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Muschamp glad he answered call from an unknown number

Certain people love to say, “I don’t pick up my cell if it’s a number that I don’t recognize.”

Well, Will Muschamp is glad he did.

In December, while in Austin, Texas, Muschamp got a call that he’ll certainly remember for the rest of his life.

Muschamp explained to CBS reporter Brett McMurphy, "I got a phone call on my cell phone from a 352 area code. When I lived in Gainesville [as a kid] it was 904. So as I look at the cell phone and -- as a football coach you never turn down a call you get coming in because it might be the next great player -- I said, 'Hello.' He said, 'I'm looking for Will Muschamp. This is Jeremy Foley, athletic director at the University of Florida.”

"Well I've got a lot of buddies that like playing jokes, so I, of course, said 'What do you want?' He said, 'Maybe this isn't a good time. I can call you back.' I said, 'No, no, no. What do you want?' Thank goodness I didn't say what I would normally say -- or I may not be standing here right now. As I continued talking to him, I thought, ‘You know what? This sounds like Jeremy Foley.' So I said, 'Yes, sir, what do you need?'"

Muschamp’s first summer as the Gators head coach will be a busy one.  Florida will host a 4-day quarterbacks / individual camp, a 4-day OL / DL / individual camp, a 3-day kicking camp, and a 3-day youth camp.

Muschamp will personally coach the kickers, all day long, during the 3-day kicking camp.**

Something tells us that he’ll likely wind up in Omaha, about 9 rows up on the third base line doing an interview with Erin Andrews, assuming the #6 ranked Gators continue to mash.  Remember, this is the first year the College World Series won't be held at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium.  The classic gives way to TD Ameritrade Park.

** If you believe that, please seek help.  Immediately.


Sark and U-Dub take All-Access to a new level

Washington has taken All-Access to a new level.  Today, the Huskies released the helmet cam video, coupled with the audio, of quarterback Keith Price during the UW spring game.

You can listen to huddle calls like “Gun Flip Right Over, R Right, 50 quick on 1.”  You can also hear the quarterback cadence. (Something tells us Eastern Washington defensive line coach Ryan Sawyer will show this video to his players.) (Though, something tells us that it won’t give Eastern Washington any type of advantage in the season-opener).

Steve Sarkisian named Price his starting quarterback following spring ball.  Sark says, “Keith is to me very reminiscent of a Charlie Ward type player.  He plays the game as a point guard, distributes the ball very well.  Very accurate, throws a beautiful ball. He’s had a really good camp and has really come a long way for a redshirt sophomore.”

We just noticed that Price, as a first-year starter, faces a brutal road schedule that includes at Nebraska, at Utah, at Stanford, at USC, and at Oregon State.  No easy wins, there.


Brian Kelly: Notre Dame will be taken serious when...

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was in Huntsville, AL today to speak to a Notre Dame alumni chapter when he dropped a line that will undoubtedly stick with his program.

Kelly made the statement, "Notre Dame will be taken serious when they beat an SEC team."

Asked when the Fighting Irish will win another championship, Kelly responded, “I don't think I have much time. I don't mind listening about the past. I think that's great and I don't mind being reminded about it. I don't like to mortgage my future. I like to live in the present. And in the present, we need to win at Notre Dame.”

"We need to win right now."

Notre Dame claims 11 national championships, the last of which came in 1988 under Lou Holtz.

It should be noted that while in Alabama, Kelly has donated $5,000 to the tornado relief efforts.

Notre Dame hosts South Florida to begin the 2011 season.  The cheapest seats in the house are going for $154 right now on StubHub.  Seats around the 50-yard line will run you at least $425 per ticket.


Mack Brown talks tailback problem, says Mike Leach is part of reason

Texas has been criticized over the last several years for not consistently lining up with one of the premier tailbacks in the country.  A lot of people look at Mack Brown and wonder how in the world can Texas, with all of their facilities and tradition, not have a stallion toting the rock.

Jamaal Charles was the last back to go over 1,000 yards when he went for 1,400 in 2007.  Before Charles, the biggest workhorse was Rickey Williams in 1998.  

Today, Mack Brown addressed the problem on Sirius/XM College Football Playbook with Mike Leach and Jack Arute.

Brown, in fun, said, “He (Leach) is part of the problem is a positive way.  So many people got so good in the league throwing the football.  It became a spread league.  Mike did a whole lot to start it.”

He added, “You get away from guys knocking people off the ball.  That’s why we hired Bryan Harsin.  We feel we need to go back and get some lineman in a 3-point stance.”

In February, Texas signed a 5-star tailback named Malcolm Brown from Steele HS (TX).  Longhorn fans are hoping he is the daddy, the tailback the program has been missing.

Texas opens against Rice, BYU, and then travels to UCLA.  


Related story: Texas, LSU, Auburn, and USC combine for only 5 players on Gil Brandt's Top 100 draft eligibles

Hardest working guys in football

Last week we spent some time at the DFO Spring Meeting in Dallas.  For the third straight year the event was well attended and the content continues to be excellent.  This year nearly 100 DFOs attended the meeting.  The meeting was very productive and everyone who attended seemed to share openly about what they are seeing and doing in the profession.  

This year, topics covered included agents, NCAA investigations, recruiting, technology, travel, calendars and an open sharing of ideas within the room.  

A couple of highlights from the meeting:

The NCAA, working hand in hand with a large number of schools, are working diligently to clarify the rules surrounding agents; however with the massive deficits that most states are facing it doesn't sound like many states have what they feel are sufficient funds to consistently enforce these rules and laws.  

On the recruiting front, Sherman Morris (Director of Player Personnel at LSU) gave a great talk about how LSU recruits (365 days a year). We believe that everyone in the room was impressed with Sherman's talk; although we're also quite sure that most in the room have a bit of a smaller budget than LSU affords.  With that said, LSU, and Coach Miles specifically, are big believers in technology.  As you see often on here, they put out some great marketing materials via the internet; but what Sherman shared with the room is that they also utilize a number of cutting edge technologies within the staff.  Sherman invited Mike Thrower, President of OTScout.com to join him in the presentation.  Thrower and his staff have developed some native iPad apps that are truly based on the iPad platform (rather than just an app that really is just showing things from a website) and not only did Thrower seem to impress everyone in the room, we hear the guys at Apple and most of the other technology companies in attendance were pretty impressed as well.  LSU is OT Scout's first football client (although Thrower also owns another software company that is thriving in other industries).  We spent a few minutes with Thrower looking at the build of his software and it truly is impressive.  If your coach is interested in adopting iPad's as part of your program, you should call Thrower to talk about what they are doing.  

With regards to other recruiting & compliance technologies discussed, there clearly has been a tectonic shift in service providers.  Some that were leaders a few years ago are practically gone now and there are some new leaders.  The use of video (both for marketing as well as for communicating with recruits) is more prevelant than ever.  Over the next few months we'll continue to bring you examples of what schools are doing.

Finally, we'd like to commend all of the Ops people who took the time to attend this meeting and we'd also like to thank their head coaches for supporting them.  

Todd Graham changing the culture at Pitt

Pitt football will have a different feel in 2011.  Todd Graham replaces Dave Wannstedt as head coach, but the Panthers also lost five key players that were selected in the NFL draft.

Gone are running back Dion Lewis, wide receiver Jon Baldwin, defensive ends Greg Romeus and Jabaal Sheard, and linebacker Jason Pinkston.

Building a new foundation, installing new schemes, and developing team chemistry will take time.  The 2-back power running game gives way to “High octane, fast temp, explosive, dynamic, powerful, unique, intense, innovate.” (Straight from the Pitt summer camps brochure)

Graham explained to Rivals, "We are not going to go from A to Z, not in one year. When I was at Rice, we went from A to G. When I went back to Tulsa, we went from A to M. We're hoping we can be somewhere in there."

"We will look very different from Year One to Year Four."

The new coaching staff is working to build a family atmosphere within the program.  GoPittFootball.com, an in-house website for the Panthers’ program, has a well-produced video revolving around the theme of “family.”

Graham’s first four games as the head coach at Pitt will come against Buffalo, Maine, at Iowa, and Notre Dame.

This summer, Pitt will host three separate 1-day prospect camps for high school campers, a 3-day individual camp for ages 12-18, a 1-day specialists camps for high school campers only, a 1-day “Big Man Challenge,” and 2-day team passing camp.


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Gil Brandt releases Top 100 draft eligible players, some major surprises

NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt has released his list of the Top 100 draft eligible players for 2012.  Brandt was the VP of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-1988.  

Looking over the list, there are several interesting storylines.

Alabama leads the list with 7 players.  Surprisingly, only 2 players from Texas are on the list, and only 1 from LSU.

Stanford, UNC, Ohio State each have 4 players in the Top 100.

Teams with 3 players in the Top 100 include South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, FSU, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oregon, and Georgia.

USC has 2 players on the list, but one is junior quarterback Matt Barkley.  Of course, 100 players are drafted in just over 3 rounds of the NFL draft, but USC had 9 players selected this year.  Five of the nine players went in the sixth or seventh round.  We thought the Trojans may have a few more than two players listed.

Florida and Notre Dame have just two players listed, Tennessee has one (and Malik Jackson is a USC transfer).  Not a single player from Auburn is listed.

Here is the breakdown by schools with at least 3 players listed:

Alabama: Dre Kirkpatrick (DB), Trent Richardson (RB), Courtney Upshaw (LB), Dont’a Hightower (LB), Mark Barron (DB), Robert Lester (DB), Barrett Jones (OL)

Stanford: Andrew Luck (QB), Jonathan Martin (OL), Delano Howell (DB), Chris Owusu (WR)

UNC: Quinton Coples (DL), Zach Brown (LB), Donte Paige-Moss (DL), Tydreke Powell (DL)

Ohio State: Mike Adams (OL), Mike Brewster (OL), Terrell Pryor (QB), Dan Herron (RB)

South Carolina: Alshon Jeffery (WR), Stephon Gilmore (DB), Devin Taylor (DE)

Oklahoma: Landry Jones (QB), Ryan Broyles (WR), Travis Lewis (LB),

Nebraska: Jared Crick (DL), Alfonzo Dennard (DB), David Lavonte (LB)

Boise State: Nate Potter (OL), Billy Winn (DL), Doug Martin (RB)

Oklahoma State: Justin Blackmon (WR),Levi Adcock (OL),  Brandon Weeden (QB),

Texas A&M: Jeff Fuller (WR), Ryan Tannehill (QB), Cyrus Gray (RB)

Oregon: LaMichael James (RB), Cliff Harris (DB), David Paulson (TE)

Georgia: Brandon Boykin (DB), Cordy Glenn (OL), Drew Butler (P)

FSU: Brandon Jenkins (DL), Andrew Datko (OL), Nigel Bradham (LB)

Arkansas: Greg Childs (WR), Knile Davis (RB), Jerry Franklin (LB)

Ever wondered why Fresno State has the Green "V" on their helmets?

Have you ever wondered why a large green colored “V” dons the back of the Fresno State helmets?

During a press conference on Tuesday, head coach Pat Hill explained the meaning of the green “V.”

Hill said, “We have passionate fans in the valley. One of the things that has really helped us over the years was when we installed this 15 years ago, the green “V” on the back of the helmet.”

He added, “Representing the agricultural riches of the San Joaquin Valley, not only does our agricultural community get involved, but the CA Dairy Association and CA milk producers in the San Joaquin Valley are a big part of what we do at Fresno State as an agricultural school right there in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley.  That’s why the “V” is on the helmet.  It’s been with us for 15 years now.

According to Wikipedia, "The San Joaquin Valley began to form about 65 million years ago during the early Paleocene era. Broad fluctuations in the sea level caused various areas of the valley to be flooded with ocean water for the next 60 million years."

"Grapes, raisin, and to a lesser extent wine—are perhaps the valley's highest-profile product, but equally (if not more) important are cotton, nuts (especially almonds and pistachios, citrus and vegetables. Though it has been called "The food basket of the World", the San Joaquin Valley has not been nationally recognized for the diversity of its produce. Oranges, peaches, garlic, tangerines, tomatoes, kiwis, hay, alfalfa and numerous other crops have been harvested with great success."