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Bustin'a move in Annapolis

Coach Ken Niumatalolo had been impressed with the way the Midshipmen have worked this spring.

During last season, the team ran between 800 and 900 live reps. This spring alone, the team has accumulated over 700 live reps.

Their 5-7 record didn't please the team last season and these guys have flat out been getting after it.

As a reward, Niumatalolo had the team warm up a little differently than normal...take a look.

Sumlin and staff sorting out the "pretenders"

The players at Texas A&M are adjusting to the new staff's expectations, and Kevin Sumlin and his staff have spent the first few practices sorting out the physical players from the pretenders.

“We’ve got some guys that, just like any other time, are coming to the forefront, physical guys that like to play. And we’ve had some guys that are pretenders. Not very tough, we’ve got to figure out a way over the next couple weeks to develop some mental and physical toughness.” Sumlin said last week.

After practice yesterday, he noted marked improvement in the attitude and held a meeting to talk about the direction that they're heading. Sumlin's message was simple, they may not be ready to take the field just yet, but their tempo and attitude have made significant progress in a handful of practices.

“By no means are we ready to play a game but our attitude was better, our tempo was better and I think our want-to was better.”


"Sometimes you have to yank 'em through the knot hole"

Chad Morris and the offensive staff down at Clemson have focused on improving in short yardage situations this spring, and Morris told reporters yesterday that he is has seen continued improvement so far.

The staff has specifically focused on changing the mentality in short yardage situations, putting the team in situations in scrimmages and practice where they have to fight for every inch. Morris believes that they are continuing to step in the right direction, but as he put it, "sometimes you have to yank 'em through the knot hole".

Morris has seen some improvement, and says that they have taken steps in the right direction, but he believes that they have a long way to go before they're ready to match up in short yardage situations with the best in the country.

Video: O-Line jugs machine challenge

Fun video here out of Northwestern where the offensive line takes on a challenge with the Jugs machine.

Seems simple enough...catch a punt from the Jugs machine. But as you can see...it's not that easy with the big fellas.

Borges: "There's nothing like doing"

Al Borges sat down with AnnArbor.com to share his philosophy on player development during spring ball recently, and talked in depth about two key concepts that he calls "body learning" and "functional intelligence".

He explains that body learning is the actual action of going through what it takes to play your position within the specific playbook. A lot of coaches talk about mental reps, but Borges is a believer that nothing compares to the real thing. "There's nothing like doing, I'm a big believer in 'body learning.' Just physically going through the trial-and-error part of it so you can fix the problem yourself. Mental reps are great, and you have to take them, but the 'body learning' is really important."

Borges explains that getting additional practices for bowl preparation is vital to the development of young players because it allows valuable extra snaps not running plays off of the other teams scout cards. He compares those practices to an extra set of spring practices for the young guys.

The second concept, functional intelligence, is "the ability to transfer what you learn in the film room, on the chalkboard or in the walk-throughs and practically apply it to the game. It's irrelevant what your IQ is when you take a test if, when it comes time to execute the responsibility, you're not able to do it."

Borges says that he is happy with the functional intelligence in the second year under the same offense. The real test will be at noon on Saturday when the Wolverines will see how they measure up during their annual spring game at the  Big House.

New FCS program

Houston Baptist announced Vic Shealy as the first head football coach in the schools history at a press conference earlier today.

Shealy, who spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Kansas, will lead Houston Baptist into the FCS Southland Conference in 2014. The school has not ruled out playing an independent schedule in 2013. 

At the 1:30 press conference today, athletic director Steve Moniaci said that the search committee knew Shealy was their man because of three things you won't find in his bio; the fact that he is a great Christian man, a great family man, and a great coach...in that order.

The new head coach took the podium briefly and touched on a few a few objectives both short term and long term of the program. Shealy's focus to build the program starts with pursuing championships and understanding the process that it takes, spiritually, mentally, and physically to compete at that level. The goal for the first year of the program is to have a winning record, and will be followed by winning a conference title, earning and FCS playoff spot, and winning a national championship in the years to come.

Shealy explained that he considers the job at HBU a great opportunity in part because it allows him to work under Dr. Robert Sloan, an administrator that is very highly regarded from his time as the President and Chancellor at Baylor, and is someone that Shealy described as an administrator that "gets football". Sloan told reporters today that the University plans to build an on campus stadium in the near future.

The presser was very short, and it was evident that Moniaci and Dr. Sloan are confident that they poured through the pool of applicants (said to be at about 100), full of qualified Texas high school coaches, former Division 1 head coaches and assistants and a handful of NFL coaches to find the right man for the job.

When the live feed ended, the press convened to ask questions and Shealy noted that he hoped to have one position on his staff filled by the end of the week.

Weis: Fix the academics and football will follow

When Charlie Weis took over the Kansas program late in the academic year, the football team had reportedly accumulated around 50 "F's" is the classroom. Changing that has been a huge focus for Weis and his staff in the off season, along with making sure players were showing up to class.

“I can tell you with a smile on my face that coming into the Friday before spring break we had not missed five classes from the entire team, every time somebody missed, it was horrible. And I’m known to use peer pressure as well. So to have all your teammates there and be totally embarrassed for blowing off class, it’s a very good teaching tool.”

Weis has also used 6 a.m sessions with strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Holsopple as an extra form of motivation. “You really don’t want to do that, Holsopple, Saturday morning, 6 o’clock, that’s all I can say. You really don’t want that one. You really don’t. You don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be around Holsopple any time, but at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, when he doesn’t have to be here, it’s really not good.”

Weis explained that there are two things you have to do if you want to succeed as a student athlete in college. First of all you have to go to class, and secondly, you have to utilize the academic support that is offered. 

"Let me just say we don’t have a bunch of tin soldiers that everything is perfect. I’ve already had to get on them about this class, starting to drowse off and things like that. I get all those reports, and they’re all addressed. ... But I’m looking at a direct correlation, if we can get (academic performance) fixed, then we can get (football performance) fixed.”

No video department? No problem...

Deer Valley high school (CA) has been putting in some impressive work this offseason, and one of their players decided to put together this highlight video to capture it.

Very well done video at the high school level, and it ends with some impressive editing.