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GA of the Day - Sam Williams (Vanderbilt)

Meet Sam Williams, offensive grad assistant at Vanderbilt. So, technically, he's not a GA; but when we hear so many positive things about a guy, we don't disqualify based on a technicality. 

Sam, as you will hear in the video, has a fascinating story...showed up at Vandy with the possibility of a D-1 job...only to have it not quite available yet. What did Williams do? He made it work; and as every guy in that building will tell you, he's got quite a future ahead of him.

Want to hear what James Franklin thinks of Williams (and offensive grad assistant Joey Orck)? Watch the first 15 seconds of this video...

Holgo: "We're not going into a hornet's nest"

While the Mountaineers are entering new territory in the Big 12, half of Dana Holgorsen's staff has at least one year of experience coaching in the new conference.

“We probably know a lot more about the Big 12 than the Big 12 knows about us. We know a bunch about it." Holgorsen noted on the experience that him and his staff have going into the new conference.

Holgo, Joe DeForest, Robert Gillespie, and Jake Spavital are familiar with the new landscape from their time working together at Oklahoma State, and Bill Bedenbaugh brings some added experience from spending seven seasons at Texas Tech. Corners coach Daron Roberts also brings some experience from his playing days at Texas, before going on to coach in the NFL.

We're not going to go into a hornet's nest without knowing about it. Now, that in itself isn't going to win you any games, but I do think it will be beneficial in the long run.”

Their inaugural Big 12 schedule looks pretty good with road games at Texas and Texas Tech (in back to back weeks), before eventually traveling to Oklahoma State and Iowa State, meaning that they'll get Baylor, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas at home. Their conference road opponents went 31-20 last season, while the teams they'll see at home racked up a record of 43-22 (and an impressive 41-11 not counting Kansas' 2-11 season).

 

 

 

 

 

 

HS Video: Adventure training

Head coach Chad Frigon and his Liberty HS (MO) football team took 88 guys out to an adventure course Thursday to work on building team camraderie, trust, and respect amongst teammates in an off the field, non-football setting.

Earlier in the offseason, Frigon and his staff divided the team into groups to work out and used those same groups to run through the course.

Looks like a great idea, and the course looks like a refreshing change of pace from the every day off season training program.

New uniforms at Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan just unveiled their updated Adidas uniforms for 2012.

The new look features new green, white and gray choices for the jerseys, pants (complete with a new sleeker belt-less design), and helmets. The jerseys added a wing design on the shoulders and have either "Eastern Michigan" or "Eagles" across the front.

To go along with the green helmet and traditional block "E", they've also added matte white and gray helmets with the same block "E" logo. All in all, Ron English and the Eagles will have 20 fresh uniform combinations once socks enter the mix.

"We are excited to be a part of an elite number of schools that Adidas chose to promote on a national stage. It's a compliment to the growth of our program and something the players are really going to enjoy." English said in the official press release.

EMichGreen

EMichWhiteonWhite

EMichGrayonGray

 

 

A unique offensive philosophy

Back in May of 2010 Jim Lyall was named head coach at Siena Heights University, a new NAIA program in Adrian, Michigan. Lyall had previously spent over 20 years as the head coach at crosstown Adrian College, spending a total of 36 years on staff.

When he got to Siena Heights Lyall decided to employ a unique offensive strategy. He would have two completely different offensive units. One that ran the spread, and the other that ran a double wing scheme (or what they call the "X-Unit"). 

We hear that when the coaches decide to make the switch on game day, 11 new players take the field that specialize in the new scheme.

"Now people have to prepare for not only one offense, but for two. It’s two different styles of offenses, and for other teams to prepare for that in one week can be difficult.” Lyall explained. Taking a look at their stat sheets, it is not uncommon to see at least 10 players with at least one carry in any given game.

During the 2011 season, one coordinator (Jason Mensing) called the double wing plays, and another (Jeff Hancock) handled the spread play calling duties. 

We have heard from numerous high school coaches that the unique approach, coupled with the staff's hard work on the road recruiting, has made them popular with both coaches and recruits. The offensive versatility allows them to recruit student athletes that fit well in either scheme.

In a state already saturated with 6 D-III programs, 8 D-II programs, 5 D-I programs, and one other NAIA program the Saints have signed an impressive 53 players in their incoming freshman class and featured 123 players on the roster last season.

Mensing, who has since taken the head coaching job at Ottawa Lake Whiteford HS (MI), explained the recruiting advantage to Adrian's Daily Telegram last season.

“The best thing about it for me is we’re creating greater opportunities for kids to achieve for us. The skill set that’s required for our system is different than the skill set for the spread. We have that many more athletes that we’re utilizing. Ultimately, that means we have more guys helping our team win.”

In their inaugural season the Saints went 8-1 (with a handful of D-III JV teams and club teams on the schedule). Still, the Saints were very efficient offensively, scoring at least 28 points in all but two games, including a five game stretch where they outscored opponents 255-25.

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