Posts Tagged ‘college football



23
Dec
09

Seantrel Wins USA Today’s Offensive Player of the Year

Cretin-Derham Hall offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson was named the USA Today Offensive Football Player of the Year today, the first time in the 27-year history of the award a lineman has ever won the honor. As a caveat, Seantrel’s picture ran in the upper left corner of the paper, two inches away from a photo of Michael Jackson, even in death the most famous guy on the planet.
Seantrel had a great quote in the article, one one with some intelectual punch but that’s humble at the same time. He showed why when gets a little more mature and a little more comfortable in front of a microphone he’ll be a lot of fun to listen to:

 “A lot of people don’t understand that everything starts at the front line… The offensive line, we’re protecting all those all those other offensive guys that are getting the ball and are getting those awards.”

He’s right. The offensive line is the engine of a football team. If you can’t run the ball, you can’t control the clock. If you can’t pass protect, you won’t be able to defend the de facto leader of your team, the quarterback. Good luck hearing that on ESPN or FOX or any other network when they show football highlights. Most of that stuff is for fantasy football players, not for those wanting to understand the nuances of the game. Perhaps the movie “The Blind Side” will change all that in the future. Let’s hope.

18
Oct
09

How to Find Football PLayers? Develop Them

(Photo by Bob Rosato)

Great piece in this week’s Sports Illustrated on the emergence of TCU’s football program.  How did Coach Gary Patterson turn TCU in to a BCS contender? Lots of teaching smarts, that’s how. It’s rare you can take a high school athlete who plays, say, running back and then plug him in at the same position at the Div. I level. It happens, but more often it doesn’t. That’s where “player development” comes in. It’s not a very sexy term, but if you can’t help a player in any sport develop their talents — and that may involve moving them to another position where their abilities can be better utilized — you don’t have much of a chance for long-term success.

Here’s his formula according to the magazine:

• Fast. You can be short. But if you can’t fly to the ball, TCU isn’t interested.

• From Texas—of the 21 players in TCU’s 2009 recruiting class, 20 are from in-state—and acutely aware of having been overlooked by Texas. Patterson, says Dallas Cowboys linebacker Stephen Hodge, a former Horned Frog, “wants guys with a blue-collar work ethic and a chip on their shoulders.”

• Low maintenance. Patterson seeks self-starters, guys who watch video during their lunch periods, who don’t have to be lassoed into the weight room. “It doesn’t matter how bad I want it if they don’t,” he says.

• Not overly attached to the position they played in high school. In 2006 five of the 11 players on the defensive line were former high school running backs. Hodge, a strong safety for the Frogs, was a prep quarterback, as were three recent starting tight ends, two of whom ended up in the NFL. Another transplanted QB: Jason Phillips, a four-year starter at linebacker who’s now a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens.

Developing talent is a critical component to success. Rarely dose the media take note of it. Thanks for doing so SI.