Michigan State program gets ultimate stamp of approval at NFL Combine
Last week I heard a coach say "your philosophy is what you think you are. Your identity is how others perceive you," and reflecting back on it, that couldn't be more true. The ultimate stamp of approval is when that identity not only leads to wins, but is also used to describe your players at the NFL combine.
Mark Dantonio has spent the past seven seasons crafting a physical offensive and defensive identity at Michigan State. That has led to a Big Ten title, a Rose Bowl win, and top three ranking this past season, and while NFL experts gave Michigan State the "Good Housekeeping seal of approval" last year at the combine, the Spartans that participated in this years combine are an even hotter commodity.
Hear from NFL experts like Bill Polian (former NFL GM), Jim Miller (NFL analyst), and Charles Davis (NFL Network analyst) on what makes Michigan State players so valued at the next level, and how playing in a system under Dantonio and his staff prepare kids for the NFL.
You know this is being shown to recruits with NFL aspirations...
Check out Rutgers' brand new recruiting app
Rutgers has paired its jump into the Big Ten with a leap into the world of app making.
The Scarlet Knights have commissioned an app that, when scanned with a brochure handed out at a Rutgers camp, will release one-minute video, and then a new video every two weeks after that.
Why tether the app to a camp brochure? Because that allows Rutgers to loop hole its way around the NCAA rulebook.
"I can’t send a pre-(high school) junior a video. I can’t mail them a video. Really, before their junior year we can’t even email them links," Rutgers director of branding and social media Drew Robinson told the Newark Star-Ledger. "So this is a way to get information out about the football program in a video content format."
Beyond videos, users can dress players in Rutgers gear and then share their creation on social media. In terms of playing to your audience, this is like plopping down a free keg at a coaches' convention.
Video: Indiana takes a comprehensive look at Signing Day
We've documented previously on this site how every single FBS head coach - seriously, every. single one. - loves his recruiting class. Forget about the fact that a quarter of these classes will contribute in their school's administration bringing in a new coaching staff over the next handful of years, Signing Day is the most optimistic on the college football calendar.
While many are bluffing, some are actually telling the truth. They really do love every player they signed, and this class really is the next step in their journey to the promised land. While it's impossible to say for sure at this point, Indiana is one of those schools that can feel truly jubilant about its incoming crop of talent.
The Hoosiers have increased their win total each of the last two seasons, from 1-11 to 5-7 from head coach Kevin Wilson's debut campaign to 2013.
Many recruiting observes dubbed Indiana's 2013-14 signing classes as the best back-to-back hauls in school history. Here's one way you can tell times are a'changing in the Hoosier State: Indiana will finish the year closer to the Top 25 in football recruiting than basketball.
Arizona's "Speed" may be the video of the year
Is there a staff in the country that knows how to attract the attention of recruits when it comes to videos quite like Arizona?
Remember the "Hard Edge" installments out of Tuscon? This one, title "Arizona Speed", has a similar flavor, this one poking fun at the proposed 10-second rule. Got to love the use of the "Saved by the Bell" style cell phone by Matt Dudek and brilliant cameos of coach Rodriguez.
The Wildcats' staff gets in their talking points in a much more entertaining way than droning on from behind a podium. It's political satire that would make the folks at Saturday Night Live proud. Perhaps they should have pushed the Oscars back one night so that everyone was able to see this before winners were crowned.
Their videos are always imaginative and fun and recruits are absolutely eating them up. This one is the perfect example of that template that has worked so well for them.
This is pure entertainment/recruiting/pop culture gold.
Al Golden's approach on non-padded days is different than full pad days
Go watch Miami's spring practice during one of their non-padded sessions and you won't find them calling "iso" a bunch of times. As Golden explained after sping ball yesterday, he decides to use the non-padded practices a little different than a lot of coaches do.
"I've been places where they ask you to do all the run game, even though you're just in helmets, and after a while I just decided that I don't want to do that."
"I want to be able to do the things that we do really well while we're in helmets, so we did that. We did some two minute and some third down stuff, and our three step and drop back game, so then you can really evaluate them. If you were doing running plays you'd be saying 'Well that was an iso, but we can't really do anything...' so we really don't put them in a conflict there."
Now that train of thought will work if you're fortunate enough to have padded practices in the spring, but at the Division III level, that's not the case so you have to be able to maximize the time that you're given. However, Golden makes some excellent points.
Gus Malzahn doesn't want anyone but his coaches working with his QBs
The most famous football coach that isn't actually employed as a football coach has to be George Whitfield. Working with the likes of Johnny Manziel, Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Tajh Boyd, Braxton Miller and Logan Thomas, some have bought in to Whitfield's reputation as a quarterback guru. That reputation and clientele allowed Whitfield to get a job as a contributor on ESPN's College GameDay this fall.
If Urban Meyer, Kevin Sumlin, Frank Beamer and Dabo Swinney allow Whitfield to work with their quarterbacks while still on their respective rosters, he must be doing something right.
One quarterback who won't be joining Whitfield's list of proteges, though, is Auburn's Nick Marshall. Following reports that Marshall would work with Whitfield this summer, Gus Malzahn had this to say:
"We've never had anyone work with our quarterbacks while they still had eligibility," Malzahn told AL.com. "We feel really good about how we go about it and the success we've had before. There won't be anyone working with our quarterbacks until their eligibility is exhausted."
Malzahn's thinking is understandable and, quite frankly, I'm surprised more coaches don't take this stance - especially with their quarterbacks. A quarterback is a finely-tuned race car, and it's easy to see why control-freak coaches wouldn't want someone else tinkering with what's under the hood.
"You want them thinking exactly like you want them to think," Malzahn said. "When you get multiple people working, there's multiple thoughts, so we want them thinking one way."
Entering his ninth season as a college coach, Marshall will somehow be Malzahn's first multi-year starting quarterback. Considering Marshall was playing cornerback as recently as 2011, one can see why Auburn's head coach wants his quarterback exclusively enrolled in Malzahn University this summer. Who could know how to help his quarterbacks better than him?
I'm just surprised more coaches don't think the same way.
Photos: The Bucs new uniforms
Last week Tampa Bay unveiled their new "enhanced logo" helmet, and this morning we get a peek at their new uniforms.
Personally, the oversized logo has grown on me over the years (especially with Boise's approach) so I like that addition, but the numbers seem like something directly out of the XFL and that's never a compliment. They'll definitely stick out among other NFL uniforms, that's for sure.
The Bucs have released their reasoning behind the uniform design elements. Read it here.
New Buccaneers Nike uniform for next season pic.twitter.com/8J9mXij2Jx— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 3, 2014
Side view of new Bucs jersey pic.twitter.com/UAH68EkOYe— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 3, 2014
More in-depth look at the new Buccaneers jerseys pic.twitter.com/5IzlDVtqVa— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 3, 2014
Video: 'Inches make the champion' at Tennessee
The University of Tennessee held their annual strength clinic recently, and the guys at ASAP Athletic Strength and Power were there to capture some quality nuggets for both coaching staffs, and their strength guys within Butch Jones' opening remarks.
Coach Jones started off with what separates their training philosophy from what other programs may be doing, from his perspective.
"What separates us a little bit in our strength and conditioning program is that 'your on the field product', and your 'in the weightroom product' is exactly the same. They are training them the way that we want to play football here."
Jones went on to explain that they decided to buy a bunch of heart monitors the last two weeks of the season to monitor. The objective was to have a means to measure when players were actually working as hard as they possibly could.
"It was amazing, because now we can tell when kids are loafing, and not going hard. Now, with your heart rate, football is meant to be played within the 80th and 90th percentile with your heart rate. So as a football coach, they come off and they already have all their data on this big flat screen TV, and now I can when we go team periods, and some other things, what kids are not giving their all for Tennessee." he explained.
"It also lets me gage, as a coach, it was amazing to see that our wideouts, even in individual, did more taxing work, and more running than most all of our position combined."
Jones then explained that the monitoring system informs them of how much recovery time each player is projected to need, and noted to the strength coaches in attendance of how that is a perfect example of how the strength coaches work hand in hand with the goals and vision of the coaching staff.
To wrap things up, Jones reminded strength coaches that their last name is their brand.
"We're all strength coaches in here. What makes you different? What is your personal brand? Your last name is your personal brand, so what does that stand for? How are you preparing your kids differently to give them the edge? The inches make the champion to go succeed on game day."
Lots more quality content in the video below.