The May evaluation period (begins April 15th, 2011 according to NCAA Football Recruiting Calendar) for the Class of 2012 is just around the corner, so it’s time to take a peek at some of the goodies in this class.
As of March 12, 2011 there are three Nebraskans known to be holding D-1A offers: Jake Schany, LB, Blair, has offers from Colorado and Ohio; Tay Bender, QB, Lincoln Southwest, committed to Kansas State and Mike Shoff, OL, Cambridge, got an early nod from Iowa.
On paper—there are several prospects in this class that intrigue. And by “on paper” I mean looking at their listed size, speed and other measures. Of course, no one knows for sure how accurate these listings are. Nonetheless, it is what it is.
The following are the order of importance of the measures I pay attention to:
- Speed—got to have it. Though the 40 yard dash still remains supreme in our minds, it’s actually the 10 yard dash that is more indicative of a player’s true playing speed. Colleges and professionals measure the 10 but it has yet to become the main focus of speed when it comes to reporting it. Good forty times: RBs, DBs and WR under 4.6; OL under 5.5; DL under 5.3 LB and TEs under 4.8.
- Vertical—this and the broad jump measure a player’s explosiveness. 33” is good and anything over is gravy. The broad jump may not be reported as much, but colleges and the pros also measure it—10 feet or more is the goal here.
- Short Shuttle—demonstrates the ability to change directions quickly and body coordination. 4.3 and under is good for any skilled position. But this—more than any other measure—can be dramatically improved through practice. That’s why I give it less weight than the two above.
- Squat—leg power is crucial for every position, but this like the bench press below is more a measure of work ethic and dedication than anything else.
- Bench—I don’t put much stock in this for skilled position players, but I give some attention to it for linemen. Bottom line—If you are a good enough high school player, you will be “persuaded” to improve upon this measure at the next level.
A given high school player may have great measures but he may not be a “D 1-level football player.” On the other hand, a high school player may not have the measures but he is a D-1-level football player, because his high football IQ compensates for his lack of measures. And that is the mystery and the beauty in recruiting. You can’t measure the heart and film evaluation alone does not always tell the truth. To compound the matter: some players simply mature later than others.
College coaches have to take all these things into consideration, while relying on their experiences with similar prospects, in order to make the right call.
Every year there are only about 150 or so high school football prospects from around the country that all 120 of the NCAA D-1A college programs would make an offer to. I say “would”, because the colleges also look at need. if a college program doesn’t have a need for a particular position they may not offer no matter how good a prospect is.
In the end what it all comes down to is a program’s need and the relative ability of a prospect compared to the pool of available talent.
| 20 Class of 2012|
Nebraska Football Players to Watch
|Mike Shoff, OL, Cambridge — Offer: Iowa. Absolutely ridiculously freaky measures for his size and position. The best overall measures in the class of 2012. |
Tay Bender, QB (6-2, 190) Lincoln Southwest — offer: Kansas State. The Wildcats are high on this stud with 4.47 speed and 35″ vertical.
Jake Schany, LB (6-2, 210) Blair — Offer: Colorado and Ohio. Solid measures, a very good football player and excellent student, will have many more offers come his way.
Hunter Greer, OL, (6-7, 300) Omaha Burke — great size, best measures in class of 2012 for his position.
DaVonta’ Culliver, LB, (6-2, 210) Westside — has best measures in class of 2012 for his position.
Terry Grigsby, WR (6-2, 190) Omaha North — good athlete with listed 4.5 speed, 38” vertical and size. Best measures in class of 2012 for his position.
Ross Dzuris, TE/LB (6-3, 222) Plattsmouth —nice size and good measures.
James Anderson, OL/DL (6-4-300) Omaha Burke nice measures good football player.
Joe Jansnowski, TE/DE (6-5, 220) Creighton Prep — good size and good football player.
Chris Bailey, RB/LB (6-0, 215) Millard North — good football player.
Shane Lentz, FB (6-1, 215) Millard North —4.5 speed and good football player.
Roger Brohimer, RB/DB (6-2, 185) Fremont — good athlete with nice size decent measures.
Bryan Bayer, DE (6-5, 220) Howells —size with 4.7 speed.
Joe Dugan, LB (6-4. 210) Millard North — good size, decent speed and good football player.
Sam Cotton, TE (6-4, 230) Lincoln Southwest — nice size decent speed.
Matt Miller, TE, (6-5, 225) Omaha Scutt Catholic — size and 4.7 speed.
Garret Johns, OL (6-3, 270) Aurora—decent measures and very good football player.
Landon Arnold, OL/DL (5-11, 250) Millard North — lacks measures but is a very good football player.
Ryan Flynn, LB (6-3,215) Creighton Prep — good measures real nice listed shuttle time.