The sport of football has turned into runway modeling. Every position on the field has been broken down into the height a prospect has to be, the weight at which he should play, how long his arms are, how long his legs are, his speed, vertical, broad jump, even the size of his hands and feet.
All of it dissected, all of it covered on fan-sites ad nauseam. All of it baloney.
There is a question recruiters are not even asking much less considering the answer. There is an element of football which isn’t being weighed in lieu of measurements.
What is being overlooked is why a Georgia State, who doesn’t have a single, solitary player on the roster Tennessee recruited, and damn few the recruiting services thought enough of to rate with any stars, can go into Knoxville, Tennessee and completely dominate a bunch of four and five-star runway models. There is a reason Georgia State was able to completely humiliate the SEC East team on television and before a whole nation.
The reason? Well, their players, no matter where they were rated by the leading recruiting services, were good at football. They ran hard, both threw and caught passes, blocked and tackled well, and were better on special teams. In fact, from where we sat, they looked vastly superior at playing football than Tennessee’s players.
What other explanation do you have? Does Georgia State have a better coaching staff than the Volunteers? Is it Tennessee’s “being down right now?” Sure, UT was 5-7 a year ago but Georgia State’s program is 10-years old and they were 2-10 in the Sunbelt conference in 2018.
The Panthers don’t get the institutional support, they don’t have near the facilities, they don’t have anything rivaling the tradition within the Panther football program. What they had were football players.
What Tennessee had were show-horses. Sure they were pretty, but, in the end, they just couldn’t run the race being required of them, to continue on with the race analogy. In fact, at the game which was being played (which was a tackle football game in case you were confused), Tennessee’s star-laden bunch of pretty show-ponies weren’t worth a single, solitary damn.
Maybe they were too interested in their professional prospects or individually protecting their draft statuses. They showed zero interest, while exhibiting zero ability, to block and tackle.
You see, in and amongst the 40 times, the measurements, the broad and vertical jumps, there is one tiny inquiry not being made. There is one element being overlooked. There is this one “little” thing, it appears, the assistant coaches at UT don’t want to be burdened with evaluating. No one wants to determine whether a particular prospect can really play football?
After all, in the end, football isn’t a track meet. It isn’t a fashion show. It isn’t a 7 on 7 tournament.
Can the shirt and shorts superstar and 7 on 7’s All-American player play a single lick of tackle football? Does he produce on the field during games? Is he even good at the game we are recruiting him to play and in whom these universities are investing millions of dollars annually?
Ask yourself this…who’s running your program and evaluating your future players at your favorite college football team? Is it the coaching staffs your athletic endowment is paying a minimum of 100s of thousands (and for some, millions) of dollars a year or is it some recruiting service “talking-head” in a funny hat with a trombone player’s build whose only fight in his life occurred on Twitter?
We know who picked that Georgia State roster. Who picked Tennessee’s? Allowing any recruiting service to select who your team offers has consequences. Is this a check you’re willing to pick up and pay?
Running fashion shows over football teams is how players like Raquan Horton get told they are a half-inch too short to play at UK before going to EKU and being its best D-Lineman before being derailed by injury. It is how a Will Thomas Collins starts his career at U-Pike before ending it at UK as both a productive SEC player and Kentucky homegrown legend.
It is how players like Charles Andrew Collins, who has run for some 3,500 yards from scrimmage the last two years playing Kentucky 5A football, and scored 50 rushing TDs before transferring to Breathitt County, gets left off both the Herald-Leader and Courier-Journal‘s Top 50 Kentucky football prospect’s list.
What’s the problem guys? Is he too short, not weigh enough, not quick enough at some combine running the 40 or the shuttle unpadded in a track suit? He’s dad-burn good at the game of football and makes every team whose uniform he wears better for his having worn it.
Doesn’t anyone want a player like that anymore? Were it our call, we would.
We would take guys like what we are describing and beat the ever-loving horse crap out of those prancing show ponies you call football players. Hey, wait a minute, isn’t that exactly what Georgia State just did? I believe it is…
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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