Here’s a news flash for you…skills don’t win football championships. I am sorry to all the Boo-Boo daddies and mommies out there who insist on Boo-Boo playing QB, RB, or WR, but a fact is a fact. It just doesn’t matter how fast or shifty or how well the ball is thrown or caught if you’re getting your tail kicked up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Championship teams are built from the line of scrimmage out and not the other way around. Ask Belfry‘s, Phillip Haywood. He’s amassed 428 wins in 43 years against only 131 losses and 6 State Championships. That’s winning 428 of the 559 games he has coached, for a winning percentage of nearly 77%, with 12 trips to the State Title game. For that matter, ask any coach who routinely wins way more than he losses and he’ll tell you. You have got to have some Dudes, up front, to consistently win football games!
So, what’s a Dude exactly? Well, it’s probably easier to point at one and say that guy right there than to pigeon-hole an exact definition. That won’t stop me from trying. A Dude is a 260 plus pound, butt-stomping, mean, aggressive, either drive-blocking or d-line penetrating, machine. A Dude is always gaining ground for you upfront, whether on defense or offense. Dudes are almost always more explosive, more powerful, and more ornery than anything the opponent has up front to counter him (unless two Dudes confront each other). A Dude punishes your pass rushers in pass protection, punishes and humiliates blitzers, in the run game is blowing D-linemen into the defense’s second level, and, across the defensive front, Dudes spend the entire night in the offensive backfield. You don’t trap Dudes because the guard pulling inside, to trap him, looks like he just got run over by a SUV. On offense, they are the guys the team is always running behind, and the gap the LBs and blitzing DBs avoid, even if told to blitz Dude’s gap. On defense, they always draw double teams, are the FB’s target, or the player the TE is told to block when down blocking. In short, Dagen Rash from Belfry High School is a Dude!
You can certainly tell the Dudes in a weight room. They are the ones who can squat unbelievable amounts of weight with apparent ease. You see, they have the core strength, explosion, and ability to fire low to high, which is what makes digging them out, upfront defensively, or trapping them, offensively, near impossible. Here, I introduce as exhibit 1 to Dagan Rash’s inclusion in Dudeville, Rash’s 500 pound squat. Dude, he made that look too easy. There’s a reason why Coach Haywood’s teams enjoy so much success, other than he is a great coach.
As a former football player at HHS, who went on to play upfront collegiately, Chad Cessna, told me while I wrote this piece, Belfry always seems to have a couple “Dudes” up front. Cessna added, I watched them play in a state title game when they had Cole Bentley (UL, Dude) and Rayquan Horton (EKU, Dude). Those two [Dudes] dominated the game. Yes, Chad, that’s why a player is a Dude. As another Dude, you possess the ability to readily and easily recognize those traits. In addition to characteristics easily manifesting in a weight room, Dudes have physical characteristics too.
Dude’s aren’t fat and sloppy. Dude’s look hard because they are hard. They are athletic, can run, can jump, and when they get their vice-like hands clamped on you; your done. Rash is a 6-3, 270 pound block of granite who, for you college coaches regularly reading this site, is a full qualifier, right now. Rash has a 3.95 GPA and a 26 on the ACT in the books. With scores like this, Dagen Rash is a candidate for Academic, as well as Athletic, scholarship money and would be a steal for an Ivy League team or even service academy. Dagen is a mountain kid who played a lot for Belfry as a freshman before moving down to Florida only to come back, last year, to finish up playing for Phillip Haywood. Rash is a 2019 player and all you have to do is watch his highlights to fall in love with what he brings to the table at the line.
Dagen, offensively, can play either guard or center and runs the 40 yard dash around 5.24 seconds. His bench press well exceeds 300 pounds and his exact, one-rep maximum, in squat, is presently undetermined; but, as you can see from the video, it is clearly in excess of 500 pounds. The video I saw left me with the impression there were some pounds left in that lift. What say you? For college football coaches interested in bringing Dagen Rash in for camp to evaluate him, and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t be eager to do this, Dagen’s email is Dagenwr@gmail.com and his father, himself a coach, is firstname.lastname@example.org. Coach Haywood can be emailed at PhillipHaywood_Belfry@hotmail.com.
Now that we have defined the characteristics, I would suggest those of you in the Commonwealth who want to play along the lines of scrimmage get busy in your team’s off-season strength & conditioning program turning yourselves into Dudes. Your team may have a great regular season without it, but if they want to go deep in the playoffs, it will be because of you and not anything some skill player either did or didn’t do.
This is Fletcher Long reporting for Kentucky Prep Gridiron, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!
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