some future marketing gigs.

In a way, this video is another selling point for USC recruiting.  The Trojans love their players and love to show off their players, always a plus for recruiting.

Barkley’s first line… “How about you try Gun, Explode, to Empty Right 10 Ricks, 65 Saw Z Stick Nod - R Option.”

Gruden would say, “What I like about Matt Barkley is his ability to communicate all the verbiage in a huddle call.”

Here’s the commercial.  It’s worth watching.




Darrell Hazell has an interesting contract incentive

719 high schools in the state of Ohio play football.  First-year Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell wants to build his program around players from Ohio.

It’s something Kent State hasn’t done in the past.

According to the Kent State spring roster, only 41 of 84 players come from the state of Ohio.  Some other states that are represented on the Kent State roster include Florida (8), Pennsylvania (7), Georgia (7), and North Carolina (5).

Interestingly, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, “Each year in which at least 60 percent of his football scholarships go to players from Ohio is worth $5,000.”

Athletic directors are getting creative with contract incentives, but we can’t remember seeing an incentive like that one.

Looking back at Kent State’s first signing class under Hazell, 13 of 18 recruits are out of the state of Ohio.  That’s 72%, so we assume an extra $5,000 for Hazell.

Kent State will visit Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa to begin the 2011 season.  The next three games are against UL-Lafayette, at Kansas State, and against South Alabama.




SEC East schools go in different direction for summer camps

We continue our series on the summer camps with a look at the way the SEC Eastern Division programs will format their summer camps.

Florida, Georgia, or Tennessee will not host a 7 on 7 camp.  Kentucky will host a 7 on 7 camp, but it’s only for middle school teams.  Kentucky and Vanderbilt will try to bring in prospects for a night under the lights.

Here is the breakdown by school:

Florida will host a 4-day quarterbacks / individual camp, 4-day OL / DL / individual camp, 3-day kicking camp, and 3-day youth camp.

Georgia will host a 1-day kicking camp, 2 separate 3-day youth camps for ages 8-13, and a 3-day camp for ages 14 and up.

Tennessee will host a 3-day youth camp, 2-day kicking camp, a 4-day camp for high school athletes only, and a 3-day camp for high school athletes only.

South Carolina will host a 3-day youth camp, 2-day camp for high school campers, a 1-day camp for high school campers, a 1-day OL / DL camp, and a 1-day 7 on 7 camp.

Kentucky will host 2 separate 1-day camps for juniors and seniors only, 2 separate 3-day youth camps for ages 8 through the eighth grade, 2 separate 1-night “Friday Night Blue Lights” camps for seniors only, 2 separate 1-day kicking camps for only seniors, a 1-day middle school only 7 on 7 camp, a 3-day high school only OL / DL camp, and a 3-day high school only skill position camp.

Vanderbilt will host a 1-day seniors only camp, 2 separate 1-day high school only camp, 1-day QB / OL / DL camp, 1-day “Future Stars” camp for 1-8 graders (parents participation is optional), 1-night Monday Night Football camp for junior & seniors only, 1-day specialist camp for high school campers only, and 2-day 7 on 7 camp.




Muschamp addresses the Gator Nation

Spring football is over and summer is on the horizon.  It was 87 degrees today in Gainesville and head coach Will Muschamp had a few minutes to talk with Inside The Gators, the Florida Rivals site.

Muschamp gave the Gator nation (should “nation” be capitalized?) their role for the season.

The first-year head coach said, "More than anything: Be a positive member of our team. If you've got an issue or a problem, don't boo. Boo me if you want to; wait until after the game is over and let me know.”

“Our guys need positive reinforcement in what we do and how we do it. I understand, 'We pay our ticket; we deserve [the right] to be critical.' Be critical of me. Be critical of our staff. We deserve that; our players don't."

Interestingly, Muschamp told the story why he decided to hire D.J. Durkin, who had served on Urban Meyer’s staff last season after coming over from Jim Harbaugh’s staff on The Farm.

"I'm recruiting a young man out of Atlanta," Muschamp said. "I was at another school in the SEC at the time. [The] young man grew up an SEC football fanatic and wanted to play in the SEC his whole life. A guy named D.J. Durkin is coaching the linebackers and the special teams at Stanford. 

Durkin wound up convincing the young man to play at Stanford and that definitely left an impression on Muschamp.  

This is where we miss having Harbaugh in college football.  If Harbaugh was still the head coach at Stanford, we would guess that by next Thursday, he would have a pretty humorous comeback to Muschamp’s comment.